I’ve previously made a fairly large vertical garden from an upcylced pallet (details here) and have been on the lookout for a smaller one to fit into another corner in my balcony garden. After seeing a free pallet on Facebook, I excitedly walked the few blocks to pick it up and was happy to find it much lighter and easier to carry than the first one, which required an exhausting, stop-filled lug home.
For this project I also wanted to add some more details, like attaching pots to the lower shelves and including a blackboard. This project took less than 2 hours to make (excluding time for paint to dry) and was very straightforward, requiring no power tools or expertise. So it’s perfect for anyone looking for a creative garden project on the weekend.
Here a list of the material and tools you’ll need, plus 5 easy steps to follow to make your own.
What you’ll need
Materials (total cost = 15 €)
- Pallet: free- this is one of the easiest DIY items to source for free. Check gumtree, facebook groups, ask at building sites, warehouse stores or find ones abandoned on the street
- Material for the planter part: I bought some for a 3€ from a second hand clothes shop. You can also get hessian from hardware stores
- Blackboard paint: I found some for 10€ from Claus Ohlsen- again local hardware shop
- Natural fiber rope/string: I bought a roll for 1€ at the local bargain store
- Hooks to fasten the rope: 1€ for a pack from the local bargain store
Tools (total cost ~ 30€)
Most of these you could easily borrow, but if you needed to buy, together they should cost around 30€. Opt for second-hand if you can- cheaper and better for the environment!
- Staple gun
- Paint brush
Step.1 – Create the planter boxes
Cut the material into required lengths and staple to the underside of each shelf.
Step.2 – Secure the pots
Stand the pallet up and place the pots where you would like them to sit on the shelves. Mark the height of the rope that will hold them in place. Hammer in the hooks on the sides of the middle plank at these measured heights.
Attach the rope to the first hook, wrap around the pot and tie off on the second hook. Cut off excess rope. Repeat for the other shelf.
Step.3 – Create the blackboard
Outside or somewhere with good ventilation, paint the front of the shelves with blackboard paint. Let dry for at least 2 hours and then repaint.
Step.4- Add the chalk art!
This can easily be changed/removed by using a wet cloth to remove the chalk and waiting for a few minutes until the surface dries.
Step.5 – Add plants
I’ve planted tomatoes on the top level and then a mix of different flowers on the bottom two shelves, including nasturtiums which will grow up the sides of the pallet.