Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Newspaper Seed Starting Pots

I have had several ladies ask about the newspaper pots that I made the other day, so I thought I would write up a tutorial on how to make these.  They are very simple and go together quickly. 

Here is a list of the items you will need to gather together:

Newspaper~ black and white only

Aluminum can~ I used a soup can (10 3/4oz) and a tomato paste can (6oz). You could use a larger size if you desired a larger pot.

Plate with water

Yard stick, scissors and pen~ only if you use the cutting method described below.


Step 1:

Start with a stack of newspaper.  Mark out 5 inch widths on the paper, using the yard stick.  Cut on the lines and discard the 1 inch strips. Your strips should measure about 5x20 inches.


Step 2:

Layer two strips of paper one on top of the other.


Step 3:

Begin rolling the newspaper around the can. I used the lines on the can as my guide, since I didn’t want my pots to be too deep.


Step 4:

Roll tightly all the way to the end.


Step 5:

Place the can seam side down in the plate of water.  This will help seal the paper and hold it in place.

100_7835 100_7836

Step 6:

Fold in the ends of the paper to make the bottom of your pot. Do this step carefully around the wet areas of the paper or it will tear.

100_7837 100_7838

Step 7:

Set the can bottom side down into the water and let it set for several seconds to soak up a fair amount of water.  Remove it from the plate and flip it over.  Press down on the paper to seal if necessary.

100_7840 100_7841

Step 8:

Remove the paper from the can and press down any flaps of paper sticking up on the inside of the newspaper pot.

100_7842 100_7843

Step 9:

Finally, roll the outside of the pot in the plate of water so that it is wet all the way around. I even wet the inside of the pot with my fingers to help hold all the layers together. I don’t know as this is necessary, but I think it helps.


The end product:




****Now here is an alternate way to do this that eliminates the cutting:

Take a single piece of newspaper, fold it in half and then follow steps 3-9

100_7826 100_7827

I personally didn’t like to do it this way.  I found it was too bulky at the end for my liking. But if you started the paper farther up on the can to make a taller pot you probably wouldn’t have this problem.


Here are the different pots I made.  The one on the left shows the method of folding the paper.  I had to cut off a portion of the bottom because it was too thick.  The one in the middle shows the pots I make using 5x20 inch strips. The pot on the right are pots I make using 4 inch strips of paper and a 6oz tomato paste can.  I will probably use these smaller pots to start my flowers and herbs and the larger 5 inch pots for tomatoes, green peppers, broccoli and cabbage.

Any Questions?!


  1. what a great idea!
    How well do they hold up? And for how long?
    thanks for sharing this project.

  2. These work great, take it from and old gardener. I have always dunked the whole thing in water, it really forms well that way. Thanks for the lesson.

    Have a fantastically blessed day!!!

  3. Looks great!! Thanks so much. Do you just put the whole thing into the ground or take the dirt/plant out of the paper can to plant?

    I guess I was thinking that the paper would compost into the ground eventually... but maybe not.

  4. Bevy, yes, when you get ready to plant you put the whole thing into the ground making sure the paper is covered completely in soil. The newspaper decomposes.

    Lisa, this is actually my first year of doing these, but, from what I have read they hold up really well. I do know that doing it this way requires you to make sure they don't dry out. It isn't like a domed seed starting tray that holds in the moisture.

  5. Thank you, thank you, Jenn. This sure beats trying to save yogurt cups all year. I'm going to get my kids right on it.

  6. Very cool! I'll have to give these a try!

  7. THANK YOU! for posting this! It will be very helpful!

  8. Oh, so interesting! I'll have to show this to my hubby. Thanks for taking the time to teach us today.

  9. i'm so excited for little sprouts.
    hope yours pop up soon!

    what an amazing thing to watch.


  10. I'm so glad that you have written this. I was so disappointed in the amount I had to spend last year for those disposable pots. This will definitely be so much better! Thanks a ton!

  11. LOVE. Totally gonna try it this year!


Thank you for visiting my blog! I love to read your comments so take a few minutes and jot me a line or two!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...