I’ve been dreaming about a small Greenhouse in the garden for a long time. Suddenly having some old windows left from another project, I decided to finally build my Recycled Window Greenhouse. I decided to do a Mini Greenhouse, or at least a Small Greenhouse, and I wanted it to look like a piece of furniture.. like a small cabinet. One requirement was to be able to use it both as an Indoor Greenhouse during the winter, and as a nice piece of furniture in the garden during spring, summer and fall. This is my DIY Guide showing Step-by-Step how I build my Mini Greenhouses.
I will try to describe step by step how I did my Mini Greenhouse. I hope that you can follow if you want to build your own. If not, don’t hesitate to ask any questions or give any feedback. I have more pictures that can be uploaded if they are helpful to you.
STEP 1: CHOOSE AND PREPARE THE RECYCLED WINDOWS
Start by preparing the Recycled Windows for you Greenhouse. Try to choose windows that are in a good size for you. You want to plan for the “roof window” to be approximately the same with as the two windows for the front door.
The windows in my construction had the following measurements:
54×130 cm = 1 for Roof window
60×140 cm = 2 for the front “doors”
54×140 cm = 2 for the sides
For preparations you want to:
1. Remove all old painting. I used a heat gun to help making the old paint easy to scrape of.
2. Apply new Window Putty. (There is plenty of films on YouTube for how to do this..)
3. Paint the Windows. You will have to to this in several steps. I used outdoor color since I want to be able to have my Mini Greenhouses both indoors and outdoors. I applied the first 2 rounds of paint before i started building the Frame, and the last 2 rounds after I had put the Windows into the cabinets.
The preparations take a while. This is the moment where you need to be patient.
STEP 2: PLAN AND BUILD THE FRAME
This is were you will have to adjust the measurements after the windows you have. Start by laying out the ‘Front Door Windows’ and the ‘Roof Window’ on the floor to see what size your cabinet will be. Remember to add about 1-2 centimeters extra, it will be needed for the Hinges and to fasten the Windows. The final painting will also add a few millimeters to your construction. It’s always easier to add an extra distance if you need to, than to adjust/remove parts of the frame.
I added about 40 cm below the Windows to be able to put a Water Reservoir into the bottom of the Mini Greenhouse when i move them Outdoors for the Summer.
Now take the measurements. Remember to cut the top of your frame into an angle for the roof Window. The angle used in my construction is 30 degrees.
Now start building the frame. Build your frame constructions with Wood Screew (outdoor use) and use irons where needed. Make sure to “testplace” your Windows into your construction every now and then to make sure that you get the measurements right. I started with the front and then continued with the sides.
Here’s some more pictures of the construction of the frame. It’s easier to add the pictures, than to try explaining by words. Depending on the meassurements on the Windows, you have to adjust your construction. I had to do some thinking on how to build the Frame around the Roof Window. Fasten the Roof Window with Hinges as you construct the frame. You will se my construction in the images below:
STEP 4: FLOOR AND BACK OF YOUR FRAME
Now add some “Floor” your Frame, and cover the back with wood. I actually don’t know the English translations of different construction material (feel free to add the right wording in the comments if you know, and I can update this Guide).Choose what you think matches the look you want your cabinet to have. Make sure that the wood is at least 2 cm thick, to give stability to your constructed Frame.
STEP 5: THE OUTER PANEL
It’s now time to cover your Frame Construction with a wooden panel. I did choose an Indoor Panels, since I didn’t want to make the construction to heavy and massive looking. It will still be fine outdoors since I painted it with outdoor Paint. This Step requires some patience, since you will have to do some special cuts to fit the pieces together in a nice way.
STEP 6: PAINT THE CABINET
Since I had already applied the first two rounds of Paint to the Windows, I decided to apply the first two rounds of Paint to the cabinet frame before fastening the Windows. It’s easier to make sure that all parts of the Cabinet is Painted properly if you do some painting before fastening the Windows.
STEP 7: FASTEN THE WINDOWS
Finally reaching the step where the Windows will be fastened to the Cabinet. This is the best part. The Mini Greenhouse is coming toghether!
I used Hinges for the ‘Front Doors’, but not for the ‘Side Windows’ since I dont need to open them. You can of course choose to be able to open all Windows if you want to. I decided to add window plates to make the construction a bit more water resistant.
STEP 8: FINAL PAINTING
Now it’s time to do the final painting. According to my Painting instructions for Outdoor Paint – that meant 2 more rounds of paint to be applied.
STEP 9: ENJOY!
You’re done. Sit back and enjoy your work
I will add some shelves in the next couple of days, and also add hooks for my grow lights that needs to be in the greenhouse for the winter/indoor growing season where I live. Will keep you posted as I progress, but this is it for now. Good luck and please share your project if you decide to build a Mini Greenhouse.
Update, 30th of May
Here is a picture update from the Mini Greenhouse. This Greenhouse Cabinet has now moved outdoors and is delivering Tomatoes already, and soon also some other fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits.
Update, 2nd of June
This Mini Greenhouse is still going strong! 🙂 I’ve been using it for winter sowing in january-march, and for Tomatoes from april. I’ve added a water reservoir to the bottom of the greenhouse.