Any way you look at it, if you’re a serious gardener, you would love to get your hands on a greenhouse. For instance, do you ever wish you could continue gardening after the weather has cooled at the end of the season or start gardening well before your last frost date? Maybe you want a dedicated space to propogate plants, pot up your containers, and plant flower baskets? A greenhouse lets you do all that. They’re like little gardening havens in your backyard, protecting delicate plants from frost and creating a little slice of summertime right when you need it most. But they are pricey! No worries, we firmly believe for any problem out there, there is a DIY solution. So let’s see how that applies with DIY greenhouse projects, shall we?

DIY Greenhouses

collage showing three home-built greenhouses and text saying 24 greenhouses you can build

Why build your own DIY Greenhouse?

We’ve already mentioned plenty of benefits to having a greenhouse – extending your gardening season, having a dedicated garden workspace, etc. But why build it yourself? Saving money is a pretty good reason. It’ll always be cheaper to DIY a greenhouse than buy one online, though we do have some reasonable greenhouse kits at the end of the post.

Beyond the savings, though, there are plenty of reasons. The biggest benefit is simply the fact that you get to create a greenhouse to perfectly suit your needs. Make a greenhouse for some raised beds, or go all out with a potting stand, vegetable wash station, garden tool storage, you name it! Or, maybe by the time you look through this post you realize you just need to protect a select few plants or beds from the elements. We’ve got solutions for that, too!

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.

Things to consider when planning a greenhouse project

  • 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.
  • Plan on having electricity in your greenhouse? Remember to site it close enough to your source.
  • Try to position it away from kids play areas.
  • 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. That said, make sure your DIY greenhouse has a working thermometer.

The basics of building a greenhouse

These are some of tasks you’ll need to take on to build your own greenhouse, courtesy Home Depot’s guide on how to build a greenhouse.

  • Choose and build a foundation- options include building one from contact-rated wood and/or pouring concrete
  • Build a frame- you might use a simple PVC hoop house frame, or build one from wood
  • Choose a greenhouse covering- this could be plastic sheets, old windows,

DIY Greenhouses

From Handyman Magazine, this DIY greenhouse looks so professional that we initially thought it was for sale! Follow their tutorial on building this yourself, including instructions on adding an optional vent. Watch their how-to video to make sure you build it right.

Ok, let’s get serious. Ana White made a barn-style DIY greenhouse, and it is incredible! All her DIY plans are amazing, but with all the step-by-step photos, I really feel like 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 snow. 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!

12 Great DIY Greenhouses

This beautiful greenhouse is absolutely perfect, with equally stunning plans and instructions to match. But of course, it’s from Family Handyman so we would expect nothing less. This beauty would be a picture perfect addition to any backyard.

large wooden greenhouse with flowers blooming inside

Greenhouses made from windows

I am 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. Like, ever. While there isn’t a full tutorial for this full size greenhouse (you could make it based on 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 like gardening church! Do you see that stained glass accent! Check out their project at ‘Hometalk‘!

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.


Here’s another project using repurposed old windows, and it is so cute! We love the tiny size of this little DIY greenhouse from @cozycottagelife on Instagram. It’s perfect for displaying little potted plants as she does here.

mini diy greenhouse made with old windows

Lean-to Greenhouses

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!

Check out this gorgeous DIY lean-to greenhouse from Backwoods Home Magazine. Complete with step-by-step instructions and pictures, this beautiful lean-to greenhouse will have you growing in abundance in every season, right outside your backdoor!

wooden lean to greenhouse

This homemade greenhouse was made by Modern Builds. They built this with just 2×4’s and polycarbonate panels. You can customize this plan to the size of greenhouse you need, too, plus they even have a how-to video.

Upcycled DIY greenhouses

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!


Here’s another soda bottle DIY greenhouse for inspiration, photo by John Rutherford.


DIY hoop houses

Hoop houses are an excellent greenhouse alternative! Here are a couple of our favorites that you can do yourself. 

Off Grid World shows you how to make a fantastic hoop house for just $50! You can’t beat that price point for a great way to grow your favorite plants all year. They have excellent pictures and plans you can follow to make your own. 

hoop house

For an awesome DIY hoop house that you put over any raised bed, check out this tutorial from HGTV! It’s so simple that you can crank it out in an afternoon. Plus, the cover can be removed during warmer weather and reused once it turns cold. Win-win!

pvc hoop house on raised bed

On that note, of course I can’t forget to include my own tutorial! It’s very similar to the one above, only I prefer to use pex tubing rather than PVC because it is much easier to work with. It’s bit less sturdy, but a breeze to cut and bend and has held up perfectly well for me! These do a great job at protecting my ranunculus, and they are so easy to set up and take down when I am in a hurry.

frost tunnel covering two long raised beds

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 like in this example from My Brown Thumb. These would be perfect in the event of an unexpected cold snap after you’ve already planted seedlings you’ve painstakingly started from seed.

