- 7 Things to Know Before Building a Greenhouse
- 1. Your Reasons to Build One
- 2. Cost
- 3. Style of Greenhouse
- Attached Lean-to
- DIY Window Greenhouse
- Tabletop Greenhouse
- 4. Walls and Windows
- 5. Air Circulation
- 6. Permits Needed
- 7. Strength Against Weather
- 40 DIY Indoor (in-house) Greenhouse Projects
- Grow Light Shelving for Seed Starting Indoors
- Indoor Greenhouse for Seedlings
- CLEVERLY TURN YOUR CARROT SCRAPS INTO SALAD GROW YOUR OWN CARROT LEAVES
- Build an Indoor Garden Shelf
- Everything About Growing Microgreens
- Regrowing Green Onions Grow Your Scallions Back on Your Windowsill
- Growing Citrus Indoors 5 Helpful Tips
- No Budget Windowsill Greenhouse
- Indoor Greenhouse with Touch Screen Control
- How to Grow Fruit Trees Indoors
- An Eerily Beautiful Indoor Water Garden
- EP 29 Hanging Garden
- Thumbelina an Automated Indoor Greenhouse
- Portable Indoor Herb Garden
- DIY Indoors Greenhouse Under 5
- Recycling Old Picture Frames for an Indoor Greenhouse
- The Indoor LED Auto Greenhouse
- How to Grow Fruits Indoors
- DIY Califia Hanging Planter
- Indoor Bloom Box
- Mini Seedling Greenhouse
- The Lazy Ladys Guide to DIY Hanging Herb Garden
- Mason Jar Herb Garden
- How to Build a Simple Indoor Greenhouse with Your Kids
- Regrow Kitchen Scraps Romaine Lettuce
- Window Mounted Hanging Herb Garden
- We It Wild Bottle Gardens
- Build This Mini Greenhouse
- Mini Greenhouses
- DIY Make mini greenhouses from plastic bottles
- How to Build a Flourescent Stand to Start Seeds Indoors
- Countertop Greenhouse
- Mini Greenhouse
- DIY Indoor Organic Greenhouse
- Seed Starting 102 Homemade Mini Greenhouses
- CD Case Greenhouse
- Growing Sunflower Sprouts Indoors
- Egg Carton Greenhouse
- How to Propagate Herbs
- DIY Picture Frame Greenhouse Terrarium
- 18 Awesome DIY Greenhouse Projects
- How to Build a Greenhouse
- Planning a Greenhouse
- DIY Greenhouse Projects
- DIY Mini Greenhouse Solutions
- DIY Cold Frames
- DIY Greenhouse Kits
- Greenhouse Kits Under 0
- 42 Best DIY Greenhouses ( Tutorials & Free Plans! )
- 1. Plastic Bottle DIY Greenhouses
- 2. Cedar Branch Garden Hoop House
- 3. Collapsible Small Greenhouses
- 4. Pallet Greenhouse
- 5. Old window cold frame
- 6. Simple DIY cold frame /mini greenhouse
- 7. Farmhouse DIY greenhouses using old windows
- 8 – 10. Straw Bale Cold Frame
- 11 – 13. Easy A-frame DIY greenhouses
- 14. Hardware Fencing Hoop House
- 15 & 16. Hoop House Over Garden Bed
- 17. DIY Hoop House made easy
- 18 & 19. Portable window cold frame ideas
- 20 – 22. More simple DIY cold frame greenhouses
- 23. Cold Frame Along Masonry Wall
- 24. CD Case DIY Greenhouse
- 25. Small easy DIY greenhouses
- 26, 27. Easy to build A-frame greenhouses
- 28. Super Easy DIY Hoop House
- 29. Trampoline Hoop House with Passive Heating
- 30. Mini Box DIY Greenhouse
- 31. Retractable Hoop House
- 32. Hinged cover DIY greenhouse
- 33, 34. Hinged top cold frames and DIY greenhouses
- 35 – 37. Free plans to build DIY greenhouses
- 38. Another DIY Barn Greenhouse
- 39. Fold up DIY greenhouse
- 40 & 41. Salvaged Window Greenhouses
- 42. Plastic bottle greenhouse ideas
- 43. Straw Bale Greenhouse
- 44 & 45. Geo Dome DIY Greenhouses
- Love these greenhouse ideas? Pin them to your gardening boards on Pinterest!
- 15 DIY Mini Indoor Greenhouse Ideas For Winter & Early Spring
- 2. Egg Carton Greenhouse
- 3. Plastic Container Mini Greenhouse
- 4. Affordable Mini Greenhouses
- 5. DIY Grow Light Shelves
- 6. Mini Indoor Greenhouse from Dollar Store Photo Frames
- 7. No Budget Windowsill Greenhouse
- 8. Budget-Friendly Indoor Greenhouse
- 9. Mini Indoor Greenhouse for Seedlings
- 10. Small Greenhouse from Storm Windows
- 11. Indoor Greenhouse with a Light Fixture
- 12. LED Greenhouse
- 13. CD Case Greenhouse
- 15. DIY Countertop Greenhouse
7 Things to Know Before Building a Greenhouse
Wouldn’t it be amazing to grow tasty big tomatoes all year round for perfect BLT’s or pick bright, cheerful flowers even on the dreariest days?
