Build an Easy 5 X 5 Home Greenhouse for Under $25




About: Hello. I am the host of the pod cast, The Pond Plant Girl I am here, because I have tons of ideas about how to better grow your garden with simple inexpensive tools, such as my latest - a 5 x 10 ... Here is how you can build your own home greenshouse for under $25.

The main pic is a larger version of the 5x5 Greenhouse. See the actual 5x5 image below. For more pics and info please see my website at:


See more videos

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Supplies Needed

  • 1/2" PVC Pipe
4 sections, Total Cost about $8.00

  • 1/2" Corner Elbow Connectors
4 with 3 ports

  • 1/2" Adapters
4, Connectors + Adapters total cost about $4.00

  • Primer and PVC Cement
Total cost about $5.50, Borrowed cost = $0

  • Scissors
I had scissors - my cost $0

  • Long Zip Ties
My cost $1 from the dollar store

  • Hack Saw or Pipe Cutter
Borrowed - My cost $0

  • Visquene or Plastic Sheeting
6' x 6', 3.5 mil (6 mil is ideal)
Thin clear plastic will not withstand past one season.
Box of 10' x 25' is $13.50, Cost per section roughly $7.50

  • Total Cost = $20.50

Step 2: PVC Pipe

Assemble the pipe on a dry surface in a well ventilated area, such as a patio or driveway, and cut 2 of the 10' sections of PVC pipe in half, making a total of 4 - 5' sections of pipe.

Step 3: Assemble With PVC Primer and Cement

Swipe the inside of the elbow pieces and the ends of the PVC pipe with the purple primer. Do not swipe the inside of the threaded elbows.

After the primer dries, attach the elbows to the ends of the two 5' section of pipe with the PVC cement.

Attach the 10' section of pipe to the unthreaded end of an elbow with PVC cement and press down firmly.

Step 4: Here's Your Basic Shape!

After the cement will dries within a few minutes, carefully bend the 10' section of pipe and attached to the other unthreaded end of the 5' section of pipe with cement. Leverage might be needed to bend the pipe, such as leaning up against a wall to prevent slipping while bending the pipe.

Repeat instructions for framing the other side of your greenhouse.

Step 5: Cut Out the Pattern for the End Hoops.

Lay down the cold frame end on the plastic sheeting and cut out the end piece to attach. Be sure to leave at least 6 inches overlap. Allow for corners to be cut out in an L and pleat curve side. Only cut pleats about half way into the sheeting. Do not cut all the way down to the pipe line.

See pattern below.

The black is the assembled pipe
The blue is the outline pattern for the plastic sheeting
The green is where to cut the L corners
The red is the pleating. More can be made if needed.

Step 6: Attaching the Plastic

Attach the plastic sheeting to the frame with zip ties starting with the straight edge. Be sure to tuck plastic around the pipe. Slice small holes through plastic close to the frame. I poked a few of my holes too far from the frame structure, but it still looks just fine. Pull ties tight and trim tails. Repeat all the way around the frame.

Step 7: Connecting the PVC

Screw in threaded adapters to threaded elbow end. Attach the remaining 5 foot sections of pipe to the adapters to complete the frame. If you want a temporary structure, do not glue the bottom of your greenhouse pipe together. However, you will need duct tape or cement blocks to brace the base of your greenhouse. If you are using it out in the yard, you can also anchor it down with camping tent spikes.

Step 8: Covering the Frame

Cover frame with remaining plastic sheeting and cut to size.

Attach sheeting to frame ends with zip ties from top of frame to half way down. This will allow for access to the inside of your cold frame and will allow for airflow on windy days.

Edges of plastic sheeting can be weighed down with metal washers or clamped to frame.

Slice small holes in top of cold frame plastic to prevent rain water from puddling.

Step 9: Wow! That Was Easy!

A small cold frame greenhouse can be assembled in 1-2 hours. Cover your garden or pond to keep plants warm on cold winter days and nights!

Step 10: My Next Instructable

My next Instructable will be about how to build a snow country greenhouse and how to efficiently heat it with either solar or wind power. This picture shows heating with a dryer vent, which should only be used if put on a timer system.

If you have any questions or great ideas, please email me at!


:-) GAiL



    • Indoor Lighting Contest

      Indoor Lighting Contest
    • Stone Concrete and Cement Contest

      Stone Concrete and Cement Contest
    • DIY Summer Camp Contest

      DIY Summer Camp Contest

    145 Discussions


    3 years ago

    This will be destoyed in high winds. If you get high winds were you live do you self a favor and get thicker everything and reinforce where you can. I am now trying again :(

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    ooff.. thanks for the tip, I live in Patagonia and we get some really high winds here, specially in summer.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    COOL! I love it!

