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DIY table-top greenhouse from picture frames

If you know me you know I have a problem...a plants problem.  So naturally a greenhouse DIY is the best thing to ever happen to my Pinterest board.  The original link I found lead me to Country Living Magazine's tutorial which you can find here.  Its pretty good, but doesn't accurately express the amount of frustration which I experienced with this project.

Step 1: Find picture frames

This seems incredibly easy, I decided that it would be simple to just go to our local Dollar Store and get $1 picture frames.  The problem: $1 picture frames are not wooden so attempting to nail or screw them results in them falling apart.  So then naturally you would just go to the thrift store, but then I was unable to find enough frames in sizes that would create what I was looking for.  Finally, I found a large pile of frames while I was at the Habitat ReStore where I could find enough (wood) frames for my purposes.  
DIY picture frames for do-it-yourself greenhouse
Pile of frames in my yard....pre creative juices

Step 2: Remove Glass

This seems like a step that does not need listing, but in my case the picture frames I had selected had the piece of art STAPLED to the frame, so not only did I remove the glass of all the frames, I also spent time and curse words removing a gazillion (technical term) staples and those annoying hold-the-picture-in metal bendy things from the frames.

Pulling out soooo many staples

Step 3: Build a House

The Country Living Magazine example drills holes and uses screws, but I was having trouble holding them all together that way, so I bought L brackets to put the sides together.  I then used a small hinge to attach the roof.  In one of the examples I gave my roof to steep of a pitch for the roof to hinge the way I wanted, so I skipped it entirely and decided to just allow the roof to sit loosely on top.  I also decided to go without the triangle pieces they added in the Country Living example, mostly because I was lazy, but I also liked the idea of keeping lots of air flow in for my plant friends.

DIY Greenhouse base and roof
All you need to build a house is a square and triangle

Step 4: Paint

I actually made the mistake of spray painting my frames BEFORE putting them together.  After I put them together I ended up filling in some extra screw holes I created when I moved the roof over (I didn't think it was centered at first) so of course, it was the wrong color, so I ended up painting the whole thing again.  I didn't have any white paint so I just bought a sample size white paint from the hardware store.

Painted DIY tabletop greenhouse
Painting on my patio table

Step 5: Antique

The paint sample I bought turned out to be WHITE.  It didn't really give the worn feel I was going for so I took some old stain I had and antiqued the surfaces.  At first I was putting a thick layer of stain on and then wiping it off to leave a residue, but as more and more stain soaked into my rag I was able to just rub my rag onto the frames for a nice rustic effect.

color difference between white and antiqued paint
Here's the difference a little antiquing makes

Step 6: Return Glass

I did a layer of E-6000 epoxy on the ledge where the glass sits and then "sealed" them in with another layer along the inside of the glass just to be certain.

glass in DIY tabletop picture frame greenhouse
Glass goes back in

Step 7: Enjoy!


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