Gardening enthusiasts can have these things and more by constructing a greenhouse in their backyards or acreages. You can choose a mini greenhouse, small greenhouse or even a barn greenhouse for whatever purposes you need it for.
But there are some things you should know before even starting to find greenhouse plans or choosing a DIY greenhouse.
And if you just want someone else to build it for you, there are plenty of companies all types of greenhouses they build to suit your wishes.
Here are seven things to think before plunging ahead with your own greenhouse:
1. Your Reasons to Build One
Zack Clewer, who is Janco’s sales manager, says that most of their clients want a greenhouse because gardening is top of favorite hobbies in the world.
But the company also builds conservatory structures, which are designed as full enclosures, so people can use them for hot tub rooms, dining areas or just an additional living area.
One client bought a greenhouse because he wanted a room attached to his house in the Smoke Mountains where he could simply smoke cigars. Vents at the top of the structure allow all the smells and smoke to rise out without leaving any unpleasant after-odor.
Popular reasons to build a greenhouse or conservatory:
- All season gardening – you don’t have to worry about growing vegetables in winter, the controlled environment inside the greenhouse helps everything thrive despite the cold outside.
- The perfect environment for growing basically everything – from herbs to flowers and vegetables, the greenhouse environment secures enough heat and water vapors to make greenery thrive.
- Money-saving – many households spend a fortune on plants and lawn grass for their outdoor gardens each and every spring season. When you have a conservatory, you can grow as many seeds as you want, and you’ll probably have more than enough to give away to friends and family as well.
- Space with many purposes – when you have a greenhouse, you won’t even need a garden shed because you’ll have enough space to store tools and other equipment.
- Plant protection – plants which grow in greenhouses are protected from unpleasant weather, pest infestations such as caterpillars, spider mites, locust swarms, and a many other. Overall, plants that grow in conservatories are healthier.
Do you want to make a big investment or a small contribution in this greenhouse design? Do you want to do it all yourself, buy a greenhouse kit with all the building materials, or have someone else build it for you with the greenhouse design you chose? All of these decisions will alter the price.
The national average for a 12-by-12-foot building at $25 per square foot would cost $3,590, according to Fixr and the Craftsman National Building Cost Estimator. Make sure to get at least three different contractor bids and quotes for the work. Each bid should include everything — from site preparation to water supplies to finishing work.
If you want to have concrete as your flooring, that will cost with labor about $540. If you need to add heat before of freezing weather and you plan on using it year-round., electric or propane heaters will be required. Fixr says the average price for a unit to meet the needs of this size of greenhouse will be $250.
You can also buy DIY kits online and at businesses that sell these products. For instance, Walmart offers an aluminum-frame, 8-by-8-foot structure for $2,114 with a $100 freight delivery.
It has polycarbonate panels with an aluminum frame, which the store says are virtually unbreakable and block 99.9% of UV rays.
You can also find free greenhouse plans, tutorials and videos online if you want to build it all by yourself ground up.
You might want to consider even building a larger greenhouse — more than 300 square feet — because the cost is less per square foot of usable space than smaller ones, according to the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. But remember that they will cost more initially and cost more to run.
3. Style of Greenhouse
Choosing the style of greenhouse has a lot to do with what kind of backyard greenhouse projects you plan on doing now and in the future, such as growing enough veggies or flowers to sell at a farmer’s market. You also should consider what other style of buildings are located on the proposed site.
Here are a two types of greenhouse structures to think about:
This greenhouse is built against an existing structure on one or more of its sides. It can be attached to the house or other buildings, says the Oklahoma Extension.
It’s a separate building. It is usually situated near the outdoor garden.
About 50 percent of customers of Janco Greenhouses in Georgetown, S.C., choose standalone greenhouses and the other 50 percent want the attached lean-to option.
“Some people want to come and go into their conservatories from inside their homes,” says Zack Clewer. “Some want that standalone greenhouse near their outdoor garden.”
According to Jane Wilson, a professional from FantasticCleaners.com.au, there are multiple DIY options for you to choose from when it comes to glass greenhouse design. Some of the most interesting the company had to clean are:
DIY Window Greenhouse
A great DIY solution for dealing with old and unwanted windows is to use them to build a greenhouse. Such spaces are perfect for growing herbs and small plants, as windows are usually designed for maximum light penetration.
Also, you can easily design your window greenhouse to open on both ends, which ensures good air ventilation. The only obstacle you need to look out for is water runoff. You need to calculate the slope and the amount of water used precisely to avoid water stagnation. Otherwise, it can lead to mold, mosquitoes and other issues.
