How to Make Paper Pots That You Can Plant with Your Seedlings

Get a jump on the gardening season by sowing seeds indoors. Grab some newspaper and make these simple pots for starting your sprouts.

various seedlings growing labeled newspaper pots
Photo: Peter Krumhardt
Project Overview
  • Working Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 days
  • Skill Level: Kid-friendly

Let's be honest; gardening costs can add up quickly, but growing plants from seed can slash those up front costs. You can save a little more money by using your old newspapers to make these biodegradable starter pots for your seeds. The best part about this project is that once it's time to plant the seedlings in the ground, you don't have to remove them from their pots first because the newspaper will decompose in your garden bed!

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Jar
  • Pan
  • Marker
  • Plastic wrap
  • Heating pad


  1. start seeds roll wet newspaper around small jar
    Peter Krumhardt

    Roll Newspaper

    Immerse rectangles of newspaper, sized to wrap around a small jar, in a pan of water until moistened. Roll the softened paper around the jar. Extend the bottom edge of the paper enough to enfold the pot's bottom.

  2. wet newspaper crimp press around jar start seeds
    Peter Krumhardt

    Flatten Bottom

    Crimp and press the paper around the bottom of the jar. Flatten the bottom by pressing it on a flat surface. Carefully slide the paper pot off the jar, and set it aside to dry overnight.

  3. start seeds newspaper pots standing dish
    Peter Krumhardt

    Fill Pots

    Stand pots in a watertight pan. Fill them with moistened seed-starting potting mix. Plant seeds according to directions on their seed packet. Cover seeds lightly (you can use vermiculite if you want); sprinkle with room temperature water. Label plantings, either with small wooden stakes or by writing the seed names right on the side of each pot with a permanent marker.

  4. start seeds newspaper pots covered plastic wrap
    Peter Krumhardt

    Cover With Plastic and Heat

    Cover pots with plastic wrap to retain moisture. Set the pan on a heating pad until the seeds sprout; then remove the plastic wrap. Once seedlings appear, place them under grow lights for 14–16 hours per day.

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