Sprouting Ideas: 5 DIY Upcycled Seed Starters


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Have you started planning your summer garden yet? It’s never too early! For many people across the country, the weather is still cold and unpredictable, especially overnight. That doesn’t mean you can’t get your seeds started right now though.

Growing from seed is much more affordable than buying plants, so it’s a good idea to make that a priority in your planning. One of the best ways to get your seeds started early is to start them indoors. You can get an expensive setup at your local gardening shop, or you can upcycle things that you likely already have lying around your house.

Here are 5 ideas for making your own DIY Upcycled Seed Starters:

Keurig K-Cups

If you try to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, the thought of using disposable K-Cups for your morning cup of Joe may abhor you. However, if you secretly love your Keurig and want to figure out a more environmentally sound way to reuse those tiny plastic cups, they make great seed starters. The hole that gets punched in the bottom of them is perfect for soil drainage too.

Zinnia seedlings

Zinnia seedlings in an egg carton. Image courtesy of Erin Murray.

Egg Cartons

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At many Farmer’s Markets you can return the egg cartons directly to the farmer. However, you may not want to do that just yet. Egg cartons make the perfect seed starters. You can get 12 or 18 plants going in one tiny space. Anyone can find room to keep an egg carton in their home while the tiny seeds sprout.

Toilet Paper Rolls

When you use the last square of toilet paper, there’s no need to toss the cardboard tube. Using a simple technique, you can turn one toilet paper roll into two biodegradable seed pots. Just cut the toilet paper roll in half, then make slits in the bottom so you can fold it into the shape of a pot.

Juice Boxes

You might try to keep it as eco-friendly as possible at home, but once you send it kids off to school, there are just some disposable items that make life easier. Juice boxes are one of those items. Instead of tossing them, ask your kids to bring them home each day. After just a few weeks, you’ll have a nice collection that’s perfect for starting seeds in. You can either cut the tops off like this tutorial, or cut them in half depending upon how big they are.


At first glance, newspaper may not appear sturdy enough to hold a growing seedling. However, this tutorial demonstrates a great way to mold your newspaper in the shape of a cup. Newspaper is a great choice in general for gardening because it can double as compostable material.

Pretty much anything you find around the house that would otherwise be trash can be used to start seeds in as long as you can punch some drainage holes in it.

Have you started the seeds for your garden yet? What’s your favorite way to start seeds?

Feature image courtesy of Candy Tale

Chrystal Johnson

Chrystal Johnson, publisher of Happy Mothering, founder of Green Moms Media and essential oil fanatic, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former corporate marketing communication manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family's life.