This is a very simple and DIY type of greenhouse. It is the perfect project for anyone who feels particularly crafty, or if you want to grow plants in a well-protected environment. Tabletop greenhouse design is unique, personal, and depends on your imagination.
You can build these old picture frames, fish bowls and other glass materials you have to lie around.
4. Walls and Windows
Pre-treated wood, aluminum, steel or even old windows can be used to build a greenhouse frame. The materials you use on that frame can vary, too. You can use old glass windows or glass picked up from a flea market or recycling center. But polyethylene has become something of a standard.
Clewer adds that all of Janco’s greenhouses are made of aluminum because it doesn’t rust or rot. It should last forever.
As for the walls of the greenhouse, you can choose fiberglass, clear plastic sheeting, polycarbonate, old windows or glass.
Clower says Janco offers many glazing options for the glass such as insulated glass or a glazing that helps retain the heat. Companies also sell heat retention curtains for greenhouses.
5. Air Circulation
Automatic vent openers are a must. They prevent greenhouses from overheating — plus, the breeze is free, says Clewer. He also suggests oscillating fans used year-round but mostly is essential in the cold months to prevent dead zones. You can also get everything in the greenhouse automated, including the fans, heat, cooling, and irrigation in case you go on vacation, Clewer adds.
6. Permits Needed
If you need a building permit to build or place a greenhouse on your property, it really depends on the location of where you live, Clewer says. For most rural areas, it’s adding a shed, which is an auxiliary building and you don’t need a permit.
However, he has found that the closer you get to a big city, the tougher the codes are. Those jurisdictions are more ly to require a permit.
Local building authorities have the final say on whether you need a permit, so check with your local planning department.
7. Strength Against Weather
If you live in an area susceptible to wind or storms, having a greenhouse anchored to a foundation with a strong structure can prevent from it blowing away. Those anchored to heavy-duty footers are building a home: It isn’t going anywhere. You might break some of the glass, but those are replaceable.
You can also save money and build your own greenhouse with barn boards, PVC pipes, old windows or plastic sheeting for a DIY project. There are plenty of free plans for greenhouse designs online. Just be aware that you need some know-how and lots of hours to put it all together.
Also, if the greenhouse frame isn’t sturdy enough to withstand a storm, high winds or the weight of snow, then all your time was wasted when it collapses or blows away.
You need to think about where the morning sun rises so you can figure sun exposure, what type of greenhouse projects you plan on doing, how much shelving you will need to grow your plants, and whether plastic sheeting or actual glass would be best for your purposes.
Clewer emphasizes that if you have a green thumb, you can grow anything in a greenhouse. He has a client in Maryland who bought a couple of greenhouses to grow an unly plant in a four-season climate: palm trees.
“He loves palm trees. So, he grows them and keeps them growing through the colder months. Then, he rolls them out to his pool area in the summer,” he says.
Main image credit: jermudgeon, CC BY-SA 2.0
40 DIY Indoor (in-house) Greenhouse Projects
Do you have a green thumb? If so, this DIY is really going to make you smile. We’ve got 40 fun and terrific indoor greenhouse projects, just for you. So no matter what type of weather is outdoors, everything can be in bloom inside your home.
What will really please you is just how easy so many of these DIY projects are. They are also quite budget friendly. We even have indoor greenhouses that you can make for less than $10! So really, nothing stands in your way of getting started with having one of these. Its now time for you to start planning what you’d to see blooming quite soon.
Some of the most popular things to grow include veggies, fruits, herbs and then plants simply to make your home look lovely. If you grow veggies, fruits or herbs then you can add them to the meals that you serve your family. Or even make gifts to give others with them featured in them! What a lovely and thoughtful gift to give someone.
A lot of gardeners especially to have an indoor greenhouse so they can start seeds or even seedlings indoors to put in their gardens. This really protects the seeds and tiny tender plants from animals or birds who might eat them, and gives them a chance to grow.
So let’s get started and make an indoor greenhouse. Happy DIY-ing!
Grow Light Shelving for Seed Starting Indoors
A lot of gardeners want to start seeds indoors. This means they can plant little plants instead of seeds.
Indoor Greenhouse for Seedlings
Want your seedlings to grow and grow? Try this DIY greenhouse.
CLEVERLY TURN YOUR CARROT SCRAPS INTO SALAD GROW YOUR OWN CARROT LEAVES
Love carrots? You can grow carrot leaves indoors.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Build an Indoor Garden Shelf
Want garden fresh salad every day? Build this tall greenhouse indoors.
Everything About Growing Microgreens
Want a compact indoor greenhouse? Try this one.
Regrowing Green Onions Grow Your Scallions Back on Your Windowsill
Love scallions? You can easily grow them indoors.
Growing Citrus Indoors 5 Helpful Tips
What could be more lovely that oranges or lemons right off your own tree? Now its possible even from indoors.
