How to Make Newspaper Pots for Starting Seeds

Get the folding pattern and learn how to make newspaper pots in four easy steps. They're biodegradable and perfect for starting seeds.

Ready to start seeds indoors to get a jump start on the spring gardening season? Root through the recycling bin, then use the pattern below and follow a few simple steps to make newspaper pots for growing seedlings.

Psst—shopping for seeds? Check out our favorite seed catalogs and the best places to buy plants and seeds online.

The folding pattern for the newspaper pot.

How to Make Newspaper Pots

  1. The first step to making a newspaper pot is to cut four layers of newspaper into a 7-inch square.
  2. Fold in thirds, then turn and fold again to make a nine-square fold.
  3. Angle-fold each corner on one side and staple it. Repeat the process on the opposite side.
  4. When seedlings are ready to transplant, slice a few holes in the paper and plant the entire cup. This won’t disturb the roots, and the pots will break down.

A partially folded and stapled newspaper pot.

If you don’t have newspapers, you can also start seeds in paper coffee cups or cardboard toilet paper tubes.

Rachel Maidl
Rachel Maidl is a former senior editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. She enjoys bird-watching in her urban backyard and local state parks, gardening for pollinators and researching new plants. Her favorite backyard visitors are the bumblebees that visit her sedums.