Gardening ~ Landscaping » Make Your Own Plantable Seed Starter Pots

Make Your Own Plantable Seed Starter Pots

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Making your own plantable seed starter pots not only saves you money, but it also helps the environment too! Once your seedlings are established, plant the entire pot in your prepared garden. The newspaper will break down just like a peat pot, naturally biodegrading as the plant grows.


How to Make Plantable Seedling Starter Pots

Items Needed:
Newspaper – Black & White Print only- no color pages
Spice Bottle or tomato Paste Can- Doesn’t have to be empty- it’s just for the size
Paste (1 Tablespoon of Flour & enough water to make a paste)

Step 1:

Find an old newspaper and divide it into individual sheets. Cut the newspaper into five or six-inch wide strips. Each strip makes 1 pot.

Step 2:

Using a spice bottle or small can roll your newspaper strip around your bottle.

Step 3:

Dab your finger in the flour/water mix and “paste” the tab down.
Make Your Own Plantable Seed Starter Pots

Step 4:

Invert your bottle and fold the overhanging paper as though you were wrapping a gift.

Step 5:

Add a dab of paste to the bottom and fold the last flap down.


This is what the finished bottom will look like.

Now let them set on a clean dry piece of newspaper and allow them to dry completely. This may take up to 24 hours, depending on the humidity of your home.


This is a super easy craft to do with small children. They love to help with the paste!


Tips for Starting Seedlings

Trying to start your seeds indoors with Peat-based Potting Mix?

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18 thoughts on “Make Your Own Plantable Seed Starter Pots”

  1. i wanted to start some squash plants indoors as container plants, so we used a tupperware container to make “medium size” pots. :mornincoffee:

    i think for christmas gifts this year we’ll make some of these pots and plant tomatoes and basil. :lets-eat:

  2. look out spring, i’m gona have some early produce next year! i never can get enough starter pots. this will be perfect, now i have something to do with all those newspapers thats left over after couponing!!!

    thanks for posting it!!!

  3. i was wondering if anyone had a problem with a white fungus growing on their pots were the flour past was? i tried this and i’m wondering if my flour caused the fungus to grow. has anyone else had this problem and know how to fix it?

  4. i’ve seen this before, but lost it. thanks – next year i plan on starting from seed and don’t want to buy little pots.

    thanks! glad i found it here.

  5. my husband and i also hang 4 foot long inexpensive shop lights w/ the florecent bulbs changed out for florecent grow lights. We use small chains so that we can adjust it as the plants grow to hang over the seeds. You can get it at a hardware store or garage sale.

    We started small with just one light to begin with. The bulbs are expensive but some times they go on sale. Also keep you eye out at police/sheriff auctions/sales.

    They often have this kind of equipment confiscated from grow operations.

  6. i wonder if this can be done with toilet paper rolls…:mornincoffee:
    lovin’ your website by the way! greetings from the netherlands!

    • I wonder if this can be done with toilet paper rolls…:mornincoffee:
      Lovin’ your website by the way! Greetings from The Netherlands!

      i think toilet paper rolls are a great idea, both for the container, and as a form to make the paper ones out of. tp rolls will last a little longer but will eventually break down.

      time to start saving up those rolls. (just when i thought my kids were old enough that i don’t need to save them for school crafts anymore. lol

  7. what a great idea! – i have been reading about 4 season harvest and can’t wait to get started. Here in Northern ca we may or may not be done with frost right now.

    i have also been working on reducing our waste by recycling, composting, feeding leftovers to chickens (i just love my 3 chickens who should start laying in a few weeks), buying in bulk to reduce packaging and keeping prepackaged foods to a minimum. Besides, it’s healthier that way. Now, I don’t have to purchase anything to start my seeds in.

    I’m going to use these, and some cut down boxes so I don’t spend any extra money or create any extra waste. Then there will be even less waste when I just go to the garden for salad instead of the store! Woo hoo!

  8. cool idea, we decided to do our own seeds this year, this will be a good use of our daily newspaper. thanks for the idea.


  9. i’ve been doing this for close to 15 years, it gives me something to do on Winter nights while watching TV. Like another poster, I have shelves in my basement with adjustable fluorescent shop lights hanging over them.
    With 2, 3 shelf units and 4 flats to a shelf I can start 24 flats of plants to go in my 16 3 ft x 12 ft raised garden beds and my 12 ft x 50 ft 72 plant canning tomato bed. Those 24 flats will allow me to start a total of 768 plants.
    Knowing that I was going to want to start a lot of plants, I set myself up to be able to do so.

    I bought 24 heavy duty, solid bottom, reusable flats with clear plastic dome covers. I also bought a paper cutter to cut multiple strips of newspaper at a time and a “PotMaker” to make the paper pots with. I cut and fill a box with enough paper strips to fill all my flats before I start making pots.

    The PotMaker works pretty much the same as using a can or drinking glass except it is made of hard maple wood, has a round knob on top to grip it with and has an indentation in the bottom to crimp the paper pots so there is no need for tape or glue with them. It has a wooden base with a raised center that fits into the bottom of the PotMaker to crimp the pot. I wrap my paper around, fold the bottom like a coin wrapper, press it on a damp cloth to moisten the paper then insert it into the base pressing down and twisting a little to give it a good crimp.

    I found that by moistening the paper, once it dries it will keep it’s shape. As I make my pots, I fill my flats with them. I’ve found that when a flat is full of 32 pots, they are strong enough to stack another flat full of pots on top, so that’s what I do.

    When all the flats are full, they get stacked next to the grow light shelves ready to fill with starter mix, moisten and receive their seeds.

  10. now that i read my newspaper electronically i have been using the cardboard type egg cartons. they work well also but i may go back to the physical newspaper.

  11. i’ve used plastic bottles (soda, powerade & gatorade). i just cut the bottle in half & cut a few holes on the bottom. they work great.

    i just use tape to label them.

  12. this is a great idea! i usually save my toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls cut into 3-4 inches with potting soil and just insert in the ground when ready!:tulip-icon::tulip-icon:

  13. ok so i attempted to do this for my garden this season and it was a total disaster :013: I saved all my tp cores, prepared them and placed them all in old bread pans to keep them snug. (i sprouted my seeds) filled all my cores with soil, proudly planted each seed, covered all the pans loosely with clear plastic, sat back and watched them grow… problem was when i attempted to remove them from the pans, they fell apart…the cores totally unwound!


    noway to have avoided it as they have to be watered. so, what then? only thing i can think of to do is rubberband them?

    :dontknow: (no need to go there with buying a better quality of tp, sorry, it ain’t gonna happen) lol!

    any idea’s on how to remedy this dilemma? your suggestions are greatly appreciated.


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