    It's a plain, simple, easy to build design.... 8 D

    I had built something like this years ago for my chickens, but I use railroad ties & cattle panels for the frame. Over the top of this frame, I bought & used 3 heavy duty insulated tarps that were fastened to the frame with baling wire at the bottom & heavy duty plastic zip ties at the top.

    For those that know not what cattle panels are, they are a type of fencing for cattle made from 1/4 inch stel rods welded together. they are (usually) 4 feet tall by 16 feet long. very sturdy, very weather resistant, & very heavy(both in weight & the way they are made).


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is a great instruct able and cheap able. Your steps are really active to build nice

    home greenhouse for under $25. I saw a greenhouse company, to get new information about build an easy home greenhouse from that please visit here


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is a great instruct able and cheap able. Your steps are really active to build nice

    home greenhouse for under $25. I saw a greenhouse company, to get new information about build an easy home greenhouse from that please visit here


    4 years ago

    Thanks for doing this. I have a science fair project that I am doing that I am using plants to complete. This will help big time. It is fall right now and it happens to be due in winter so thanks!

    Can his be put on a wooden deck or would I need to contain the heat completely? I want to grow tomatoes and cucumbers during the winter in NC. Any suggestions on the best way to grow them based on the greenhouse structure you showed above? I can grow plants, and I can build this gh model. I just don't know what else to put in it i.e. heaters, black containers etc to be successful. Thank you for your help.


    10 years ago on Step 1

    Where am I to get "Visquene or Plastic Sheeting?"

    Also, is there a way to seal it air tight?
    I want to make a carbon-dioxide hiyperberic chamber, as is it was in the pre-flood era (Yeah, I'm a Christian, and proud of it!)

    If any one reads this, you'll know why I want to build one. Think about it! A tomato tree, that can produce over 13,000 tomatoes in it life-span!

    To bad I can't have a warehouse sized one. *sigh*

    (I hope I did the URL link rightATMOSPHERIC EXPERIMENTS)

    10 replies

    Better be careful, the Lord may not take kindly to you manipulating His creations in such a scientific manner. Recall that even in Sodom there existed a high level of technology and material comfort abounded, only to allow morality to be corrupted by sin. Remember, the Lord drowned the inhabitants of earth for a REASON! If He meant for this technology to be saved, he'd have told Noah to take it with him.

    The best place to purchase visquene is at Lowes. They seem to have the best price. You can purchase it in small amounts to very large amounts. It all depends on your needs. The plastic can also be purchased at Home Depot and even online at eBay. The easiest way to make it more air-tight would be to caulk the holes and attach the sheeting to the base of the structure. I choose not to make mine air-tight so that a strong wind will not blow the structure down. Hope this helps! Please remember to tell your friends about me! HAPPY GARDENING GAiL


    Tis looks like a terrific idea. It is pretty cold in the northeast today, but I will be thinking about this as a way to start my veggies early next spring. Thanks


    Hey! You are welcome. Cold frames (mini greenhouses) are great for getting that jump start to the spring garden. However, I am working on a design to have a veggie garden year round. Thanks for the nice comment! You can check out more of my videos at and at :-)


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    This is very cute and petite. Just right for a temporary one for me. But you still did not explain why use the threaded extensions? I keep finding that in different places, but I create the stuff and omit it with no problems what so ever.
    Oh, and your website specifications are a little bit more detailed. Reading this DIY I could not figure out what lenght PVC I needed until about half way down where it said to put the 5' one here, and the 10' there.
    So you are saying buy this many 10' ones, and from those, cut this many into 5' ones to use at the base.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Hi all,   "Vizqueen" [sp?] is a brand name for the FIRST plastic film VAPOR BARRIER for use beneath Concrete floor slabs.  Before that tar paper ["builder's felt"] was used, with joints being sealed using hot melt Tar.

    The Vizqueen made a much easier installation, and less chance for error and thus ground water vapor getting up into and through the Concrete slab and into the building.

    Vizqueen first became available [I think] in the late 60s or early 70s, and since then there have been many competing brands to become available.

    Plastic vapor barrier usually comes in long rolls, and one cuts off what is needed.  Due to multiple "fold-overs" the box in which the roll comes is only about 4 or 5 feet long.  One or the other brand of vapor barrier can be obtained at most Home Improvement stores [Lowes, Home Depot, Sutherland's, etc.], many of the local hardware supply stores, and most lumber yards.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    In that case, get rid of your house, the furniture, the plumming, the toilet,etc. For you are messing around with God's creation in making sure you survive the brutal weather. If God wanted you to have a house, he would've given you one. Adam and Eve didn't have one, why should you? You can also get rid of your horse and buggy. God did not give you transportation of any kind. Walk naked and figure out what is God's will or not.
    (yes, I believe this is a nice and constructive comment.)