How To Make A Cold Frame From Pallets

How To Make A Cold Frame From Pallets

Are you looking for a DIY project that combines sustainability with practicality? Look no further! In this step-by-step cold frame tutorial, I’ll show you how to repurpose pallets to create a functional and easy-to-build cold frame for your garden. With this woodworking project, you can protect your plants and extend the growing season in a cost-effective way.

Building a cold frame from pallets is not only a great way to repurpose materials but also a sustainable gardening solution. Pallets are readily available, and by repurposing them, we can reduce waste and create something useful for our gardens. Whether you have a small backyard or a spacious plot, a cold frame made from pallets can provide a wealth of benefits for your plant growth.

So, let’s get started on this exciting and rewarding DIY cold frame pallets project!

Key Takeaways

  • The DIY cold frame pallets project allows you to repurpose pallets into a functional and sustainable gardening solution.
  • By building a cold frame, you can protect your plants, extend the growing season, and experiment with different crops.
  • Pallets are easily obtainable and provide a cost-effective way to construct a cold frame for your garden.
  • With a step-by-step tutorial, you can confidently embark on this easy cold frame construction project.
  • By repurposing pallets for gardening, you’re contributing to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to growing plants.

Gather the Necessary Supplies and Tools

Before you start building your cold frame, make sure you have the necessary supplies and tools.

Cold Frame Supplies

  • Old windows
  • Pallets with similarly sized slats
  • Flat hinges
  • Screws

Cold Frame Tools

  • Circular saw
  • Miter saw
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Pliers

The pallets will need to be dismantled to obtain the slats, and the windows will be used for the lid of the cold frame. By gathering all the required materials and tools, you will be ready to start the construction process.

Dismantle the Pallets and Prepare the Slats

To obtain the slats needed for the cold frame, you will first need to dismantle the pallets. Use a circular saw to carefully cut the edges of the pallet away from the rest of the pallet.

Once the edges are removed, gently bend the slats to separate them from the center board. This may require some patience and finesse, but the slats should come away without much difficulty.

“Take your time during this step to ensure the slats remain intact and undamaged.”

With the slats separated from the center board, use a hammer to remove any nails that may still be attached. Make sure to remove all nails to avoid any potential hazards or difficulties during the construction process.

The slats you have obtained will be used to construct the back and front walls of the cold frame. The thickness of the slats will determine the width of the walls, so keep this in mind when selecting and preparing the slats.

By properly preparing the slats, you can proceed with building the walls of the cold frame.

pallet dismantling

Example of Prepared Slats

Slat Number Slat Width Slat Length
1 5cm 100cm
2 5cm 100cm
3 5cm 100cm
4 5cm 100cm

Build the Back and Front Walls

In order to construct the back and front walls of your cold frame, we will be using the prepared slats. To ensure proper measurements, start by measuring the width of the window you will be using for the lid. Subtract the thickness of the pallet slats from this measurement to determine the width of the walls.

Next, cut the slats accordingly to match the calculated width and attach them to the support boards. This will form the back and front walls of your cold frame, providing a sturdy and secure structure for your plants.

When attaching the slats, it’s important to take precautions in order to avoid wood splitting. Before securing the slats, consider drilling pilot holes to provide a guide for the screws and reduce the risk of splitting. By following these steps, you can ensure the formation of well-built walls for your cold frame.

Materials Tools
– Prepared slats Drill
Support boards Screws
– Measuring tape – Screwdriver

Assemble the Side Walls

To complete the main structure of your cold frame, it’s time to assemble the side walls. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

1. Measure the Window Length and Cut Slats

Start by measuring the length of the window you’ll be using for the cold frame. Then, cut enough slats to complete the two side walls. Ensure that the slats are of the appropriate length for a perfect fit.

2. Attach Slats to the Front and Back Walls

Using screws, begin attaching the slats to the front and back walls of the cold frame. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Make sure the slats are securely fastened, providing stability and support.

3. Cut and Attach Triangular Opening Slats

To accommodate the triangular opening on each side wall, cut two slats to fit perfectly. Attach these slats to the back of the cold frame using screws. This will help maintain the structural integrity of the cold frame.

4. Add Support Slats for Angled Boards

To ensure the angled boards are firmly held in place, add support slats to the side walls. These slats will provide extra stability, minimizing any potential movement or shifting of the angled boards.

Once you’ve followed these steps to assemble the side walls, the main structure of your cold frame will be complete. It’s time to move on to the next step – attaching the window for the lid.

cold frame side walls

Attach the Window for the Lid

Now that we have constructed the main structure of the cold frame, it’s time to attach the window for the lid. This window will not only protect your plants but also allow you to regulate ventilation effectively.

hinge attachment

First, we need to use hinges to securely attach the window to the back wall of the cold frame. Position the hinges a few inches from the edge of the window frame to ensure optimal attachment. This positioning will provide stability and allow for easy opening and closing of the cold frame.