No Budget Windowsill Greenhouse
Want a cheap indoor greenhouse? Try this one for your windowsill.
Indoor Greenhouse with Touch Screen Control
Want a techy DIY indoor greenhouse? Take a look at this one.
How to Grow Fruit Trees Indoors
Want a little lemon tree indoors? Its more possible than you might think!
An Eerily Beautiful Indoor Water Garden
Here is a unique way to garden. Water gardening indoors.
EP 29 Hanging Garden
Here is a large indoor herb garden. You can easily grow what you want.
Thumbelina an Automated Indoor Greenhouse
Techy? Try this fun automated greenhouse.
Portable Indoor Herb Garden
Isn’t this sweet? You can move it to the sunniest spots in your place.
DIY Indoors Greenhouse Under 5
Want a budget friendly greenhouse? Try this one.
Recycling Old Picture Frames for an Indoor Greenhouse
Want a vintage style indoor greenhouse? Try this DIY.
The Indoor LED Auto Greenhouse
Want to use LED lights? Try this greenhouse.
How to Grow Fruits Indoors
Love fresh fruit? You can grow it indoors.
DIY Califia Hanging Planter
Want a pretty indoor greenhouse? Try this one.
Indoor Bloom Box
Want live flowers indoors? Try this greenhouse.
Mini Seedling Greenhouse
Want a little greenhouse? Try this one for your home.
The Lazy Ladys Guide to DIY Hanging Herb Garden
Isn’t this lovely? You can have herbs growing indoors.
Mason Jar Herb Garden
Love herbs? They are easy to grow indoors with Mason jars.
How to Build a Simple Indoor Greenhouse with Your Kids
Want to make a greenhouse with your kids? Look at this DIY.
Regrow Kitchen Scraps Romaine Lettuce
Want fresh veggies and to save money? You can actually regrow romaine lettuce.
Window Mounted Hanging Herb Garden
Want to grow herbs? Try this pretty greenhouse!
We It Wild Bottle Gardens
Be eco-friendly and use old bottles. Create small greenhouses.
Build This Mini Greenhouse
Have a couple of wooden picture frames? You can make a classic Victorian style greenhouse.
Want to grow plants indoors? You need a little greenhouse.
DIY Make mini greenhouses from plastic bottles
Want a small greenhouse? Try this DIY.
How to Build a Flourescent Stand to Start Seeds Indoors
Want to start a lot of seeds for your garden? Create this growing stand.
Want a small greenhouse? Try this one to fit on your counter.
You can make a mini greenhouse simple, inexpensive materials. Look at this one.
DIY Indoor Organic Greenhouse
Want to grow herbs and veggies indoors? Here is a great DIY greenhouse.
Seed Starting 102 Homemade Mini Greenhouses
One of the best reasons to have your own greenhouse indoors, is for seed starting. It really gives tiny plants a chance.
CD Case Greenhouse
Have old CD cases? Why not make a DIY greenhouse?
Growing Sunflower Sprouts Indoors
Want to grow sunflower sprouts? Here’s how to do so indoors.
Egg Carton Greenhouse
Greenhouses don’t have to be big. You actually can make one an egg carton.
How to Propagate Herbs
Want to grow herbs indoors? Try this.
DIY Picture Frame Greenhouse Terrarium
I love terrariums, especially for spring decor, but the ones at the stores always seem to be so expensive! I am in love with this DIY version that Emily is sharing with us today! Can you believe she used inexpensive frames to make this? She is so talented! You can read all of the details and the full tutorial below.
Hello Ella Claire readers!
It’s me again, Emily from The Wicker House!
Today I wanted to share how to make a greenhouse picture frames.
I came across this idea one day on Pinterest and decided to give it a try.
The instructions I found there were somewhat complicated; so I have come up with a simpler way to make one.
Other instructions involve brackets, screws, and hinges.
I made mine with lightweight frames, hot glue, and white duct tape. I said: simple
18 Awesome DIY Greenhouse Projects
A DIY greenhouses can extend your growing season, allow you to propagate plants from your yard, and let you grow tender or delicate plants you might not otherwise be able to grow. I’ve seen lettuce and spinach grow in a greenhouse when there was a foot of snow on the ground.
An old gardening friend of mine would use her greenhouse to pot up all her volunteer seedlings from her yard, grow them in four inch pots in her DIY greenhouse, then have a plant sale to raise money for her charity. Any way you look at it, if you’re a serious gardener, you would love to get your hands on a greenhouse.
So how do we solve problems at TGG? We DIY – greenhouse projects, of course!
How to Build a Greenhouse
We found you some great DIY greenhouse projects and plans that range from a temporary cold frame, all the way to a full size backyard greenhouse! Before you pick out a project, read over our “getting started” tips to help you choose, site and start your DIY greenhouse.
Planning a Greenhouse
- Position your greenhouse running lengthwise east to west. This will give it the longest stretch of daylight each day.
