How to make a greenhouse with recycled bottles

Written by jack ori
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How to make a greenhouse with recycled bottles
Greenhouses help cultivate plants. (Getty editorial images)

Greenhouses are buildings used to house and grow plants. These buildings trap sunlight and heat in order to better cultivate plants. Older kids can build their own greenhouse out of plastic bottles with some adult help and supervision. This aids the environment by recycling plastic instead of throwing it away as well as by helping to cultivate plant life.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 1,500 empty 2-litre bottles
  • Bucket
  • Soapy water
  • Sharp scissors
  • Four 10-by-10-cm (4-by-4-inch) posts, 2.5 metres (8 feet) long
  • Six 5-by-5-cm (2-by-2-inch) pieces of wood, 2 metres (6 feet) long
  • Nine 5-by-5-cm (2-by-2-inch) pieces of wood, 2.5 metres (8 feet) long
  • Two 5-by-5-cm (2-by-2-inch) pieces of wood, 1.25 metres (4 feet) long
  • Eight 5-by-5-cm (2-by-2-inch) pieces of wood, 1.5 metres (5 feet) long
  • Mulch
  • Mitre block
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Fence staples
  • Fence stapler

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Wash the bottles in the bucket of soapy water. Remove the labels and bottle caps.

  2. 2

    Cut off the bottle bottoms with the scissors.

  3. 3

    Place the four posts into the ground at the corners of the greenhouse. Place mulch around the bottoms of the posts and on the greenhouse floor to stop weeds from growing.

  4. 4

    Make frames for each greenhouse wall and the door using the pieces of wood. Use the 2 metre (6-foot) pieces of wood for the front, the door and the back of the greenhouse and the 2.5 metre (8-foot) pieces of wood for the sides. Cut the door frame pieces so that they are slightly smaller than the wall frame pieces. Use four pieces of wood to make a rectangular frame for each piece. Use the mitre block and saw to cut 90-degree corners. Screw the pieces of wood together.

  5. 5

    Place a garden cane through one of the bottles. Stack as many bottles as possible on the cane. Place the last bottle stacked in the opposite direction of the rest of the bottles on the cane. Repeat this step until all the bottles are on garden canes.

  6. 6

    Lay the stacks of bottles on the frames. Staple them to the frames using fencing staples.

  7. 7

    Screw the wall frames onto the posts.

  8. 8

    Make two triangular frames with the remaining wood. Mitre corners; two sides should be mitred at a 45 degree angle rather than a 90 degree angle.

  9. 9

    Fill the triangular frames with stacked bottles and staple the bottles with fencing staples.

  10. 10

    Mount the triangular frames on the top of the posts and screw them in place. Lay a piece of wood across the top of the triangles and screw it in place. Place a piece of wood vertically through the centre of each triangle and screw it to the triangle and the post.

  11. 11

    Fill the roof with bottles and staple them.

  12. 12

    Hinge the door frame to the wall frame.

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