Sprouting 101, Homemade Sprouting Jars {tutorial} & ‘DIY Mason Jars’ Giveaway

Sprouting 101 and DIY Sprouting Jars - BoulderLocavore

Sprouting always brings back memories of my childhood when my mother sprouted her own seeds and legumes, and made homemade yogurt.  It felt to be a cross between a frugal-DIY effort and a vestige of a more hippie-laden time.  Regardless of motivation it was standard practice in my household.  Fast forward to now when home crafting of food has taken the place of the chic that purchasing everything held a mere decade ago.  Now if you are cool, you brew you own craft beer, make your own wine, can the vegetables you’ve grown in your own community garden plot and cook from scratch whenever possible.

Sprouts and micro greens are commonplace at most markets, with the more exotic varieties such as sunflower sprouts no longer raising an eyebrow from discerning shoppers.  I love a good sprout addition to a sandwich or salad, savoring the crunchy texture, the playful visual addition and the nutrition packed source available on-the-cheap when spouting at home.

I’ve long had on my ‘to blog about’ list Sprouting 101.  It is so simple it seems a shame to pass up spreading the word.  My recent review of DIY Mason Jars brought the topic front and center as the book shares a project of homemade Sprouting Jars.  Much more fun visually than my mother’s sprouting jars, these are fashioned from quart size Mason jars and colorful, plastic needlework canvas from the craft store.  They are quick and easy to make, fun to use and happy to have around your kitchen.

Homemade sprouts - BoulderLocavore.com

Why sprout?  There are many varieties of seeds and legumes which can be sprouted offering a plethora of options for any dishes.  Sprouts contain a significant amount of nutrition in their tiny form offering the opportunity to boost a meal with their simple addition.

What to sprout?  When choosing seeds to sprout purchase seeds designated for sprouting versus for planting to ensure they are edible.  I also have sprouted actual sunflower hulls which are crunchy and delicious.  Most grocery stores have a selection of sprouting seeds near the produce department.

How to sprout?  All seeds have different sprouting timeframes that range from 2 days to a full week.  In a test sprouting I did for this post the mung beans began to sprout in about 2 days and had filled the Mason jar within 4 days.  The other sprouts ranged to be close to that or a few days longer.

Making Sprouting Jars {a project from DIY Mason Jars}


  • Quart-size Mason Jars
  • Sharpie or other marker
  • Plastic needlework canvas
  • Scissors
  • Dried seeds or beans used for sprouting
{Tutorial} How to Make DIY Sprouting Jars - BoulderLocavore.com
SUPPLIES to make Homemade Sprouting Jars and for sprouting.
{Tutorial} DIY Sprouting Jars - canvas | BoulderLocavore.com
Plastic needlework canvas used to create a screened airflow for sprouting jars may be purchased at hobby and craft stores. These colorful sheets cost $0.59 each providing a sprouting jar can be created for less than $2.00/jar. The canvas comes in many colors and sizes as noted by the variations on the left.
{Tutorial} Homemade Sprouting Jars - BoulderLocavore.com
STEP 1: Trace the lid of the jar onto the plastic canvas. Consider using varied canvas sized to allow sprouting of even very small seeds. Cheesecloth also may be substituted when sprouting very small seeds.
{Tutorial} Homemade Sprouting Jars - BoulderLocavore.com
STEP 2: Cut out traced canvas circles(s). Insert them into the Mason jar lid ring (do not insert the metal inner circle into the lid ring; only the canvas circle). Screw lid onto quart Mason jar.
{Tutorial} Homemade Sprouting Jars - BoulderLocavore.com
Completed sprouting jars.

How to Sprout!

Once you have created your sprouting jars, place 2 tablespoons to ½ cup of sprouting seeds in a given jar depending on how large a crop you wish to have.  I used ½ cup of mung beans which created a quart of sprouts; maybe a bit much for a starter batch.  You can experiment with the amounts until you decide what works for you.

{Tutorial} Sprouting 101 | BoulderLocavore.com
Many different seeds and legumes may be used for sprouting though ensure they are sold for sprouting and contain no pathogens. Mung beans (left), beet seeds middle.

Seal the jar with the screen lid.   Fill the jar with water to cover the seeds plus an inch.  Allow them to sit in a cool spot, out of direct sunlight overnight.  Drain the water through the screen top.   Place the jar on its side again in a cool spot out of direct sunlight.

