How to Make a DIY Seed Starting Planter

Turn a Mikey’s English Muffin Box into a Recycled Seed Starting Planter

Happy Earth Day! The warmer weather has had us itching to get out and enjoy the sunshine, so we decided to head out to the yard and start some flower seeds. We made a DIY planter using one of our empty English muffin boxes, toilet paper tubes and a plastic grocery bag. It’s an easy, fun project, especially if you’ve got kids, and you don’t need to buy anything besides a pack of seeds and some potting soil.

You could do this project inside, too, but the potting soil has a tendency to get everywhere, so it’s easier to do it outdoors so you don’t have to clean up afterwards. Besides, a little extra sunshine never hurts!

The planter will need to live inside on a sunny window for about six weeks until your seedlings are big enough to be transplanted outdoors. At that point you can plant them in your garden beds or a container garden.

Ready to get started? Here’s how to start seeds in your own DIY planter.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies


You will need:

  • - An empty Mikey’s English Muffins box
  • - Tape
  • - Scissors
  • - A plastic grocery bag
  • - 2-3 toilet paper tubes
  • - Flower or vegetable seeds (choose varieties appropriate for starting indoors)
  • - Potting soil

Step 2: Assemble Your Planter


  • 1. Tape closed the flaps at the top of the English muffin box where you opened it originally.
  • 2. Turn the box on its side and cut out the side panel, what is now the top of the box.
  • 3. Use the plastic bag to line the inside of the box, taping it neatly to the top edge of the box. Trim the bag as needed to fit the box. (This will keep the box from getting soggy when you water your seeds.)
  • 4. Cut the toilet paper tubes in half.
  • 5. Fill the English muffin box ¾ of the way with potting soil.
  • 6. Press the toilet paper tubes into the soil so that the top rim of the tubes is about ¼-inch above the edge of the box. We were able to fit 5 tubes in our box: 1 in each of the 4 corners and 1 in the center.
  • 7. Fill the tubes so the soil is about ¼-inch from the top.
  • 8. Using the tip of your finger, press 3-4 seeds into the center of each toilet paper tube and lightly cover them. Gently tap the planter on the ground to settle the soil and remove any air pockets.

Step 3: Care for Your Planter


  • 1. Place your planter in a sunny window, preferably one that faces south or east for the most sunlight. It’s a good idea to place your planter on a tray or plate to capture any spillage from watering.
  • 2. Water your seeds right away. The soil should be damp to the touch, but not soggy or drenched.
  • 3. Check on your planter every day, but only water when the soil is dry. To check whether it’s time to water again, stick the tip of your finger into the soil down to the first knuckle. If the soil still feels wet, don’t water yet. If it’s dry, it’s time to water again. Too much water will drown your seedlings and cause mold to grow on your planter.
  • 4. Your seeds should begin to sprout 1-2 weeks after planting. When the seedlings have 2-3 leaves you can transplant them to your garden or a larger outdoor planter.

Happy growing!