Instructables
A countertop Greenhouse I gave to my mother for Christmas. Designed to help 4 small pots in a herb garden grow on the bay window at her house. Made out of simple wood, vinyl and hotglue, all parts cost less than $20 and can be picked up at various big box stores.
 
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Step 1: Aquire the materials

It all started when I decided to get my mother a herb garden for Christmas. I had a vague memory of a countertop greenhouse I saw at an Ikea store about 5 years ago. It was made of thin wood and thin plastic. I decided that a plain old herb garden starter kit wasn't enough, it needed a greenhouse to go around it. In my folks kitchen bay window, it would do great.

First thing was getting the major materials together. These where:

  • 1" x 4" x 8' board of southern yellow pine. I could have purchased two 8 foot pieces of 3/4" square moulding, but decided to rip up a 1 x 4 instead. Half the cost, twice the material as the moulding. I picked up the 1x4 at Lowes for $4.75 plus tax. The moulding is $5.23 for 8 feet and you need two of them if you go that route.
  • 1 yard of heavy duty clear vinyl that I picked up at Wal-Mart. Cost of $2.57 plus tax.
  • box of (24)#8 x 1/2" panhead sheet metal screws. This was $0.83 plus tax. You need ten of them for this project but that's a handy size and style to have around so I don't mind the extras. I had just used up my old surplus in another project last week.

This greenhouse is 10.5" wide by 10.5" deep by 15.25" tall. It fits four small pots (3.25" dia) comfortably and hopefully has enough headroom to have the herbs grow tall in.

I decided to use 3/4" sq wood because that is what is available as moulding for those that don't have a way to rip up larger boards into smaller ones. Since a 1 x 4 board is in reality 3/4" thick by 3.5" wide, I just had to cut the board down to a 3/4" width and I'd have my 3/4" square.
bits612 years ago
This is great! I would like to suggest one piece of vinyl for the roof front and back, folded in the middle and glued inside the peak. Would this work?
Dr Qui2 years ago
Nice idea, I have a low wide wall i want to use for cold frames and i might give this idea a try.

A nice addition would be a cheap 12" x 12" led grow light in the lid so you could have an all year round growing period, can be picked up on eBay dirt cheap they are rated at 15w but when tested on a power meter they only seem to use 6w. 
rendermatt3 years ago
does anyone know where within wal mart you can find the clear vinyl? I haven't been able to find it anywhere and have been using the 3-4 mil cloudy plastic sheeting. Thanks
If your local walmart has a craft section you'll find it there. Otherwise try craft stored like Joanns or Michaels. Another option is the bath section, if you can find a clear vinyl shower curtain on clearance you can cannibalize it.
Jouda Mann7 years ago
And speaking of "moist" heat, I wonder, whamodyne, if you shouldn't have used some kind of mechanical device to keep all of the parts together (nails, brads, screws, Etc.)? With all of the moisture in the box, and just water-based glue holding it together, will it still be usable in 6 months? let us know how it works for you. Great instructible, btw. I live in an apartment where my living room window faces East, and I have been racking my brain looking for a way to use the incomming sunlight in the mornings. I will probably look seriously at your idea. Thanks.
I wonder if a different glue (like gorilla glue) that sets and hardens when exposed to moisture would do the trick.
puffyfluff6 years ago
It's so cute! I have been thinking about doing something like this, and this is perfect!
We would love to see your finished product....
Nah, it's too problematic. Saerox is a timehog.
Oh ;-( Good luck with Saerox anyway......
kenif7 years ago
UV exposure and a few cycles will take care of your hinges, but help is at hand. Richco make a plastic strip called Living Hinge (SLH-16-1). It's polypropylene with a high cycle life even at cold temperatures. Plus, there are no abrasion particulates so you can use it in a clean room!
johnjay kenif5 years ago
Canvas or leather would work well here too.
ewilhelm5 years ago
This project was mentioned in Popular Mechanics's 10 DIY Gifts for Friends and Family.
so would it be possible to make a bigger version maybe like those green houses u buy so u can save cash on buying a greenhouse and maybe put a small heater in there and keep it on low to keep the plants warm so they grow better or no
Depending on what you are growing, you would want to make sure that the heat inside is "moist" heat. "Dry" heat will cause many plants to wither.
Icepick7 years ago
nicely done im going to build one my baby nasturtiums to grow in.
lemonie7 years ago
I like to see a good wooden-construction.
chuckr447 years ago
You could take a piece of sheet metal, paint it black, and place it in the back of the greenhouse (inside it). When the sun strikes this black metal plate it will heat up the inside of the greenhouse nicely.
ramseyrules7 years ago
Thats awesome! I'd be really interested to see if those hinges really work. Great instructable.