18 Awesome DIY Greenhouse Projects

Another take on this mini DIY greenhouse idea is using 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. I can see these being fantastic to save young, tomato plants in the event of a frost.

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.

 Already have a raised bed? Convert it into a cold frame to extend your season, or keep growing during the winter! Dunn Lumber shows us how it’s done in a few hours with minimal materials. 

tent shaped cold frame

Like some of our adorable greenhous examples above, upcycling an old window is a charming, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly way to build a cold frame. Savvy Gardening has a great tutorial with step-by-step instructions, a materials list, and photos. So adorable! 

mini cold frame with window as top

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 like this “Mythos 6ft x 6ft 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 like glass! Note: If this one is sold out, here is another similar greenhouse kit with great reviews and free shipping!

18 Awesome DIY Greenhouse Projects

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?

18 DIY Greenhouses

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.

18 DIY Greenhouses

Small Greenhouse Kits Under $150

This 4 tier Growing Rack has enough space to start dozens of plants, is less than $70 and is free shipping! What’s great about this option is that it can easily be moved for use as in indoor greenhouse, perfect for starting seeds. It’s got great reviews too!

18 DIY Greenhouses

Finally, we love this small greenhouse! This “40″ x 21″ Mini Greenhouse” is the perfect DIY greenhouse kit for smaller plants and super easy assembly! If this one is out of stock, try this Zenport cold frame instead.

And if none of these were quite what you were looking for, you can go check out all the greenhouse options at ‘Wayfair’, most with free shipping!

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 Facebook group and our Pinterest page so you see right away when we post new ideas and advice!

DIY Greenhouses

Note: This post has been updated with fresh projects.

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  1. Anna Scott November 25, 2023 at 1:28 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful guide on how to build a greenhouse. I found it very helpful and informative. I have always wanted to have a greenhouse in my backyard, but I didn’t know where to start. Your article answered all my questions and more. I love the variety of greenhouses you have and how you explained the pros and cons of each one. They all look amazing.

  2. Michelle August 18, 2020 at 7:30 am

    I LOVE all these ideas! So inspiring. I can’t wait til we can build a greenhouse!

  3. Garrett January 21, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Hi, great diy greenhouse ideas. I built one a few years ago. I used 3m plastic, my vegetables flowered but never produced. It eventually ripped due to wind and fell apart so I had to take it all down. Anyway I’m wondering what the deal with the plastic and the plants not producing. Thanks

    1. jana sutherland March 17, 2016 at 6:41 am

      Did you allow access for pollinators such as bees?

  4. Lillian Keeton December 14, 2015 at 3:56 am

    I have pinned the greenhouse made from plastic water bottles. The instructions are no longer on the site. Would love to have the instructions. It was posted by Ana White.

    1. Kathy Woodard December 14, 2015 at 11:14 am

      Hi Lillian! It does appear that it is no longer on her site, and after doing a search, we haven’t been able to track it down… we will keep looking for you!

      1. Lillian Keeton December 18, 2015 at 3:38 pm

        Thanks Cathy. I appreciate all your

        1. Lillian Keeton December 18, 2015 at 3:41 pm

          Thanks Kathy. I appreciate
          all your help.

  5. mei yun chang October 1, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    I like so beautiful.

  6. Laurie May 24, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    I bought a few plants at an early bird sale in April had to think of a quick and easy greenhouse for my new plants. I used my large wire kennel. We had not used it for years and I didn’t think the dog would miss it. I set it in my garden and wrapped it with clear plastic. I wrapped the door separate so I could use it to check on the plants. It worked like a charm and the plants thrived for four weeks. Now I know I can hit the sale next spring!

    1. Jayson May 6, 2017 at 6:35 pm

      That’s a great idea!
      What did you use for the top roof supports? They have 10x10x6 foot chain link kennels with door for $299 at tractor supply that I think would make a great greenhouse base.

  7. Linda April 28, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Thanks so much for featuring my mini greenhouse made from old windows!! Much appreciated. Feel free to take any pictures from Crafts a la Mode. Of course, I love the link back. Thanks so much again. Linda Crafts a la Mode

    1. Kathy Woodard May 21, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      Thanks Linda! We LOVE your greenhouse project!

  8. Simona Moon March 25, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Beautiful ideas! <3 If I had a garden I would try that!

  9. Suzye December 22, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Excelente! !! Shows.


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