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

Shawna Bailey
by Shawna Bailey
3 Materials
2 Minutes
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.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
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
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
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.
Now it almost looks like a square. These corners will help you cut four flaps with ease.

Step 4: Cut Four Tabs
Then I cut along the four folded lines about an inch long.

Step 5: Fold Tabs into Flaps
Fold the flaps inward. You can see how I folded them in the picture.
This makes a sturdy bottom for the pot to temporarily hold my seedling.

Step 6: Add Dirt
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
I added my seeds and covered them with more dirt.
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:
  • Paper towl roll
  • Dirt
  • Seeds
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
  • Gayle Reich McNally Gayle Reich McNally on Sep 30, 2016
    How many seeds in each towel holder?
  • Cut22630223 Cut22630223 on May 14, 2017

    Could it be toilet paper rolls instead of paper towels roll?

  • Nancy K Nancy K on May 06, 2020

    Thanks for sharing. How can you make sure that the roots will grow through the bottom of the tube?

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