Remember, the window will serve as the lid of your cold frame, so it needs to be firmly attached to prevent any unwanted movement.

By securely attaching the window to the back wall using hinges, you will have complete control over the ventilation of your cold frame. Opening and closing the window lid will allow you to adjust the airflow and create the perfect environment for your plants to thrive.

Finish the Side Walls and Add Ventilation Options

In order to complete the construction of your cold frame, you’ll need to finish the side walls and ensure proper ventilation for your plants. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Cut the final two slats to fit the triangular opening on each side wall

Measure the dimensions of the triangular opening on each side wall. Use a saw to carefully cut the slats to fit perfectly, ensuring a neat and precise finish.

2. Attach the angled boards to the back of the cold frame

Take the cut slats and attach them to the back of the cold frame. These angled boards will provide additional support and stability to the side walls, ensuring the overall strength of the structure.

3. Add additional slats across the front of the box

To provide ventilation options for your plants, add additional slats across the front of the cold frame. These slats can be slid to different positions, allowing you to control the amount of airflow and ventilation inside the cold frame. This flexibility is crucial to maintaining ideal growing conditions for your plants.

4. Window ventilation for maximum airflow

For maximum ventilation, you can also open the window completely. This will allow unrestricted airflow and help regulate the temperature and humidity levels inside the cold frame. Keep in mind that different plants have different temperature and humidity requirements, so experimentation may be necessary to find the perfect balance.

By finishing the side walls and adding ventilation options, you’ll create an environment that promotes healthy plant growth and maximizes the benefits of your cold frame. Now that your cold frame is fully constructed, it’s time to start enjoying the rewards of your hard work and watch your plants thrive!

Add Shelves and Finalize the Cold Frame

Now that the main structure of the cold frame is complete, it’s time to add some finishing touches to make it fully functional. Adding shelves will provide you with additional space to store trays of seedlings or potted plants, maximizing the use of your cold frame.

Start by placing planks of wood across the width of the frame to create the shelves. Ensure that the shelves are sturdy and able to support the weight of your plants. Consider the height and spacing between the shelves to accommodate the size of your plants and allow for easy access.

To prevent the front door of the cold frame from swinging open unexpectedly, create a lock. Attach a small bar of wood to the front framework, securing it in place with screws. This simple lock will keep your plants protected and ensure that the cold frame remains closed when needed.

In order to raise the cold frame slightly off the ground and provide better stability, attach plastic feet to the base. These feet will prevent the cold frame from sinking into the soil and will help to maintain its structure over time.

By adding shelves, creating a lock, and attaching plastic feet, you will finalize the construction of your cold frame. Take a step back and admire your handiwork – you’ve successfully repurposed pallets to create a functional and sustainable cold frame for your garden.

Now that your cold frame is complete, it’s time to start using it to grow and nurture your plants. Enjoy the benefits of having a controlled environment for your garden, extending the growing season and protecting your plants from the elements.

Benefits of Adding Shelves

Adding shelves to your cold frame offers several advantages:

  1. Maximizes space: Utilize the vertical space in your cold frame to grow more plants in a limited area.
  2. Organizes plants: Keep seedlings or potted plants organized and easily accessible on the shelves.
  3. Optimizes sunlight exposure: Position plants on different shelves to take advantage of varying sunlight levels.
  4. Improves airflow: Elevating plants allows air to circulate freely, reducing the risk of diseases.
  5. Facilitates maintenance: Shelves make it easier to water, prune, and tend to your plants without bending over.

With the addition of shelves, your cold frame becomes a versatile and efficient gardening solution.

Benefits of Adding Shelves
Maximizes space
Organizes plants
Optimizes sunlight exposure
Improves airflow
Facilitates maintenance


Building a cold frame from pallets offers numerous benefits for both your plants and your wallet. It is an inexpensive gardening solution that allows you to create a sustainable and protective environment for your plants. By repurposing materials like old windows and pallets, you can construct a functional and efficient cold frame for your garden.

This DIY project embraces sustainable gardening practices by reducing waste and reusing materials. It not only helps protect your plants from harsh weather conditions and pests but also extends the growing season, allowing you to start planting earlier in the spring and continue well into the fall or even winter.

With your own cold frame, you have the opportunity to experiment with different crops and witness the results firsthand. By using this cost-effective and eco-friendly gardening solution, you can reap the benefits of sustainable plant protection and enjoy a longer growing season. Start building your own cold frame from pallets and experience the joy of sustainable gardening.

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