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How To Make Newspaper Pots and Save Money Starting Seeds

Newspaper seed pots are super simple and cheap to make.  Don’t spend a ton of money buying seed trays  when you can make your own for free!  They come together quickly, even if you need a lot.  

Plus, when it’s time to plant out you don’t have to disturb the root system because the newspaper will automatically break down in the soil.

Make your own DIY newspaper seed pots! They are easy to make and biodegradable. You can save money and reduce waste at the same time.

Making newspaper pots is a great activity to do on rainy winter days when you are dreaming of spring, but the are easy to make any time you find yourself needing to start seedlings to be transplanted.  

The best papers to use are newspaper or old phone books as they fold easily and compost quickly once planted out.


Homemade pots reduce waste.

It’s also a great way to reuse something that would otherwise just be thrown away.  I don’t get newspapers or phone books because I’m trying to cut back on our household waste but I always can find someone more than happy to let me use theirs.  

If you are really in a pinch there are usually free advertisements printed on newsprint around town.

The easiest way to hold the bottom together is with tape.  If you do use tape you will need to remove that at planting out time because it won’t break down like the newspaper.  

If you want a truly biodegradable option you can make homemade wheat paste.  Making paste is super easy, you just need flour and water and a stove.  My Plastic Free Life has instructions on how to make your own paste.

It helps to put something heavy inside the pot while it dries so that the flaps don’t pop back up.

Making your own is super duper simple.

Cut strips of paper the height you want your pot, roll them around a cylinder of the width you want the finished pot to be, then fold down the sides to make a bottom.

You can even make different sized pots depending on how big your transplants will get before planting time.  In the pictures below I used a coconut oil jar, and it was a touch too big for my tastes.  I think next time I will try a pint sized jar and conserve my potting soil a bit more.

How to Make Newspaper Seed Pots:

  • Cut newspaper into strips
  • Roll it into a cylinder using a jar or cup
  • Fold down the bottom of the pot
  • Anchor the flap down with homemade wheat paste and allow to dry
  • Fill with seed starting mix
  • Plant seeds! (I recommend Seeds For Generations for if you need a place to buy seeds.)
How to Make Homemade Newpaper Seed Starting Pots @ Farming My Backyard

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Anna @ NorthernHomestead

Friday 22nd of January 2016

Great tutorial, simple and functional - thank you! I can't wait to start the spring planting.

Kathryn @ Farming My Backyard

Monday 25th of January 2016

I'm itching to start too!

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