When we were designing the front room of our new school, our main challenge was to create a reception area that felt cozy and separate from the rest of the main room while still maintaining that spacious and open feeling.  So we browsed the halls of Pinterest until we stumbled upon this gem designed by Susie Frazier.  We love plants at Kalabash!  Not only are they pretty to look at, but they clean the air and remind us that we are part of the earth. We thought this would be the perfect piece, both architecturally purposeful and aesthetically beautiful. Camila Farran, our special events coordinator and architect on our recent remodel, tweaked Susie Frazier’s awesome design to suit our needs and voila! We now have a killer garden hanging in our reception that’s organic, hip and absolutely stunning!

Using leftover scraps of wood, threaded rods and bolts, 15 mason jars and a bunch of cool succulents and indoor plants we created our Hanging Vertical Garden.  But it’s not as easy as it looks! Camila figured out some awesome tips and secrets during the process that we’re excited to share with you below.  Happy building!

Materials Needed for one hanging planter:

  • 5 x equal sized square pieces of wood at least 3/4” thick. We used leftover butcher block countertop from Ikea.

  • 5 Mason jars Wide-Mouth style

  • 2 x ⅜” thick by 72” length threaded rods

  • 42” of 5/32” wire rope

  • 4 x 5/32” ferrules

  • 10 x ⅜” washers

  • 10 x ⅜” bolts

  • 2 heavy duty threaded hooks

Tools Needed

  • Drill

  • ⅜” drill bit

  • ¼” drill bit

  • Stud finder

  • Pliers

  • Grinder or Bolt Cutter

  • Hammer


1). First cut five equal sized squares of wood. Drill large holes in the center in which your mason jars can rest. NOTE: We used the 16oz Wide -Mouth jars from Ball. The drill bit we used was 3 ¼” wide.

2). Next drill two other holes on either side through which your threaded rod can slide. Tip: drill the holes slightly bigger than the rods, this will help assembly process later.

3). Drill (2) ¼” holes in one wood square to receive the wire cable,that will be used as the top shelf piece. Holes should be drilled in between the ⅜” holes and edge of shelf. Cut wire cable in 2 equal pieces and install thru the ¼” hole looping back and securing with the ferrules on the bottom side of the wood shelf. Make a loop on the other end and secure with another ferrule.

4). Feed the rods (with washers and bolts) through each of the wood shelf, making sure to twist the bolts to the desired locations. We placed the rods and washers on the bottom side of the wood shelf only. That was enough to support and secure our wood shelves in place. Rods were cut with a grinder to 50 inches length so it would match our reception desk height. You can customize and make your planter any height you want.

NOTE: If you place the rod inside a cordless drill where the bit normally goes and hold the bolt with your fingers, you can then pull the trigger on your drill to fasten the bolt more quickly than doing it by hand. Make sure all bolts are loose and away from wood shelves while doing this. We also found out that if you have someone hold the wood pieces and rod off the ground while you use the drill that makes the process a lot easier.

5). Then attach metal cables from the top shelf to eye hooks in your ceiling, once hanging the planters you will need to level all shelves. Tip: start leveling from the top shelf. You can twist your eye hooks left and right to adjust wire cable lenght and help get the top shelf leveled.

6). Line each jar with small rocks to give the roots enough space to breathe in lieu of drainage holes.

7). Position the plants inside the jars, with the metal lid rim fastened on top, and rest them into place on each wood panel.