A Crafty Mix


Re-purpose a Plastic Frame to Make a Vertical Garden

Vertical gardens fascinate me. It doesn’t matter where you live or how much space you have a vertical garden is a living canvas that showcase the best that nature has to offer. With so many inspiring ideas on the web we had to try make our own using a plastic frame we found at a local thrift store.

Re-purpose an old plastic picture frame and create a beautiful vertical garden. Perfect for small spaces

What you need

What We Used to Make a Vertical Garden

  • A large plastic frame
  • Plastic coated wire mesh
  • Pallet off-cuts and eco-friendly waterproof wood sealer
  • Aluminum tape (optional) I was being extra cautious and wanted to make really sure the wood didn’t rot
  • Woven fabric weed mat (plastic weed mats won’t allow plants to get the water and nutrients they need to grow)
  • Plastic drop cloth
  • Staple gun
  • L-shaped brackets
  • Plants (we used succulents because they don’t need a lot of water and are really easy to maintain)
  • Potting soil mixed with perlite

Making the Vertical Garden

We measured the inside of the frame (where the picture would go) and cut the wire mesh and weed mat to fit. Then we attached the wire mesh and weed mat to the back of the frame using a staple gun. Make sure that the “furry” side of the weed mat faces upwards (or inwards) – the furry side helps retains water while the wire mesh and weed mat will hold the soil in place and provide support for the plants.

Re-purpose an old plastic picture frame and create a beautiful vertical garden. Perfect for small spaces

Attached the wire mesh using a staple gun

Using the inside frame measurements we cut some light weight pallets to form the sides of a box which we sealed with an eco-friendly wood sealer. For extra protection we added aluminium tape to protect the wood and prevent it from water rot. I love that stuff and we’ve used it to make so many things for the garden. It’s waterproof, super sticky and a roll goes a long way.

Re-purpose an old plastic picture frame and create a beautiful vertical garden. Perfect for small spaces

Cover the pallets with aluminium tape

We used L-shaped brackets to put the box frame together and attached the box to the plastic frame. We also drilled some holes at the bottom for drainage.

Building the box frame

Building the box frame

Once the sides of the box were done we covered the whole inside with weed mat using a staple gun and added some mulch, compost, perlite and potting soil. Potting soil helps retain the water and keep it moist for longer than normal soil would.

Fill with moss and sand

Fill with moss and sand

I was a bit worried about how we could stop moisture seeping through the back of the box frame and into our wall, so we used a thick plastic drop sheet, which we put on top of the soil before we closed off the box frame with some more pallets which we cut to size.

Re-purpose an old plastic picture frame and create a beautiful vertical garden. Perfect for small spaces

A plastic drop sheet to prevent water from seeping through the back of the box frame

We flipped the frame over to check that everything stayed together. It was a bit disconcerting working backwards if you know what I mean, it’s kinda like filling a pot from the top down. Anyhows the box frame held up and the soil didn’t fall out. Lulu seems happy enough with the whole contraption 😀

Life is a garden. Frame itClick to Tweet
Re-purpose an old plastic picture frame and create a beautiful vertical garden. Perfect for small spaces

The frame is ready for planting

Planting the Vertical Garden

Now for the fun bit. To add the plants we just cut a small hole in the wire mesh and weed cloth and carefully tucked the plants into the pockets flipping the wire mesh back down to secure the plants.

Re-purpose an old plastic picture frame and create a beautiful vertical garden. Perfect for small spaces

Planting the succulents

It’s always best to choose plants that don’t need a lot of water, since a vertical garden can dry out really quickly. Succulents are a great choice. They’re easy to grow and propagate and they come in the most beautiful colours!!!

Re-purpose an old plastic picture frame and create a beautiful vertical garden. Perfect for small spaces #verticalgarden #HowTo #Tutoral #verticalgardening

Mother Nature at her best

Hanging and Caring For a Vertical Garden

Give the roots some time to establish themselves before hanging the vertical garden. Both the soil and the plants need a few days to settle in their new environment. Initially vertical gardens need more maintenance than normal container gardens. The plants are really close together and have less soil to “spread their wings”. So you will need to water them more often in the beginning.

Vertical gardens can also be very heavy. That’s one of the reasons we added perlite to the soil mix and a plastic frame. Our walls are all brick so fortunately we didn’t have to worry about finding studs to hang this baby up.Just make sure the drainage holes are at the bottom. Ask me how I know 😀

Re-purpose an old plastic picture frame and create a beautiful vertical garden. Perfect for small spaces

I abSooooLutely love how our repurposed framed vertical garden turned out.They truly are amazing, we’ve even made one using empty DVD cases 

If you like the idea of repurposing an old frame to make a vertical garden, don’t forget to pin it for later.

Re-purpose an old plastic picture frame and create a beautiful vertical garden. Perfect for small spaces #verticalgarden #smallspacegardens #howtomake #repurposedFrame #tutorail

Have you tried making one?

