Last summer, when I was designing and creating my daughter’s boho farmhouse bedroom design, I came up with a faux succulent wall planter to help decorate her wall. The idea came from Pinterest as well as Pottery Barn when I saw how gorgeous they were in-person. I was shocked when my YouTube video went semi-viral (for me) and I got a lot of comments, most not that great. Even though I titled it Pottery Barn inspired DIY succulent wall art, people saw the thumbnail photo and assumed the succulents were real. It never occurred to me that people would assume they were real and get mad that they weren’t, but they did, and they felt deceived. After the initial shock of so much negativity, I decided to create a real succulent wall planter once we moved into our home and I had space to work with dirt. So, here is my real DIY vintage succulent wall planter!
DIY Vintage Succulent Wall Planter - 804 Sycamore
This DIY vintage succulent wall planter is vintage because the wall planter is a vintage crate. You could use any container or make your own, but if you use a wooden container, take a few minutes to seal the wood with polyurethane – this will help it to not rot. I also could have purchased more colorful and larger succulents from local shops, but I wanted to keep my overall price down so I ordered my two inch succulents from Amazon and they arrived perfectly intact and healthy. I’ve only had good experiences when buying plants online, but be sure to read the reviews from other buyers before you make your purchase.
I’m eager to see how fast these succulents grow, and if it’s slow going I can easily add more plants to this arrangement. Similarly, if one plant totally dies, I can easily remove it. The difference between my succulent wall planter and others on YouTube is that mine has a built-in watering system, where most other DIY wall planters don’t. However, the complete disclaimer is that I don’t know how effective my watering system works yet. However, I do know that it would easier and faster to just set the box down flat and water it. Even so, I tried my soaker hose idea and I’m hopeful that it will work well for the succulents – especially in the cooler winter months.
By nature, succulents hold their water in their leaves, they need a porous soil to drain properly, and they like to be cramped. The soaker hose winds back and forth in the crate and will slowly soak the cactus soil so that it’s not drenched or soggy. The crate is lined with a black plastic garbage bag so that soil doesn’t fall out, but this also means that water won’t just pour out either. So, I’m hopeful that the soaker hose will keep the soil moist for the succulents to drink without drenching the soil. I only water the crate once a week or if we have an extra hot day I give it an extra little sprinkle. The layer of sheet moss and the additional moss I added around each plant should also help the succulents to hold their water without it just evaporating in the summer heat.
DIY Vintage Succulent Wall Planter – Steps:
To get started, you’ll need a few items that you may or may not have laying around the house. You can use the soaker hose watering system I used, but you don’t have to. And I wish I would have used the receiving end of the soaker hose at the bottom end of my crate so that I could have just attached the hose to the soaker hose and used that water pressure to fill the soaker hose. That’s the only change I would make for a second wall planter.
- crate or container to plant the succulents in
- hanging hardware
- polyurethane to protect the wood
- plastic garbage bag
- staple gun
- short soaker hose
- cactus/succulent soil
- sheet moss or loose moss
- chicken wire
- wire cutters
If you watch the video, you’ll notice that I make two cuts to the chicken wire and then I pull it back to place a succulent in that space. When you place the wire back, be sure to take care and not poke the succulent with the wire tip. I also stuff some extra moss around the plant to help keep the dirt in, to help keep moisture in, and for aesthetics. The sheet moss nicely holds the dirt in, but adding bits of loose moss also helps. Also be careful to not cut through the sheet moss too hastily so that you don’t cut through the plastic bag lining or the soaker hose. I used an old steak knife with a serrated edge and it worked well, but you could also use scissors.
Sometimes a succulent won’t make it, I’m not sure why, but if this happens to your DIY vintage succulent wall planter, it’s really easy to pull back the wire, remove the dead succulent, and cover it or replace it with a new succulent. There are succulent wall planters that live many years and grow to fill out their containers – a succulent wall planter is a great way to create a low maintenance porch or patio decor for you home. My youngest daughter loves watering our succulents and I hope she enjoys watching them grow too.
Thanks so much for checking out my DIY vintage succulent wall planter post and video. The steps completed to create this succulent wall planter work for any size wall planter. If you want to make a small planter, skip the soaker hose, but ultimately you can totally customize this project to fit your space or needs. Have fun with designing the placement of your succulents, and enjoy creating your own vintage succulent wall planter! Be sure to subscribe to receive my DIY and decorating updates!
Paint a layer of polyurethane to wooden crates/boxes. Let fully dry and then add hanging hardware.
I used a thick garbage bag to line the inside of my crate and then attached it with a staple gun.
Be sure to fold any edges inside so they're not showing and firmly press the staple gun to the crate so that the staple goes all the way into the wood.
Take a short soaker hose, and attach the receiving end for a regular hose at the bottom of your crate. My crate has openings for the handles at each end, otherwise I would have needed to use my forstner bit to drill a hole. Wrap the soaker hose through the crate and be sure to seal the end after cutting the length. you can clamp, glue, tie a knot, whatever keeps it secure.
Fill the crate with cactus potting soil and press firmly and evenly around.
I used sheet moss to cover the dirt. The moss helps keep the dirt from falling out, helps keep moisture in, and looks nice too.
Chicken wire should be lined up and attached to the crate. I only attached the sides and left the top and bottom open and lined up with the inside of the crate (as seen below).
I wrapped about half of a hexagon around the left and right sides and then securely stapled it tight.
Once the sides are attached, I used my wire cutters to trim off the excess.
I used 2"x2" succulent plants. Determine where one is going and cut the wire so that you can pull it back and create an opening for the plant.
I used a serrated knife to cut a slit through the sheet moss. Be careful to not puncture the plastic lining.
I pulled open the moss and made a little hole with my fingers. Be sure to remove excess from the succulent's dirt ball and then squeeze the plant into the space. Succulents like to live in a tight environment.
As a finishing touch, I added some loose moss around the succulent and then carefully put the wire back to help hold the succulent in place.
I arranged the five different types of succulents in an 'X' pattern. Half of the succulents in the lower left corner died off shortly after - they are looking a bit brown in this pic. If any succulents don't make it, you can pull back the wire, remove it, and replace it with a new succulents for that spot. The Miracle Gro cactus soil has caused these beauties to grow fairly quickly. I was very impressed. You can follow me on Instagram or my blog for more DIY and design ideas and projects.
- Succulents (Amazon)
- Cactus soil (Home Depot)