Seed Starting Pots From Newspaper

I’ve begun to gather supplies I will need to start seeds for my garden.  Mike was busy yesterday hanging plant lights while I made little pots from newspaper.  I have some plastic starting trays, but not quite enough for the seeds I plan to start, so rather than purchase more plastic, I recycled newspaper into pots. I made 8 dozen pots in under an hour. Here’s how it’s done:

Cut each full sheet of newspaper into four.

Fold each square into thirds.

Roll the folded paper around a small juice glass so that about an inch or less of it overlaps the bottom of the glass. Tape with a small piece of masking tape which will eventually decompose along with the newspaper.

To form the bottom of the pot, fold the newspaper down on the bottom of the glass and tape.

Press down to flatten the bottom of the pot.

Remove the pot and you are done!

Shared at: Sunday School, Monday Mania, Homestead Barn Hop, Fat Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesday, Tuesday Garden Party, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Simple Lives Thursday, Wild Crafting Wednesday, Rural Thursday, Farmgirl Friday, Fight Back Friday

This entry was posted in Don't Throw it Away, Gardening - How to, Upcycle and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to Seed Starting Pots From Newspaper

  1. What a great way to recycle & garden!

  2. This is fantastic! Maybe I can actually participate this year in the process by doing this. It was helpful to know that it only took under an hour.
    Thanks for the info!

  3. Lois Welsch says:

    Such cute pots & such a cute you! Thanks, Susan! Great Idea !

  4. Lois Welsch says:

    & Great Blog! (I don’t think I told you that yet)

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  7. Rosalyn says:

    Great post! I had actually requested a carved wooden thing called the NViroPotter for Christmas to do this specifically. I clicked on your post because I was going to show my sister, thinking “hey that woman has that little tool I wanted but didn’t get!” but then I saw you used a juice glass, which is even more awesome. I will definitely try it! I’ve been saving toilet paper and paper towel rolls for seed starting. 🙂

    • I think the toilet paper and paper towel rolls are a great idea! I’ve seen the wooden thing to which you are referring but I thought I could figure out a way to do the same thing without it. It’s really easy, too.

    • Sarah says:

      Rosalyn, I just planted a bunch of seeds using toilet paper rolls, but have found that the glue tends to come loose when I water them and they unravel. Make sure that you have the rolls packed tightly in a box or something to hold them together.

      • Rosalyn says:

        Hi! Thanks for the comment–I did plant my seeds in toilet paper rolls and I did notice a couple of them starting to unravel. Most of them are intact now, just because I packed them pretty tightly (one pumpkin seedling pushed the roll up and off as if it was taking off a sweater or something!). I’ve been meaning now to get some newspaper pots made so I can transplant some of the bigger seedlings into something with a bottom, so their roots don’t spread out around the rolls. That is another little drawback. But for the most part, they work pretty well. 🙂

        • Sarah says:

          That is my plan too. I need to transfer a few of my seedlings, and the paper pots seem to be the right size. I agree that the rolls worked pretty well. I did this as a project with my kindergarten class. The rolls were easier to use with them, but I intend to use the paper myself.

  8. I’ve “hopped” over from Teach Me Tuesdays – great idea! Thanks for sharing! Blessings from Wisconsin.

  9. This is a good recycling idea–I may have to try it if I run out of pots this year! Thank you for posting.

  10. anne says:

    WONDERFUL! Thanks for sharing how to do this. I’m going to save the paper tomorrow!

  11. Patty says:

    Terrific idea! – thank you for sharing. I linked onto your site from the Homestead Barn Hop. I do have a couple questions for you. Do you use regular potting soil to fill each of the cups? When you water them before transplanting, does the newspaper hold up well? I made about 30 of them tonight with today’s paper and was wondering how to use them now that they are sitting here waiting so patiently! Any more advice you can share would be wonderful. Glad to have found your site!

    • Hi! Glad you found us as well! Your questions are great. Rather than potting soil, I purchase a mix made specifically for starting seeds. These are generally soilless and are less prone to disease. A good garden center should be able to help you. I have found that the newspaper holds up just fine. By the time I am ready to set my plants out in the garden they have begun to decompose but are not falling apart.

  12. Diana says:

    Good recycling! Last year I used toilet paper tubes cut into thirds and set in a tray as seed starting pots.

  13. Lexa says:

    Thanks for sharing your idea. Anything that we can do to re-use and recycle is terrific. Now we all want to see the terrific seedlings that you are going to grow in all of those little pots! Happy Spring!

  14. Tanya says:

    that is cool and dang it….it just threw out all the newspapers :/

  15. This is such a great idea! And then you can just stick them right in the ground.

  16. Nancy says:

    Excellent! free and biodegradable. Love this. Thank you so much for sharing at Rural Thursday Blog Hop — I’m sure everyone will love this tutorial. 🙂

  17. A great idea!

    Regards and best wishes

  18. Hi Susan, 🙂

    What a great post! 🙂 I love that you’re recycling along with becoming more self-sufficient! Thank you for sharing it with Wildcrafting Wednesday. 🙂

    ~ Kathy

  19. Sue Rine says:

    I think you’ll find you don’t even need the tape! 😎

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  21. Hi Susan,
    Thanks for sharing this great gardening tip on Farmgirl Friday. What a great idea in a pinch.

  22. Sure hopes this works for you better than it did for me when I tried it last year! The pots grew so much mold in our cool house that the seedlings were stunted. 😦 I’m back to using my recycled plastic pots.

    Glad you shared at the TGP and I really look forward to seeing more of your garden (and how those pots work) !

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  24. Michele says:

    I abosolutely LOVE this idea!! Frugal, smart and a great way to recycle (: Thanks so much for sharing!

  25. Deb says:

    Hi and thanks for the tip- long story short, I’m preparing to work with our Keepers 4-H club on starting seeds for a butterfly garden project for our local library. I was looking for a way to recycle things we have “in our hand”….I’m excited about reading more. I also glanced at “Born-Again Dirt” and just made it my #1 item on my birthday wish list!!

    We live in a lovely rural NC community – I have a heart for sharing God’s creation with others- we’re working on establishing a Monarch habitat/butterfly garden/ outdoor classroom at our library, so the timing for this is perfect!!


    • Hi Deb, your projects sound so wonderful! I was incredibly blessed by “Born-Again Dirt” and I hope you will be as well. If you are inclined, when you do decide to order, please click through my link. That way, I make a small percentage. I’m just trying to off set time I spend on my blog. Thanks for visiting!

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