How to make a DIY hanging plant shelf?

Installing a DIY hanging plant shelf is one of the best ways to take your houseplant game to the next level. These shelves are not only eye-catching and space-saving – but they’re also a lot of fun to make.

If you’ve started collecting houseplants, then you probably know how addicting this habit can be! You start off with just a few basic plants, and before long you’ve got succulents, cacti, and all manner of tropical plants occupying nearly every surface of your place.

Making a DIY hanging plant shelf (or several) will free up a good deal of shelf space in your home, allow you to display your plants in a unique manner, plus ensure they get plenty of sunlight!

Let’s take a look at how to make a DIY hanging plant shelf in more detail. This project only requires a few basic tools and can be done by pretty much anyone – even if you don’t have much DIY experience.

Tools & Materials

  • Drill
  • Tape measure
  • Rope or string (Any type will do, but if you’re going for a rustic look check out this macrame cord)
  • Circular saw
  • Eye hooks
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill bit (slightly smaller than eye hooks)
  • 3/4” x 6” wood boards (Try to find the straightest ones possible, as bends will make the shelf unstable)
  • Wood stain (optional)

DIY Hanging Plant Shelf – Guide

Step 1: Measure the Window

measuring window frame
You’ll want to cut the shelf boards slightly narrower than the window width.

The first step in making your DIY hanging plant shelf is measuring the window you plan to install the shelf in. Use your tape measure to measure the inside width of the window frame. This is the width you’ll use to cut your wood shelves to later on.

Step 2: Cut the Wood Boards

Next up, you’ll need to cut your wood boards so they’ll fit comfortably inside the window frame. Cut the boards about a ½ inch to an inch shorter than the measurement you recorded in the previous step, as you want your shelf to fit inside the window frame without bumping up against the sides.

You can use pretty much any type of saw for this, a circular saw, jigsaw, or just a plain old hand saw. You’ll only need to make one cut per board, so there isn’t that much cutting required. If you don’t have a saw or aren’t comfortable using one, you can usually have the hardware store cut your board to the length you need when you purchase it.

After cutting the boards, use sandpaper on the edges to remove any roughness. If plan on staining the wood shelves, apply your stain at this point.

Step 3: Drill Holes for the Rope

After cutting the boards into shelf lengths, you’ll want to drill holes in each corner to attach your rope to later on. Measure ½” from each corner of the board and mark the hole for drilling.

Next, use your drill to create a hole clean through the board at each corner of the board. You’ll want to make sure the hole is wide enough to accommodate the width of rope you plan on using.

Step 4: Drill Pilot Holes for Eye Hooks

Next up, you’ll want to drill two small pilot holes above the window to make the eye hooks easier to screw into. Use a drill bit that’s slightly smaller than the size of the eye hook screw.

drilling pilot holes
Drilling pilot holes for eye bolts.

Make sure you drill into a stud or the wood of the window frame itself when making your pilot holes.

Step 5: Screw in Eye Hooks

Now simply screw the eye hooks into the pilot holes you drilled in the previous step. You should be able to do this by hand without any need for pliers. Screw them in tightly, but don’t go nuts and overtighten.

Step 6: Measure Rope

measuring rope for shelf

Next up, you’ll want to measure out the length of rope or string you plan to use for securing the shelf. Hook the string or rope over the eye hook, place the shelf where you plan to hang it, and then cut the rope/string about 6 inches longer than the shelf to leave room for tying knots.

Step 7: Tie Knots

Now, tie your knots to secure the shelf to the rope. For these shelves, a simple triple knot worked perfectly to prevent the string from sliding through the hole. If your drilled hole is particularly wide, you may want to sting a washer or large bead below.

Ensure the shelf is flush with the window sill before tying the final knots, as you don’t want to have to untie the rope or string and re-tie. If you have a lot of string remaining after tying your knots, trim it down with a pair of scissors.

Step 8: Display Your Plants

Last up – it’s time to put your prized houseplants on the shelf where they can really shine! I’d recommend placing similarly sized plants on the same shelf to prevent it from leaning or tipping to one side.

finished plant shelf
Finished plant shelf with plants!

This project makes a simple single hanging plant shelf. But if you wanted to add a second or third shelf below the first one the process just needs to be repeated.

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