20 Ways to Recycle Seed Catalogs

Fun ways to up-cycle your plant and seed catalogs besides throwing them in the recycling bin


If you are anything like me, you hate waste and I have a hard time throwing anything away, even if I am recycling it with the garbage company. I get a ton of seed catalogs, and it occurred to me that maybe there were more uses for them than we originally thought. Some are so gorgeous with their glossy pages and excellent photographs. So I've compiled a list of 20 creative ideas of things you can do with those seed and plant catalogs once the growing season is over. From the wacky to the practical, there is definitely something for everyone on this list.

20 Ways to Recycle Seed Catalogs

  1. Research your garden plant purchases.  Many of the better nurseries provide all sorts of plant information in their catalogs.  Keep the better ones that specialize on plants that grow well in your region.
  2. Use the catalogs as a learning experience with your kids, grand kids or donate them to a classroom or community group that will be learning about plants and gardening.



  3. Cut out the pictures to help design your own gardens or use them to make a collage.
  4. Use the colorful pages to wrap a gift for a gardening friend.  Use ribbon to camouflage any seams.
  5. Cut out the photos to embellish greeting cards, calendars, gift tags, or to make a story book with your kids. Frame vintage catalog covers for garden art.
  6. Seed EnvelopesMake seed envelopes.  Complete instructions can be found here.
  7. Cut out the flower images and decoupage on glass, dress up cardboard boxes or coasters.
  8. Make paper chains or those chains we used to make with gum wrappers.  I found instructions for those here.
  9. Embellish garden journals with instructions or photos from the catalogs.
  10. Glue the flower pictures on top of an old table top then coat it with several layers of polyurethane to dress up an old craft table or kids table.
  11. Cut out the flower images and make magnets or stickers.  I have a Xyron machine, like the one above, that makes this super easy.
  12. Shred them for colorful packing materials or to use in gift bags.
  13. Dress up an old trash can to use in your greenhouse or garden shed.
  14. Roll up the catalog to form a tube, and then use it to store twine or panty hose for tying plants to stakes during the growing season.
  15. If you have a lot of catalogs, use them to line a pond before laying down the rubber lining.  This will help prevent punctures in the lining from roots or sharp rocks.  Newspaper can be used as well.
  16. Line drawers or shelves with catalog pages in your greenhouse or garden shed to help keep them clean.
  17. Make a paper mosaic.  Paint the base object that you want to mosaic black or white (or any color of your choosing).  Then cut or tear the pieces and glue them on the object making sure the base color is showing between pieces.  The base color will act as the grout for your project.
  18. Use the plant photos to embellish the outside of a doll house, or if you don't want to glue directly on the doll house, glue the pieces to cardboard to make a landscape scene you can sit behind the doll house.
  19. Cut out the photos and growing instructions and glue them to a piece of card stock paper.  Then laminate them and staple to a wooden stack for plant tags in your garden.
  20. Cut one inch strips and weave them into coasters, or make a cool handbag like I found here.

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