Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Homemade plant pot maker ... ...

As an avid gardener I'm always on the look out for ways to make things easier for myself, and even better if it's cheap (or free) and I can recycle some stuff.

Not so long ago I was looking about at various websites when I came across a plant pot maker, now as the name suggests it's a tool for making plant pots, but out of newspaper, the ones I saw were made of wood, and I thought they were great, basically when it comes to seed sowing time you use this little gizmo to make paper pots, then you sow your seeds in the pots and when the plants are ready you just plant the whole thing, save time and money and you don't have to disturb the plants roots by removing them from pots, which isn't always easy to do.

I could have bought one, you can get them from various websites for a reasonable price (just google "plant pot maker") but I figured I could save a few quid if I made one myself, and it's easier as I have a lathe, I could have made one by hand, using a hammer and chisels, but I wanted a more polished tool, and besides I enjoy making things.

So off to the mole cave, which in this weather is more than a little cold (it's not really a cave, it's a shed, I bet you guessed that already) And after rooting around in my pile of wood I found an old section of fence post which I found last year and used part of for making a collett chuck.

I cut 2 sections off the post, 1 for the handle and 1 for the base, as the post was 6 inches square it required a little bit of turning to get it round, but the finished result is easy to use and has a nice feel, but it has been made to fit my hand so I guess it would feel okay to me.

Here it is -

I didn't notice the hole until I'd started turning it.
Not much to look at really, I didn't get too fussy with it, just added a little detail to the handle and gave the base a little bit of a curve, as the caption says I didn't notice the hole until I'd started turning the wood, but in all honesty I quite like the fact that it's not perfect, it does the job I made it for, which is what matters.

Another picture, this time with some pots - 

It works !!!
I made a couple of pots to see if it would actually work, I did spend some time whilst I was turning it to get it quite precise in terms of measurements on the parts that actually push the paper to make the base nice and secure.

You can use newspaper, which means you can have another use for the newspapers before you chuck them in the recycling bin, or you can use other types of paper, in the picture above I used a bit of red paper that we have for the kids to do crafty stuff with, it worked just as well, so if you use red paper you could give plants as presents in attractive biodegradable pots ;-)

All in all I am pleased with it, it will save money (it didn't cost anything to make) and it will save time, which I seem to have less and less of these days, and making the pots takes about a minute or so and is easy to do, as the next lot of pictures will show.

Step one, get some paper (newspaper is good)

Tear the paper into strips, roughly the size you want your pots, remember to leave about an inch over hanging, then start rolling it around the handle.

Step one picture - 

Rolling the paper.
Step two, once you have rolled the paper into a tube you need to fold the over hanging end in on it's self.

Step two pictures - 

Leave some paper over hanging.
Then fold the ends in.

Fold the paper in towards the middle.
Once that's done you then need to get the base and push the handle into it, this will make sure the end is secure and stop the plant and soil falling out of the bottom when you pick it up, push it in as hard as you can, I've found giving it a little twist helps as well.

Sealing the pot base.
And you should end up with a pot, the base should look like the picture below.

The pot base - 

You get the idea right ?
If not here's another picture with a couple of pots I made earlier - 

Pot bases.

Pot maker with finished pot - 

Easy as, and free plant pots, bargain.
It's simple to do, and doesn't take long to make a load of pots, you will need to keep them in some sort of tray, they will obviously get wet when watered and may not be quite so sturdy, they are paper after all, but they should stay together well enough to be transported to the planting site and planted. I figured I would make a lot more garden related items before spring, things like a new dibber.

Just a quick update, and I probably shouldn't point this out if I plan on selling these things, but you don't actually need a tool like this to make paper pots, or course it helps, but if you used a plastic tube, about the size you wanted you could wrap the paper round it in the same way and then just fold the ends in and maybe put something down the tube to help fix the base of the pot.

Of course having you very own pot making tool is preferable ;-)

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. One thought I had while reading it was if you fold the end in while rolling it up you will have caused the end to be interleaved making it much stronger.