How I designed an easy diy outdoor living wall - A Life Unfolding

How I designed an easy diy outdoor living wall

Since it’s Memorial Day and the unofficial 1st day of summer today, I thought I’d share with you my latest outdoor project. I made DIY’d an easy outdoor living wall! I have to say I am delighted with how this one turned out. It’s something I have wanted to add a living wall to an outdoor space forever, and I finally decided to go for it. I am sharing how I made it, why I choose the plants I did, and what I will do differently next year!

Outdoor Living Wall DIY

Outdoor Living Wall DIY

I decided to add the wall to our outdoor space at the Airbnb. After all, we are working on refreshing this area because we had a large space. Once I had chosen the space, I decided it would be fun for the guests if I added a Giant Letter Board to leave welcome messages on. I’ll share that portion of the DIY in an upcoming post.

Step One: Measuring the space, so I knew how large I wanted the overall structure. I knew I did not want something permanent. So I wanted something that would lean rather be attached to the house. I wanted something we could change if we decide to sell the house.

This is the space I choose for the Living Wall.

This is the space I choose for the Living Wall.

We started with 2- 4 x 8 pieces of plywood that we cut 6 inches from, giving us a frame of 7 ft x 8 ft.

We then secured them together with one strip of plywood from what we had cut off the original pieces to the back of the plywood to give it some additional support.

In process of DIY accent wall

Once we had our base, we built a frame around it. I wanted the plants to sit inside a frame. We secured with screws 4- 2 x 4 x 8 pieces which we cut to size all along the outside.

Screwing the frame to the plywood

Framing the DIY Living Wall

Once the frame was completed, I stained the plywood with Minwax Early American stain and the frame with Minwax Ebony a black for some contrast. Then I used 3 coats of polyurethane to seal the entire piece for added protection against the elements. I will probably add another coat in the fall.

Using Min Wax stain in Early American and Ebony.

Using Min Wax stain in Early American and Ebony.

Now it was time to add the vertical grow pockets. They are made of a heavy-grade felt material. I used these large vertical wall pockets for 4.5-inch plants. I mixed a variety of the 7 pocket version and 12 pocket version. I laid them out for spacing before we secured them.

Vertical Wall System/I like to visually lay things out.

Vertical Wall System/ I like to lay things out visually.

We used screws to attach the grow pockets to the plywood

We used screws to attach the grow pockets to the plywood.

Once the vertical wall pockets were attached, it was time to plant. Since I was using 4-inch plants (which tend to dry out quickly I also used a product that I have success with in the past. Miracle Grow Water-Storing Crystals. These were very helpful with my patio containers last year, and I have my fingers crossed they save me some watering this year. When planting, mix in the crystals with the soil (I like to avoid the roots). Follow the directions when adding to existing plants. You have to be careful not to add too much.

Miracle Grow Water Storing Crystals

Starting to plant living wall

The plants I choose:

Moonbeam Coreopsis

Vinca Vine

Ajuga Bugleweed

Campanula (white)

Asparagus Fern

With the help of my neighborhood nursery staff, I choose these particular plants because they are drought tolerant and will thrive in full sun. This, combined with the water storing crystals, will help immensely with watering this summer. Watering needs are essential to consider for a living wall.

The Living Wall planted. I am planning on a Giant Letterboard in the middle.

The Living Wall planted. The middle will be giant letterboard quests that can write messages on

For the giant Letterboard, I painted the square with primer and then two coats of porch paint followed by three coats of polystyrene to seal it. We then ripped 4 pieces of wood to 36 x 1.5 inches and 4 pieces 36 x.50 for the ledge. I stained them with Minwax stain and sealed them with polyurtheynae since they are otside. We attached the ledges with a pneumatic nailer. Easy peasy! We chose 8 inch letters for the giant letterboard although the Vinyl letters were not cheap!

I’m excited to say the plants are already beginning to fill in nicely, and we still have frost warnings here! I post another pic once it fills in.

Living Wall DIY Finished

Living Wall DIY Finished

After two weeks.

After two weeks.

Our final step was securing the entire piece to the house with a large hook and eye to prevent it from falling.

