Inspirational Living Wall Frames

In Tutorial by

Nothing to see here, just one of those tacky wall pieces ;). I wasn’t expecting much from these but I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. All the different texture, shapes, and colors actually make these really fun to look at. The main frame is made from pallet wood with a 1/4″ plywood backer-board. Letters were cut on the CNC from 1/4″ plywood and finished with chalk paint. The letters are held off of the back by a little over an inch to fit the preserved moss backing which is attached onto a chicken wire lattice trapped behind the letters and also with hot glue.

Notable Materials:
> Pallet wood
> 1/4″ plywood
> Dowel
> Wood glue
> Boiled linseed oil
> Chalk paint
> 5 minute epoxy
> Miscellaneous screws
> D ring hanging hardware
> Chicken wire
> Preserved moss

Notable Tools:
> Pry bar
> Hammer
> Miter saw
> Strap clamp
> Brad gun
> Rabbeting router bit
> Router table
> Chisel
> Table saw
> Countersink drill bit

Build Details

Like a lot of my projects, this one all starts with a pallet. It’s good to have friends at a tile shop, they get a lot of single use pallets like this that are in good shape and are super easy to pull apart.

Just takes some time with a pry bar and hammer and the lumber is ready to be processed. I cut the slats all down to consistent width, 2.5″ wide. I make sure just to cut one side to keep the rough texture for the show face on all the pieces.

These slats are then cut down to size on the miter saw to form the 4 sides of the frame. I end up maximizing the slats to make the frame just under 4′ wide and 15″ tall.

Glue is applied to all of the joints and it’s held together with a strap clamp. I then use a brad gun to tighten up the joints on the corners.

Once the glue dries, a rabbeting bit is used in the router table to cut a rabbet on the back side of the frame to recess the back panel in.

The router bit leaves behind a rounded corner, so the corners are just squared off using a chisel.

I use a sheet of 1/4″ plywood for the back panel. This is cut down to size on the table saw.

To fasten the panel in place I use some short screws and install them around the perimeter.

I decide to finish the boxes at this point before I attach the letters so I can protect all of the wood, even the surfaces that will be behind the moss. To finish it I coat everything with boiled linseed oil.

Next I cut down some more 1/4″ plywood to use for the lettering on the frames. I mount it and program it to cut on the CNC to save some time because it was actually cutting in the background while I was building the frame.

When it comes out of the CNC it has some tear out, so I clean that up and also soften all of the corners with a little sanding.

To attach the letters to the boxes I decide to make some of my own stand-offs by making some of my own dowels. I mount a 3/4″ square piece of pine in the lathe and cut it down smooth and then sand it. Boom, homemade dowel!

I cut them down to a little over an inch using the table saw and my miter gauge.

To mount these stand-offs to the letters I use a 5 minute 2-part epoxy. This gives me a quick dry time, but also gives me a super solid connection between the end grain of the dowel and the plywood. (the designer I was working with finished these with chalk paint)

Each of the words is centered and lined up within the box and then each dowel location is marked.

I can then use these marks to drill a hole where each dowel will be located.

Then the letters are all installed in place by lining the dowels back up with the established holes and screwing them in through the back.

To hang these I just decided to screw on some hanging hardware on either side of each frame.

Then it’s just a matter of packing these up and bringing them to the florist to install the greenery.

We use a chicken wire lattice in the back of the frame so the letters are removed and then reinstalled over this wire.

For the greenery we use a dried and preserved moss that will cover the entire back of the frames. This is fit in place and tucked in at the edges and behind the letters.

Any loose corners are simply held in place with some hot glue then it is all trimmed down until it looks nice and clean.

Install is pretty easy. Just a matter of measuring for the 2 screws at the corners, attaching them in the wall and dropping the frame hooks on top of them.