Making a cold frame in two basic ways

Make A Cold Frame In Two Basic Ways

In general, a cold frame is used to extend the growing season of plants that would shrivel up from the cold nights. You can either build cold frames in two basic ways which is one of it involving bending the PVC pipe into a semicircle and attaching a plastic canopy on top. Here are the steps on how to do it.

You will need:

  1. 2 of 1 ½ inches by 8 inches treated pine boards
  2. 4 of 1 ½ inches by 1 ½ inches pine boards
  3. 8 of ¼ inch by 2 ½ inches screws
  4. 10 of ½ inch by ½ inch pipe braces
  5. 4 of ¼ inches by 7/8 inches screws
  6. Jigsaw
  7. Staple gun
  8. Electric drill
  9. 4mm thick of 10 foot by 10 foot plastic roll
  10. 2 of 1 ½ inches by 4 inches treated pine boards
  11. 3 of ½ inches by 7 feet flexible pvc pipes
  12. 16 of 2 inches tack nails
  13. 20 of ¼ inch by 7/8 inch screws
  14. 1 of ¼ inch by 6 feet by 4 feet plywood board
  15. 1 thermally-actuated vent damper
  16. ½ inches staples and hammer


  1. First, use an electric drill to screw the end of the 4-foot board into the end of the 8-foot board. Proceed this step by screwing the second 4-foot board into the opposite end of the 8-foot board. Repeat this step with the second 8-foot board to create a basic frame. Inset one of the 1 ½ inch board as a support into the inside of the frame. Hammer it in place from the outside of both the 8-foot and 4-foot boards with tack nails. Repeat this step three times.
  2. Then, connect one pipe brace to each support board on the inside of an 8-foot board. In the middle of the 8-foot board, screw three more pipe braces and spaced at the same distances from each other. In each of the 5 pipe braces, place the end of a PVC pipe. Repeat with the other 8-foot boards attaching the opposite end of the PVC pipes in these braces with each forming a hoop.
  3. Make a trace on the end-hoop shape onto the plywood board and cut it out using the jigsaw. In the middle of the plywood board, trace out the large inner side of the vent damper and cut it out. Place the rounded plywood board into a PVC end-hoop snugly. Continue by screwing the bottom of the plywood board ahead onto the inner end of a 4-foot board with 4 equidistant 7/8 inch screws. Place the plastic on the ground by unrolling it. Place the 8 foot side of the frame over the plastic with at least 5 inches of the loose plastic edge inside the frame. Staple the plastic edge to the inner frame.
  1. Next, roll the rest of the loose plastic over the hoops and staple them inside the opposite 8 foot frame. The same step again, proceed to staple the loose plastic to the inside frame of a 4-foot end and repeat with the other 4-foot end, cutting off any excess plastic.
  2. Finally, cut out the plastic over the vent hole in the plywood. With the largest end facing outside, insert the thermally-actuated vent damper into the plywood board.

Image Credit:

Flickr CC

Additional Reading:

Building & Using Cold Frames: Garden Way Publishing Bulletin A-39

Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Greenhouses & Garden Projects: Greenhouses, Cold Frames, Compost Bins, Garden Carts, Planter Beds, Potting Benches & More (Black & Decker Complete Guide)