A cold frame

How to make a cold frame

Follow our easy, step-by-step guide to making a cold frame using recycled materials.

A cold frame is a very useful piece of garden kit – it can be used for sowing seeds, hardening off young seedlings in spring, taking cuttings, growing early and late crops such as winter salad and shielding plants such as succulents and alpines from winter wet.

Discover how to use a cold frame in spring.

You can make your own cold frame cheaply and easily. Here, we have used a standard 100cm x 120cm pallet to create the base and an old window, 115cm x 130cm to make the top.

You will need

  • Pallet
  • Power tool
  • Metal braces
  • Hinges
  • Old window
  • Plywood
  • Block of wood

Total time:

Step 1

Place the pallet on the ground. Use two 10cm x 5cm x 85cm pieces of timber as the wall supports. Saw the tops so they slope downwards and screw to the wall.


Step 2

Use two pieces of 23cm x 5cm timber for the cold frame’s sides. Cut them to the same length as the pallet, then screw them to the wall supports and the pallets.


Step 3

For the front of the cold frame, take two lengths of 15cm x 5cm timber, screw one to the front of the pallet and attach the other on top. Hold together with metal braces.


Step 4

Get someone to help you hold the window in position against the wall, and attach it to the wall supports using 7.5cm hinges.


Step 5

With the window closed, measure and cut two pieces of 1.2cm-thick plywood for the sides. Screw these to the wall supports and the front using corner braces.


Step 6

Screw a block of wood, as thick as the windowframe, to the wall to the side of the window. Attach a length of wood that is free to swivel to hold the window open.