DIY Living Wall

The decorating plans for my small bedroom makeover included lots of plants. Plants add oxygen to the room which gives you better sleep. Plants are grounding and peaceful. I want my bedroom to be a place of relaxation.

Because the bedroom is so small, I had the idea to add a living wall. This accomplished two things - it added lots of plants and it doubles as a piece of art. Win, win!

I made my living wall out of reclaimed fence boards, but you can make yours out of reclaimed barn wood, pallet wood, or even new boards if you want.

The following step-by-step instructions include supplies to build three 26 x 4.5 x 5.75 boxes. You can adapt the measurements and number of boxes for your living wall design. Some of my supplies are affiliate links. When you purchase from my website. I may receive a commission. This does not cost you any extra and helps support Urban Cottage Living.



  • Scrub brush
  • Dishsoap
  • Measuring Tape
  • Saw - I used a chop saw
  • Hammer
  • Stapler
Living wall directions made out of reclaimed fence boards. All the directions. Turns out so cute!


  • Fence boards - cut six pieces 26 inches long and six pieces at 3.5 inches long.
  • 2x4 studs - cut six pieces at 25 inches long. Note, you will want to adjust the length of your 2x4 boards if your fence boards are a different thickness than .5 inch.
Living wall made out of reclaimed fence boards. Step by step instructions. It turns out so cute!


If you are using salvaged boards like I did, make sure you wash them really well. I scrubbed mine with a firm brush using dish soap and water. Allow them to completely dry. 

Reclaimed fence boards turned into a living wall. All the instructions on the blog. It turns out super cute!


  • Let your boards completely dry after washing.
Reclaimed fence boards made into a living wall. Step by step DIY instructions. It turns out amazing!


  • On a flat surface, lay out your 2x4 stud with your end pieces. The 2x4 is going to be the bottom of your box.
  • Run a zigzag line of glue along the 2x4.

Tip: Using a 2x4 as the bottom of your box instead of another fence board, is because it is thicker. This will help hold your box together better.

Reclaimed fence boards made into a living wall. Step by step instructions included. It turns out beautiful!
  • Place one of the 26-inch boards on the glue, lining up the bottom and then ends flush. 
  • Nail with six finishing nails to secure.
  • Flip over and repeat keeping the end pieces in place to keep the box square and level.
Reclaimed fence boards | reclaimed barnwood | DIY living wall instructions
  • Glue nail your end pieces.
DIY living wall directions | step by step | reclaimed fence wood | reclaimed barnwood


  • Allow the glue to dry completely.
  • Brush a coat of Polycrylic on your boxes. 
  • Allow to completely dry and repeat.
  • Allow to completely dry.

Tip: Sealing your boxes will bring out the grain and character in the wood. This will give a similar look to as if the boards were wet.

DIY living wall | reclaimed fence boards | reclaimed barnwood | detailed step by step directions | turns out amazing

Add Hooks

  • Decide what side of the box you want to be the front.
  • Set the box front side down on a flat, solid surface.
  • Measure one inch from the outside of the box lining the hook to be right at the top.
  • Mark the holes with a pencil.
  • Using the screws that come with the picture hangers, attach to the back of the box.
DIY living wall directions | reclaimed fence wood | reclaimed barnwood | step by step | turns out really cute

Attach Liner & Hang

  • Staple pond liner or heavy duty trash bags to the inside of your boxes one inch below the top.
  • Measure where you want your boxes to hang, mark where the wall screws need to go.
  • Install your wall screws using molly screws if necessary.

Tip: Fold the pond liner under one-inch to give a clean look. If you are hanging directly on sheetrock, you will want to use molly screws to hold the weight of box once filled with dirt and plants.

Living wall | DIY step by step instructions | reclaimed fence boards | reclaimed barnwood | easy to make | turns out cute

Add Plants

  • Play around with the layout of your plants before you plant them. 
  • Fill the boxes with potting soil and plants
  • Water the plants

Tip: You may want to unhook the boxes from the wall and take them outside or to the garden shed for planting the plants.

Living wall DIY | step by step | directions | instructions | reclaimed fence boards | reclaimed barnwood | reclaimed wood project
living wall | diy | step by step instructions | directions | reclaimed fence boards | reclaimed barnwood | project | DIY project | easy to make
DIY living wall directions | step by step | reclaimed fence wood | reclaimed barnwood | rustic living wall