Pin for Later

Pin for Later

You may also like:

DIY Checkerboard

Outdoor Decor Inspiration

Until next time,


Share the ♡
  1. sara says:

    That is awesome! I’m looking for something to cover our fence for more privacy so I may need to borrow this idea 🙂

  2. Deana Landers says:

    I love it! When I first saw the wall, I thought, "How did she get those flowers to climb up that wall, and then I saw the rest. That is awesome. I have a wall and that is what I’m going to do!

  3. Maria says:

    Great project I learned something about finishing the edges I want to make a table and this is how I want to
    Finish the sides.

  4. Sherri Preston says:

    This is such a great idea, I am already envisioning a wall like this on my own property! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  5. Allyson ~ Southern Sunflowers says:

    What an amazing project ~ it looks great! Looks like it should be on an HGTV show!

  6. Nancy says:

    I love this project! And that letter board! It will be so fun to have guests leave messages! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Jodie says:

    Gosh, that turned out so great. Do you think you’ll have to restain it once in awhile?

    • Libbie says:


      We may have to restain in a few seasons, but I hope all the extra poly keeps that to a minimum!



  8. anita holland says:

    This looks amazing, I love it. I have never heard of vertical pockets, I will be having a look for them. I have tried the vertical garden but after a few months, the plants got too heavy and started to fall out. You did a great job and the sign is awesome too.

  9. meegan says:

    What a beautiful way to add personality to any outdoor space. Very nice, Libby!

  10. Marie B. says:

    Wow, this is awesome – love this idea! I have the perfect spot between a couple of windows on the back of our house to do this for an herb garden. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. marijke says:

    This looks so inviting and lush. You made it look easy to replicate this. I bet your guests will enjoy sitting there.

  12. Jen at Satsuma Designs says:

    Wow! This is so, so cool! Thank you for sharing. I almost feel like I could do it too with your great instructions! Enjoy your summer on the deck! Best, Jen

  13. Juliet says:

    Oh, this is so cool…it would be great for herbs or strawberries, too!

  14. Meriah says:

    Interesting! Love the idea. I don’t have a green thumb, but his idea seems so doable!

  15. Marie says:

    Love this idea and you made the sign at center! So cute for your guests to take photos too!

  16. Michele Morin says:

    This is brilliant!

  17. Ann says:

    What a beautiful addition to your outdoor space! Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ’s.

  18. Linda Primmer says:

    Such a wonderful project. Perfect to add some interest and freshness to your patio. I have always wanted to create one. I am happy to feature your diy living wall at Love Your Creativity.

  19. Our Hopeful Home says:

    Wow, I love this idea! It really fills out the space nicely. The letter board is a nice touch, too! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. xo Kathleen

  20. kristin says:

    I have been wanting to do this for so long and have all sorts of plans saved. Thank you for your tips! Sharing today at Inspire Me Monday

  21. Grandma's House DIY says:

    Thanks for sharing with us I’m featuring you this week! To Grandma’s house we go!

  22. Rachelle says:

    Really great idea. I want to make one!

  23. Richella Parham says:

    This really is an amazing project! I can’t wait to read about the creation of the letterboard. What a wonderful combination of projects!

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!

  24. Amber says:

    It’s amazing! I am happy to feature you at TFT this week. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Beth says:

    AWESOME project!!
    I’d love for you to join us over at the Creative Crafts Linky Party every Wednesday through Sunday
    Followed and Pinned! 🙂
    Creatively, Beth

  26. Maria says:

    This is freaking awesome!!! I absolutely love the live wall (I think I need one now) and the good vibes only sign just puts it over the top!!!
    Thanks so much for sharing this project:)

  27. Hi Libbie,

    This DIY outdoor living wall is amazing! Now to add this project to our to-do list; I can just see it on our back porch!

    We loved having you join us for this week’s Welcome Home Saturday series.


  28. Kristin says:

    This is just the coolest project! I love it and I’m so glad you chose it to share this week on Welcome Home Saturday! Thanks for joining us!

  29. So much fun. Looks like a perfect spot for meditation. Thanks for posting at Funtastic Friday.

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