How to Make a Succulent Wall Garden

Create your own picture frame planter blooming with a mosaic of live succulents and moss. This DIY project isn’t nearly complicated as you’d think — you can get everything you need to make a vertical garden at your local craft store. The textures and colors will make any space (indoor or outdoor) come alive — and even gardeners with the blackest of thumbs can care for succulents.

Succulent Wall Garden


  • wooden picture frame (8” x 10”)
  • wooden box/tray (12” x 12” or any size that’s slightly bigger than the opening of your frame)
  • ½-inch wire mesh (a.k.a. hardware cloth)
  • tin snips (or any heavy-duty wire-cutting shears)
  • staple gun
  • paint or wood stain (optional, any color)
  • wood glue
  • frame hanging kit (with hanging wire and two screw eyes)
  • moistened succulent/cactus potting mix soil (enough to fill the box)
  • array of 2-inch succulent plants (For example: hens and chicks, stonecrop, Aeonium, Dudleya, leatherpetal, panda plant, tiny aloe, etc. You will need about 15 small succulents, depending on the size and type.)
  • preserved lichen/moss (any color — we used a mixture of reindeer moss and forest moss)
  • chopstick (or pencil, wooden dowel, popsicle stick, etc.)
  • spray bottle

Tips before you get started:

  • Flatter succulents will work better than taller, more tendril-like plants.
  • If you end up with extra moss, use it around the base of a potted plant for decoration and to help retain moisture.
  • Since waiting for the glue to dry takes up the majority of time in this project, you can speed up the process by attaching the box to the frame with screws instead. Make sure that the box is really flush to the back of the frame so that no soil falls out.
  • If you want to make a bigger hanging succulent planter, we recommend reinforcing the box with screws because the soil will be heavier.
  • You can also leave the planter horizontal and use it as a dining table centerpiece. (In this case, don’t attach the eye screws and hanging wire to the back of the frame.)
  • You don’t have to spend a lot of money on succulents at the nursery — forage succulent cuttings or “pups” from your backyard.