Crafts & DIY Projects

Newspaper Seed Starters

Recycle some old newspaper into these easy compostable seed starters to get your garden started indoors.

It’s starting to truly feel like spring and while the white stuff is still melting, we are counting down the days to get outside and start planting! Since we live in Manitoba and have a bit of a shorter growing season, we wanted to get things started indoors. That’s why we decided to make these easy origami seed starters with newspaper.

We wanted to use something that would compost away in the soil to make transplanting them outside easy, so we used newspaper since it’s very thin and uncoated. Once you place them in the soil, it won’t take long for them to compost away, and they are safe for planting in your garden.

“Any newsprint, whether printed in black and white or color, is safe to use as mulch on a bed or as an ingredient in compost, even for vegetables,” Botts says. “It won’t harm plants, earthworms, bugs or people.” (SOURCE)

Here’s what you need to make newspaper seed starters:

  • Newspaper*
  • Scissors
  • A ruler
  • A pencil
  • Potting soil
  • Seeds or seed paper to plant

To make them, follow this box tutorial video that shows you how to make a paper box. It's pretty easy, so once you get the hang of it, you should be able to make quite a few boxes fairly quickly.

*We used pages that didn’t have many full-color photos and were mostly text so there would be less ink involved.

Once we had our boxes ready, we filled them with potting soil and planted some seed paper, a couple of sunflower seeds, and lots of basil. We placed them under grow lights on a timer so that they'll get lots of light, but you could also keep them on a window sill that gets plenty of sunlight. We were also careful to water them lightly so the newspaper wouldn't get too wet. They sprouted within days and now we just have to wait for them to get bigger and for the weather to get nicer so we can move them outside when the time is right.


Learn more about this special paper made by Botanical PaperWorks that uses post-consumer materials and is embedded with seeds so that it will grow when planted!

You can buy seed paper sheets for your eco-friendly paper and gardening projects from Botanical PaperWorks. We have a variety of seed options including wildflower, herb and veggie, and over 25 seed paper colors. Join our mailing list to receive emails with freebies, projects, coupons, green living tips, and decor ideas and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest


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