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Upcycled Planting – egg boxes, toilet roll and lollipop sticks

Now the weather is finally warming up, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s here to stay. The Bear and I have been working together in the garden a little and this is the first year that we are attempting to build a little vegetable patch together. She’s enjoying helping me fill pots with mud and loves spending time watering everything. With this in mind, we thought we would start to share our journey out into the garden and our attempt to grow something anything.

Our first round of raising seedlings is complete and we have peas and radishes in their stage 2 pots ready to go outside, so it was time to plant our next round of seeds. This time we have gone with tomatoes, basil and nasturtiums which all came with our latest Willow and Wild box. However, as I have run out of planter pots, it is time to get a little more inventive.

Upcycled Planting - egg boxes, toilet roll and lollipop sticks - blog post header

We are trying our best not to use plastic for obvious reasons. Anything we already own then we are of course making use of as to throw anything away goes against everything we are trying to do by reducing our plastic waste. We are however making sure we are not buying anything new. So, when it came to looking for ways to plant seeds, we didn’t need to look any further than our own waste.


Recycling is good, but upcycling is better as it not only gives a waste product a new use, but it also saves us money. All you really need when it comes to planting seeds, is a structure that will hold firm while the seed sprouts.

Enter the egg box and empty toilet roll holders! Yep, you read right. I find makeshift pots made from cardboard is perfect for this as it is soft and flexible when damp. This has the added benefit of being an easy material to remove delicate sprouts from ready to plant into larger pots.

Upcycled Planting - egg boxes, toilet roll holders in use

Simply make use of the egg boxes natural shape ready for planting and cut toilet roll holders in half to make them the ideal size. I found my small propagator is the perfect size for a 6-egg box and 12 toilet roll planters. I would love a larger propagator for next year when we get a little more confident but (1) I’m not sure yet how to do that without plastic, and (2) well, let’s not run before we can walk eh? We are very early into our gardening journey so need to take it one step at a time!

So, in the meantime I like symmetry so our little one works well to try out 3 types of seeds at a time, one in each of the set of 6. Our peppers didn’t quite do well in our group of peas, peppers and radishes last time but I have high hopes for all 3 of our tomatoes, basil and nasturtiums this time.

Upcycled Planting - egg boxes, toilet roll and lollipop sticks - waiting for something to grow


We are very new to all this though and my memory is not want it used to be. Therefore, my lesson learnt from last time is to label what you plant where! Our peas were easy to identify, but I had to take to Google to look at the difference between radish and pepper seeds to see what had sprouted. I’m 50% sure I may have even planted something else in there last time but am not sure, so…..this time I thought ahead and marked what had gone where.

Old lollypop sticks are great for this. I tend to save them anyway to use for crafts from time to time but they also make the perfect plant marker to remind yourself exactly what you put where.

Upcycled Planting - lollipop sticks in use

So, there we have it. A few upcycling ideas when it comes to getting outside in the garden and trying your hand at growing something. I’m really enjoying attempting to turn my brown thumb green, and I love that the Bear is taking an interest. Even if that interest for now is more getting muddy and attempting to drown anything we grow by providing watering can after watering can of water!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy reading about our Summer Fun Garden Adventures.

Looking for ways to upcycle your garden, then start at the beginning with planting seeds. A great way to upcycle old toilet roll holders, egg boxes and lollipops sticks. It's time to use some craft skills and give your waste a new lease of life.


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  1. This is such a great idea and very enviromentally friendly!

  2. such a clever idea! its like using egg shells too

  3. J and I start our vegetable garden this way each year! So much fun.

  4. I love how you are reusing products for your garden!! So economical and or something I would have thought of. Good luck with your garden!

  5. Great idea, and an awesome learning opportunity!
    Britt | http://alternativelyspeaking.ca

  6. Such a fab idea! Can’t wait to hear about how they turn out 🙂

  7. […] you that accepts food waste and see if they take egg boxes. You could also use your egg boxes as propagators for your windowsill garden, or explore the world of egg box […]

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