Make a Seed Box From Upcycled Shoe Boxes

Growing vegetables from seeds is really fun and rewarding, because you can grow so many varieties which you can’t buy, like 5 kinds of broccoli, 7 kinds of cucumber, and countless types of tomatoes, melon, peppers… BUT, where to put your growing collection of seeds?

Make A Seed Box for organized storage | A Piece of Rainbow

In a box. It sounds easy, but it does not always work! Like in the photo below, my pretty box became over stuffed, so I got another box and soon that became an over-stuffed mess too. Every time I look for one seed packet I had to dump out all contents in these boxes, it was not fun!

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Finally, the idea came to me to make a box that is organized, efficient, and easy to use. And here it is!

Let’s look at the simple steps it takes to turn 2 shoe boxes into a seed box which you will LOVE!

*Some resources in article are affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

First select 2 shoe boxes, or any cardboard boxes once you get the design of it. One of the shoe boxes will become the seed box, the other will be used to create dividers.

Please refer to this post on building cardboard furniture for more details on cutting and scoring cardboard!

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Measure the length and width of the seed box, then make one divider that goes lengthwise, leave extra tabs at the end so we can fold it over and glue it to the center of the seed box, so it divides the box in half.

Cut 1/8″ notches at equal intervals (8 here)

for the cross tabs, which also have notches so they interlock. See photos below.

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After all the tabs are fitted together, and glued at the ends to the box, we can add labels!

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The box is organized by warm and cool season crops, from tomatoes and peppers- warm weather, to broccoli and kale- cool weather.  to make it easier to find the seeds. Print and cut out each name, and glue them to the tabs.

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Some of the names stands for several kinds of veggies. For example, “pumpkin” covers all winter squash such as acorn, butternut, etc, “roots” covers carrots, beets, radishes, and “kale” covers many leafy greens such as chards, bok choi, spinach, etc.

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Now everything is so organized and easy to access, I just LOVE using this box. No more fear of opening a Pandora’s box and not being able to stuff everything back in!

In case you missed it,  here is an easy and really fast method to start seeds plus some seed resources you may enjoy checking out-

Start seeds fats and easy way | A Piece of Rainbow

And if you are wondering what other fun things can be made from cardboard, check out this tutorial on building cardboard furniture!

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Have fun planning this year’s garden! See you next week!


  1. I have been doing this for years except that I put the date of when I start to germinate the plants on the tabs and then those seeds in that slot behind. Then I just take out the seeds that need to be planted that week. I find it better, then I am not having to look all over the box for the seeds that need to be started that week. Still yours is a great idea to hold the seeds.

    • hi Debbie, i LOVE your idea! the person that started Territorial Seed company, actually wrote a book and talked about a similar method. i may switch one day! 🙂

  2. I love the concept, but would store the cardboard boxes in a solid plastic tote. Mice can too easily knaw into cardboard and eat your seeds. This is a great way to see at a glance what seeds you have! Need a tip to control an overly weedy part of your garden? Work the soil, plant the entire area solidly with sunflowers. They produce a toxin in the roots inhibiting or killing other plants. Next year pull the sunflowers before they drop seeds, or dedicate that area to sunflowers. Goldenrods do the same thing.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this. I’m also crafting this during the Corona virus epidemic…I find gardening to be extremely therapeutic during this time of uncertainty. Creating a beautiful place to store seeds…which I will plant and will grow into food to sustain me brings me much hope! I’m using a lovely shoebox size floral box which I bought for our wedding, many years ago. Past, present, future, all in one! 💚

  4. Doing this project while socially distancing myself during the Covid-19 thing.- Thinking I need to get out there and start planting and this is a good way to keep tabs on the seeds that i have.
    thanks for sharing!

  5. What a great ideal.I am new to gardening and last night was wondering what to do with left over seeds this is perfect!

  6. Hi! Thank you so much for all this sharing ! These are all so full of love. Your website is as beautiful as you are. This is a real pleasure to scour your posts. I follow you from New Caledonia.
    Have a very nice day.

  7. Funny I find this today. Just last night I made a seed organizer out of a divided wine box. It looks almost just like this but without the cover. I do like that you can cover yours. Nice job!

  8. What a great idea! I use shoe boxes for a lot of things, never throw them away. But I never thought of using one for sorting my seeds mess! Thank you!!!

      • Hello Ananda,
        Yes, I have a garden.
        It is 870 square meters in size.
        There we also grow vegetables.
        It is a mixed garden with ornamental plants, vegetables and fruit.
        many greetings

          • Hello Ananda,
            Thank you so much.
            It’s ok ….
            If you like, you can write it me here if you’ve visited my blog, and would like to comment on something.
            Or you can write me an email.
            many greetings

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