How I Built the Baby Greenhouse

I've had so many requests for more information on how to build my little greenhouse that I finally sat down to write up some details for those who want to build their own.



A few months back, I scored 3 storm windows exactly the same size.  I wanted to build a cold frame with them, but when I saw  a tweet about upright cold frames I got totally excited and knew this was what I wanted.  Since I was going to build this myself and since the size of the upright cold frame was quite large, I decided instead to build something to fit the windows I had.  Plus I used a ton of scrap lumber and materials I had lying around and cleaned up my shed in the process!!  Total cost for this project $0.00!  :)



I Googled "Build a Tiny Shed" to find a basic idea of how to proceed and found some free plans from a Reader's Digest website.

I built a box frame out of 2x4s (I have this greenhouse against my house and under the eaves so a pitched roof isn't as necessary). The depth and the height are an inch bigger than the window measurements.  The width is 6 inches larger than the window I planned to use for the door to allow for the 2x4 frame on each side of the doorway.

I used screws to attach the 2x4s together.  When I had the box put together, I added two 2x2 cross pieces to the sides so I could run a shelf across them.  I wanted to allow for vents along the sides of the back wall, so I centered a piece of plywood by adding crosspieces at the inside top and bottom of my frame to secure the plywood to.  The crosspieces run on the inside of the 2x4s so the back of the panel is set in slightly from the outside edge of the  2x4s - see below:  (I apologize to any carpenters who may be reading this!)  I added another piece of plywood to the bottom 2x4s for my floor.




I then ran two additional pieces of wood across the base to account for the fact that my pallet supports run parallel to the sides of my greenhouse.  With the extra "legs" in place, I can shift the greenhouse to any position on that pallet without it falling through the cracks.  It also allows for the door to sit inside the frame.




When I was done building the frame, I primed & painted it.  Then I attached the windows using more screws.  The door is attached with two medium weight T-hinges and I put a latch on it so I can keep the door closed when I want to.  I also had to add a 1x4 piece of wood to the door window because there wasn't enough wood surface on the window to allow for the latch to be attached to the window & because the latch wasn't long enough to reach the outer edge of the greenhouse where the catch was to be installed.

For the moment, my roof is just a pane of glass with a plastic frame (it was another storm window).  It doesn't quite extend far enough over the edges to keep the rain out, so I plan to build a wood frame for it and attach it with hinges to the back of the greenhouse so I can prop it open when I want to.

So there you have it & now that I've totally confused you all, I expect many more comments & emails asking for more details...



Happy building!   And please send me photos of your greenhouses when you build them - or a link to your blogpost about them!

Here's the original post if you haven't seen it yet:

Cheers!


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36 comments:

  1. Hi Anne, Thanks for stopping by my blog. What a great little greenhouse project! I like all the little decorative things you have filled it with too.

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  2. That is the cutest thing ever! I love that you made it yourself! The decorations are perfect in there. Great job!

    Visiting from Coastal Charm's party.

    Have a great day!
    Pam

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  3. Oh my goodness Ann, I love this! I did a little post about a greenhouse made from old windows but I absolutely adore yours better. Hey by the way, thanks for stopping by, it's always nice to meet new people!

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  4. This is so adorable. I love your choice of paint color and the seed sign on the back wall. It is charming and refreshing! What a quaint little backyard green house. My bunny would say it's hers and grow herbs! andrea@townandprairie

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  5. FANTASTIC.. LOve it.. Hi there, I found ya via blog hop and had to stop in and say hello, LOVE all your creativity and space here.. Excited to get to share in more blog fun reads and inspiration from ya.. I'm officially following ya.. I'm Marilyn via http://theartsygirlconnection.blogspot.com/2011/09/its-officially-fall-crawl-day-1.html - hope you can stop in sometime.. TY

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  6. PS: I am looking to feature some creative and artsy bloggers and will LOVE to have you if you have the time.. It'll truly be a pleasure.. Please contact me if you are interested via theartsygirlconnection@gmail.com thanks so much.. : ))

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  7. What an awesome tutorial! Thanks for sharing at Craft and Tell!

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  8. Great idea! Your mind is always working.

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  9. Wow...this looks great!...Thanks for dropping by.
    Your green house is wonderful.....!

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  10. This is very pretty, and I like that you used recycled materials for a lot of it--well done!

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  11. Thanks for the useful tutorial!

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  12. Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial. I remember when I first saw this - just gorgeous! So glad to see you back at The Creative Spark.
    Jenn :)

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  13. I love the use of the old windows. I am a new follower.

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  14. Super charming- I love using old windows for inspiration for projects too~ stopping by from DIYbyDesign- you are always welcome to come share at Feathered Nest Friday too!

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  15. We were just getting ready to start building a cold frame so this post is timely (for us anyway) Thank you so much for sharing such a detailed tutorial. Yours is charming!

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  16. Oh, oh! I love this! I am going to show this to my husband, I would love to have a little green house for my summer plants I would like to winter over. Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Inspiration Friday!

    Heather

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  17. The math is making me dizzy but I want one (quick, come on over - you build it and I will ply you with cocktails and bbq)!
    Kelly

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  18. Love it Annie ... I want to build one with old windows.
    Blessings,
    Audrey Z.

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  19. I love how cute this is! I'm wanting a BIG version made out of vintage windows.... maybe for next spring's seed planting!

    ~Chris

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  20. This is great!! I love the paint color you chose! Visiting from Inspiration Cafes awesome linky party!

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  21. I really love that paint color, too. You never cease to amaze with your skill, Anne, this is great project!

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  22. I love this project Anne - I found it even before I started blogging.Just awesome xx Nat

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  23. This is just adorable!! I literally love it! Very nice.

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  24. Loving this. Absolutely adorable.
    With love from India. XO

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  25. Oh, my gosh - terrific use of recycled windows and wood - just what we happen to have. My husband is not only super handy, but he also wants the greenhouse. Thank you so much for such a detailed tutorial! I may copy yours right down to the color!

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    1. Thank you Betty! I had only a vague idea of what I was doing when I built that greenhouse so you should be just fine. What a nice compliment!

      xox

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  26. Every time I see that baby greenhouse, I want to build one. Should have picked up all those windows that were out for trash and I would have enough to build it.
    Love what you do.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

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  27. What material did you use for the top since you only had 3 windows?

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    1. It's a piece of glass that can be removed and replaced (or covered) with plywood for the winter.

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  28. Hi! I love this project and want to build one for my wife (and kids)! What materials did you use to protect the wood/paint from rain/water damage?

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    1. Thank you! All I used is an exterior paint & primer. Every other year, I give it a topcoat to freshen it up.

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