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Indoor greenhouse cheap do it yourself: 3 DIY ideas with instructions for growing plants on the windowsill

The gardening season will soon start again and already at the end of February you can preplant the first vegetables . Whether you start with tomatoes, eggplants or cabbage, your seeds need the right growing conditions to germinate quickly and successfully. Today we will show you how to make an inexpensive indoor greenhouse yourself, using simple materials from the household.

Make mini greenhouse yourself with plastic bottles

If you are handy or know someone who is, you can build your greenhouse out of wood and glass. But if you don’t feel confident cutting, drilling, etc. these materials, here are some easy ideas for DIY mini greenhouses that literally anyone can make.

To make your DIY project really cheap and eco-friendly, we recommend using plastic containers that you already have on hand, such as used plastic food trays from the supermarket.

DIY indoor greenhouse made from a plastic tray.

Make your own propagator from household items

So if you have a few small, disposable clear boxes with lids lying around, you can reuse them instead of throwing them away. And what better way than to turn these handy little containers into a mini greenhouse for growing seeds indoors? This is a tried and true, simple project for the frugal and environmentally conscious gardener in all of us. It’s really quick, easy, and best of all – it’s practically free!

Materials to build a mini greenhouse:

  • A clear plastic container with a lid
  • Potting soil, possibly mixed with compost
  • Seeds
  • Optional: individual or divided growing pots, such as egg carton trays

Sowing seeds in empty packing trays

How to build a mini-greenhouse like this:

First, wash and dry the plastic container. Then poke some holes in the bottom if the box doesn’t have any.

Line the bottom of the container with fleece or newspaper, put some gravel on top and fill it ¾ full with potting soil. If you are using growing pots in your mini-greenhouse, add them to the tray and fill them ¾ full with potting soil as well. A tip: You can also easily make the growing pots yourself , using various household things such as toilet rolls or newspaper.

Use plastic bowl with lid as a small indoor greenhouse


Plant the seeds according to the instructions on the package and water them just enough to keep them moist. A spray bottle works well here. Then close the lid.

Depending on the weather, the small growing box can be used indoors on the windowsill or outdoors. As soon as the weather becomes milder, put the mini greenhouse outside during the day, in a place that receives bright sunlight. Make sure the soil does not dry out when the greenhouse is in full sun. If the soil does dry out, add only enough water to keep the soil moist. Bring your mini greenhouse inside at night and place it in the sun during the day.

Simple propagator and propagator pots to make yourself

In no time, your seedlings will grow up and give you a head start for your spring planting. If the seedlings get too big for the space under the lid, simply prop the lid up with a popsicle stick or other device, or remove it altogether. As long as the temperature is above freezing, you don’t need to close the greenhouse, but remember to bring it indoors at night.

When the seedlings outgrow the horizontal space, you should repot them in a container until the danger of frost has passed. Once the danger of frost has passed, plant the seedlings in the ground and enjoy.

Make inexpensive indoor greenhouse from egg carton by yourself.

Gardening on the windowsill Grow seedlings egg carton


If you already want to grow some vegetable plants such as tomatoes in advance, then a greenhouse can prove to be particularly helpful. Another material that you can use for a DIY project is the empty egg cartons. We will now explain how to make a small greenhouse out of them.

What you need:

  • Empty egg cartons
  • Cling film or plastic bag
  • Garden soil
  • Seeds
  • Clothespins

Materials indoor greenhouse from egg carton

Here’s how to make your own indoor greenhouse out of egg cartons:

First, poke holes in the bottom of each cup in the egg carton with a shish kebab skewer. Then wrap the lid with plastic wrap so it can function like a trivet.

Choose good garden soil and fill the egg carton using a spoon or small shovel. Before planting the seeds, poke small holes in the soil using a skewer or your finger. Sow the seeds according to the instructions for the depth of sowing.

Egg carton grow tray DIY

Moisten the soil with the help of a spray bottle. Once the seeds are sown and watered, cover the entire egg carton with another piece of plastic wrap or pull a plastic bag over it. To secure the plastic wrap, you can use some clothespins. The clips will come off easily so you can water the seeds every day.

Finally, pick a nice place for the egg carton greenhouses such as a sunny windowsill.

Remember, you don’t have to have a garden to plant seeds. This mini greenhouse is a great way to grow herbs for your patio, balcony or kitchen window.

Make your own indoor greenhouse in a storage box.

DIY indoor greenhouse in storage box

You can also make a simple greenhouse for your home or balcony yourself from an empty storage box. If you need to raise the temperature in these small greenhouses, just put the lid on or throw a cloth on it.

Grow seedlings in storage box

All you need to do to turn a storage box into an indoor greenhouse is to sow the seeds in suitable growing pots, water the soil and put the pots in the storage box. Then cover the box, find a suitable sunny place and grow seedlings from it.

You can also use a fruit box for this project. Since this does not have a lid, you can simply wrap it with plastic wrap after you sow the seeds.