This DIY is perfect for someone looking for a cheap and eccentric addition to their home decor. This ‘How To’ is a little more involved than your average Pinterest creation. Depending on your level of experience, you can make this as complicated or as easy as you like. Plus, This DIY can be transformed into any size or shape you need! Put something else on the wall that’s not just a frame.
A Look at the Project
I created this DIY for a wall in our living room that is too small to put anything substantial on and too large to go undecorated. It is a very awkward area that no matter what I put there it looks plain awful.
This DIY is perfect for weird areas or walls because you can make the boards any width or height that you need (you could even do a fun shape). I’m not about to add a bunch of rambling to this post, so let’s get to it!
In the below instructions I am going to write out the materials and directions for exactly what I did. If you want a different shape or are working with a different size wall, you’ll need to measure, plan, and scale accordingly. The good thing is, this wood is very cheap so if you get too much or too little it’s no big deal.
When deciding what shape and size you want, I recommend getting out the tape measure. Measure your wall and start playing with shapes. For a while, I wanted to do an hourglass shape joining both walls at the corner. This wasn’t the right thing for the room and what else I wanted to do in there. I would recommend focusing on more geometrical shapes for this look, but with some measuring and vine fiddling, you could even create a heart if you wanted to. Plan out the design that’s in your head on a piece of paper so you know what it might look like, then start measuring your wall to see how things will fit together. If you are on a budget, I would recommend trying to keep the size smaller than you think because the vines are the most expensive part of this project and it can take quite a bit to get a realistic and full look.
You could also use wider boards for this project for a different effect, honestly, this whole thing is customizable because you’re creating it from scratch.
Spacers are the small pieces of wood that were used to bring the long boards off the wall so vines could go behind (see below). I just used a 1″ piece of my board and put it about 1″ in from the edge of my board. You could alternatively cut the longboard and spacer on a 45° angle and join them together with a nail from the front of the long board. You could also do spacers like I did and just cut the edge of the long board on a 45° angle facing inwards or outwards for a more finished look. It’s really all up to you. My design inspiration was vineyard with a mix of pallet board, so I wanted it to look more rustic.
I disclose what I used below in materials, but you can obviously use whatever suits your style and fits the aesthetic in your room. You could also add flowers for a more feminine/soft look (it didn’t fit my room). I would avoid doing a seasonal look (i.e. fall leaves, snowy leaves, etc.) because it’s a bit hard to get everything looking nice and it would be exhausting to fix every few months (but you could add little touches of seasonal decorations such as some holly for the holidays or spiders and spider web for Halloween). Changing the whole thing out every season would be too much, but adding and taking away decorations can be easy.
I would recommend focusing on one type of vine for the majority of the project and adding in smaller pieces of other greenery/flowers to help add depth and complete the look. I found the cheapest place for vines to be Amazon. I bought my vines from Amazon and got quite a bit for the price then perused craft and hobby stores for marked-down plants that went with my current vines. I think this is the cheapest and easiest way to complete this project.
Obviously, you can choose any stain that tickles your fancy. Try to test out the stain on a spacer piece (see the instructions below) before staining all pieces and be sure to hold it up to your wall color with the greenery to decide if this is the best stain choice for you. You could also use spray paint and a clear coat for a different look.
- Tape Measure
- Miter Box and Saw (what I used)
- 12′ of 2″ x 1″ Wood (what I used, if using cheap wood, look it over to make sure all pieces are usable and not overly damaged)
- Sandpaper (220 grit)
- Stain (what I used, buy the smallest size, you won’t even put a dent in it for this project)
- Cloth or Brush for Stain (follow stain instructions)
- Protective Coating (I used Danish Oil)
- Nails (what I used, look for something long enough to go through the long board, spacer, and into the wall.)
