Introduction: Upcycled Picture Frame Planter

About: Maker | Researcher ---- Interested in Hydroponics, DIY, Upcycling, Vegetables, Crayfish, Goldish, Houseplants Plants, Chickens

Welcome to my tutorial for a hanging picture frame planter. The whole build took me only 1 day so should be a great weekend project to bring some green into your home.

Happy Making!!!


  • Some spare timber
  • A small piece of plywood
  • A hand saw
  • A drill
  • A workbench
  • Some waterproof plastic - can use an old compost bag without holes
  • A staple gun
  • 4 eye hooks
  • A short section of rope that fits thought the eye hooks
  • A small funnel
  • Coir + Moss + Perlite
  • Plants of your choice

I made this planter out of some scrap wood I had lying around so all the dimensions are adjustable to your preference. I used 25mm thick as I felt it gave a nice weight to the frame.

I have attached a cut sheet which you might find helpful to download / print out to use as a guide during making.

So now go away and cut out all your wood!!

Step 1: Making the Planter Body

The planter body is made using the wood in step 2 of the cut sheet.

The two shorter sections are butted up against the longer two sections to make a square and attached with screws.

  1. Drill 2 holes through the longer section of wood at one end, as show in the first image, for screws to pass through into the shorter sections of the wood.
  2. Repeat for the other end.
  3. Now add your screws.
  4. You should now have a 'U' shape.
  5. Now rotate and repeat steps 1-3 so you have a square.
  6. Be awesome!!

Step 2: Attaching the Frame

If you have not already cut out your battens for part 3 of the cut sheet you can simply make some by cutting up some sections of space timber.

Even though your planter and frame should overlap I did not want to attach screws front the front as I thought this would look ugly.

  1. Arrange the timber to make the front of your frame face down on your workbench.
  2. Place the square box you just made on top and line it up so it fits squarely in the centre of the frame.
  3. Take one of your wooden battens and place against the bottom left corner of your box leaving a about 2/5 sticking out from the edge.
  4. These battens will give shape to your frame face while also attaching it to the planter box.
  5. Insert 2 screws at either end of the batten into the frame face.
  6. Now insert 2 screws through the batten into the planter box.
  7. At this point it may be easier to rotate yourself 90 degrees, than trying to move the planter.
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 until all the battens are attached, like in the final photo.

Step 3: Adding a Back

You will need to add a whole into the top of the planter to be able to add water to the soil once it is planted up.

  1. To do this find a drill bit with roughly a 25mm diameter or larger. If you have your funnel to hand, measure the diameter of the funnel spout.
  2. Drill a hole into one of the side of the planter box where you also inserted the the screws.

Now that your hole is drilled you can add a back.

  1. Place your piece of plywood shown in step 4 of the cut sheet onto the back of the planter.
  2. Attach via a screw in each corner.

Step 4: Hanging Your Planter

  1. Attached 2 of your eye hooks into the bottom of the planter as shown in the first image.
  2. How attached an eye hook into the left and right hand sides of the planter near to the top.
  3. Thread a section of rope though and secure by knotting at both ends.
  4. At this point as well make sure your funnel fits. If necessary trim to size using your saw.

Step 5: Lining Your Planter

As I mentioned in the start, if you do not have any waterproof plastic you can use old compost bags but be sure that they do not have any holes in them.

  1. Cut the plastic to size do that you can push it into the planter. You want the plastic to be oversized so that there are joins.
  2. Use a staple gun to hold the plastic in place applying staples around the top edge of the frame.

Step 6: Planting Up

The planting process is really simple.

  1. For soil I used a mixer of coil, sphagnum moss and perlite in a 50:25:25 ratio.

  2. For plants I decided to go with a selection of jungle plants that would enjoy high moisture including a pothos vine, a spider plant and 4 types of bromeliad.

  3. Place your planter flat on the table and plant it up as if you were going to use it like a conventional planter, not rotated 90 degrees and hung up on the wall. Make sure to pack the plants nice and tight as only their roots will be holding them in place.

  4. Have fun with your planting, imaging you are painting a picture!!
    However remember to choose plants that enjoy the same conditions eg: shady + humid or sunny + dry.

Step 7: All Finished!!!

  1. Now that you have your planter planted, place it somewhere where it can get some light but still lying flat on a table.
  2. You should leave it like this for 1 week to allow the plants roots to start exploring their new home.
  3. At the beginning of week 2, lift the planter through 60-70 degrees and rest it in an upright position and leave it there for 2 weeks. As the plants roots expand, they should help hold the plants in place.
  4. Finally at the beginning of week 4, you can now hang up your planter on the wall in all its glory!!


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you do make one please tag me on Instagram @theurbanresearcher or on Twitter @edtheresearcher

Indoor Gardening Contest 2016

Runner Up in the
Indoor Gardening Contest 2016