ISSUE 32  |  Down Under

DIY: Hanging Garden Shelves for a Small Space

August 13, 2014 4:00 PM

BY Michelle Slatalla

Do not be scared off by the power tools. Designer Ben Uyeda’s hanging garden shelves are actually easy to make (well, at least according to the video, which I’ve watched–transfixed–at least eight times). Ben, who creates stylish (and affordable) modern furnishings from simple materials, posts step-by-step instructions on HomeMade Modern, where I spied this compact wall garden the other day. 

Read on for a list of materials and a look at Ben’s technique. Go to HomeMade Modern for step-by-step instructions and to watch the video.

Photography courtesy of HomeMade Modern.

Above: The small-space hanging wall garden holds 20 houseplants.


  • 20 4-inch or 5-inch terra-cotta pots
  • 5 pine boards, 3/4 thick and 3 feet long
  • Clothesline or 1/4-inch-thick rope
  • Cable ties
  • Cordless drill
  • 4-inch metal hole saw 
  • Circular saw
  • Pliers

Above: Ben bought 6-foot-long boards and cut them in half (alternately, you can have them cut to size at the lumber yard or store where you buy them).

Above: After drilling pilot holes as guides, Ben cut holes for the pots using a hole saw. (Be sure to clamp the board to a work surface before drilling.)

Above: Next, Ben drilled four holes in each board for the rope (using a 5/16-inch drill bit). He then threaded the rope through the holes, tying knots on the underside of the bottom board to hold them in place.

Above: Ben added several zip ties beneath each board to hold the rope in place.

Above: Ben spaced the shelves far enough apart to leave room for the plants to grow (just a little). To catch any water that drains from the pots, he recommends using small glass bottles suspended by wire.

Above: Make sure you hang the garden shelves from hooks that can support the weight. Ben recommends using a wooden closet rod and closet shelf brackets.

For more small-space hanging gardens, see DIY: A Living Wall for the Office, Lazy Person’s Edition and DIY: Instant Hanging Shelves for Houseplants.