10 Simple Recycled Plant Pots for Kids to make this Spring!

The weather may still be a little chilly but we're starting to plant our veg & flower seeds indoors ready to go out in the Spring. Instead of using small plastic plant pots we'll be making our own pots again this year which not only helps to reduce plastic, but also saves some pennies & encourages some creativity too. Making your own plant pots is a great opportunity for kids to explore the impact materials have on the planet, & how simple actions can make a big difference.

Here are 10 simple quick & easy recycled plant pots that kids can make from items you'll find around your home.


:: Newspaper Pots

We love making these simple newspaper plant pots, they're just the perfect size for sprouting seedlings. To make them we use a Seedling Paper Potter like this one which we picked up a few years ago from a charity shop. Even little hands can help make these, toddlers love rolling the paper around the wooden potter & squashing it down to make the base of the pot.

We used The Happy Newspaper to make ours. I can't tell you how much we love this paper, every copy is full of fantastic colourful illustrations & packed with oodles of inspiring & uplifting stories from around the world. We usually donate our copies to our local school when we've finished reading them, but I kept a copy back to make these beautiful bright planters.


What's great about these is that they can be planted straight into the ground & the paper will biodegrade as the plant grows, so the Happy Newspaper is creating a happy mulch for the happy plants & nothing is wasted. Happy Days!


:: Toilet Roll Plant Pots

Hurrah for the humble toilet roll! Super frugal & simple, these cardboard tubes are again an ideal size for seedlings. For more info on how we made them pop over to our Eco-friendly plant pot post here. We usually stand ours in a recycled plastic tray so the plants can easily soak up the water through the cardboard base, & place them on a windowsill so they get plenty of daylight. These recycled plant pots can also be planted straight into the soil.


:: Cardboard Juice / Milk Cartons

If you're short of room, then cardboard cartons make great small square planters. Simply cut the top half of the carton off, add some gravel, then soil & plant your seeds.


Alternatively, you can cut them long ways to create simple plant trays for seedling pots. Great for narrow window sills or worktops.


:: Plastic Milk Cartons & Bottles 

As a family, we've reduced our plastic consumption greatly & are now much more mindful of packaging when shopping. However, when some plastics do make it into the shopping basket we make sure they're recyclable, though some are upcycled into pots before they've even made it into the recycling!

We found the plastic milk cartons & bottles were ideal for growing seedlings & also offered kids an opportunity to observe clearly the growing roots & shoots of the plants.



:: Shopping Bags

Yes, shopping bags! These reusable (bag for life) shopping bags are useful if you have limited space for growing veggies outdoors, or ideal if you have no garden at all.

Instead of buying a grow bag to grow our veggies we use these & in previous years we've successfully grown tomatoes, spinach, & courgettes in them. Just add a few holes at the bottom of the bag for drainage & then your recycled planter is ready for your chosen crop. Veggies that don't have deep roots work best in these.

The bags can be placed at ground level or positioned on a step or balcony, so you can grow your own veggies anywhere straight from the bag!


:: Paper Coffee Cups

Instead of throwing that paper coffee cup in the bin when you're out & about, why not bring it home & turn it into a planter. From coffee bean to green bean, it'll make a great upcycled planter that can be used again & again.


:: Fruit Planters 

Whether you eat oranges, satsumas, grapefruits or lemons, all can be transformed into colourful planters ideal for growing herbs. We used satsumas to create these mini planters & cut the fruit in half before scooping the segments out to eat. These fruit planters can be planted straight into the soil & will compost as the roots of the plant grow.


:: Egg Carton Seed Tray 

Hang on to those egg boxes because they make egg-cellent free plant pots! We've used them to grow tomatoes & salad in previous years, & last year used them to grow our sunflower seedlings. The cardboard egg box is surprisingly strong when wet & can again be planted into the soil outdoors if you wish.


:: Eggshells

Whether you crack them or boil them, hang on to those eggshells & you could grow salad, cress & mustard in them with just a little soil. Perfect for kids to grow a quick mini crop & fun to decorate too. 


:: Wellie Boots

Of course, we had to have wellie boots! These quirky planters are perfect for small outdoor spring & summer flowers. Make a few drainage holes in the base or side of the boot so the plants don't become too waterlogged when it rains & the flowers will grow happily in the boots all season.

Kids feet grow super fast & these planters are a lovely reminder of just how small they once were. We still have a pair of wellies that my kiddo had when she was 3yrs which we fill with flowers every summer. (Top Tip: When not in use make sure you store the wellie planters somewhere cool, dry & away from sunlight & they'll last year after year.)


There are of course lots of other upcycling ideas for planters, & most clean containers can be used to grow seedlings ready to be planted outdoors. Why not have a hunt around your home & see what you could use to grow some veggies & plants this Spring.


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