Turn Old Windows Into a Gorgeous Garden Greenhouse

Not sure what to do with those salvaged windows? Try this charming DIY.

July 17, 2019

Did you impulsively buy a load of old windows at the thrift store, but now have no idea what to do with them? Even if your answer is "no," this DIY is definitely one to put on your to-do board. Not only is it easy to build from upcycled items, but makes a stunning backyard centerpiece when filled to the brim with all of your favorite plants.

Upcycled Window Greenhouse

Upcycled Window Greenhouse

Not sure what to do with those salvaged windows? Turn them into a charming, cottage-inspired greenhouse.

Photo by: Shain Rievley

Shain Rievley

Materials Needed

  • safety gear
  • (4) large salvaged windows
  • large side table
  • 2x2 pine boards
  • thin pine boards
  • cloth
  • drill + bit
  • wood screws
  • (4) L-brackets
  • (2) antique hinges + hardware
  • antique door pull + hardware
  • white paint
  • decorative finials + shelf brackets
  • antique ceiling tin

Find + Clean Up Windows

Upcycle 300 - Green House

Photo by: Shain Rievley

Shain Rievley

For this project, you’ll need four large, salvaged windows, equally sized. We suggest looking online, at yard sales or antique shops. Give the window frames and glass a thorough cleaning before beginning.

Safety Warning: When working with antique items, always be sure to test for lead first and wear the proper safety gear.

Prep and Assemble Windows

On the bottom of three of the four windows, add thin strips of wood cut to the length of the windows' bases. In order for the windows to still fit together as a square, cut one of the wood strips an inch shorter on each end — this strip will be attached to the back window. Attach wood strips with screws, being careful to avoid the glass. Stand the windows up on their bases and join together using two L-brackets at each joint.

Add Door & Hardware

Attach the fourth window to the front of the "box" using two antique hinges, so that it functions as a door. Attach an antique door handle to the front.

Construct Roof

Construct the roof using 2x2 pine boards. Before starting, paint all of the wood to match the windows. The measurements of the roof are completely determined by the size of windows used, but the easiest way to build the roof is by working with right angles. First, build a square frame with the 2x2s that matches the dimensions of the top of the window box. Secure together with wood screws. Next, cut a 90-degree notch out of four separate 2x2s. This will be where the roof eventually rests on the square frame. Once the notches are cut, cut the notched 2x2s to length and attach at the peak using a horizontal 2x2 board that matches the length of the square base.

Add Decorative Elements & Attach Roof

Add further stability and style with decorative shelf brackets in the eaves and pretty finials on the top. Once you’ve secured the roof to the windows, top it off with antique ceiling tins.

Attach to Table & Fill With Plants

Turn Old Windows Into a Gorgeous Garden Greenhouse

Turn Old Windows Into a Gorgeous Garden Greenhouse

Did you impulsively buy a load of old windows at the thrift store, but now have no idea what to do with them? Even if your answer is "no," this DIY is definitely one to put on your to-do board. Not only is it easy to build from upcycled items, but is an absolutely stunning backyard centerpiece when filled to the brim with all of your favorite plants.

Photo by: Shain Rievley

Shain Rievley

Remember the thin strips of wood you added to the bottoms of the windows at the beginning? These are going to be used to secure the greenhouse to a side table with wood screws. Complete the look by filling the greenhouse with an assortment of your favorite sun and humidity-loving plants. Now it’s time to sit back and relax (just don’t forget to water them).

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