I had dh build up some shelves in our pantry on an "empty" wall. He hadn't put shelves up before when he was redoing the pantry months ago, so it seemed quite fortuitous.
Here's what it looked like with the first batch of seedlings
A little bit more of the setup
(scroll down the entry).
A bunch of flats
once I transplanted a ton of seedlings.
I think this is the most recent photo
I've got of it all down there. I've started hardening off some stuff and been planting outside, so haven't been taking photos of the pantry stuff anymore.
Throughout all this, I realized yogurt cups suck (they aren't flexible, so when you're trying to get your seedling(s) out, half the roots stay stuck). I also made friends with a gal from the farmer's market who gave me a *ton* of little used pots - I just have to sterilize them before I use. Got trays from Lowe's (I can't have the ones that have holes - otherwise I'd rot out dh's wonderful craftsmenship), so the pots have good drainage into the trays.
Other equipment... Dh hooked up regular 4-foot shop lights - the bulbs cost more than the actual light things. He also found me a power strip so I can turn off the lights in one fell swoop.
I also pilfered my heating pad (used for cramps) and my digital thermometer (for cooking turkey). Stuck the heating pad under the flat of peppers (and some tomatoes), and the thermometer in the part of the flat that gets the hottest. When the soil got too warm for my liking, I turned off the pad for a little while. My peppers and those tomatoes germinated in about a week or less.
While the seeds were still germinating, I only watered them with a spray bottle - I didn't soak them by any stretch of the imagination. When they started getting bigger and I transplanted them is when I started watering from the bottom or just pouring water in the soil (but not on the plant). It was kind of zen-like going downstairs and watering everything (took up to an hour sometimes), as long as I didn't have the kids with me trying to dump out or eat the pots of dirt.
I went through two bags of potting soil, but I could've used more. Next year I'll probably need 3-4 bags of potting soil for all my needs.
Did that cover everything? Oh, I also bought seeds from Garden City Seeds and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, next year I may try stuff from Seed Savers or Johnny's Seeds.
ETA: I also heard some people use a cooling rack (you know, what you use when you're making cookies) as a buffer between their tray/flat of seeds and heating pad, but my heating pad did lovely on low so I didn't need it. That's where my thermometer came in super handy.