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Start Your Seeds in Newspaper Pots


By Contributing Editor
Nancy Hulse


Got a green thumb? Check out more articles in our Sustainable Yard & Garden Guide.

Here’s a satisfying little project that’s quick and easy, and fun to share with kids. The only supplies you’ll need are a bunch of newspaper, a smooth dowel about 6” in diameter to form the pot, and some potting soil.


Although you can use any piece of round wood as your form, a rolling pin works especially well. I found that my wooden rolling pin easily does double duty here…I just unscrewed the handles and had the perfect form, complete with a hole in the bottom.







Start with a full sheet of newspaper (about 24 “ wide when opened). Fold at vertical center, then cut it into 5” strips. You will end up with about five 5” x 24” strips per sheet of newspaper.








Wrap a newspaper strip around the rolling pin, allowing about 1 1/2” to overlap at the end. When the strip is completely rolled, press the overlapping newspaper over the end of the rolling pin, and tuck it into the hole on the end to secure it. Turn the rolling pin over and press down firmly on your work surface to flatten the bottom.







Slide your little pot off and turn down about an inch or so on the top. This will give your gardening pot a little more substance. At this point you will have created a cute little lumpy newspaper pot about 3” high.









When you’ve made enough pots for your project, fill them with pre-moistened sterile potting mix (if you don’t pre-moisten, the potting mix will float right out of your pot when you try to add water). Punch drainage hole in any straight-sided container and squeeze in as many pots as you can. Needless to say, the pots will need support so they don’t spread open as they get wet.

I keep on the lookout for clear plastic containers like the kind that hold salad mix. They hold your little pots well, and you can use the lid to make a little greenhouse while your seeds germinate. Also, it’s very satisfying to find a way to recycle them!




For some terrific products to get your seeds started, check out our array of sustainable yard & garden products.






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Explore our Growandmake.com Make It Yourself at Home Kits

Cheese Making Kits
Start at: $28
                   Candle Making Kits
                     Start at: $26
Soap Making Kits
Start at: $24
Indoor Garden Kits
Start at: $14