Get your garden started by making these simple compostable DIY seed starter pots out of newspaper.

At the end of a session of cutting and folding, you can expect to have accumulated a respectable stash of pots ready for the next bout of sowing and growing. Photo © Growing Interactive Ltd.

Biodegradable seed-starter pots made from newspaper cost nothing and take mere moments to make. Plant them whole, where they will naturally rot down into the soil. Or carefully peel them off to toss onto the compost heap. Follow these easy steps to make your own!

Use a range of jars to make different-­sized pots. Pack pots tightly together so they stay firm when wet. Photo © Kim Lightbody


  • Scissors and ruler
  • Newspaper
  • Jar or glass as mold
  • Trays (to hold your pots in place)


  1. Cut the newspaper into strips about 1 inch (3 cm) higher than the jar or glass used as the mold. Fold a flap along one edge, then unfold, leaving a crease.

    Photo © Kim Lightbody

  2. Place the open end of the jar at the creased end so that it protrudes a little. Tightly roll the newspaper around the jar.

    Photo © Kim Lightbody

  3. Turn the jar over and fold and firm the newspaper onto the bottom of the jar to create the base to the pot.

    Photo © Kim Lightbody

  4. Pull the pot away from the jar — you may need to twist it as you pull. Fold the top flap back down along the crease to create a firmer rim to the pot.

    Photo © Kim Lightbody

Making something useful, like these DIY seed starter pots, from what would otherwise go to waste is bound to make you feel good, isn’t it? Plus you’ll save a bit of money in the process.

Excerpted and adapted from GrowVeg © Growing Interactive Ltd.

Benedict Vanheems

Benedict Vanheems is the author of GrowVeg and a lifelong gardener with a BSc and an RHS General Certificate in horticulture. He is the face… See Bio

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by Benedict Vanheems

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