How to Make an Inside Seed Starter


Gardeners in northern climates and those with shorter growing seasons often need to start seeds indoors before planting season comes. Many early gardeners use peat pots or small plastic pots to start their seeds, but this can become expensive if you are planning an extensive garden. Make biodegradable seed starting pots and you'll save money as well as reduce your carbon footprint.

Step 1

Lay a folded sheet of newspaper on the table in front of you. The sheet will have two layers, with the top of the newspaper page at the right side.

Step 2

Fold the top edge down to the bottom edge, folding the paper in half. You now have four layers of paper. Fold the top edge down to the bottom edge again, creating eight layers of paper. Make sure to crease the folds sharply each time.

Step 3

Place the soup can on the right edge of the paper strip, with the bottom of the can facing you. The bottom can edge should rest halfway down the paper sheet. Roll the paper around the can, beginning at the right edge of the paper. Continue rolling until all the paper is wound around the can. Use a piece of tape to secure the paper. You will have half of the paper around the can and the bottom half with nothing inside.

Step 4

Fold the bottom edges of the paper up toward the bottom of the can. The paper should overlap, eventually covering the bottom of the can. Secure this paper bottom with a small piece of tape.

Step 5

Remove the can from your pot and place the pot in an old cake pan or other recycled rectangular container. Position all of your seed starter pots snug against each other to help support them. Fill the pots with potting soil and plant your seeds.

Tips and Warnings

  • Only use black & white newspaper pages for this project. Colored slick sheets can contain chemicals that you don't want to mix with your plants and food.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspapers
  • Soup can
  • Tape
  • Old cake pan


  • Frugal Gardening: Making Your Own Seed Starter Pots
Keywords: make seed starter, frugal seed starter, recycled seed pot

About this Author

Anne Baley is a writer and photographer living in Southeast Michigan. She has written dozens of articles about places she has discovered while traveling throughout the United States. Baley's work has appeared in a variety of online outlets, including EndlessSunday, GardenGuides and Travels.