If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you probably know how much we love our plants and finding unique ways to incorporate them into our décor, both inside and outside. There’s just one problem. We have purr babies that like attacking Christmas trees and seeing how far they can smack small potted plants around on the potting bench. 😀 That’s why this easy-to-make, portable tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched glass windows works so well for us.

Don’t have space for the real thing, then this easy-to-make, tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched windows is perfect. It’s great for growing microgreens, herbs, succulents, air plants, moss, cacti, and more. And for adding visual interest. The tabletop greenhouse makes a wonderful housewarming gift too and is ideal for small spaces. #ACraftyMix

Not only is it cat proof, but the greenhouse provides the perfect, light-filled growing spot for small plants and seedlings.  

Don’t have space for the real thing, then this easy-to-make, tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched windows is perfect. It’s great for growing microgreens, herbs, succulents, air plants, moss, cacti, and more. And for adding visual interest. The tabletop greenhouse makes a wonderful housewarming gift too and is ideal for small spaces. #ACraftyMix

And don’t even get me started on those etched windows. I love how it adds a hint of old-world charm to the whole look.

Don’t have space for the real thing, then this easy-to-make, tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched windows is perfect. It’s great for growing microgreens, herbs, succulents, air plants, moss, cacti, and more. And for adding visual interest. The tabletop greenhouse makes a wonderful housewarming gift too and is ideal for small spaces. #ACraftyMix

The DIY greenhouse doesn’t take up too much space and can be used inside or outside in a protected spot.

Don’t have space for the real thing, then this easy-to-make, tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched windows is perfect. It’s great for growing microgreens, herbs, succulents, air plants, moss, cacti, and more. And for adding visual interest. The tabletop greenhouse makes a wonderful housewarming gift too and is ideal for small spaces. #ACraftyMix

Since the greenhouse is lightweight, it’s easy to move around when a cold spell hits or the light changes.

Don’t have space for the real thing, then this easy-to-make, tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched windows is perfect. It’s great for growing microgreens, herbs, succulents, air plants, moss, cacti, and more. And for adding visual interest. The tabletop greenhouse makes a wonderful housewarming gift too and is ideal for small spaces. #ACraftyMix

And when I need to get to the plants, I just use my patented “skewer and bead prop up” system 😀

Don’t have space for the real thing, then this easy-to-make, tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched windows is perfect. It’s great for growing microgreens, herbs, succulents, air plants, moss, cacti, and more. And for adding visual interest. The tabletop greenhouse makes a wonderful housewarming gift too and is ideal for small spaces. #ACraftyMix

You can customize and decorate the greenhouse to suit your unique style. I add small fleur-de-lis embellishments to the sides of mine.

Don’t have space for the real thing, then this easy-to-make, tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched windows is perfect. It’s great for growing microgreens, herbs, succulents, air plants, moss, cacti, and more. And for adding visual interest. The tabletop greenhouse makes a wonderful housewarming gift too and is ideal for small spaces. #ACraftyMix

Okay, before I show you how to make a tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched windows, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!

What you need

I found four frames at a local thrift store for the astronomical sum of R50. That’s R12.50 a frame or, at our current exchange rate, less than $1. Bargain 😀

What you need to make a tabletop greenhouse

Besides some cheap frames, you’ll also need:

  • 2 x small narrow hinges
  • Wood
  • Jigsaw
  • Acetone or denatured alcohol
  • Varnish
  • Paint and paintbrush
  • Stencil
  • Clear all-purpose glue (E6000, Welbond, or Prately will all work)

For the etched windows of my tabletop greenhouse, I was originally going to use etching paste, but the warnings put me off. Geez, it sounded like I had to get my hazmat suit out, so I used frosted glass spray paint instead. If scary chemicals aren’t your thing either, I’ve shared two other ways to get the etched glass look towards the bottom of the post.

How to make a tabletop greenhouse

This tabletop greenhouse consists of two parts:

  • A glass roof made from frames to let in all that delicious light
  • And a wooden base to hold the plants

If you know how to cut a straight line with a jigsaw or table saw, and can use a screwdriver, then this one is a breeze to make.

