Biodegradable, Free, Toilet Roll Seedling Starters




so this is my first instructable, so please be kind.

I do not like spending money on my garden, every plant we have in out garden is either from a cuttings or from seeds or plants we have been given.

i was finding that when planting seedlings they were either not growing or too many grew too close to each other and when i moved them they were panicking and dying on me.

so i came up with this solution.

its biodegradable and free (unless your buying the seeds) and it also works for tiny cuttings... oh and we are always in a constant supply of toilet rolls so i end up just collecting and then doing a heap at once. plus what's the point of throwing out something when you can use it to make something as cute as this.

so before you get started enjoy this pic of my little kitten sniffing a seedling...

happy gardening

Step 1: Step 1: Tools of the Trade.

things you will need:

-Toilet roll/ or paper towel roll


-Plastic container (used as a makeshift hot house)

-Dirt - I used dirt from the garden because I cant see the point in buying store bought soil or additives. it took me about two years to get out soil beautiful and perfect for plants this included sand, saw dust a lot of coffee grind which also helps to keep snails away especially if used as topsoil and nice big worms dug up from my dads yard.

Step 2: Step 2: Cut to Size

- cut the toilet paper in half or a paper towel roll into thirds.

- cut 4 evenly spaced lines about 1 1/2 cm long into one end this will then be folded to make the base of the pot.

Step 3: Step 3: Folding the Base

- this step is easy-

- fold down the four sides of the base and tuck every second corner underneath the other. (just like a packing box)

*this will allow it to hold by itself with no need for glue or tape.

Step 4: Step 4: Put Some Dirt in It

- put some soil in your tiny pot. I use my soil damp so it doesn't go everywhere.

- press the soil down lightly

do not burry the seeds, instead sprinkle soil over the top then water to compress.

Step 5: Step 5: in a Container

-put them in a plastic container (makeshift hothouse) or as in the other picture you could use the lid of a egg carton with some plastic wrap (so the water doesn't leak through)

-place on the window sill

-now you are finished.


- to water seedlings I used a large syringe I had left over from giving my kitten medicine. I found this to be the perfect amount for the seedling and to not make the cardboard soggy.

Step 6: Step 6: Planting

when the seedling has grown undo the bottom of the pot and plant in a hole in your garden.

there is no need to take the seedling out of its pot as the toilet roll is biodegradable.

:) happy seedling, happy garden and happy earth.



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    13 Discussions


    4 years ago

    I knew there was a reason I was saving all my toilet paper rolls

    I love this! I love growing unusual plants, or ones with a unique back story from seed or cuttings. Such as, from lots of visits to Disneyland and California Adventure, I have brought home lots of seeds that I need to plant. I also have Disneyland cactus and honeysuckle that I grew from cuttings. I usually start seeds together in a single container, but using your toilet roll seed starters, it will be much easier to start them in their own little individual containers. Great instructable and I love the Tuxedo cat!! I have one too named Cap'n Jack (he has a pirate beard). You can see him on Pinterest.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I did these without the bottom folded. Just packed the dirt a bit and it stayed in place while they stood in a plastic container.

    1 reply

    i did do that to begin with but because my partners a real clean freak so I have to keep folding the bottoms if I wanna keep the peace. thanks for checking out the intructable.

    glad to hear other people recycle as much as possible too


    4 years ago

    I love this! I have a giant garden and often my plants don't get along if they are too close. Like you, I too have an abundance of toilet paper rolls! This might be dangerous, I might sprout more than I can plant :)


    4 years ago on Introduction

    SUPER idea!! Am putting scissors in the bathroom today. This is a perfect project for those times when you're sitting and have nothing to do with your hands!!

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    You did great! And no matter what anyone says at least you made an instructable! Btw this is mah kitty... so... your move...

    1 reply

    ha, cute kitty, Charlie just likes to rip up anything paper like...

    glad you liked my instructable.

    just thought you might appreciate this photo of my doggie (Jessie) when I told her to smile for a photo while we were at the park.

    jessie 011 (3).JPG