Make Seed-Starting Pots With Newspaper


It’s growing season, an ideal time for your family to poke around and play in dirt. Begin indoors! Popular plants are easily started inside during spring months to give a jump-start to your summer garden.

​While many serious gardeners purchase seed-starting kits, you’ll discover with this kid-friendly activity that you can save money by making your own growing containers for seedlings out of this newspaper when you finish reading it. Once you get started, you’ll be rolling them out in minutes.

​Fill the mini starting pots with fresh damp potting soil, tuck in seeds, and you’re on your way to growing bedding plants you can transplant in your backyard or deck garden, pot and all, since the newspaper will dissolve like a peat pot.

Here’s the stuff you’ll need:

–black-and-white print newspaper




–6-ounce can, such as a tomato paste can, for a mold. Use a larger can or plastic water bottle for a bigger pot


–fresh seed-starting potting soil

–seeds packaged for current year, such as parsley, tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers and melon. (Carrots, beets and radishes do best when sown directly in the garden)

–wood craft sticks for markers

–waterproof tray, such as a recycled deli container

Here’s the fun:

1. Help your child measure and cut a 6-by-22-inch long strip of newspaper (for a bigger pot, use a larger can and adjust newspaper size accordingly).

2. Set the can sideways along one end of the newspaper strip. Leave about 1 3/4 inches beyond the base of the can. Your child will enjoy rolling the newspaper evenly around the can to make a cylinder. Add tape at the end to secure paper in place.

3. Starting at the outer seam, fold the paper edge several times over the bottom of the pot to create a flat base. Tape in place. Remove can and fold the top of the pot inward 1/2 inch to form a rim.

4. Fill pot with moistened soil. Plant seeds and water. Write plant name on a wooden craft stick and insert it in the pot. Set on the waterproof tray.

Repeat with more pots and seeds.

Keep pots out of direct sun until seeds sprout, then move to a sunny window. Water when dry to the touch, being careful not to overwater.

When ready to transplant, bring the plant-filled tray outdoors for a day to adjust, then plant the whole pots in the ground or in a container on your deck.

Tip: Make and plant seed-starting pots with other families, and share the seeds.

Share with friends!

You might also like:

Donna's Day

Decorate Easter Eggs With Natural Dyes And Designs

By Donna Erickson | 04/02/2021

Bring back the past by dying your Easter eggs the way it used to be done – with natural items straight from the kitchen and garden.Here’s what you’ll need:–Hard-boiled eggs or blown eggs (see below for how to blow eggs)–Nontoxic, safe food items such as blueberries or red cabbage leaves for blue, walnut shells, tea…

Donna's Day

Make Paper Strip Hearts

By Donna Erickson | 02/03/2021

The heart shape is a traditional and enduring symbol of love when celebrating Valentine’s Day. Why not display a beautiful heart with creativity in your home starting this week with this easy to make eye-catching version using easy to cut paper strips and a stapler? That’s all you need to make memories, while you craft…

Donna's Day

Grow Paperwhites Indoors

By Donna Erickson | 02/03/2021

You don’t need warm weather to enjoy a fun gardening project this month. Grow paperwhites indoors and watch them bloom! Plant several in a variety of small flowerpots or vases you have stashed away from last summer. Enjoy the cheerful white blooms in your home, and share with others on Valentine’s Day. You’ll need:–1 paperwhite…

Donna's Day

Ice Decanters Make Parties Magical

By Donna Erickson | 02/02/2021

Planning an outdoor winter party? On a budget? Fill an easy-to-freeze ice decanter with a fruit bevearage for your next neighborhood party and get ready for the ooh’s and ah’s when friends see the icy wonder. It’s a frozen party asset that won’t break the bank. Easy, fun, magical and guaranteed to be cold! Here’s…

Donna's Day

Grow Green Indoors and Get a Jump on Spring

By Donna Erickson | 02/02/2021

As winter comes to an end, there’s nothing like seeing and smelling fresh, green plants peeking out from the earth. Create that feeling indoors to get a jump on spring with these easy and gratifying “grow green” sprouting activities. Make it super easy by growing wheat berry or rye grass seed in a clear jar…

Donna's Day

Ice Cakes for Winter Birthday Fun

By Donna Erickson | 01/30/2021

Last month during our preholiday, 
subzero cold snap, the daily temperatures in Minnesota were so miserable that not even my most jovial friends could crack a smile through the numbing wind chill. With my husband’s birthday right in the middle of the worst of days, the cold weather inadvertently became the inspiration for an unusual…

Donna's Day

Heart-y Family Living for Valentine’s Day

By Donna Erickson | 01/30/2021

When Valentine’s Day is around the corner, thoughts naturally turn to heart-shaped candies and cards. It’s also an ideal time to nudge one another to take a closer look at how we care for our hearts.Our health care systems encourage us to be mindful about living heart-healthy lives, especially during February, which is American Heart…

Posted in

Donna Erickson


Donna's Day


Sign Up For My Newsletter