DIY: free mini greenhouse for dummies

As DIY maniacs, we’re always on the lookout for resources, right? Broken coffee mug? Na-ah, planter for a seedling. Random plastic bag? I think you mean ‘WATER PRESERVING POT LINER’?

So when I saw a cast-off pane of glass from a refrigerator, just hanging around my friend Ron’s house, I was like:
Rinske [casually moving in direction of glass pane]:
‘Hey, Ron, you’re doing anything with this?’
Ron: ‘No, I was going to throw it out…unless you want it?’


When I found an old book case in a dumpster later that week, I put two and two together and made…one. Plus a bit of a mess.
This mini greenhouse is super easy to assemble, doesn’t cost anything, and works like a charm, especially if you have a small garden and/or want to give your seedlings a head start!

kweekbak040515Book case in question. No kitties were harmed
during the making of this mini greenhouse.

DIY mini greenhouse
You need:
– square or rectangular box made out of a sturdy material.
Minimum depth should be 30cm or 12inches.
(- wood glue)
– pencil.
– saw.
– sandpaper.
– pane of glass that slightly overlaps the top of your box.
– dirt.

I was able to simply saw off the parts of the book case I didn’t need, because the construction was glued together solidly. If you’re using part of an old cabinet and you’re afraid it’s going to fall apart, you might want to strengthen the existing construction with some extra glue and/or screws.

Step 1
Place box on the ground with the opening facing up.

Step 2
To create saw lines, draw two straight lines along the sides of your box, going down at an angle. Make sure the sides of your glass pane are longer than these lines. Don’t go too steep. At the end of both lines, draw two small lines going straight up. (see picture 13.8A)

Step 3
Follow instructions as shown in picture 13.8A. When in doubt, call Ikea and yell at them about the missing part. This is unrelated to anything, but might make you feel better.

mini_greenhousePicture 13.8A

Step 4
Sand the edges and slide the glass pane into place.

Step 5
Fill the box at least halfway up with dirt. Consider drilling some holes into the bottom for drainage. Realize you’ll have to get the drill all the way from the shed. Reconsider.


That’s it! You’re done! I oiled my mini greenhouse to preserve it a bit longer, but that’s totally optional and I only did it because I had some leftover floor oil sitting around. I also made some elliptical holes in the sides and nailed lids of take-out containers in front of them – from the inside – to create windows, because I’m fancy.
You can take or leave this step.

Your mini greenhouse will work best when the side that slants down is facing South. You could place it in a corner, on top of the chicken coop – anywhere you have some room left!

Oh, and if you’re scared of paint- or other particles from the inside of the box contaminating your soil…

Have fun! 🙂

Look! It’s working!



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