Upcycling An Old Pallet Into A Hanging Garden Using Bondall Monocel Wood Varnish

Upcycling A Pallet Into A Garden Using Monocel Wood Varnish

The hanging garden, or vertical garden has really taken off over the last couple of years. With house sizes decreasing and backyards shrinking, cleverly utilising your outdoor space has become the name of the game. And as you can see, and with some help from Bondall Monocel Wood Varnish, it doesn’t need to come at the expense of style.

Bondall Monocel Wood Varnish

This vertical pallet planter can be tackled at an intermediate upcycling level. Be prepared for some light sanding, but there is no nailing,sawing or drilling required. Your main weapons of choice here will be a staple gun, and Bondall Monocel Wood Varnish.

While not too challenging, there are 2 parts to creating this beauty. Let it be known that pallets from the side of the road don’t appear pre-stained, but thats where Bondall Monocel Wood Varnish comes in.

The results of this project are strikingly gorgeous. A vertical planter is the ultimate display case for patio gardening. Dramatically packed with flora, it brings a burst of green to an outdoor urban space. Pallets are readily available, inexpensive and can even be found around town for free.

Part 1 – Make your pallet planter ready

Step 1 – The first step is to source a pallet, sand and paint it. Pallet wood is quite rough so we recommend using a sanding block or electric sander. Once you’ve sanded, treat the wood using either a Bondall Monocel Gold – Clear Timber Varnish or Bondall Monocel Blue – A Water Based Timber Varnish. These are both specially formulated exterior, marine grade wood varnishes, so your planter will be in great hands. Head over to Bunnings to pick up a tin.


The original pallet planter method referenced can be found here. We tried it and ended up with a very bottom heavy planter and dirt everywhere. So we cleaned it up and came up with a new fabric pocket method instead. The fabric pockets are advantageous as your planter can be vertical right from the beginning and you need a lot less soil.

Part 2 – The new pocket tray method

In the pocket tray method you staple landscaping fabric from the top of back panels to the top of the front.  This creates pocket trays for your soil.

The diagram on the right shows the different pockets and how they should be stapled.





Step 1 – Measure your pocket tray lengths. You will notice that the front of the pallet has 7 beams, and the back only 4. So, pockets 1 and 2 will connect to back beam 1. Pockets 3 and 4 to back beam 2. Pockets 5 and 6 to back beam 3. Pocket 7 will be created at the end of the project when you wrap the back, sides and bottom of the pallet like a present.




Step 2 – Measure the width of the pallet compartments. Both sides of the pallet compartments should be the same, but it doesn’t hurt to check.







Step 3 – Once you’re done measuring, cut your landscaping fabric to size.



Step 4 – Working from the bottom up staple the long pockets first, so pockets 6, 4, 2 will go first (yellow lines in diagram). Then staple pockets 5, 3, 1 (red lines in diagram).

Step 5 – After the pockets are in place, wrap the bottom and sides of the pallet like a present. This will create pocket 7. The image below shows off the present wrapping.

Step 6 – You can now stand stand your vertical pallet planter up against a wall and put soil in the pockets.

Step 7 – Fill your planter up with plants and flowers. We love succulents. We think this vertical pallet planter works best with succulents because they are so low maintenance and gorgeous. Make no mistake, your vertical pallet planter will require lots of plants to fill it up.

Side note: You should use your pallet planter for growing non-edibles only. Pallets transport all sorts of products and are chemically treated to stay bug free. You don’t want these chemicals in your edible goodies. For those dreaming of a herb pallet planter, some pallets are heat treated rather than chemically treated. These pallets are marked with an HT. They are harder to find.

There are lots of other great upcycle ideas for growing herbs. Check out this vertical plastic bottle herb garden.

Here’s another upcycle project using Monocel Wood Varnish, this time making a coffee table from an old pallet:


And you’re done. It’s amazing what a spot of Monocel can do, now enjoy your new vertical pallet planter. Happy upcycling!


Story courtesy of the great people at Upcycle That