Making the greenhouse glass roof

Remove the glass and backing and clean the frames.

Remove the glass and backing from the frames

Figure out where you want to put the hinges on one of the frames. About 3 – 4cm in from the edge should be fine. Use masking tape to keep them in place while you screw them on. Just check that your screws aren’t longer than the frame is deep. You don’t want those screws popping out on the other side.

Tape the hinges in place before screwing them in

Line the second frame up with the first one (long end to long end), and tape the hinges down on the second frame before screwing them in.

Tape the hinges in place before screwing them in

Paint the frames and hinges in a color of your choice. I used Satin Heirloom White from Rust-Oleum.

Spray paint the frames to tone in with your decor

Making the wooden base

Place the hinged frames on their long ends to form a triangle, as shown below. Measure the height (A) and bottom (B).

Measure the height of the frame

These measurements will determine how to cut the sides of the tabletop greenhouse base. Add about 5cm (2”) to the bottom for a tray area (C ).

Cut the sides according to the measurements taken earlier

Measure the length of the frame (D).

Measure the length of the frame

Subtract about 3 – 4 cm (1 2/8″ – 1 6/8″) from the frame length (D) to figure out how long to cut the front and back sides of the greenhouse base. Add 5cm (2”) for the width.

Cut the sides according to the measurements taken earlier

Eeeeeek, I hope the piccies explain it better than I can in words. Let me know in the comments if it’s all just too confusing, and I’ll try to make a plan in one of those fancy 3D woodworking programs. Anyhoos cut two sides and a back and front from wood and sand.

Sand the edges of the cut pieces

Glue and screw the sides together.

Glue and screw the sides together

Trace around the bottom of the tabletop greenhouse and cut another piece of wood. Glue and screw in place and paint the wooden greenhouse base. Seal with 2 – 3 coats of varnish to protect the base from water.

Paint the tabletop greenhouse inside and out to protect

Faux-etching on the windows

Ahhhh, now for the etching. As I mentioned, I was going to use the real thing. I even have a piccy to prove it, but I chickened out at the last minute.

Scary chemicals in the etching paste

Spray paint in a can is more my style 😀

To avoid harsh chemicals when creating faux-etching use sandblast spray

Just remember to clean the glass with acetone or denatured alcohol before taping down the stencil and painting the glass with two to three light coats of sandblasting spray paint. Wait for each coat to dry fully before doing the next one.

Clean the glass well with acetone

Leave the last coat of spray paint to dry overnight before moving on to the next step.

Gluing the glass to the frame and finishing up

We’re almost done. There are two ways to put the glass back inside the frames. Using those little metal things that hold the frame backing in place or good old-fashioned glue. Since I didn’t want the glass to go wobble, wobble, klink, klink every time I opened the greenhouse, I used glue.

Glue in the faux-etched glass

Put the glue-in glass frames on a flat surface and wait forthe glue to cure fully.

Don’t have space for the real thing, then this easy-to-make, tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched windows is perfect. It’s great for growing microgreens, herbs, succulents, air plants, moss, cacti, and more. And for adding visual interest. The tabletop greenhouse makes a wonderful housewarming gift too and is ideal for small spaces. #ACraftyMix

To keep the glass roof up while I’m moving plants in and out, I used two wooden beads and skewers. Just glue the beads onto the bottom corners of the base.

Use two skewers and wooden beads to prop up the greenhouse

And when you’re ready to work in the greenhouse, pop the skewers inside the beads to prop open the roof.

Don’t have space for the real thing, then this easy-to-make, tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched windows is perfect. It’s great for growing microgreens, herbs, succulents, air plants, moss, cacti, and more. And for adding visual interest. The tabletop greenhouse makes a wonderful housewarming gift too and is ideal for small spaces. #ACraftyMix

The skewers can be stored inside the greenhouse for easy access.

