How to Make Newspaper Seed Starter Pots

Spring is the best time to start germinating your own seeds, getting them ready to go in the ground. If you want to save a little money on buying starter pots, make your own from newspaper. When the plants are large enough the newspaper pots go straight into the ground and decompose in no time.

Newspaper is often used as a type of mulch to keep weeds from spreading quickly and it is biodegradable, so it helps the environment. I suggest sticking with black instead of colored ink.

Depending on the size pot you would like, you can either use a jar or a can to wrap the newspaper around. Be sure to pick one that’s the size of the pot you want to end up with.


  • Take a full page of newspaper (about 22″ x 12″) and fold in half lengthwise (with the long edges together) to create a strip. Press along the folded edge.
  • Set the can on its side at one end of the strip, with the base about 2 inches up from the cut edge. Roll the newspaper around the can to create a cylinder.

newspaper seed starter

  • Starting at the outer seam, fold the free end of the cylinder inward. Make three more folds inward to create the base of the pot, pressing firmly to make the folds as flat as possible.Slip the pot off of the can or bottle.
  • Starting at the outer seam, fold the top 1/2 to 1 inch of the pot inward to create a stable rim.

newspaper seed starter pots

  • Hold the pot with one hand, with some of your fingers on the bottom to keep it closed. Fill the finished pot to the top with moistened seed-starting medium and set it in a waterproof tray. Repeat the steps to make as many “pots” as desired.
  • Plant a seed or two in each pot, then gather all the pots onto a tray and water. When you’re ready to plant the seedlings, dig a hole deep enough to bury the pot so the rim is below the soil surface; exposed newspaper could help wick water away from the plant. (If needed, tear off a bit of the rim so it doesn’t stick up into the air.) In moist soil, the roots will quickly grow through the paper sides of the pot.

Project and Image source: HGTV Gardens




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