Around here at TGG, we would grow green things 365 days a year if we could. But Mother Nature didn’t consult with us, so we are constantly looking for ways to outsmart her. These DIY indoor greenhouse ideas will let anyone garden when it’s cold outside.
Whether that means starting your seeds indoors early in the spring, or bringing tender plants indoors for the winter… or even just pampering your prize houseplants and keeping them protected from cold drafts and dry winter air, we have your indoor greenhouse needs covered.
It doesn’t matter if you just need a mini tabletop or windowsill greenhouse to just start a few herbs, or need to set up a full-sized DIY indoor greenhouse for the basement or living room, we found a tutorial to help you grow everything you want to grow, when (and where) you want to grow it. So, let’s check out how to build an indoor greenhouse!
Ikea Greenhouse Cabinet Hacks
Ok, we hear ya. The first thing you might be thinking is, “What are these things going to look like in my pretty house or apartment?” Our other blogs are about DIY & decor, so we totally understand the desire to let your indoor greenhouse match your personal interior design preferences!
So, for those of you who fall into the “function after beauty” camp, this is for you. We found some amazing Ikea greenhouse cabinets that are genius hacks for plant lovers like us. If you don’t have an Ikea nearby, no worries: you can use other types of cabinets as well.
We are in love with these easy, DIY indoor greenhouse projects. I mean, an Ikea greenhouse cabinet is pretty, it’s practical, and… did we mention pretty? It’s so freakin’ pretty! Check out how these bloggers make these DIY indoor greenhouses with no, or very few tools, without breaking the bank.
Indoor Fabrikor Indoor Greenhouses
With Grow Lights
If you really want an Ikea greenhouse hack that works for you, adding grow lights is the way to go. This one, ‘By Brittany Goldwyn‘ is not only gorgeous, but it also has lights for plant growth. She makes brilliant use of a temp and humidity sensor to monitor the inside of the cabinet. She used the Fabrikor Ikea cabinet for her DIY indoor greenhouse idea, but you could use any size cabinet for the same project.
Brittany’s site has tons of helpful photos to help you see exactly how she made her indoor greenhouse, and how she uses it.
Not only do her humidity-loving plants get a respite from the harsh, dry winter air, her cat and little kiddo can’t get into the plants as easily. On top of this indoor greenhouse’s functionality, it’s also gorgeous. Are we repeating ourselves? We have shared a lot of Brittany’s projects over the years, but this may be our new fav. I’m afraid with the amount of houseplants I hoard, I may need a slightly larger Ikea cabinet, however.
Also, make sure to pay attention to her little tip… Some plants don’t love the high humidity of a greenhouse. (Check out her snake plants on top!) So make sure you don’t assume all of your plants will want to be re-homed here. You could also use this same cabinet (thanks to the grow lights) to start flats of seeds.
With an Ikea peg board
Another Ikea greenhouse cabinet from ’Brandon’s Orchids‘ on Instagram uses Ikea’s handy Fabrikor cabinet. Brandon also put a waterproof Ikea peg board onto the back of his cabinets, allowing him to hang plants as well. It makes the most out of a small space, which can be a perfect indoor greenhouse idea for those who have limited room to work with. Kinda brilliant, right?
With a humidifier
If you live in a dry climate, or just don’t want to make your entire living room a humid jungle, why not use an indoor greenhouse to create a damp environment that can house humidity-loving plants?
Over at ‘Midwestern Jungle“, they added a humidifier to their Ikea DIY indoor greenhouse. It was a simple $35 addition, and those plants sure look like they love it! Don’t know if we mentioned it before, but the Fabrikor has adjustable shelves, so you can customize the cabinet to your exact needs.
Milsbo DIY Indoor Greenhouse
‘Rachel Aust‘ uses Ikea’s Milsbo cabinet to make her stylish indoor greenhouse. She also added LED lights (from the aquarium store) and a mini humidifier to keep her plants super happy.
Rachel is a nutritionist, personal trainer and wellness coach (be sure to go check her out!). Who knows more than a wellness coach how important plants are in our lives? She has tons of step-by-step instructions for how she created her indoor greenhouse using this Ikea hack.
