It’s Wonder Wednesday #24!!!! Hooray!!

Late August brings daydreams of fall planting  and what better way to get your fall seeds started than with these easy upcycled starter pots. Free for you and good for the earth too!

And tomorrow is the official launch of the Wings, Worms, and Wonder Nature Journal Prompt Cards, double hooray!!! Two great nature connection activities in 1 week!!! Check out these easy to create and connect digital download cards I created to spark wonder and love for the nature outside our doors.

This Wonder Wednesday we learn how to make super easy seed starter pots out of toilet paper or paper towel rolls in a fun video tutorial!! With a special appearance by my good friend Sonia!
(You may recognize Sonia from last Jan.’s Pocket Nature Journal tutorial.)

UpCycled Seed Started Pots, Video

Wonder Wednesday – UpCycled Seed Starter Pots from Wings, Worms, and Wonder on Vimeo.

UpCycled Seed Starter Pots, Instructions

Skills: measuring, recycling/upcycling, motor skills, practical life

Subjects: math, botany, art, gardening, ecology


Toilet paper (TP from here on out) or paper towel rolls

A tray with sides to set the roll starter pots in, like a lunch tray or flat plastic container

Potting soil




Optional: tape


  1. Collect the desired number of rolls. You can save them yourself, or if you are doing this with your class, have the children bring them in starting a month ahead of time.
  2. If you have rules against using TP rolls at your school, collect paper towel rolls and cut them down into 4 inch lengths.
  3. Choose what seeds you will be sprouting and for what purpose. Will you be starting vegetable seeds in the winter for the spring garden? Are they flower seeds to be transplanted to a decorative pot for Mother’s Day? This will help determine how many pots you will need to make.


  1. Measure and make ½ inch marks around one end of the tube. It is okay if the measurements aren’t super exact.
  2. Then at each ½ inch mark, draw a line 1 inch down. The more exact these lengths are the flatter the finished pot will sit.
  3. Cut down each 1 inch line making strips kinda like stiff fringe.
  4. Fold each strip inward. As you fold around, the strips will overlap.
  5. Optional: Secure with a little piece of tapr if you would like.
  6. Fill the TP pot with potting soil about ¾ full. You may need to tap the soil down and then add a little more. If your soil is very dry, premoisten it by putting it in a bucket, wate rthe soil the way you would if there was a plant in it, and then stir the soild to distribute the moisture evenly.
  7. Plant your seeds according to packet directions.
  8. Place the upcycled pots in the tray in a sunny spot.
  9. Water the pots. Water regularly to keep soil damp and your seeds and sprouts healthy.
  10. Transplant into the garden or larger pots according to seed packet or once sprouts are about 2 inches high with a set or 2 of true leaves.

What’s your easiest seed to sprout?

Share what you’re sprouting on Instagram #wingswormsandwonder

About the Author

  1. Great idea. I’ve been looking for fun ways to use up all the toilet rolls I’ve been saving for a rainy day. I never thought of making starter pots. Coming across your article was perfect timing. I’m about to start a little balcony garden with my toddler. Thanks so much for sharing.

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