Oh and if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, 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 😉

Sale Algreen 34002 Garden View, Vertical Living Wall Planter
Bright Green BG-WM8BW Grovert Living Wall Planter with Frame Kit, 16 by 24 by 5-Inch, Barn Wood
The Vertical Gardening Guidebook: How To Create Beautiful Vertical Gardens, Container Gardens and Aeroponic Vertical Tower Gardens at Home (Gardening Guidebooks Book 1)

Made with love by a Crafty Mix

Categories:   Craft Tutorials, DIY Tutorials, Hacks & Revamps, Pallet Hacks, Planters


  • Posted: April 20, 2018 22:21


    I love how yours turned out. I have been working on my succulent garden since January and I think it may be a fail. I hope not. I hope mine looks as great as yours does. It will be published in May so we shall see.
    • Posted: April 23, 2018 15:15


      I'm sure yours will be fine Debra. They are a little harder to keep going than a normal garden, but succulents are such easy plants and thrive mostly anywhere.
  • Posted: April 20, 2018 03:04


    That's so stunning Michelle! How's it doing now? Did everything keep growing & doing well? I love the concept & it looks so pretty!
    • Posted: April 23, 2018 15:19


      The little succulents struggled a bit in the beginning. I think they weren't used to having their roots pointing sideways instead of down 😉 but they're doing well now
  • Posted: July 29, 2017 13:57

    Milena | Craft Beering

    This framed vertical garden is genius! I love that you used succulents, not only for the colors, but they seem to be so unpretentious (never die in my house despite being my roommates).
    • Posted: July 29, 2017 15:13


      LOL Milena, succulents are the best room mates ever.
  • Posted: July 17, 2017 23:09


    How dud you attach the wood box to the plastic frame??
    • Posted: July 18, 2017 05:49


      Hey Chad, we screwed the DVD cases onto the piece of wood from the back. The screws are quite long and I'm hoping that as they rust they'll add some more nutrients to the soil too. Hope that helps
      • Posted: February 6, 2018 14:46


        What DVD cases? I don't see any in your materials list. Very beautiful!
        • Posted: February 6, 2018 16:28


          Oh dear did I mess up. The plastic frame is just one of the vertical gardens we've made. The other one was made using empty DVD cases - here's the link https://acraftymix.com/blog/2017/06/26/old-dvd-cases/
  • Posted: November 28, 2016 18:19

    Mary-the boondocks blog

    Ohh very well done my friend. It is truly a living work of art fit to be framed.
    • Posted: November 29, 2016 03:54


      Thank you Mary, I'm so happy with how well she's doing. We've been able "harvest" a whole bunch of her off shoots for other projects.
  • Posted: November 7, 2016 00:41


    That looks amazing. Oooh, I am thinking I want to make one for a Christmas gift!!!
    • Posted: November 7, 2016 05:00


      Thank you so much Dara, they do make such lovely gifts ;-)
  • Posted: August 30, 2016 18:40

    Sarah - Craft Invaders

    I haven't made one of these, but have fancied having a go for a while. Your instructions are lovely and clear - pinning ready for when I find a suitable frame!
    • Posted: August 31, 2016 06:14


      Please share when you're done Sarah. Ours has been hanging outside for a few months now and she's made tons of baby succulents, so she must be happy.
  • Posted: July 19, 2016 16:57

    Joanne Thomas

    I've made the living wreath to hang on a old window frame. This picture frame will look great looking out my outdoor room over looking the lake . Thanks for sharing . Joanne T . New Ross ,Nova Scotia ,Canada
    • Posted: July 20, 2016 06:55


      Awesome ;-)
  • Posted: May 11, 2016 20:55


    I would like an update. How is this holding up?
    • Posted: May 12, 2016 08:08


      Hi, the frame is holding up beautifully. All I've had to do was remove some of the old leaves and I'm really glad to say the succulents seem very happy. The pale green ones have all made babies. I'll post some update pics as soon as I get a chance.
  • Posted: April 13, 2016 07:05


    How do you water it?
    • Posted: April 13, 2016 12:27


      Hi Danielle, at the moment we just give it a little spritz of water with a spray bottle if it's been really hot.
  • Posted: April 12, 2016 19:00


    Love it. Is it very heavy?
    • Posted: April 13, 2016 06:21


      It is heavy. We tried to use the lightest wood we could find for the box frame, but as soon as you add the soil it just gets heavier and heavier. I wouldn't suggest hanging it on a wall that can't take some weight. Thanks for stopping by.
  • Posted: April 3, 2016 20:19

    Framing a Vertical Garden - Inspiration DIY

    […] See it HERE! […]
  • Posted: April 2, 2016 11:39

    Psychic Nest

    WOW I totally love this! I will definitely try it, thank you! Zaria
    • Posted: April 2, 2016 11:49


      Pleasure Zaria <3
  • Posted: April 2, 2016 10:22


    Am I missing something here? I love this idea and the instructions are very clear. But how do you water the plants later on??
    • Posted: April 2, 2016 11:31


      Hi Chilifriend, fortunately succulents don't need a lot of water so we just use a spray bottle to give them a spitz of water once a week. I think you can probably drill a hole on top of the box and add a rubber hose with holes if the plants aren't succulents. Thank you for stopping by :-)
  • Posted: March 31, 2016 22:41


    Michelle this is just awesome. I just love gardening and this was something I would definitely wanna try. Your breathing canvas is stunning and would love to have one on my living room wall. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post!
    • Posted: April 1, 2016 15:57


      Thank you Rashmi <3
  • Posted: March 31, 2016 14:37

    Sarah Friedrich

    What a cool idea!! I can't wait for spring so I can start a little garden by myself!
    • Posted: March 31, 2016 16:45


      Haben Sie vielen Dank Sarah!
  • Posted: March 31, 2016 14:35

    linda smith

    This is amazing! I absolutely love it. Come make one at my house? ;)
    • Posted: March 31, 2016 16:47


      :-) :-) Anytime :-) :-) as long as you share your brilliant blogging tips while I hammer away
  • Posted: March 30, 2016 06:39


    How beautiful, love it!!
    • Posted: March 30, 2016 07:05


      8-) Thank you

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