- Make sure your greenhouse will get at least 6 hours of sun in the winter.
- Remember, if you plan on having electricity in your greenhouse, site it close enough to your source.
- Try to position it away from kids play areas.
- Make sure your DIY greenhouse has a working thermometer. You will need to pay attention to temperature unless your system has automatic venting. In the winter, the minimum inside temp should remain between 45-60 degrees for active growing. A sunny winter day can quickly heat up the interior of a greenhouse, even if its freezing outside. Be sure to open vents and allow cool air to enter when the temps rise too much.
DIY Greenhouse Projects
Oh, My, Amazing! Obsessed with this DIY greenhouse made from old windows! This is from Stephanie at ‘Garden Therapy‘. Forget the old way of making homemade greenhouses with plastic sheets over PVC, this is a full sized greenhouse that is so nice! I mean, wouldn’t you be proud to have this in your yard?
Love, love, LOVE this window DIY greenhouse. This one is a cannot miss! This is from ‘Liz Marie Blog‘, and is fantastic. I mean, magical, right? Made from old windows, I would possibly never leave this pretty greenhouse.
, ever. While there isn’t a full tutorial for this full size greenhouse (you could make it the previous tutorial!) be sure to scroll to the bottom of her post.
Liz Marie has a mini version of this project, complete with a tutorial!
A husband and wife teamed together to build a greenhouse made from vintage windows, and oh my. This is gardening church! Do you see that stained glass accent! Check out their project at ‘Hometalk‘! If you love this project as much as I do, you may want to jump over real quick and check out our post on DIY She Sheds too!
Here is a mini window DIY greenhouse by ‘Crafts Ala Mode‘. They simply screwed together old windows, and made this incredibly charming homemade greenhouse! Short tutorial walks you through it.
Love this DIY greenhouse from windows made by the folks at ‘Black & Decker‘. Full tutorial for this project, so start hunting for old windows!
Melissa at ‘Empress of Dirt‘ has a full tutorial and a video on her lean to DIY greenhouse. This is the perfect way to take advantage of wasted space, and add on a whole extra growing season. You have to click through and see the inside too!
This homemade greenhouse was made by ‘Modern Builds’ via ‘Ryobi Nation‘. They built this with just 2×4’s and polycarbonate panels. You can customize this plan to the size greenhouse you need, too. They even have a how to video.
From ‘Handyman Magazine‘, this DIY greenhouse looks so professional, we originally thought it was for sale! Follow along with their tutorial on how to build this for yourself, including instructions on adding an optional vent. Another with a how to video to make sure you build it right.
Want to save the earth? ‘Reap Scotland‘ has free plans on how to make a plastic bottle DIY greenhouse. What a great idea and re-use of materials! Update: A lot of people have asked about the instructions for the plastic bottle greenhouse…Our original source for this project no longer had the instructions, but we found a similar PDF tutorial for you at ‘Reap Scotland’, above. Enjoy!
Here’s another soda bottle DIY greenhouse for inspiration, photo by John Rutherford.
Ok, let’s get serious. ‘Ana White‘ made her own barn style DIY greenhouse from her plans, and it is incredible! All her DIY plans are amazing, but with all the step by step photos, I really feel I could make this. Now picture this filled with greenery and flowers!
No, this isn’t 1982. This geodome greenhouse is perfect for areas with high winds and heavy snows. ‘Northern Homestead‘ made this easy for the rest of us, because they did all the hard work. They even included a link to an online calculator to help figure out the mathematics of the dome!
DIY Mini Greenhouse Solutions
Need a quick and inexpensive idea for protecting plants already in the ground? 2-Liter soda bottles and some ingenuity create DIY mini greenhouses. From ‘My Brown Thumb‘.
Another take on this mini DIY greenhouse idea, using the plastic bottles within pots. This garden cloche idea is from ‘This Old House‘. Simply cut off the bottom of the plastic bottle, and slip over the plant in the pot. Remove the top when you need to vent the plant.
Planting seedlings? This is a genius mini greenhouse idea from ‘Garden Therapy‘. You might even be able to find cheap umbrellas at the dollar store. Just make sure they are clear to allow in light! Remove the handle, then insert into the container, or straight into the ground to protect seedlings or tender plants.
DIY Cold Frames
If you don’t want to build a full sized greenhouse, or you don’t have room for one, consider a DIY cold frame. They do the exact same thing as a greenhouse on a smaller scale. And, they can be portable too!
‘Sunset’ Magazine‘ teaches us the basics of how to build a cold frame.
‘Fine Gardening‘ has an audio slideshow taking you through all the steps to build a cold frame yourself. Plus, this really handy schematic showing measurements and materials.
DIY Greenhouse Kits
Ok, so suppose you don’t know if you want to take on the project of a DIY greenhouse, but you don’t want to pay a contractor to do it either. (Don’t blame you, that could costs thousands!) There is another option. DIY greenhouse kits. We found several options for you at several different price points.
