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[done] Origami Plant Pot?

Years ago, someone (I can't remember who or where) taught me how to make this origami box. Simple design, and really handy. For a couple of years I've been using it as a biodegradable plant pot for beans and squashes, anything I want to plant straight out without disturbing the roots too much. The secret is that when completed it gives you four layers of newspaper, which is sufficient strength to make the model work as a plant pot, but not too thick such that it doesn't degrade in the soil.

First time you make this it'll take a little while. Really, its all about grasping how it works, when you wrap your head around it you'll churn these out in seconds.

Take a double sheet of tabloid sized newspaper. You don't want it glossy, you want it to rot down quickly. Like this, from the Indy, a paper that I find rots down remarkably well!

Right... Square it up so the edges and corners are all level, and then fold one corner across diagonally like so. You're after a nice clean fold into the corner.

This is the only time you need to cut anything; cut the side bit off so that you've got a square.

Take the triangle you have and fold it in half again, to a smaller triangle like this.

And now, unfold it back to a square again, see you've now got some diagonal folds made? You'll need those later.

Start folding the four points of the square to the centre, like this:

When all four are folded in, it looks like this. Theres a name for this in origami, its called a blintz.

Now you have to use a bit of judgement, you need to fold it into three sideways, so start folding one side in:

And then the other:

Now unfold that again, and fold it into three the other way:

And unfold again. So you've now divided your blintz into nine little squares.

Unfold the top and the bottom triangle flaps from the middle of the square, like this:

Now it gets a little fiddly. Remember you folded the square into three in each direction? Well, use those folds to raise the left and right sides up like this, so you've got the middle third flat, the side third on either side raised.

You're wondering how to turn this into a plant pot? Well, the points of the square that you folded out now come back in. As they do so, squash in the flaps that doing so makes like this:

So when both of them are folded in on the first side you bring in, it looks like this:

Now fold that point over and down into the middle of the pot:

And repeat those last steps to make the final side of the pot:

Giving you the final pot! I've put a pound coin next to it for scale.

Blue Sky

Ooooh. Yes pleez.

Sounds like fun for the kids and even better for the beans.

fun for the kids hmmm - can we have pictures of that as well then Simon Laughing
Blue Sky

Oy! My kids are adept at stuff like this

Shocked sorry Very Happy mine have me Rolling Eyes
Blue Sky

Well no TV here so the kids have to look forward to exciting adventures with origami and the like for weekend activities. (And even if they won't indulge, I would certainly like to see the design).

Too much telly here but quite handy if you don't feel up to origami adventures Very Happy

Hows that looking then?
wellington womble

Clear as mud, but the so did the seed packet before I had a go! Now I churn them out all the time (isn't everyone impressed! It's even better than knitting on four needles?!)

As soon as I find somone who has a newspaper, I'll give it a go. one of the chippies has the Indy (makes a change from the Sun!)

You can practice on any old bit of paper. You don't have to use a double thickness to begin with.

Thinking about it, the first steps are really very like the childrens 'fortune teller' toy, you know, the thing you write insults on the inside of and colours and numbers on the outside, stick your fingers in and count letters. Remember how to make those?
wellington womble

Good Lord - I knew those triangles reminded me of something! Is that why I've had 'boys and girls come out to play' going round in my head all morning!? Taken me all day so far to remember most of the words!

Anyone had a go at this and managed it yet?

gimme 2 mins


just did one

Cool... So the instructions worked okay Smile

Yeah. I've seen them before though, my son came home from origami class with them (I live in an area that is often called little japan). if i'm not that bothered about what they look like, i reckon a minute to a minute and a half per.

Thought I'd pop a tutorial I wrote a couple of years ago for the other variant, the pot that uses a toilet roll holder as a mould, which we usually make hundreds of in different sizes:

More Paper Pots

I'll be giving yours a go too this year, Cab, the problem with the toilet roll based ones is that you get quite a lot of paper in the bottom, which roots don't always find their way through, so you have to prize it apart before putting in the ground. Not really a biggie, mind.
Mrs Fiddlesticks

cab wrote:

Thinking about it, the first steps are really very like the childrens 'fortune teller' toy, you know, the thing you write insults on the inside of and colours and numbers on the outside, stick your fingers in and count letters. Remember how to make those?

you'll be pleased to know that's the current craze in my youngest's class. We've just made a plant pot together so if an 8 year old can do it....

I just use the loo rolls! I line them up in a seed tray on top of a piece of cardboard so that the earth doesn't fall out the bottom, & just plant as they are when the time comes. They work well for vigorous seedlings like courgettes, pumpkins etc

Off to try Cab's newspaper pot now though ...

Done Very Happy

I struggled a bit with the third side, but my piece of paper was far smaller than a sheet of newspaper so I think I was making life far more fiddly than it needed to be.

Took me about 4 minutes, with the assistance of an 8 year old for the difficult bits.

I'm impressed with the result though.
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