Here is a list highlighting the best DIY mini greenhouse projects!
In general, a mini-greenhouse is perfect for people who don’t have a lot of space and want to extend the plant growing season. You can use it in all climates and create various models with shelves. That way, you can grow the different plants at the same time in the same space!
A mini greenhouse protects the plants from frost and ensures they stay warm. It is also a great way to keep the plants safe from animals!
These small garden structures are also suitable for beginners. Once your skills improve, you can invest in more advanced structures and build complex greenhouses for professional planting.
1. Plastic Bin Greenhouse
Let’s start with the simplest mini greenhouse you can use for seed starting. You have to prepare a plastic storage bin, seed container, soil, seeds, and seed tracking paper. You can use small pots as seed containers.
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Also, your plastic bin must have a lid for the greenhouse to work. If you are using an old plastic bin, wash it thoroughly and sterilize it before you put the soil in and seeds.
Then, put the soil in the pots with the seeds, and arrange them in the bin. Plant the seeds and water thoroughly!
If the weather is warm, you’ll need to vent the greenhouse. You can pop the one edge of the lid to chill the plant.
You can see this video to know more:
2. Plastic Bottle Mini Greenhouse
The next idea might not look like a traditional greenhouse, but the working principle is the same. You’ll need an old plastic bottle, scissors, soil, and seeds.
Peel off any stickers from the bottle, and ensure the bottle is clear so it can transfer the sunlight. Cut the bottle in half and remove the cap. In the bottom of the bottle, pierce a few holes with scissors. It will ensure good drainage.
Then, follow the instructions on the seeds for planting and put your plastic mini greenhouse near the window where it can receive enough sunlight.
Water the soil and watch it grow! Once the plant overgrows current space, transplant it in the garden or larger pot.
3. Umbrella Greenhouse
Did you know that you can use a clear umbrella to make a greenhouse for your plants? You can get the umbrella from a dollar store and score some great prices!
The rest of the supplies are also cheap, and the process is simple.
Remove the handle of the umbrella and insert it in the pot. Ensure the umbrella is about the size of the pot and watch your plants thrive! The umbrella method works for veggies and plants you should plant late in winter, or early in spring.
4. Make A Greenhouse From Old Windows
Here is another idea based on recycling the old things! This time, let’s use old windows as construction material.
The list of materials needed for the project is long, but the final result will be worth it! You’ll need old windows, pine boards, door pull, hardware, safety gear and brackets.
Before you start, don’t forget to prep the windows, clean and sand them to make the structure easier to work with and suitable for painting.
You can make a roof with pine boards, and place the greenhouse on the side table for easier access!
5. PVC Greenhouse With Shower Curtains
You can make a greenhouse for your plants using PVC pipes and shower curtains. Also, to build this one, you’ll have to add hinges for the roof. The removable lid also makes the greenhouse suitable for warm times.
Please note that shower curtains need to be transparent so the plants can get enough sunlight!
I recommend using duct tape to secure the curtains on the pipes. It should hold up well during the entire season.
6. A Closet-Like Greenhouse
The next DIY mini greenhouse is great for a deck or patio. It will also work for growing multiple plants at the same time because of the shelves!
The first thing to do is to build the frame with removable shelves. That way, you can customize the spacing between shelves to grow taller and shorter plants.
If you have a suitable store-bought shelf in the garage, you can use that one instead. Lastly, use a hanging closet organizer with a zipper to protect the plants and keep them warm. Because of the zipper, you’ll always have easy access to your plants.
When choosing the closest organizer, ensure the fabric is see-through, so the plants get enough sunlight.
7. Mini Herb Greenhouse
Best chefs grow their own herbs and always have them fresh for dishes! A countertop greenhouse is an excellent way to ensure your herbs remain fresh and healthy year-round!
A tabletop greenhouse you can find in the antique stores, or create simple ones using pine boards and hinges. Keep the greenhouse where your herbs can get plenty of sunlight!
8. Small Greenhouse From an Old Swingset
The next project seems complex, but it is actually relatively easy to do if you have all the necessary items and tools.
An old swing set frame is your starting point. Then, build the sides of the greenhouse at the right angle. I also recommend framing the doorway and adding hinges to access your plants.
You’ll need a second pair of hands to help you with all the nailing. Once you build the sides of the greenhouse, add plastic, transparent curtains to cover all gaps.
The inside of this small greenhouse is warm, cozy and moist! However, keep an eye on the plastic for potential tears, and replace it if necessary.
9. Cabinet-Style Greenhouse
The next project also includes old windows, but it is slightly more complex than the previous window-frame greenhouse. You’ll have to prepare the frames, sand them and repaint them in the color you want.
You’ll need one window for the roof, two for the sides, and one for the back door. For the bottom, you can make the base from wood planks.
Once the construction work is done, add two layers of paint to the cabinet. You can keep the cabinet-style greenhouse on your porch or patio, in a sunny place.
10. Hula Hoop Greenhouse
The hula hoop is a fan item for kids to play with, but it can get additional purpose in the garden! You can use it to build a trellis or to make a simple small greenhouse for your plants.
The project requires two wooden planks and at least two hula hoops and plastic wrap. Cut them in half to get four even C-shaped objects. Attach the hula hoop parts to the planks, and cover the structure with plastic wrap.
