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Tabletop Greenhouse Frame

Showcase flowerpots with this miniature faux greenhouse you can make from easy-to-cut dowels.

Tabletop greenhouse frame.

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Miter saw or miter box and handsaw
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Clamps
  • Tape measure
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • Valspar paint, Dill (#EB10-3)


  • 2 - 1/4 x 1-1/8 x 96 pine lattice mouldings
  • 2 - 1/2 x 3/4 x 96 pine stop mouldings
  • 5 - 1/2 x 36 square poplar dowels
  • 2 - 3/16 x 48 round poplar dowels

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online


Assemble the Front and Back

Step 1

Cut the eight front/back uprights (A) and the four front/back rails (B) to length (Tabletop Greenhouse Frame Project Diagram, Parts List). From the 3/16-inch dowels, cut eight oversize pieces 11 inches long for the cross braces (C).

Good to Know

To make sure the assembly is square, use a stop block on your saw to help make all parts in each group the same length.

Step 2

Glue the uprights to the side rails.

Place a front/back rail (B) against one leg of a carpenter’s square. Use the other leg of the square to align an upright (A) as you glue it to the rail (Drawing 1). Use tape or add weight to press the parts together until the glue dries. Repeat for the upright at the opposite end and check for square. Then add the second front/back rail to form a rectangle.

Step 3

Measure and mark the locations for the two middle uprights and glue them in place. Repeat for the other assembly and allow the glue to dry for at least an hour before continuing.

Step 4

Cut dowels to length for cross-braces.

Lay an oversize 3/16-inch dowel across the center opening in one of the assemblies, mark it for length, and cut it to size. Glue and clamp the dowel in place (Drawing 3). Repeat for the second piece of the cross brace. Duplicate the cross brace on the other front/back assembly.

Good to Know

If the dowel has a slight bow, work with it to reduce tension where the dowels intersect. One piece will be slightly longer than the other according to which one bows the most.

Step 5

From pine lattice, cut the front/back bases and tops (D) 1 inch longer than the side rails. Glue and clamp the bases and tops in place centered on the sides (Drawing 1).

Cut and Assemble the Frame

Step 1

Glue the end rails to the assemblies.

Cut the four end rails (E) the same length. Glue and clamp the end rails to the two assemblies and check that they’re square (Drawing 3).

Step 2

Trim the oversize 3/16-inch dowels to length. Then glue and clamp the first dowel in place before adding the second one to form a cross brace. Repeat for the opposite cross brace.

Step 3

Sand the parts flush with each other on the completed frame. Then sand the tops and bottoms of the bases and tops (D) smooth. Wipe clean and set aside.

Build the Roof

Step 1

Cut the short roof rafters (F), long roof rafters (G), roof bases (H), and roof gable (I) to length. Mark the locations of the center short roof rafters (F) on the roof gable (Drawing 2). Glue and clamp or tape the short roof rafters to the roof gable, check that they’re square, and let dry.

Good to Know

The middle roof rafters should align with the middle uprights (A) on the front and back.

Step 2

Glue the roof base to the short rafters

Glue and clamp or tape the roof base (H) to the short rafters.

Step 3

Glue long roof rafters to the roof base.

Mark the locations of the long rafters (G) on the other roof base (H). They should match the locations of the short rafters on the other assembly. Glue and clamp or tape the long roof rafters to the roof base, check them for square, and let dry.

Step 4

Glue the roof subassemblies together.

Glue and clamp the two roof subassemblies together at the gable.

Step 5

Sand the completed roof and wipe clean. Apply two coats of paint (Dill shown) to the roof and frame—let the final coat dry overnight before using. If you plan to display the greenhouse frame on a delicate surface, apply felt pads to the bottoms of the front and back bases (D).

Step 6

Place two or more pots within the frame and center the roof on the front/back tops (D).