3 easy ways to DIY seedling pots – By Claire Lock

Use simple everyday materials to enjoy slow time as a family, whilst sowing the beginnings – or new additions – to your home or balcony garden.

Many of us are channelling our inner resourcefulness now as daily life changes, circumstances shift, and we spend more time at home. Creating seedling pots is a small positive action we can take with loved ones, using items found around the home.

Not only does crafting pots take the family outdoors for fresh air and relaxation, it enables problem solving, creative thinking, and use of numeracy, literacy and fine motor skills. Learning about plant growth, food, and sustainability is also embedded in this activity. Certainly, nothing beats the joy of discovering the first seedling emerge and your efforts bear fruit (or should we say veggies?).

What you’ll need

Choose to make your seedling pots from egg cartons, toilet rolls or newspaper, depending on what you have at home.

  • Good quality potting mix (or soil)
  • Seeds (e.g. lettuce, seasonal herbs and easy-to-grow veggies)
  • Clean empty food tin (or a cup or jar)
  • Stapler
  • Egg cartons
  • Toilet rolls
  • Scissors


Newspaper pots

  1. Take a sheet of newspaper and fold it in halves (longways)
  2. Lay the tin can at the top left end of the folded newspaper (have the open end of the can at the top and base at the bottom, leaving a few inches of paper below)
  3. Fold the paper at the base up against the can. Continue slowly rolling the can and folding the paper, until wrapped around completely and a based has formed. (Tip: fold loosely enough so you can slide the can out)
  4. Gently slide the can out of the paper, leaving a newspaper pot. You may like to fold the top few centimetres into the middle to make it stronger. 
  5. Add a staple to secure the end of the rolled paper to the pot.

Toilet roll pots

  1. Create four fold lines in the toilet roll by flattening the roll then folding it in half lengthways. The roll will now have a squarer shape. You can cut the roll in half at this point to create two small pots or leave for a taller pot
  2. Using the scissors, cut four lines into the fold lines (about 1/3 of the roll)
  3. Turn the four pieces in, tucking the final piece under the first to secure the base.

Egg cartons

  1. Place clean empty egg cartons on a flat surface outside.

To plant

  1. Carefully fill your 2/3 of the pots with potting mix or soil from the garden
  2. Gently place a couple of seeds into the pots then sprinkle soil on top to cover the seeds
  3. Place pots into a tray and lightly water
  4. When your seedlings have grown, plant the whole pot into their new home (vegetable garden or balcony pot). The newspaper, egg carton or toilet rolls will biodegrade naturally in the soil over time.