Don’t have space for the real thing, then this easy-to-make, tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched windows is perfect. It’s great for growing microgreens, herbs, succulents, air plants, moss, cacti, and more. And for adding visual interest. The tabletop greenhouse makes a wonderful housewarming gift too and is ideal for small spaces. #ACraftyMix

Just be aware your plants will need extra love and nutrients when they’re cooped up in a greenhouse. So, you need to add a bit of compost or organic fertilizer.

Don’t have space for the real thing, then this easy-to-make, tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched windows is perfect. It’s great for growing microgreens, herbs, succulents, air plants, moss, cacti, and more. And for adding visual interest. The tabletop greenhouse makes a wonderful housewarming gift too and is ideal for small spaces. #ACraftyMix

On the plus side, those etched windows make it easy to see how your seedlings are doing. The basil on the left looks a bit sad and probably needs extra love. On the other hand, my mint is going crazy. She’s putting out some weird side shoots.

Don’t have space for the real thing, then this easy-to-make, tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched windows is perfect. It’s great for growing microgreens, herbs, succulents, air plants, moss, cacti, and more. And for adding visual interest. The tabletop greenhouse makes a wonderful housewarming gift too and is ideal for small spaces. #ACraftyMix

Not a bad way to repurpose cheap frames, amiright?

Don’t have space for the real thing, then this easy-to-make, tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched windows is perfect. It’s great for growing microgreens, herbs, succulents, air plants, moss, cacti, and more. And for adding visual interest. The tabletop greenhouse makes a wonderful housewarming gift too and is ideal for small spaces. #ACraftyMix

What do you think?

Don’t have space for the real thing, then this easy-to-make, tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched windows is perfect. It’s great for growing microgreens, herbs, succulents, air plants, moss, cacti, and more. And for adding visual interest. The tabletop greenhouse makes a wonderful housewarming gift too and is ideal for small spaces. #ACraftyMix

Would you make a tabletop greenhouse to protect your young plants from fur babies and other stuff?

If you like the idea of making a tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched windows, don’t forget to pin it for later.

Don’t have space for the real thing, then this easy-to-make, tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched windows is perfect. It’s great for growing microgreens, herbs, succulents, air plants, moss, cacti, and more. And for adding visual interest. The tabletop greenhouse makes a wonderful housewarming gift too and is ideal for small spaces. #ACraftyMix

Sharing is caring 😉

Don’t have space for the real thing, then this easy-to-make, tabletop greenhouse with faux-etched windows is perfect. It’s great for growing microgreens, herbs, succulents, air plants, moss, cacti, and more. And for adding visual interest. The tabletop greenhouse makes a wonderful housewarming gift too and is ideal for small spaces. #ACraftyMix

Other faux etching alternatives

I promised to share a few more ways to get the etched glass look without using harsh chemicals; Unique Creations by Anita has a tutorial showing you how to create this meditating Budha on a sliding door.

Unique Creations by Anita made a Budha

Or, if you want something with loads of detail and 3D effects, then you don’t want to miss this post by Birdz of Feather.

Gorgeous sandblasting horse from Birdz of a Feather

Oh, and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry, it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more amazing craft ideas to share with you 😉

11x14 Picture Frame Rotten White 2 Pcs in 1 set 11x14 Frame can Display 8x10 Picture with Mat or 11x14 Without Mat on the Wall
VIPMOON 50 Pcs Mini Hinge for Wooden Jewelry Box Small Box Hinges Cabinet Decoration, Vintage Bronze Cabinet Hardware
Sale Rust-Oleum 1903830 Frosted Glass Spray Paint, 11 oz, Frosted Glass & 249127 Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover, 12 Oz, Flat Black

Or if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then one of these beauties may appeal.

Archway Glass Terrarium, Upgrade. (Clear Glass)
Mkono Wall Hanging Glass Planter Plant Terrarium Modern Flower Bud Vase in Wood Stand Rack Tabletop Terrarium for Propagating Hydropoinc Plants, Home Office Decoration with 5 Test Tube, Medium, Beige
Topline Outdoor Mini Garden Greenhouse - 27 Inch

And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix