Plants are totally in right now and should never go out of style! With that said, sometimes pots can be expensive, or you’re looking for something to use for your new plant until you can get to the store to buy a new plant. These newspaper starter pots that we are making today are cute, customizable, and super easy to do! End up buying 2-3 extra plants than you initially planned from your local market? No problem, you will know how to make these to save the day!

Necessities:

  • Newspaper (1 sheet per box)
    • Large the piece of newspaper, the larger the box

Optional Materials:

  • Anything to customize your pot
    • Paint
    • Hot Glue
    • Ribbon
    • Tape

Step 1: Take your sheet of newspaper and fold it in half, horizontally (hamburger style) until the ends line up. Try to smooth out the creases as much as possible, and make sure you get a nice crease where you folded the sheet in half.

**To get a nice crease, use just your finger/fingernail to push along the fold. Doing this once or twice will truly define the crease.  

Step 2: Fold in half vertically and get a nice, defined crease.

Step 3: Unfold the second fold that you made so that the paper is just folded in half once. Once it’s unfolded, take the bottom, left corner of the newspaper and fold it so that it meets the center line (your vertical crease – I drew a black line to show you mine). Repeat on the right side and create a defined crease on both sides.

Step 4: Take the top sheet and fold it so that it meets where your “corner creases” in the center. Then fold that piece over your “corner creases” one more time. 

**Note, when doing this make sure that you are folding the corners up on the side the paper is FOLDED. This is a mistake that I made the first time and my box turned out kind of goofy.

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Step 5: Flip your newspaper over and fold the left side of your paper in to meet the center of your sheet (I drew a center line). Repeat on the right side.

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Step 6: Take the top edge (the part that is not pointed) and fold it so that it meets the edge of the “squares” that you made from your previous fold. Then fold it over again so that it almost looks as if you made a little house.

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Step 7: Take your most recent fold and tuck it into the little “pocket” on the pointed part of your sheet. Make sure that it is fully in there and is nice and flat.

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Step 8: Take the point, fold it over to create a crease, and then flip it over and fold it again. Now take the point, and fold it to the top, right corner of your sheet.

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Step 9:  Now stick your hand into the pocket to open it up as a box. At the bottom, where you made the last fold, it should be able to fold and meet at the corner naturally.

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Step 10: If you do not like the look of the newspaper, decorate it with paint or ribbon, and make them look fun! I recommend decorating before putting any plants in your box.

**If you want to tape the bottom, feel free to.

Although this box seems a little goofy, with time and practice you will be able to crank out these newspaper starter pots like no other! If you are a tad confused by the steps, no worries I was too, please feel free to check out my video (linked HERE) to visually follow step by step on how to make this.

If you are looking to plant succulents, have no fear, directions are here! Our University Center Botany Intern, Lily, was kind enough to write up the following planting and care instructions for your new succulents.

Steps for Planting

Necessities:

  • Potting soil
  • Your new newspaper start pot (or another pot)
  • Dish to put pot on (or else water will get everywhere when you water it)
  • Water
  • Succulent(s) of choice

Optional Materials:

  • Decorative gravel or wood chips

Planting Steps

  1. Wet soil
  2. Fill pot halfway with soil and slightly compress
  3. Fill pot the remainder of the way
  4. Create hole for the succulent
  5. Place succulent and fill remaining space with soil
  6. Scatter decorative gravel or wood chips on top of soil (optional)

Care Instructions

Daily Care

  • Check soil for dampness
    • If top 1-2” of soil is dry, water the succulent
    • It is better to under-water your succulent than to overwater it because it can get root rot (very hard to reverse)
  • Sunlight
    • Most succulents enjoy having bright, direct sunlight throughout the day
      • Some succulents have more vibrant colors when exposed to bright light
    • Troubleshooting: it is possible for a succulent to get too much sun
      • Indicator: succulent losing color and starts to get a little mushy
      • Solution: remove succulent from direct light and place in a shadier area until it returns to normal
        • After this, place the succulent in an area with bright, INDIRECT sunlight and monitor for changes

Weekly Care

  • It is important to check your plants for pests (this isn’t always an issue, but a good idea to just keep your eye on)
    • If present: spray plant with insecticide or research how to create an organic insecticide if you would prefer not to use chemicals in your home
    • You can also wipe down the leaves to get pests off (wet paper towel with insecticide)
    • If the pests are persistent, treat plant at least once per week to prevent the problem from getting worse

Monthly Care

  • It is recommended that indoor plants be fertilized once per month during the warmer months and once every 2-3 months during the colder months

Now that you have your pots and your plants, it’s time to spice up your desk, room, or wherever your new succulent children are going to go.

Roberta’s Art Gallery Kids’ Corner

Welcome to the second edition Roberta’s Art Gallery Kids’ Corner! To reintroduce this new feature, in each “Roberta’s Art Gallery Craft Corner” blog, there will be a featured craft for kids that coincides with or has similar tools that the featured “adult” craft uses. This week using the newspaper from the adult craft, we will be making newspaper drawings. These can be made into numerous types of animals or flowers, but for this example we are going to make a shark!

 Necessities:

  • Newspaper (1 sheets per animal/flower)
  • Glue stick or tape (glue would be preferable)
  • Scissors
  • Construction paper
  • Markers

Step 1: Pick out a piece of construction paper to be the base of the picture.

Step 2: Take the piece of newspaper and cut out a half oval. The bottom part of this oval should be the same width as the sheet of construction paper. If you would like to point the nose of the shark, fold your half oval in halt, and then sharpen the point.

Step 3: Glue (or tape) this piece of newspaper to the construction paper.

Step 4: Take a white piece of paper and cut out an oval/circle for the mouth.

  • If do not want to use white paper, feel free to use red, pink, or black paper.

Step 5: On the white piece of paper, draw triangles around the mouth to create teeth. Color in the mouth with black or red marker so it looks like a mouth.

  • If you are not using white paper, cut out white triangles and glue them around the month.

Step 6: Glue (or tape) the mouth towards the nose of the shark (the top of the newspaper shape). 

Step 7: Cut out two small, white circles for eyes. Then color black dots for the pupils.

  • If your family has googly eyes, this could be a great alternative for eyes.

Step 8: Place the eyes on opposite sides of the mouth and glue them down.

Step 9: Take blue paper and draw a wave design towards the bottom of your page.

Step 10: Cut out the waves and glue them over the shark.

Step 11: Have fun with it! Draw fish in the sea, or birds in the sky!

Thank you for tuning in, and do not forget to allow the kiddos to use their imagination! These newspaper crafts can turn into any plant, animal, or even just make the whole shark family. “Baby shark…doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo….mommy shark, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo!”

Keep it creative!

Your Craft Corner Guru,