Glass Jar Greenhouse

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Introduction: Glass Jar Greenhouse

1. Build a wooden frame - I used 10x10cm fence posts.

2. Collect a lot of glass jars - I asked my office canteen to save their empty jars for me.

3. Stack the jars with the open end inwards inside the wooden frame.

4. Fill the gaps between the jars with moss - depending on where you live you may want to spray the moss with water.

5. (optional) I tiled the floor with the lids from my jars.

6. (optional) big jars make great seedling starters (mini greenhouses)

7. (optional) collect rain water in a jar and siphon it into plants. (see photo)

8. Roof - I am still looking for a really good solution, first i just had a sheet of plastic stapled on. My second attempt was with some termo plastic sheeting - this looks better than tarpaulin and it insulates better but not easy to find as a recyclable material... I think perhaps a "green roof" (grass/living roof) would be optimal. then perhaps use some jars or bottles as skylights... but I dont have a good solution for actually building such a construction (yet)

Step 1: 1. the Wooden Frame

I used 10cm x 10cm "fence" posts ... which worked out quite nicely with the average height of my glass jars.

My greenhouse is "free standing" but I guess it would be best to have some sort of foundation if building on grass - the final structure is quite heavy.

It is important not to make the spaces between the posts - too large, stacking the glasses can be tricky - and if they are high up can be dangerous.

Step 2: 2. Glasses

My greenhouse is roughly 2M square - and when its finished will probably have used about 1000 jam jars. (and i have only filled 3 out of 4 walls). I asked all my neighbours and colleagues to bring me their jars. The canteen at work was also great for getting over sized jars - the big jars can have multiple uses.

Step 3: Rain Collection

I 3D printed this adapter to collect rain water. The files are available from thingiverse.

I am working on an updated system ... coming soon !

Step 4: Floor Tiles

I mixed some fine gravel and a bag of cement (no water) - I spread the mixture on the floor about 1cm deep.

I then pressed in the lids, trying not to think about the order and colours. (I like the random look)

After a few days the gravel/cement mixture had absorbed moisture from the air and had set.

tip - I was amazed at how many lids were required to tile the floor. You might want to make sure you have enough lids before you start setting them in cement.

Step 5: One Year Later

I made some wooden gutters (2 planks glued together),.

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    75 Comments

    Love your creativity, this is so artsy looking. That colorful floor makes me smile :).

    :) thanks

    Wax or paraffin to hold the bottles tight. But I guess heat would be an issue.

    This is a great idea! It reminds me of the cordwood building popular in parts of the US. If I can suggest for the roof, use the plastic signs politicians use for their campaigns. Just shingle them on and voila a cheep and nice roof. My father saw one farmer that used them to roof his chicken barns with them, he would go the losing candidates and get the signs for free. However I have one concern about the heat retention of the walls. With the gaps between the jars filled in with just moss how warm would it stay in the winter?

    Great job, absolutely love it

    Thank you.
    Which finals ? :) I am new here and have not fully understood exactly what I have enrolled in.

    Regards,
    Lars Felding

    For being a finalist in the Reuse Contest. Usually you get notified via email if you are a finalist in a contest but lately those notifications are not coming often.

    I love what you did here.

    I would like to try it myself , maybe utilizing this:

    https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-use-a-wet-tile-saw-to-cut-glass-bottles/?ALLSTEPS

    :) thanks

    For the roof, I've seen recycled cans converted into shingles. It isn't as fun as a green roof, but it also is not as heavy.

    1 reply

    I think this is a good idea :) I had the same idea :)

    do you remember where you saw it ?

    The problem is that here is Denmark we return our drinks bottles and tin cans and get money back - used cans have a financial value ! a while back I started picking up cans which had been flattened by traffic on the roads (the barcodes are usually unreadable and thus they loose their monetary value)

    I have been planning a "tin-can-test-roof" over my hammock - but collecting hundreds perhaps a thousand squashed cans will take me forever ! and getting friends and family to pick up dirty cans off the street is not feasible for me - so for now it remains as a good idea. I would however like to see a finished roof !

    Pretty cool project. But I would be concerned about the metal lids eventually rusting through and becoming sharp and therefore a hazard to people's and pet's feet. Maybe pour a layer of 60 minute epoxy resin over the entire floor to seal it which will protect it from the elements and protect feet at the same time. Still...I really like you green house. Very cool.

    Just an idea, but what if the jars were left filled with water and capped? Would that act like an insulator - keeping temps from dropping too low at night, and cooler during the day - much more of a consistent temp inside? Anyone tried it?

    cool idea but I would have made it with plastic bottles

    The walls are ok but using the metal caps for the floor may not be a good idea. These metal caps will rust and becomes dangerous with potential to get tetanus when barefooted. This is especially so when they are on the floor and gets wet easily.

    Here in Mazatlan, Mexico, there are people who have built homes out of plastic soda bottles and cement...really cool