Learn how to make 5 free DIY seedling starters by upcycling common items in the recycling bin! Includes self-watering planters & mini greenhouses. Affiliate links in post.
For those of you in the northern hemisphere this post may seem a little untimely but, here in Australia, Spring is in full swing! I have been living my best cottagecore life planting seeds, reworking our balcony, and preparing to spend 95% of my time outside come summer.
5 Eco-Friendly DIY Seedling Starters (Using Items Found In Your Recycling Bin!)
(That said, for my autumn-time friends, this is why you have a Pinterest account! Definitely save these tips and tricks for next spring, they’re so darn handy.)
When I’m crafting, I try to use things that would otherwise get put into the trash. By now, most of us are aware that a majority of our recycling doesn’t actually get recycled – and, even with materials that do, the process takes energy. So reducing our consumption is the first step – but reusing items we buy and their packaging is an important second!
These 5 DIY seedling starters are completely free to make plus they make good use of common household recyclables. Let’s get straight into it!
1. Use The Cardboard From Toilet Paper Rolls For Mini Plant Pots!
How to make:
- Once you’ve used a roll of toilet paper or paper towel, cut the cardboard tube into small sections. (Around 10cm each.)
- Place these on a flat tray.
- Fill with soil, then push any seedlings to their required depth.
- Spray twice a day until they start to sprout.
- (Optional) You can cover these to keep in humidity and help them sprout faster.
2. Plastic Fruit Packaging Makes Great Mini-Greenhouses To Sprout Seedlings
Idea 2 is barely a DIY because it’s so easy! All you need is to take your old transparent fruit packaging, line it with baking paper and you’re good to go.
These mini greenhouses work fabulously for sprouting seeds because they create a warm, humid environment but have tons of holes for airflow.
3. Upcycle Old Conditioner Bottles Into Self-Watering Plant Pots
One of the cutest ways to repurpose old plastic bottles is to turn them into self-watering plant pots – and you really don’t need much to do it!
How to make:
- Use a Stanley knife to cut your bottle in half. When you turn the top of your bottle upside down, it should fit snugly in the base.
- Clean both halves of any residual conditioner.
- Fill the base with water.
- Cut a few strips of absorbent fabric (cleaning cloths or old socks work well!) and tie a large knot roughly halfway down. The knot needs to be big enough to block the bottlenose and have enough fabric leftover to reach the water reservoir in the base.
- Firmly fit the planter together, then fill with soil and any seedlings or plants you’d like.
- Optionally, use paint markers to add decorations!
One of my favourite methods for making self-watering planters is to use old wine bottles! Regular readers of this blog will have seen my full tutorial earlier this year – but all you need is a bottle-cutting kit and half an hour!
If you like to collect quirky wines with fun labels, these can also make a great windowsill display.
5. Holiday Season Is Coming – Turn Ferrero Rocher Boxes Into Seedling Sprouters
If you guys needed an excuse to treat yourself to chocolate, this might just be it!
How to make:
- Remove the cardboard base from your chocolate box.
- Use a knife to puncture small drainage holes in each section of plastic.
- Add a thin layer of soil to the plastic, taking care to ensure the soil remains separated into sections.
- Cut a toothpick in half and place both halves standing up in the middle row.
- Place the lid back on, making sure the toothpicks keep it slightly elevated for air flow.
- Spray with water twice a day.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post! With Melbourne’s (and pretty much most of Australia’s) flooding at the moment, these guys are probably going to be inside for a while longer. Let me know in the comments below if you enjoyed my little upcycled gardening tricks – and if you’d like to see any more.