• Flea Market Windows: How to make a decorative ‘Mini Greenhouse’

    by  •  • How to: Easy project ideas, Old doors and windows •  Comments


    This is a guest post by Jean Smith, from For Dragonflies And Me

    Using discarded windows to make a mini greenhouse

    As we tromped through the muddy fair grounds, I was on the look out for one thing- old windows. I had a few stipulations: they must be paned and preferably painted a funky green or red.  I’d seen several photos of mini greenhouses constructed from them and I had dreamed of having my own ever since.

    Being a bit persnickety about certain ‘garden junque’ items, I hadn’t found the ‘right’ ones yet… I knew what I wanted and until I found the perfect windows, I’d be patient and wait.  Well, today was my lucky day!  As we were walking down one of the myriad  rows, there in an old wagon shoved off to the back, were my windows.  They were green and had nine panes- I couldn’t believe it.  I asked the man running the stall if they were for sale, “Five bucks each,”  he said.  “I’ll take em’ all!”  To say I was ecstatic would be an understatement!

    Jean Smith's windowpane greenhouse

    “This is my mini window green house. It’s so happy!”

    When we got home, my husband was ready to get at it and asked me if I had the instructions. I looked at him and said, “Instructions? How hard could it be?”  Well, after he figured out what he’d need to put the awkward thing together I realized it would be nice to give instructions to others who may want to build their own… so here’s a simple how to:

    'Art supplies'

    ‘Art supplies’


    • You’ll need 6 windows the same size, preferably paned for the cutest effect.
    • One piece of angle iron cut to the length of window- this will attach the two roof pieces at the peak.
    • Screws
    • Drill and metal drill bit.


    • Do any repairs necessary- re-caulking/glazing any loose panes or re-painting. I prefer the distressed look.
    • Choose one window and lay flat; this is the floor.
    • Drill holes on each side for the angle irons.
    • Choose two windows for the roof. Holding them in a ‘tee-pee’ stance, place angle iron across the top (think peak of a roof), secure with screws.
    • Choose 3 windows for the sides and back- the front will be open: Screw the back wall to the bottom side of the floor window; take another window and screw it to the side of the back wall and the bottom of the floor; repeat for other side wall.
    • Once the sides and back are securely attached to the floor, carefully lift the roof and place on top- screw roof to the base.

    Now that you have some inspiration and instructions, all you need are the windows and the perfect spot to put it! Place a metal or enamel ware bucket filled with petunias in it, stand back and admire!

    Thank you, Jean, for this project and instructions!  We’ll have you back soon for another guest post…  ~~ Sue

    In the garden…

    Here is another example of a window greenhouse!

    Vicki Rushing's window 'conservatory'

    Vicki Rushing’s window ‘conservatory’

    Where to find old windows:

    Wendy Hankins says, “Check Craig’s list for free ones.”
    Nichole Franklin says,”My hubby works for a glass and window company now- and oh boy am I getting the windows!”  (If your hubby doesn’t work for a window company, you can still ask at one..)
    Christie Hartlage says she gets them from friends.
    Katrina Alameda gets hers from antique flea markets
    Nell Stelzer says, “I got mine from a yard sale, a neighbor and my father-in-law.
    Myra Glandon says, “I got a bunch from an old barn being cleaned out and others one or two at a time from peoples trash. My daughters keep an eye out for me also.”


    More from Jean’s garden:

    Jean’s Bistro Garden


    Share and Enjoy


    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.


    1. Kim Trudo says:

      Oh! A new project to do, as if I need another one! Thank you for the instructions, it will make it so much easier one I am able to find enough windows, thanks!

    2. Jeanne Sammons says:

      That is so cool, Jean Smith! Now what are you going to ‘grow’ in it? Perfect size & perfect windows …green paint & all! Your patience paid off! TFSharing the instructions & enjoy your masterpiece! I sure did …reading about it! Great guest blog, Sue L.!

    3. Maxine Rice says:

      Oh, I love this! I have seen it done bigger before but these look like something I could do easily enough myself!! If and when I get this made I’ll post some pictures for you to check out. Thanks for the idea!

    4. Nadine says:

      I laughed out loud when I read the “how hard can it be comment” I have an ‘art supply’ courtesy of the free pile at our local ReStore. Now I just need some warm weather to go uncover them and get them together! At least now I have an idea of how to put one together

    5. Debby Boyle says:

      Very cool for small places. I have a very large greenhouse but, my sister in law needs to make one like this for her small yard.