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posted in DIY & Crafts
  • The internet is filled with DIY projects that involve the use of cheap materials, like plastic bottles. People have come a great length in the struggle for a healthier planet, in the last 20 years. Recycling is not only a trend but a necessity nowadays. And fortunately it has become a healthy habit. One way to make good use of a repurposing PET bottles project is building a cheap greenhouse. We found some nice designs from Ana White. For a conventional straight-angled structure.

  • You need a terrific amount of storage space to keep your
    collected bottles, the greenhouse I made measures 2mtrs x 2mtrs and 1.9 high and took a little over 1000 bottles to make !
    It will benefit you, if you put all the different types of bottles in separate sections, I do this as it’s easier to find the same type bottles to make the gaps between each bottle the same !

  • I find, sharp blades are the best for cutting the bottles, so you will need lots of blades & lots of band aids. I use 2” x 2” timber for my frames and all the wood is treated (stained) before any bottles are fitted. Never ever use nails, screw and glue all wood frame joints, because if you make an error, you will damage the wood trying to pry it apart. Make sure you start at the top of the panel and work downwards, otherwise later on when the greenhouse is outside,
    rain water will get into the cuts and may go moldy! Working from the top ensure all cuts are downward and rain won’t get in.

  • Clear Silicon (transparent glue). I squeeze a little dab of clear silicon in between each bottle when the full panel is finished, laid on the floor I run a soft sweeping brush over the finished panel, to make sure all the bottles are flat, then I squeeze in the silicon this gives greater strength. When you have measured the diameter of your bottles, you can work out how wide your wood frame has to be, don't guess or you will either be to short
    or too long, and the bottles will have big gaps in between them.

  • The height of your green house is entirely up to you, as you can cut the length of a bottle to any size, the width of your frame is important so that the bottles fit in nice and snug. You must lay your wood frame flat on the floor and put thin pieces of wood underneath the frame to lift it up, this is so the center of the bottles are centered to the middle of wood frame otherwise your bottles will be proud on the other side and won't look nice. I cut a bottle in half, and
    I screw the bottom of the bottle onto the inside top of the ready made frame,
    this will ensure they won’t move.

  • I then cut about 1 inch off the bottom of every other bottle and
    insert the top of those bottles into the half cut bottles that I screwed to the wood, this is done all the way along the frame until you get close the bottom of the wood frame. I then put full uncut bottles along the bottom of the wood frame, now you should have a gap from the full bottle and the last cut bottle, measure this gap and cut a bottle enough so it’s a tight snug fit, then push it into position, do this the full length of the
    wood frame until you have a full panel.

  • Every 4th row of bottles will have a hole of 16mm ( use a soldering iron to do this ) the top on and the bottom one has this hole, and directly where that hole sits on the wood frame, a 16mm hole is drilled through the wood, then a 15mm bamboo or 15 mm steel bar can be threaded through one end of the frame and inside the bottles until it
    comes through the other end of the wood frame, ( I cut the bamboo or steel a few
    mm short so I can hammer a nail underneath it to stop it falling out when you move the frame, without these, the panels will be weak.

  • If you make 3 wood panels all the same size you will be able to screw the wood frames together making a back and two sides. The front, which will have the door, takes a little more working out, especially as you have to add more wood to take the doors hinges. The roof will be made exactly the same width as the back and front panels, but will be made longer than the side panels; this is so it will over hang and allow rain to run off. I then make a flap panel; this is for ventilation in very hot weather and saves having to keep the door open all the time.

  • I make this flap
    panel exactly as the other panels, the same width as the roof panel, but only 18 inches long, this is hinged to one end of the roof panel. When the roof is hinged to the flap panel and laid flat on the floor, dab each and every bottle with silicone then run a thin line of silicone along the wood frame ! Now take a big enough piece of heavy duty plastic sheeting roll it up tightly and put the end of it on one end of the wood
    frame, gently roll out the plastic sheeting right across the two
    panels, and when both are covered, staple the plastic sheeting to the wood frame.

  • Now gently run over the top of the plastic sheeting with the soft brush, this will make the silicone stick the plastic sheeting. Now move your panels to the desired location and have erected the two side panels and the front and back panels. Take the two hinged roof panels and turn them over so that the plastic sheeting is facing to the ground, with lots of helpers lift it up and sit it on top of the other panels, now, the amount of fall you want for your green
    house is entirely up to you, here is what I do.

  • I make sure I have 1 foot (12 inches ) over hang at the back, go to the front and lift the roof panel so that
    the flap panel slides upward, leaving approximately 6-8 inches overhang on the
    front panel, for not slot a piece of waste wood in the two ends to keep it in place. Now carefully take the two roof panels away and make a simple wood
    frame from the top of the waste wood all the way to the back so it can be screwed to the back, fix it at the front with screws to the height the waste wood was. with help lift the roof panels
    back into position, remembering plastic sheeting facing down.

  • Align the back over hang and fix to the simple frame work, this will trap the plastic sheeting and make it secure. Unfortunately the roof sides cannot be filled with bottles due to
    the angle and decreasing backend, so I use the heavy duty plastic sheeting and staple it to the sides, cutting away any oversize, I then cover that with thin strips of wood the same diameter as the woof frame, this hides
    the staples and makes a neater finish.A simple catch or sliding bolt on each side of the flap panel will keep it open or closed.

  • Fixing In Position:

    You could position your greenhouse, dig four deep holes at the corners and screw beams to the sides of the greenhouse, making sure at least you have 18'' into the ground, the fill the holes with concrete. Or do as we did; I sat my greenhouse next to a wall, and I made up steel brackets that fix to the greenhouse and bolt to the wall, for the front bottom I drove steel bars into the earth as far as I could, cut to length and fixed to the sides of the greenhouse with
    overlapping brackets. We have had force 8 gales here recently and my greenhouse
    has not budged.


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