How to Make a Cold Frame From Plastic Bottles

Cold frames offer your vegetables and flowers protection during winter by creating an environment free from snow, rain, wind gusts or icy conditions while collecting sunlight and warmth for growth.

Building a cold frame from virtually any material is possible; recycled products like old windows and shower doors as well as PVC are popular choices.


Cold frames can be constructed quickly and affordably with recycled plastic soda bottles that have become clutter in backyards and storage spaces around the world. Simply cut down to size for use as clear screens on top of your cold frame for easy assembly – creating an economical cold frame solution which reduces waste sent directly to landfill.

Cold frames can be an invaluable addition to your garden, helping extend the growing season and protect plants from unpredicted weather such as frost or snowfall. From starting off crops or providing extra protection from harsh elements, cold frames are invaluable tools for vegetable gardening enthusiasts.

Building a cold frame requires using one of several methods. One involves creating a brick base and then using reclaimed window or shower screen pieces as dividers, while another could involve building a wooden frame then placing polycarbonate or glass sheet over it for insulation, providing access to cuttings and seedlings on demand.

PVC pipe can also be used to create an affordable cold frame solution and then covered in plastic sheeting for additional longevity. Plexiglass may even make for an even stronger protection of your frame!

Or you could use a clear plastic container such as a large tote to build your cold frame. Just nestle tender plants or seedlings inside and then cover them during the day with their lid; at nighttime remove it to allow water to transpire out and prevent buildup. This method works well for small vegetables like kale, broccoli and cauliflower but won’t do for tomatoes beans and squash as these require direct sunlight for optimal growth.

Another cost-effective and straightforward method to create a cold frame is wrapping an old window in plastic and setting it on your garden bed. This method provides many of the same advantages of traditional cold frames while being easily dismantled when gardening season is complete.


Create your own cold frame from plastic bottles without spending much money or needing elaborate equipment! Reusing materials and adding some creativity are all that are needed for an efficient gardening tool that uses less space than others on the market. Go even further if desired by adding self-opening lids and lighting as extras!

Step one of creating a simple cold frame is selecting materials. This project calls for using recycled plastic bottles and plywood. For added insulation purposes, straw bale insulation may provide further warmth – helping ensure your tender plants remain frost-free throughout winter!

When purchasing plastic bottles, be sure to choose those made to withstand freezing temperatures. As repeated freezing and thawing cycles can weaken plastic over time, it’s crucial that you find bottles which can stand up against this condition. A great way to identify freezer-safe plastic bottles is by looking out for recycling symbol numbers within recycling symbols with words “HDPE” or “PET.”

Once you have all your materials ready to go, the construction phase begins. This project should be fairly straightforward and can often be finished in a matter of hours, depending on your skill level and frame size.

To create a larger cold frame, it will require adding a hinged lid that keeps heat inside during the daytime hours but keeps out at nightfall. Furthermore, you may require adding additional material like manure or compost as insulation which releases heat as they decompose, keeping your plants warm in wintertime.

Build an advanced cold frame using PVC pipe and wood for a more advanced project. While more complex than other projects, this one should still be achievable on its own – you could even customize its lid with an opening mechanism on hot days that automatically closes when temperatures become too cold for your plants!


Cold frames are bottomless boxes designed to protect garden plants from cold temperatures. Usually constructed on low legs with transparent roofs that allow sunlight to reach inside them, cold frames are an easy and efficient way to extend gardening season in cold climates – but precious plants like basil or succulents might not survive the chill!

Make a DIY cold frame from recycled materials! Wood that hasn’t been treated with creosote or similar chemicals makes an excellent cold frame, and adding layers of compost adds an extra boost of warmth. Another option could be using an old window shower door as your frame; make a hinged lid to open for ventilation on warmer days!

Making your own cold frame from PVC pipes and wood can be a challenging yet rewarding project, providing an opportunity to reuse materials otherwise discarded and make the structure more durable. You could also combine two PVC pipes together into an extended rectangle cold frame – perfect for starting seeds or cultivating larger plants!

Cold frame plans can be found online, making it important to choose one suitable for your specific needs. For instance, if you want to grow lots of produce quickly at once then an outdoor greenhouse would likely make more sense than an enclosed cold frame.

This particular cold frame design incorporates recycled items, such as 2-liter plastic bottles that have been cut down and set over individual plants. Not only is this an enjoyable way to recycle bottles, but it’s an effective way to start planning winter vegetables early! While more labor-intensive than other cold frame plans, the result will make this one well worth your while.


Cold frames are structures designed to extend the growing season for plants during late autumn and winter, shielding them from frost, snow, strong winds, rain, warmth and sunlight. A simple cold frame can be made out of inexpensive materials for growing vegetables, herbs, flowers or any other plants – though its size must allow adequate air circulation and light penetration; tomatoes and chili peppers will benefit from extra heating in order to withstand the lower temperatures during fall and winter.

Making your own cold frame from plastic bottles is a simple, cost-effective and time-efficient solution that’s great for small gardens or backyards. Assembly takes only minutes, and this low maintenance design works wonders. Clear bottles allow more sunlight into the cold frame; for added insulation you could wrap it all in bubble wrap for extra insulati on. Ultimately, the goal should be keeping its temperature within reasonable boundaries so as not to overheat or cool off too quickly.

PVC pipes offer another means for creating homemade cold frames at home, although this plan requires more technical knowledge than others. PVC piping is much lighter than wood and more easily moved around for transport; additionally, this plan shows how to build a hinged roof out of PVC that allows lifting of its lid for airing or watering purposes.

Cold frames provide additional nighttime protection to plants such as tomato seedlings or cucumber/squash seeds, or harden off plants grown indoors before transfer to outdoor gardens. Just be sure to open it up regularly so fresh air can enter, as this helps avoid moisture build-up inside. Also remember to wipe down its glass roof periodically to clear away ice or debris that has collected.

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