- Drill and Drill Bit
- Greenery (what I used: main vines, additional piece 1, additional piece 2)
- Hot Glue Gun and Glue
- Measure and record. Once I finished picking out my design, I measured where I would want the boards to be and how far apart. I recorded this number so I would know how many boards to cut and at what length. Our wall is about 28″ wide. I decided to center the design both vertically and horizontally on the wall and thought five boards about 11″ apart would be a good size (making the final design 4′ tall). I decided I wanted the 2×1’s to be about 1″ from each wall edge making each long board 26″. I used small 1″ pieces of the 2×1 to bring the boards off the wall so the vines could go behind. My long pieces will be referred to as long boards and the small pieces will be spacers.
- Cut. I cut five 26″ long boards. I then cut ten 1″ spacers (one for each side). I used a miter box that came with a saw. Here is a tutorial on how to use a miter box. If you have other methods of cutting wood, feel free to use whatever you’re comfortable with.
- Pre-Drill Holes. After the boards have been cut start to predrill holes. Since my boards were fairly thin I wanted to predrill holes to prevent the board from splitting. I placed the holes 1.5″ away from the edge of the long board. Using a drill bit one size below the size of the nails and a drill start to drill the hole in the main board. For the spacer pieces, mark the center and drill.
- Sand. After my boards were cut I began to lightly sand the wood to make sure it was even and smooth. Lightly sand in the direction of the wood grain on all sides and lightly round the corners by sanding directly on the corner still in the direction of the wood grain. You will only need to give each side and corner of the wood 3-5 swipes, it is a very mild sand. You may need to do more work on the ends that were cut and splintered/were not as smooth. You may need to sand more if your wood is really rough.
- Clean. After sanding, clean your work areas to be free of wood dust. I also quickly wiped each piece of sanded wood down with a very damp paper towel to remove any excess dust.
- Stain. Before staining be sure to try a small amount of stain out on a small spacer piece. Begin staining according to your stain’s instructions and let sit for the time according to your stain’s instructions. Sometimes the stain will darken as it dries, so take it slow, you can always do two coats!
- Protective Coat. After the stain has dried, take a small portion of the Danish oil and start wiping it down until thoroughly wet (or according to the package’s instructions). This will not be 100% waterproof, so if you are going to be using real plants and will be getting water on the boards I recommend using wipe-on polyurethane instead. Let the danish oil dry completely according to instructions.
- Nail. First, start by nailing and joining the long board and spacer pieces together. Then, on a wall that you have measured and marked, begin to nail in the boards using a hammer and level.
- Vine. In total, I used 1 order of these vines and picked up these other small additions to bring depth and movement to the piece: additional piece 1, additional piece 2.
- I first withheld one strand of my vine to use for later.
- I then started placing all the other vines. I tried to work in mostly vertical lines going from bottom to middle or middle to top (they became too tight and taut to go from the bottom all the way to the top). I would try my best to face the leaves out as much as possible (leaves on a real plant will naturally face toward the light). I also tried to give an organic vining look by lightly bunching up the vine in between wood planks. In essence, I would start my vine by wrapping it onto a board, then I would go to the next board and turn my vine until the leaves were facing outward, then I would add some slack and therefore waviness to the vine (don’t just want it straight), I would finish this process by wrapping the vine onto the next board or weaving it into another vine to secure it.
- After I got my base down, I began to chop off pieces of the ‘additional piece 1’ and placed them using hot glue (attaching it to the back of the wood). I would try to place them mostly on top of my vine base and tuck a leaf or two behind the vine to add depth. Work carefully, it can be really easy to burn yourself with the hot glue.
- I then cut small pieces of the ‘additional piece 2’ to fill in empty spaces.
- Using the one withheld vine piece, I cut it into pieces and filled in awkward/blank spaces.
- Overall, I tried to face the leaves forward, have an even amount of blank areas (it would a take a lot to completely cover the area with leaves and leave no wall showing through), and tried to let leaves come forward (not sit flat against the wall, see below). That’s really all I can tell you about this process, but just keep working with what you got. It took me about two days of messing with it and taking breaks from it to finally get to a happy spot with it.
- Done! All done, you just completed a super awesome project!
I’m really happy with how this turned out in the house. I’m a little tired of basic pictures and frames finishing my walls and was very happy to finally have something bring more green into the room. Let me know what you thought of the project below!
Thanks so much for reading, and best of luck completing this project!