Using the PotMaker, you can make plant pots from recycled newspaper with just a little folding and a few twists of the wrist. Is that any better than using the origami method to make newspaper pots?
Both the origami method of making newspaper pots (there are tons of paper pot tutorials around, but I really like this particular one from A Heart for Home because it’s so thorough) and the PotMaker method of making newspaper pots result in containers the perfect size to start seedlings, use only the waste material that is recycled newspaper, and may be planted right with the seedlings that you start.
The major benefit of the origami method of making newspaper pots is that it’s absolutely free to use, but you’ll have to purchase the PotMaker.
The major benefit of the PotMaker is that it’s much simpler than the origami method. While the origami method involves over a dozen folding steps to create a paper pot, the PotMaker involves just three steps. It’s much quicker, and my children can use the PotMaker completely independently.
The PotMaker pots can also be planted as-is, while a newspaper pot made using the origami method is much thicker, and thus needs to have the bottom cut out before it’s planted. Conversely, the origami-made newspaper pot is much sturdier, whereas the thinner PotMaker-made pot can become quite fragile by the time several weeks have passed and it’s ready to plant.
I fully admit that I purchased the PotMaker so that I could put my kids to work helping me make the seedling pots for our garden this year, but a few years ago, when my girls were too young to use even the PotMaker, I would have NEVER purchased a tool, even a time-saving tool, that did what I could do myself for free.
Therefore, I’m very interested in your own ways of crafting–how do you decide between saving time or saving money? Have your reasons changed over the years?
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I’ve heard you can also use a wine bottle because of the dip in the glass on the bottomside in most bottles. Is that similar to the potmaker? I’m sure the potmaker probably is a bit more user-friendly and not fragile like a winebottle, but would be free or at least cheap. (could ask a restaurant for an empty wine bottle, too)
Ooh, a wine bottle DOES have that good indentation! You’d also need something to match the indentation to press into it, though–a DIY mold made from plaster of Paris, perhaps? You could also, instead of trying to mimic the PotMaker’s indentation that makes the newspaper stay put, perhaps use a flour paste to glue it? But then it might not dissolve enough to plant as-is, which is a major benefit for me.
When I decided to start a little garden this year, I followed a video tutorial over at Michele Made Me:
It makes thinner pots than the origami method – by the time I transplanted my seedlings, some of them had roots pushing out of the pots. On the other hand, the pots didn’t break apart when they were picked up from their tray and put in soil.
I should probably mention that my three year old son helped at every step. I made the pots, he filled them with potting mix. He put in seeds, I topped them off with mix where needed. He and I tag-teamed watering. I made the holes where seedlings would be planted, he carried the seedlings from the tray to the hole.
I don’t think a tool would make the pot making take any less time, and it is easy enough to do that I think next year my son will be making the pots while I fill in the mix.