You still build these greenhouses yourself, but all the materials get shipped right to you with full instructions. We the “Freeport Park 8×6 Polycarbonate Greenhouse“. It’s the perfect size for home gardens.
And, it’s free shipping! This one has tons of great reviews, and it’s pretty, too! The polycarbonate panels look glass!
The Mt Hood Greenhouse is pretty much the dream for us… It looks idyllic, yet has all the features a serious gardener needs.
Redwood frame designed to stand 100 mile per hour winds, twin wall polycarbonate walls and roof, two vents, prefer angling of the roof to catch the most optimal sun… the list goes on.
It is an investment, but one I know every one who loves their garden dreams of making. Maybe now is the time?
We had to include the Colonial Gable Greenhouse.
Made with Amish craftsmanship, this greenhouse could be a she shed, a guest room, or yes, the most amazing greenhouse ever! Everything is precut and pre marked for you, you just have to put it together.
The walls are in paneled sections, and all the glass is safety glass. This would be an amazing permanent addition to your homes’ value as well. Did we mention, free shipping for everything?
Greenhouse Kits Under $100
I used to use these tiered portable greenhouses to get my seeds and cuttings going every spring… You can even pick it up and move it indoors on a windy day! This 4 tier Growing Rack has enough space to start dozens of plants, is less than $70 and is free shipping! Great reviews too!
Finally, this 3×3 Foot Cold Frame Greenhouse has adjustable ventilation, and can even be put in place right over existing plants to protect them from late frosts, pests or deer.
If you loved our post on DIY Greenhouse Projects, then you won’t want to miss our post on How to Build a She Shed or 13 Indoor Vertical Garden Planter Ideas on our sister site OhMeOhMy! And don’t forget, if you Pin your favorites for later, you won’t lose them for when you are ready to do the projects! And don’t forget to join our Home & Garden DIY group and our Pinterest page so you see right away when we post new ideas and advice!
Note: This post has been updated with fresh projects.
Image Credits: Handyman Magazine, Garden Therapy, Liz Marie, Hometalk, Crafts Ala Mode, Black & Decker, Empress of Dirt, Ryobi Nation, Ana White, Flickr, Ana White, Northern Homestead, Brown Thumb, This Old House, Garden Therapy, Sunset, Fine Gardening This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.
42 Best DIY Greenhouses ( Tutorials & Free Plans! )
How to build great DIY greenhouses, simple cold frames, tunnels, and hoop houses on a budget with BEST tutorials and free building plans. Yes you can have a productive garden in winter and cold climate!
I can day-dream about them all day long … greenhouses and cold frames! They are such effective structures to extend the season, allowing us to grow an abundant garden year round, even in the snowy cold winter!
You will discover that you can have a great productive greenhouse or cold frame even when you have little budget and little carpentry skills.
Every one of these greenhouses and cold frames contain lots of inspirations to learn from. You will find ingenious ideas such as passive heating elements of painted jugs, straw bale as building material that needs no tools, using tree branches, old bottles, windows, and even a trampoline! ( Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here. )
1. Plastic Bottle DIY Greenhouses
Plastic bottle DIY greenhouse tutorial.
The easiest 1-minute DIY greenhouses, yet surprisingly effective. Check out the tutorial & 3 secrets to success here at A Piece Of Rainbow !
2. Cedar Branch Garden Hoop House
This DIY cedar hoop can last 30 years! If you have Cedar or other rot resistant trees where you live, they can be an attractive and all-natural alternative to PVC pipes. Just add good quality greenhouse plastic or less expensive plastic sheeting such as this one!
3. Collapsible Small Greenhouses
Just want to include these no-work version of greenhouses: these collapsible covers are made of Polyethylene greenhouse fabric. They are inexpensive and easy to store when not in use! You can find them here and here.
4. Pallet Greenhouse
Pallet wood is a great material to build garden structures planters and greenhouses! ( The Green Lever )
Here’s our favorite tool for taking apart pallets – a Duckbill Deck Wrecker that makes it so fast and easy!
All about how to find and use pallets as a building material!
5. Old window cold frame
Tara shares a tutorial from her fabulous book: Raised Bed Revolution on how to build a cold frame using an old window.
6. Simple DIY cold frame /mini greenhouse
A portable cold frame is easy to build and a great way to extend the growing season. Check out the video tutorial below!
7. Farmhouse DIY greenhouses using old windows
This charming little greenhouse is made from 4 window panels and 2 plywood panels. The authors sealed the plywood walls.
However, I would use real wood panels made from 1×4 wood slats or similar, if the greenhouse is exposed to lots of rain and moisture.
8 – 10. Straw Bale Cold Frame
Source: Storey | High Mowing Seeds
These are very easy cold frames to build. So simple and so ingenious! Straw Bales hold the heat as walls that need no tools to construct, just add windows or plastic, and frame.
