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Most of us order things for delivery. And we get that packed in all sorts of material. Cardboard can go into the compost pile. But what about plastic like bubble wrap?

Well, you can turn it into a no, or low cost, cold frame. A few pieces of wood, some stout wire, and some bubble rap. And you have a cold frame. Construction is very simple. While I made this one from free bubble wrap, which has some insulating properties which single sheet plastic does not, you can use any type of plastic. They will all work well. Just adjust and monitor interior temps as needed.

  1. Build a square base from from scrap lumber. Size does not matter, but just make it small or large enough to accommodate the sheets of bubble wrap you have. Just hammer in a few nails into each corner to keep the frame square and rigid.
  2. Get some think wire, bend it to a curved shape you like. I personally like to leave some straight sides for taller growing plants like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant I start in the frame, but even a simple half circle is fine.
  3. Drill a few holes in the wood and insert the wire.
  4. Cover the wire with the bubble wrap. Staple or tape down this plastic to the wood base.
  5. Cut some fist sized holes at the top at each end to let out moisture and excess heat (similar to what one would do for a poly tunnel). Best to do this by cutting on the three sides from the wire, and bending in the plastic and taping to the top of the “roof” on the inside.
  6. Place over your starters and leave in a sunny location. Monitor on hot days. On very hot days, you can simply tilt or lift off the frame. It is very light. And the holes you cut at each end make great grab handles.
  7. Done. 🙂