Turn Paper Towel Rolls Into Cheap, Biodegradable, Seed Starter Pots

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I've been wanting to plant some seeds for a while now, and I thought of using paper towels. My only problem was that we don’t actually use too many paper towels in our house; I like re-washing our towels to be eco-friendly. So I had to get some from our friendly neighbors. Turning paper towel rolls into starter pots is a really great project. It’s practically free, it upcycles your paper towels, and it helps your garden flourish.
Time: 2 MinutesCost: $0Difficulty: Easy
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
  • cheap biodegradable plant starter pots
My materials consisted of paper towel rolls, scissors, soil, a pot, and seeds (not pictured). I chose parsley seeds, because I love the green leaves, and I love it in my salads.
Step 2: Cut the Paper Towel Tube
  • cheap biodegradable plant starter pots
I started by cutting each tube into thirds. This gave me about the right height I needed for a starter pot. I didn't measure how many inches it is, but how many different lengths can a paper towel roll be?
Step 3: Fold the Bottom of the Tube
  • cheap biodegradable plant starter pots
You have to fold the tube in two different ways. I folded the open part of the tube in half the horizontal way and the vertical way. That way there are fold lines every fourth of the way around.
  • cheap biodegradable plant starter pots
Now it almost looks like a square. These corners will help you cut four flaps with ease.
Step 4: Cut Four Tabs
  • cheap biodegradable plant starter pots
Then I cut along the four folded lines about an inch long.
Step 5: Fold Tabs into Flaps
  • cheap biodegradable plant starter pots
Fold the flaps inward. You can see how I folded them in the picture.
  • cheap biodegradable plant starter pots
This makes a sturdy bottom for the pot to temporarily hold my seedling.
Step 6: Add Dirt
  • cheap biodegradable plant starter pots
I filled it up about ⅔ of the way with fresh soil and kept a little bit of dirt on the side to cover the seeds.
Step 7: Add Seeds
  • cheap biodegradable plant starter pots
I added my seeds and covered them with more dirt.
  • cheap biodegradable plant starter pots
That's it! Now enjoy your starter pots. Be sure to water them a lot! I kept mine in a little greenhouse for three weeks before moving them to a larger pot.

Suggested materials for this project:

  • Paper towl roll
  • Dirt
  • Seeds
  • Kathy
    Kathy Chicago, IL
    on Aug 15, 2016

    Why bother with starter pots? Just directly sow the seeds in the dirt.

    • Debs
      Debs Magnolia, KY
      on Aug 15, 2016

      With starter pots you can keep them indoors until the threat of frost or freeze has gone, then transfer them to larger pots outside or straight into your garden..This way you can have a great start on your garden when the time comes to plant! Starter pots are awesome..Thank you for sharing this with us.....