Notice in this design where the glazing is sloped towards the south to allow in more light with tiers of growing space!
Before we talk about cold frames, I want to share with you two of my FAVORITE books on greenhouse gardening-
The classic is Four Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long by Elliot Colman. He gardens year round in cold Vermont, and shares simple, inexpensive designs for cold frames, unheated mobile greenhouses, and root cellars in this amazing book.
The new ground breaking ( literally) book The Forest Garden Greenhouse is written by permaculture designer Jerome Osentowski who grows bananas and citrus on a rocky hillside in Colorado with winters in -30s.
11 – 13. Easy A-frame DIY greenhouses
A-frame greenhouses are very easy to DIY. Here are 3 variations showing different easy-to-work-with materials such as straw bales, old windows, and poly sheeting. ( Source: 11 | 12 | 13 )
14. Hardware Fencing Hoop House
Dave’s Garden | Peak Prosperity
An easy way to create a hoop house tunnel is to use hardware wire mesh! The livestock panels used here are a heavy gauge galvanized welded wire fencing material. The plastic cover can be removable to allow beans, gourds etc to grow in the summer!
Remember the AMAZING gourd tunnel here?
15 & 16. Hoop House Over Garden Bed
PVC pipes are easy to bend. You can use floating row covers or greenhouse plastic to build hoop houses and greenhouse tunnels over garden beds. ( Bonnie Plants , and Whole Lifestyle Nutrition )
17. DIY Hoop House made easy
Cut sections from an old hose to clamp the greenhouse plastic to the PVC hoop. Great idea here!
18 & 19. Portable window cold frame ideas
Old windows plus salvaged 1″ x 12″ cedar equals …. awesome portable cold frames! Niki shares inspiring tips on using cold frames in her awesome book: The The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener: How to Grow Your Own Food 365 Days a Year (The lower image is from For the Love of Lillian, site URL expired. )
20 – 22. More simple DIY cold frame greenhouses
Here is another wonderful tutorial inspired by Niki’s book : The The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener: How to Grow Your Own Food 365 Days a Year
This cold frame has added insulation which would be great for really cold winter climate, and this cold frame with building plan has a light weight lid.
This large cold frame up-cycles old folding windows in a very creative way!
23. Cold Frame Along Masonry Wall
This one runs the length of a stone wall, facing south : ideal spot for a cold frame, as the stone (concrete works too) absorbs solar energy during the day and radiates it back out at night. ( Deep Roots At Home )
24. CD Case DIY Greenhouse
CD cases open and close, how smart! Meg‘s tutorial is filled with great details!
25. Small easy DIY greenhouses
In Rob’s Northeast garden, plants such as lettuce, kale, broccoli, were able to survive the sub-zero weather in these cozy cold frames. He has some fabulous free plans of DIY cold frames and DIY greenhouses to download. ( Bepa’s Garden )
26, 27. Easy to build A-frame greenhouses
Light weight and portable, A-frame greenhouses can be covered with plexi glass, good quality greenhouse plastic or less expensive plastic sheeting such as this one! ( Source: 26 | 27 )
28. Super Easy DIY Hoop House
Love the simple cross arch which is perfect for smaller raised beds the 4′ by 6′ one here. Instead of pressure-treated lumber, consider using 2×12 redwood or cedar, which are non-toxic. ( QT’s Random Ramblings )
29. Trampoline Hoop House with Passive Heating
A brilliant use of an old trampoline -no cutting of the steel required- just pull the frame pieces apart and there you have 2 halves of the frame.
I also LOVE the use of old jugs that have been spray painted black. They are filled with water. During the day the water heats up, and at the night, they radiate extra warmth inside of the greenhouse! ( Heather | How Does She )
30. Mini Box DIY Greenhouse
Anne‘s simple and beautiful DIY greenhouse is made from old windows, and the box shape makes it easy to build!
31. Retractable Hoop House
The smart design makes it easy to work on the garden beds! The hoop house is framed with o.5″ PVC pipe. They fit into 1″ diameter tees that glide over the aluminum pipe rails that are 3/4-inch-diameter. The garden beds are from 8-foot-long, 2-by-6-inch untreated fir.(Grit )
32. Hinged cover DIY greenhouse
Stephanie‘s greenhouse has a hinged cover on top of a raised bed: an easier way to remove the greenhouse cover!
33, 34. Hinged top cold frames and DIY greenhouses
More ideas on how to create a mini greenhouse or cold frame that can be opened for ventilation. ( Both images’ original sources seem to have expired. If you find it, please let me know! )
35 – 37. Free plans to build DIY greenhouses
Ana’s great DIY barn greenhouse plans and instructions inspired many versions!
A gorgeous large DIY greenhouse by The Elliot Homestead
38. Another DIY Barn Greenhouse
Barn style greenhouses are attractive and not too difficult to build. Here‘s another DIY greenhouse with step by step building photos.
