8 DIY Greenhouse Ideas That Turn Trash Into Treasure

"Make your plant parent dreams come true with these DIY greenhouse projects that utilize upcycled materials like bottles and old windows."

Having a greenhouse is every plant lover‘s dream. They allow you to create the perfect environment for your plants, as well as keep them safe from bad weather and backyard critters.

The good news is you don’t need to invest in a massive setup to enjoy these perks. You can make a DIY greenhouse using materials you already have at home.

No matter how much space you’re working with—a full backyard, dorm room, or apartment balcony—you can upcycle items that would otherwise end up sitting in a landfill into a DIY greenhouse. These materials can consist of jars, windows, plastic containers—anything, really.

Below are multiple different ways to create your own greenhouse. When you turn trash into treasure, you’ll be rewarded with thriving plants.

Give These DIY Greenhouse Ideas a Try

1. Plastic Bottle Greenhouse

terrarium in a bottle
Photo: Laura Young

Everyone has access to a plastic bottle, right? It turns out you can turn any plastic bottle into a terrarrium—aka a “mini greenhouse.” While all bottle sizes will work, you can also select larger bottles—such as water jugs—for a larger DIY greenhouse.

2. Sash Window Greenhouse

PHOTO: NOURISH & NESTLE

The next DIY greenhouse idea perfect for your plant friends consists of using a cold frame made out of old windows—preferably the older fashioned “sash window” with the squared window panes. Not only does it look aesthetically pleasing, but it also makes for a great functional greenhouse!

3. CD Case Greenhouse

diy greenhouse
PHOTO: TAUNI EVERETT

Just when you thought things couldn’t get more “re-purposeful,” you can also make a DIY greenhouse with old CD cases!

Thanks to the technological advances over the years, CD cases are no longer needed and are often discarded. However, if you have any plastic CD cases lying around that you’re not using and don’t want to waste, a CD greenhouse is your solution.

Need a DIY project for old CDs, too? Use this tutorial to turn them into a shiny disco ball planter.

4. Bubble Umbrella Greenhouse

PHOTO: PINTEREST

Bubble umbrellas aren’t only used for blocking off rain. They can also be used as greenhouses! With the clear polymer plastic cover, they provide the aesthetics of a greenhouse, as well as excellent protection. Plus, you can easily fold them up and store them when they’re not in use.

5. Rotisserie Chicken Container Greenhouse

diy greenhouse
PHOTO: HOMESTEADING DOWNSIZED

Rotisserie chicken containers make for great mini greenhouses since they come with a clear dome lid. Poke a few holes through the bottom of the container and in the top lid with a pencil for drainage and ventilation. Then, add plant mix and some topsoil and you’re good to go!

6. Mason Jar Greenhouse

diy greenhouse
PHOTO: JENNIFER RIZZO

Take some of those jars that your jam, pickles, tomato sauce, and any other food items come in and give them a new life as mini greenhouses. If you have extra Mason jars to use, you can use those, too!

7. Lightbulb Greenhouse

diy greenhouse
Photo: Instructables

Is this not the cutest mini greenhouse ever? Instead of tossing out a used lightbulb, put it to use as a unique piece of decor that’s great for any windowsill in your home.

8. Old Window Greenhouse

Photo: Garden Therapy

If you’re looking to make a larger DIY greenhouse for a bigger backyard, this solution uses recycled windows that vary in size. The larger options are used for the walls, and the smaller options are used for the roof.


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Make your plant parent dreams come true with these DIY greenhouse projects that utilize upcycled materials like bottles and old windows.
potted green plant

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