You can also push the hula hoops directly into the ground, but the structure will be sturdier if you use wooden planks.
11. Foldable Greenhouse
You can build a foldable greenhouse from PVC pipes and plastic covers. The structure is sturdy and can protect your plants from frost and cold weather. But, when the weather is warm, you can easily bring the structure up and expose your plants to the sunlight and warm weather.
Therefore, pick a place close to the wall, on the sunny side of your backyard. The spot should receive at least six hours of sunlight per day.
You can cut the pipes yourself, or get them pre-cut. Build the frame and add plastic foil to cover the structure.
Best tips for growing plants in mini greenhouses during winter.
12. Pallet Greenhouse
You can use pallet wood to build a wooden greenhouse if you have a limited budget. Before you start, prepare the pallets and remove the nails from racking. Sketch a plan for your greenhouse and do the measuring before you start.
When building a greenhouse from pallet wood, don’t forget to build the shelves for the plants.
13. Cold Frame Greenhouse
If you want to protect raised beds on your balcony or in the garden, you can build a frame greenhouse. You’ll need poly sheeting to cover the frame and the total costs of this project are low because you can repurpose a lot of materials.
You can raise the mini greenhouse over the wood planter
You can raise the mini greenhouse over the wood planter for the best results. If not, you need to create a wooden planter.
Match the size of the planter with the size of the frame.
14. Kids-Friendly Mini Greenhouse
In between complex projects of building small greenhouses from wood and different materials, here is a simple one that even a kid can do! You’ll need two plastic glasses for the mini greenhouse.
Plant your seed in the one, and piece the drainage holes in the bottom. Then, put the second glass on top of it to protect the plant inside. Use tape to connect the two glasses together.
Because the greenhouse is easy and cheap to make, you can build as many small greenhouses as you need to start the growing season!
15. CD Case Greenhouse
In order to reduce plastic consumption, you can give the old plastic items a new purpose. For example, who uses CDs anymore? But, before you throw the old CD cases, give them a new life and make a plastic greenhouse from them.
You can also detach the bottom part of the case and insert it in the soil on top of your plant. Glue the cases together and add painter’s tape to hold them in place until the glue dries completely. Connect at least six cases this way to build greenhouse side panels.
Create a roof from whole cases and you’ll make yourself a simple ventilation method for your greenhouse!
16. Bamboo Poles and Plastic Bottles Greenhouse
Plastic bottles are great recyclable material for building garden structures. The next one seems complex at first. But when you break things down into small tasks, the task becomes simpler.
The first thing to do is construct a sturdy wooden frame. Then, collect the bamboo branches and many plastic bottles. Pierce the end of each bottle.
Create a string of bottles on each bamboo stalk and attach it to the frame to create sides. The bottles are transparent, and they will pass enough sunlight to the plants. The construction is practical and stylish at the same time!
17. Cold Frame Mini Greenhouse
If you are a novice carpenter trying to make small greenhouses around your home, use cold frames and install them at a 50-degree angle. It ensures that the sunlight hits the plants at the right angle.
You can build the footing from used clay bricks or wooden planks. Scrap wood is perfect for the frame, and you can use a window on the top. Install hinges to open and close the window easier. I also recommend using foam insulation and styrofoam for better winter protection.
18. Ikea Greenhouse
Turning transparent Ikea cabinets into mini greenhouses is the latest gardening trend! It is suitable for indoor use when you provide the humidifier, grow lights, and fans inside.
I also recommend using the device to measure the humidity. Ideally, inside, the humidity should be above 90%.
The most challenging part of this project is assembling the glass Ikea cabinet, and the rest is simple. You might have to drill the holes for cables.
You can see this video to know more:
What you can make from an indoor greenhouse – a paludarium.
19. Don’t Throw The Old Doors
I’ve already provided several ideas on how to use old windows for greenhouses. But, you can use old doors with glass panels for the same purpose! Your greenhouse will be larger and can accommodate more plants.
If you have several doors and windows, build a full-size greenhouse and save money on the material.
Build a wooden casket and use hinges to attach doors on top. Because doors are heavier than windows, you’ll have to use sturdy hinges that can hold the doors!
20. DIY Modular Greenhouse
The next idea requires you to create a garden bed frame first. If you are making a durable greenhouse, pick redwood. Place a sheet of chicken wire on the bottom of the frame. It will ensure good soil drainage.
Then, use PVC pipes to build the covering frame. Before you put the plastic covering on top, you can add large-weave mesh, which will hold everything in place.
A small greenhouse like this is great for vegetables.
Extend The Growing Season With Mini Greenhouses
Many plants thrive in high humidity, and plastic is a great material for trapping humidity. Mini greenhouses help germination and protect the seeds and established plants from weather and pests.
So, the primary reason why people build greenhouses is to extend their growing season. You can grow numerous plants in greenhouses, including flowers and veggies.
Luckily, you don’t have to invest a lot of money into building a greenhouse. You can make one from recycled materials, such as old plastic bottles, glasses, old windows and doors, hula hoops, etc.
Is there a project on the list you are particularly interested in? Please share your thoughts on the list and tell me what plant do you normally grow in a greenhouse!