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Craft of the Month

Craft of the Month: Milk Carton Planters

Many a 6th grader has returned home from Camp Stevens with a nondescript pot of soil in tow.


You can probably guess what is nestled in these little planters: seeds! And with enough attention and care, these seeds will sprout into seedlings – visible and tangible evidence of a plant’s life cycle and of how “food” happens. Lettuce seeds are particularly easy to nurture into little lettuce plants – start small, replant in a larger space and you could be growing salad in your backyard!

Excited? Good! Here is a way to re-purpose milk cartons into planters for seeds and seedlings alike. All you need is an empty carton and a utility knife – basic cardboard cutters work too but wielding a good utility knife make me feel quite handy.


1.   Rinse out the carton thoroughly, giving it a few good shakes before dumping the water out. You can open the top of the carton completely if you really need to get in there!


2.   Grab your cutting tool of choice and cut the carton in half horizontally, on all four sides. Do note that cartons smaller than this one pictured will work too, though you won’t want to cut them in half. Aim for your planter to be at least 4 inches tall.


3.   It already looks like a little planter, no?

54.   Turn the unfinished planter upside down so its flat bottom faces up.

5.   Pick one edge, where the bottom meets the sides, and cut a tiny rectangle into the center of the edge, no more than a 1/2 inch wide. Do look at the photos below – this step is a bit difficult to put into words!


6.  Repeat Step 5 on the other three edges.


7.   Just one last hole to cut! Somewhere on the flat part, specifically, about as wide as a quarter.

10118.   Turn it over and you’ve already got yourself an eco-friendly little planter 🙂

129.   Get some good soil for planting (we use a 2:1:1 ratio of compost, peat moss and perlite here at Camp Stevens) and plant away! You may want to keep your pot next to a more mature plant, for moral support of course.

13New year, new beginnings – happy seeding!


Craft of the Month is a monthly feature written by Resident Intern Staff member/crafting guru, Lindsay Taylor. All about the upcycle, you can check out some of Lindsay’s creations in her Etsy shop, Bits and Blurbs.


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