39. Fold up DIY greenhouse
This small DIY greenhouse is fold-able! It measures only 4 x 4 feet, disassembles in minutes with wingnuts and can be built in a weekend.
40 & 41. Salvaged Window Greenhouses
These are bigger greenhouses for the ambitious! Each has great and unique ideas to learn from!
This one above is built by Andy at The Green Lever , a total of 24 windows and 16 pallets were used to build the greenhouse. It also harvests rainwater!
This one by Cheft at Instructables has built in vents, fan, etc. Comes with lots of detailed instructions.
This stunning blue green house from Fine Home Building shows us the magic that paints can do!
42. Plastic bottle greenhouse ideas
This pop-bottle greenhouse is built by students at Wilmington College Community Garden site in Ohio, The completed greenhouse has a 14×14’ “footprint” with old tires as the foundation and two rain barrels collecting water as a part of the north wall.
Another great example from Evergreen Scotland on flicker where you can get a clear view of how to join the plastic bottles together using bamboo poles.
Related article: Make a wood fired earth oven with recycled and easy to find materials.
Make a wood fired earth oven with recycled and easy to find materials.
43. Straw Bale Greenhouse
This beautiful variation of our other straw bale cold frames, is built along the south wall of an existing shed. It’s 10 feet by 14 feet, made of clear corrugated roofing panels. Gotta love straw bale construction! ( Source: Simplify and Save )
44 & 45. Geo Dome DIY Greenhouses
Awe inspiring, isn’t it ?!? A geodesic dome a beautiful and elegant structure. It offers stability in high wind locations, material efficiency, modular construction, optimal light absorption, and a chance of being voted the coolest backyard in town!
Northern Homestead | Astrid Degroot
Related article: 12 most beautiful backyard DIY sheds made from reclaimed windows.
Related article: Make a strawberry tower with recycled nursery pots!
Love these greenhouse ideas? Pin them to your gardening boards on Pinterest!
15 DIY Mini Indoor Greenhouse Ideas For Winter & Early Spring
Tania from Run to Radiance shows how to make this good-looking gold painted mini indoor greenhouse. Such a nice project for limited space gardeners. You can start your seeds in it or keep your indoor plants.
2. Egg Carton Greenhouse
This egg carton greenhouse is the next best gardening project to involve your kids in spring. Seeds will germinate quickly, and the best part is cardboard egg cartons are biodegradable. Separate the cartons, poke holes in the bottoms and directly plant the seedlings.
3. Plastic Container Mini Greenhouse
Transform a clear plastic container into a mini indoor greenhouse to start your seeds indoors. This website here has all the details!
4. Affordable Mini Greenhouses
If you’re looking for an affordable way to start seeds for your balcony garden, use plastic containers these as affordable mini greenhouses. This blog here has the tutorial.
Also Read: Budget-Friendly DIY Greenhouse Ideas
5. DIY Grow Light Shelves
This is a nice indoor seed starter project that can prevent leggy indoor seedlings. Turn an Ikea shelving unit into a grow light seed starting shelving with the instructions available here!
Also Read: Winter Flowering Shrubs
6. Mini Indoor Greenhouse from Dollar Store Photo Frames
Make a mini indoor greenhouse terrarium using a picture frame to keep your finicky houseplants happy. The step by step tutorial is here!
7. No Budget Windowsill Greenhouse
Make this no-budget windowsill greenhouse to make the seed germination easier from free of cost items. It’ll help in increasing the temperature and humidity for young plants. Check out the tutorial at Instructables!
8. Budget-Friendly Indoor Greenhouse
Call it a terrarium or mini greenhouse, your choice–you can make it from old picture frames. The Country Living has a great tutorial on it.
9. Mini Indoor Greenhouse for Seedlings
Young plants and seedlings are very fuzzy about temperature. Keep them in a constant environment with the help of this mini greenhouse. The tutorial is here.
10. Small Greenhouse from Storm Windows
She got 3 storm windows of similar size and decided to make a small greenhouse with them using other recyclable materials. The plan and directions are available here.
11. Indoor Greenhouse with a Light Fixture
If those tropical plants are suffering in your cool climate apartment, try to make this mini indoor greenhouse with a light fixture.
12. LED Greenhouse
Make an indoor greenhouse equipped with blue LED light. The tutorial is available at Instructables.
13. CD Case Greenhouse
This mini greenhouse is a great craft project and requires some DIY skills. It’s made from old CD cases. If you can find some and have the interest to make one for yourself, check out this link.
An old curio cabinet was turned into a hexagonal greenhouse, which has hexagonal or you can say honeycomb patterns. Everything about this project is available at Not Just a Housewife!
Also Read: Warm up your home this winter
15. DIY Countertop Greenhouse
If you want to keep your herbs growing in winter or looking to start seeds in early spring, give a try to this countertop greenhouse project. The tutorial is here!
Also Read: DO all these things Before 7AM