Like these other indoor greenhouse ideas, Rachel’s is super simple. A drill is the only power tool required to make a plant paradise right inside your home!
Ikea Detorf Greenhouse Hack
‘Sprouts and Stems‘ made an Ikea greenhouse cabinet for small spaces using the Detorf model. This tiny, narrow cabinet could be squeezed into any unused spot to give yourself a place to grow. This one could even make a perfect apartment greenhouse because of its slim design. This is a DIY indoor greenhouse with LED lights and humidity. But this project requires zero power tools.
Other Greenhouse Cabinets
While we love these indoor greenhouse ideas that transform Ikea cabinets into a thriving oasis for indoor plants, there are plenty of other ways to bring the outdoors in!
Using picture frames
‘The Cape Coop‘ took a bunch of old 11×14 picture frames she had laying around, some lumber and some screws, and created a DIY indoor greenhouse, from picture frames. She uses it in a bright corner of the room to raise flats of seedlings. She also grows plants in it that might be poisonous to her kitty, and that’s huge for us pet lovers.
This indoor greenhouse idea is ingenious; not only does it recycle old materials, it also makes for a beautiful display. No one would be embarrassed to show this off front and center in the living room! Remember, if you don’t have a bright window to place your greenhouse in, you might want to add some grow lights.
Using an antique cabinet
An old curio cabinet that you grab from a thrift store can also make for an incredible indoor greenhouse. These usually won’t be too expensive, depending on where you shop, and you can get creative with how you decorate and customize it!
Simply water the plants and close the door to make a perfectly warm, humid environment for your plant pets. Enhance it with grow lights, humidifiers, or anything else you can think of to create an ideal habitat for your plants.
Using a coffee table
An indoor greenhouse made from a coffee table is the perfect way to blend function and style! This video from Costa Farms shows how they found an old, glass-topped coffee table at a thrift store and transformed it into an indoor greenhouse that’s worthy of being the centerpiece of your living room.
Creating an indoor coffee table is also incredibly space-saving, making it a practical option, too.
This coffee table greenhouse from Who Put All These Plants Here on Instagram is made by lining the bottom of a glass coffee table with plastic and cardboard to create a watertight seal. It’s not an airtight, closed greenhouse, but a grow light and the glass top will help trap warmth and humidity.
DIY Mini Greenhouses
If you just want to start a couple of seeds, or show the kids the wonders of nature, then these little DIY mini greenhouse ideas should do the trick. We love these for starting seeds quickly on the windowsill. They don’t take up much space, many can be made from recycled or inexpensive materials, and they are super easy.
Plus, what gardener doesn’t love being able to watch the magic of a sprouting seed unfold before you? It’s kind of one of the best parts of gardening indoors or out, isn’t it? Being able to observe that seed emerge from the soil, or a new leaf unfurl, is one of those feelings that only nature can provide, right?
A windowsill greenhouse is just a quick way to grow with available light, right on your windowsill. Jump on over to ‘HGTV‘ and find out how to turn recycled plastic food containers into DIY mini greenhouses. This project is not only easy, its free! Also, it helps keep plastic out of the landfill, which is something we all want to see more of. And, they work!
These indoor, windowsill greenhouses are named as such because they’re small enough to perch right on a windowsill for maximum lighting – a difficult balancing act that you can’t pull off with a larger seed flat. These miniature models are the perfect greenhouses for one or two plants.
Here, we’ll show you how a two-liter pop bottle, or empty berry or produce containers, can be turned into the perfect little humidity domes for your cuttings or seedlings. They also have an option for reusing egg cartons, and then placing them in recycled bread bags for humidity.
Using a two-liter bottle
We love this indoor, windowsill greenhouse idea because it repurposes something that would easily get thrown away. Simply clean out an empty two-liter pop bottle and carefully cut the neck off, ensuring that it’s tall enough to house your plant without squashing any leaves. Use the plant’s existing pot to create a base, and you’re done!
