to construct a Greenhouse using Plastic Water bottles !!
Well I think from the picture you have already seen, I reckon you will
have a good idea as how to make your greenhouse, however take a look here à(http://www.reapscotland.org.uk/reports/greenhouse%20v1.pdf
) there were certain
points on the site that I didn’t like, so I adapted my construction a little
different to theirs, since my 1st green house I have adapted even
more. also I used only 1.5 litre water
bottles that friends on the island collect for me, in 3 months I had collected
over 7000 bottles, fortunately most had easy peeling labels, the rest are awful
to peel, but hey! It’s all for a great cause. Did you know, it takes over 100
years for a single plastic bottle to completely decay?
1)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 !
2) 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 !
3) I find, sharp blades are the best for cutting the bottles, so you
will need lots of blades and lots of band aids. ( If you’re anything as clumsy
as me ) I use 2” x 2” timber for my frames ( panels ) and all the wood is
treated ( stained ) before any bottles are fitted ! ( NOTE ) never ever
use nails, screw and glue all wood frame joints, because if you make an error,
you will damage the wood trying to prise it apart ! Also 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 mouldy! working from the top ensure all cuts are
downward and rain won’t get in !
4) 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 ( glue ) this gives greater
5) 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, “which looks
awful” ( I did this on my 1st attempt, but learned very quick ) 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.
6) 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 centre of the bottles
are centred to the middle of wood frame ( otherwise your bottles will be proud on the other side) and won't look nice.
7) When you see my pictures, you will notice I cut a bottle in half, and
I screw the bottom of the bottle onto the inside top of the readymade frame,
this will ensure they won’t move about or blow around when its windy ( which is
quite frustrating ) !
8) 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.
9) 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.
10) 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 !
11) 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.
12) 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.
13) When the roof is hinged to the flap panel and laid flat on the
floor, dab each and every bottle
with silicone ( glue ) then run a thin line of silicone ( glue ) along
the wood frame ! Now take a big enough piece of heavy duty plastic sheeting (
polythene ) roll it up tightly and put the end of it on one end of the wood
frame, gently roll out the plastic sheeting ( polythene ) right across the two
panels, and when both are covered, staple the plastic sheeting ( polythene ) to
the wood frame, now gently run over the top of the plastic sheeting ( polythene
) with the soft brush, this will make the silicone ( glue ) stick the plastic
sheeting ( polythene ).
14) ok, now let’s presume you have moved 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
( polythene ) 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
15) 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 ( polythene ) facing downwards,
align the back over hang and fix to the simple frame work, this will trap the
plastic sheeting ( polythene ) and will
make it secure.
16) Unfortunately the roof sides cannot be filled with bottles due to
the angle and decreasing backend, so I use the heavy duty plastic sheeting (
polythene ) 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.
17) A simple catch or sliding bolt on each side of the flap panel will
keep it open or closed !
18) Fixing in position You could use the method on the website I
sent you, 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
inches into the ground, the fill the holes with concrete. 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.
I really can’t think of anything else, if you feel I have missed
something please let me know, and ill help as much as I can.
Enjoy your construction, I love working with the bottles and have made
several things from them, don’t throw your bottles tops away, find a nice piece
of flat board, paint one side with glue and stick the tops in the glue, keep
them close together and work from the middle of the board until you reach the
sides, get your jigsaw and cut around the edge tops, find a thin bendable 1inch
piece of wood and go all the way around the board, glue and pin it, then before
the glue dries, sprinkle tiny beach pebbles into the gaps, you now have a cool
fab table top, and all ya need do is make some legs !!
Please please take before and
after pictures of your project, each and every step of the way take a picture,
and let me see how you’re getting on.
Thanks ever so much for your interest in this, and remember, get your
children involved like I do with Luci, but most of all, you’re doing your
little bit for the Environment!!
Materials Required: Approx 1000, 1.5ltr Plastic Bottles!
Electric Drill (or Battery drill)! 26 x 2x2 rough sawn timber!
20 x 2 mar canes
or 15mm steels!
1 x 16mm wood Bit, 2
Litres Wood Stain,
1 x 4mm wood Bit, PVA
Posy (+) screwdriver 85mm Wood
screws (approx 100)!
Stanley Knife, (new blades)! 25mm pins (approx 100)!
25 metre 2x half rough sawn timber,
1 x 2” paint brush,
3 x 75mm hinges (door)!
18 x 40mm screws (door)!
x 100 mm sliding bolt,
Staple Gun, (Staples) 3 meters
thick polythene sheeting,
6 tubes Clear Silicone (gun)!
Above is a list of all the tools and materials I used to make my green houses,
all materials available From B&Q or any decent Builders Yard.
Please find enclosed a selection of pictures I took before and after the
project, if you need further advice or information please contact me at email@example.com
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your purchase of
this guide, and assure you that the monies you have paid will go towards
helping the ZAWF, an animal welfare organisation here on our island of
Zakynthos, Greece, on behalf of myself and all of our volunteers I’d like to say, thank you
very much !