How to Make an Inexpensive Grow Stand for Indoor Plants and Seedlings

Don’t have a lot of money or outdoor space to start a garden? Combine a few wood crates and some grow lights to get an instant garden spot anywhere in your home.

July 14, 2021

Up your indoor garden game with our DIY grow stand. This is especially great for those of us who live in caves or other locations that just don’t get year-round sunshine. Now you don’t have to wait for the weather to work in your favor. Get year-round sunshine for your plants for less than $100 (as opposed to $300+).

Plants and seedlings on shelves with pink grow light.

Indoor Grow Stand With Grow Lights

Easy DIY grow stand with pink grow lights.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Materials + Tools

  • seed pots
  • small plants
  • peat moss
  • dirt
  • gloves
  • hand shovel
  • watering can
Pile of supplies including crates, a drill and light strips.

Grow Stand Supplies

Everything you need to build a crate grow stand.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Stack the Crates

Your new, amazing grow stand can be assembled outdoors or indoors depending on where you have the space and whatever makes cleanup easier. Since you have four crates, stack them in a 2x2 quadrant. So easy, right?

Four crates stacked vertically in a 2x2 formation.

Stacked Crates for Indoor Grow Stand

Your new, amazing grow stand can be assembled outdoors or indoors depending on where you have the space and whatever makes cleanup easier. Since you have four crates, stack them in a 2x2 quadrant. So easy, right?

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Drill Pilot Holes

You’ll need to attach all four crates with screws. Use a drill to make pilot holes where you’ll be inserting the screws. What’s a pilot hole? Good question! It’s basically a small starter hole so that your wood doesn’t split when you drill in the screws.

Man drilling hole through two touching crates.

Drilling Pilot Holes Into Crates

You’ll need to attach all four crates with screws. Use a drill to make pilot holes where you’ll be inserting the screws. What’s a pilot hole? Good question! It’s basically a small starter hole so that your wood doesn’t split when you drill in the screws.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Insert Screws

Now that you’re feeling accomplished, connect all four crates together using your handy dandy drill.

Man drilling screw into pilot hole. Connecting two crates together.

Inserting Screws Into Wood Crates

Now that you’re feeling accomplished, connect all four crates together using your handy dandy drill.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Light It Up

Just because you’re using inexpensive crates doesn’t mean you can’t implement sleek, sexy lighting. Let’s start by adding some adhesive backing to your strip of grow lights.

Peeling back adhesive strip on grow light.

Inserting Grow Lights Into Crate Shelves

Just because you’re using inexpensive crates, doesn’t mean you can’t implement sleek, sexy lighting. Let’s start by adding some adhesive backing to your strip of grow lights.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Secure the Light Strips

Remove the adhesive back and stick the light strips to the top interior of the crates.

Placing the grow light strips to the crates interior.

Secure the Light Strip

Remove the adhesive back and stick the light strips to the top interior of the crates.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Connect the Light Strips

Connect the two light strips on top two crates together by pulling the cords through a slat at the top of the crate and inserting one end into the other. Repeat for the bottom crates.

Connecting the ends of two plugs together.

Connect the Light Strips

Connect the two light strips on top two crates together by pulling the cords through a slat at the top of the crate and inserting one end into the other. Repeat for the bottom crates.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Check In

This is where you can pause and compare your creation with the example pics. Four crates in a 2x2 structure? Check. A light strip fixed to the interior top of each crate, totaling four light strips? Check. Are the light strips connected to each other on each row? Check. Great! Moving on!

Four crates in a 2x2 formation with grow lights installed.

Stop to Check In

This is where you can pause and compare your creation with the example pics. Four crates in a 2x2 structure? Check. A light strip fixed to the interior top of each crate, totaling four light strips? Check. Are the light strips connected to each other on each row? Check. Great! Moving on!

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Move It Inside

Now bring your indoor garden inside, because that’s the whole point! We’ve stashed ours in the bottom of a closet.

Shelfs placed at the bottom of a closet.

Move the Crate Shelves Inside

Now bring your indoor garden inside, because that’s the whole point! We’ve stashed ours in the bottom of a closet.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Set It, Forget It

Now, stack the seedling trays on the top crates and the pots below. Set your timer on the power strip for your grow lights. Your work is done here. Do whatever you want now; you’re free to go about your life while these plant babies take root.

Crate shelves filled with seedlings and plants.

Grow Stand Filled With Seedlings and Plants

Now, stack the seedling trays on the top crates and the pots below. Set your timer on the power strip for your grow lights. Your work is done here. Do whatever you want now; you’re free to go on about your life while these plant babies take root.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

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