Rinse the seeds twice daily by filling the jar to cover the seeds, swish the water around to rinse all the sprouts; drain through the screen top and replace on its side until the sprouts have grown to the size desired.

Once the sprouts are finished, remove them from the jar, place in a plastic bag or sealed container in the refrigerator to use.  Sprouts should stay fresh for up to a week.

Disclaimer: (Sprouting Seeds)  Following the publishing of this post it has been brought to the author’s attention there are concerns regarding  unsanitized sprouting seeds creating the exposure for E Coli and Salmonella when sprouting.  Before sprouting your own seeds, please research to make your own decision on pre-sanitizing seeds before sprouting and proceed at your own risk.  The author cannot be held responsible for any adverse reaction to home sprouted seeds.

Sprouting 101{tutorial} | BoulderLocavore.com
After 4 days: Mung bean sprouts (left), sunflower seed sprouts (middle), radish sprouts (right).

After reading these last two posts about Fruit Crumble Jars and Homemade Sprout Jars aren’t you curious how many other fun projectst there are in DIY Mason Jars?  A lucky BoulderLocavore.com reader will soon find out!  We are giving away one copy!

To enter the Giveaway (open to U.S. residents/shipping addresses only):  {CLOSED}

  1. Leave a comment saying ‘I want a copy of this fun book!’

For additional entries (please leave a separate comment for each entry verifying what you have done; if you are already doing any of these, leave a separate comment for each one stating that):

  1. For following BoulderLocavore on Pinterest.
  2. For following Boulder Locavore on Facebook.
  3. Subscribe to Boulder Locavore via email (note: once subscribing be sure to ‘verify’ your request by typing in the code on the verification email you’ll be sent! If unverified this entry will not count).
  4. Tweet about the Giveaway including a link to this post, ‘DIY Mason Jars’ and @BoulderLocavore using the Shareholic button below.
  5. Post on Facebook about this Giveaway including a link to this post, ‘DIY Mason Jars’ and @BoulderLocavore using the Shareholic button below.

Total of 6 possible entries!!!

No purchase required. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 or older to enter.

 THE WINNER IS:  Connie Findley!  Congrats!

Giveaway will run through midnight (Mountain Standard Time) Friday, June 28, 2013. At that time a winner will be selected via Random.org and will be posted here Saturday, June 29, 2013.

DIY Mason Jars book cover | BoulderLocavore.com

Disclosure: I was provided a review copy of the book DIY Mason Jars. Commentary represents my personal opinions.


  1. Jacob says

    My only concern is the plastic needlework canvas, is there a BPA free alternative?
    Even though they have minimal direct contact with sprouts they are not food graded and will degenerate over time faster than sturdy (food graded) plastic which will potentially mix with the sprouts.

    • says

      I hear you Jacob. I think everyone has their own individuals concerns. As you noted from the cautionary note, there are many who do not believe sprouting at all without bleaching the seeds first should be done; at home or for store purchase. I guess we all have to decide what we are most comfortable with. Is there food grade mesh?

  2. Jacob says

    I am sure there is, but I have not seen one in retail
    Nevertheless as manufacturers have to have they kitchen wear be of such standards, material in all shapes and sizes is out there

  3. Linda says

    Get 101 in sprouting. I want to know how to pre sanitize seeds? I was thinking salt water soak, but I don’t know? Please Let me know. Thank You, Linda

    • says

      I do not have expertise about pre-sanitizing seeds Linda, I’m sorry. I’m sure there is information on the internet about it. Those I’ve read use much stronger chemicals to do it.

      • LAura says

        I used steel mesh on my jars for sprouting and never had a problem, I am considering trying the canvas lids dont think I will worry about e coli a good rinse every day and they should be fine benefits should outweigh the risk if any isnt there a risk attached to everything even breathing, what do you do? Take a chance.

    • says

      Hi Barbara. This post was reviewing the book though I’m not the publisher, nor do I sell them. There is an active link to a purchasing source if you were to wish to buy a copy.

  4. says

    Hi, thanks for sharing this – I am going to try sprouting for the first time, and will use this method for the jars.
    The package I’m using is from “Now – Real Food” and it says on the package, “We recommend adding1/4 tsp (their brand) Citric Acid Powder to each rinse cycle as a preservative against spoilage.”


  1. […] can be done using mason jars, check out this link to {DIY}. You can also use sprouting containers sold as most gardening stores. My favorite is […]

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