How To Make Toilet Roll Pots

Toilet roll pots are an inexpensive way to get your seedlings started indoors while also making use of the toilet rolls you’d normally throw away.

They’re the perfect size for most vegetable seedlings and when they’re ready to transplant you can plant the whole thing, including the pot in the garden!

This reduces transplant shock and avoids damage to the plant’s roots.

Here are two ways to make toilet paper roll planter pots.

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toilet roll pots

It’s a good idea to start saving your toilet rolls for a few weeks before you start planting. You can also use paper towel rolls to make your pots.

Method 1 – Easy Toilet Roll Pots

Things you’ll need:

  • Toilet rolls
  • Potting soil
  • Seeds
  • Plastic container

This way of using toilet paper rolls to create seedling pots couldn’t be more simple.

There’s no cutting or folding required. Just place the rolls in a plastic container and fill them with potting mix about ½ inch (1cm) from the top.

Plant your seeds following the directions on the seed packet. (Use one seed per pot).

Water the pots thoroughly but not so much that there’s water standing in the bottom of the container.

The pots will need good air circulation, otherwise they may become moldy.

Place the container full of pots in a sunny window or underneath grow lights if you don’t get a lot of natural light indoors.

After a few weeks when the weather has warmed up you can plant the whole pot directly into the garden, making sure that the cardboard is completely covered by soil.

The cardboard will break down over time, allowing the roots to spread out in the soil. [1]

As well as being much easier, this method also allows the seedlings to stay in the pot longer before they need to be planted out.

Method 2 – The Cutting & Folding Method

This method involves a bit more work but it’s a fun project for the kids to help with and the pots are so cute!

Things you’ll need:

  • Toilet rolls
  • Scissors
  • Potting soil
  • Seeds
  • Plastic container

Flatten the toilet roll and cut it in half. Fold it flat again so that it makes a square shape.

Make four small cuts on the folds about ⅓ of the length of the roll.

Fold the first three flaps down so that they’re overlapping each other and then tuck the last flap underneath, like how you’d close a cardboard box.

small toilet paper roll pots

Fill the toilet paper roll pots with potting soil about ½ inch (1cm) from the top.

Plant your seeds and in a few weeks time your little seedlings will be ready for the garden.

Just remember to check that the toilet rolls are fully wet because if they dry out they’ll pull moisture out of the soil.

It’s a good idea to harden the seedlings off by taking them outdoors for a few hours each day before they’re planted in the garden.

Best seeds to plant in toilet roll pots

These pots are ideal for root vegetables like beets, carrots and parsnips that are normally planted directly in the garden.

They’re also good for sunflowers, beans, peas and many other crops to get a head start indoors.

upcycled toilet roll planter

So there are two ways to make your own biodegradable toilet paper roll seedling pots.

This is a fun activity to get the kids involved with and it’s a great way to save money and make use of items that would otherwise be thrown away.


Have you had success growing seedlings in upcycled toilet roll pots? Let me know in the comments below.

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Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener and designer with over 10 years experience. I have a passion for small space gardening and I love designing and creating beautiful outdoor spaces that maximize the potential of small urban gardens. Read more

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