This indoor greenhouse is ideal if you have one small plant that needs a little extra humidity to thrive. Regular watering and plenty of sun will foster the perfect environment.
Using berry containers
Another great way to recycle used plastic is to turn old berry containers into indoor greenhouses that will fit right on a windowsill! There’s no prep work required here; just fill your container with soil, if you’re starting from seed, and add water to ensure things are hydrated in there.
It’s not just berry containers, too – those domed plastic takeout boxes can also be transformed into a perfect oasis for a small plant.
Tabletop DIY Mini Greenhouse
Not quite windowsill sized, but not an entire cabinet, an indoor greenhouse that just needs a tabletop’s worth of space can still be an attractive and effective way to house your plants!
Using picture frames (again!)
While we love the large indoor greenhouse that we featured above, that doesn’t mean you can’t use a few household frames to create an attractive tabletop home for your plants.
Here is a tabletop DIY mini greenhouse made from picture frames and 1×2 pine. ‘110 Things 2 Do‘ got inspired first from a Pottery Barn piece, and then by the tutorial of another blogger. Then she pulled on her tool belt and put together this simple-to-build miniature indoor greenhouse.
You could use this indoor greenhouse as a terrarium for tropicals, succulents or air plants as well. The hinged lid makes it easy to care for plants. We wonder, could you add a little strip of LED lights to the top of the lid? It’s worth trying!
Using picture frames (one more time!)
We weren’t done with the picture frame greenhouse ideas! ‘Anna Maria Larsson‘ made this super cool DIY greenhouse out of picture frames as well.
The tutorial isn’t in English primarily, but if you scroll down the page, there is a translation. You can also always call on Google Translate. We love how this indoor greenhouse looks with the natural frames. But, of course, it all depends on what frames you choose – remember that a little customization goes a long way! Check out Ikea for inexpensive frames that are large enough to use in this project.
Using bamboo skewers
Need a super cheap DIY indoor greenhouse idea? Then jump on over to ‘Instructables‘ and find out how bamboo skewers and a plastic drop cloth can make the perfect place to grow plants! We would suggest using a clear drop cloth, for maximum light for the plants. It’s an inexpensive indoor greenhouse idea that is easy to put together, too!
This DIY indoor greenhouse idea would be great for getting seed starts going!
Using a pastry display case
If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a pastry display case, this idea from Tiny Green Universe creates a greenhouse from a cookie display! It’s proof that with enough creativity, and maybe some grow lights, anything can be an indoor greenhouse!
Using a clear storage bin
‘The Glorified Tomato‘ used this cool little greenhouse hack that’s so incredibly simple, yet awesomely effective. The instructions? They turned a clear plastic storage container upside down. That’s it!
It makes for an awesomely flexible indoor greenhouse idea, too. You could prop the container open on days when the humidity or temperature gets too high inside. Notice that he has a desk lamp pointed right at his seedlings? It’s a brilliant, yet wonderfully easy way to control the environment of your indoor greenhouse. You can order LED grow bulbs from Amazon. They fit into any standard light fixture. Uh, yes, please. We just ordered four of them. :)
How to Build an Indoor Greenhouse (A Serious One.)
These smaller, more manageable indoor greenhouse ideas are great, especially if you’re working with limited space, or only have a few plants you need to care for. For bigger projects, though, you’ll need a much larger indoor greenhouse.
If you’re ready to go all, “I am the one who grows” on us (and BTW, we fully support that!), then you are going to need something a little more… well, serious. So a basement greenhouse DIY might be exactly what you are looking for.
Jump on over to ‘Fine Gardening’ and find out how one woman turned her entire basement into a greenhouse. Basically, she set up grow shelves with lights, and then used the basement heater for temperature control, just for the plants. She has fans to control humidity. She winters over hundreds of tender plants this way, and then starts her spring seedlings on flats. Can we just say, we’re a little bit in awe?
So if you love your plants like we do, we know at least one of these DIY indoor greenhouses caught your eye. What will you be growing this year? Don’t forget to check out our posts on outdoor DIY greenhouses, Top Seed Catalogs and also How to Start Seeds.