A DIY privacy screen made from pallets: a how-to guide
- Cost85-170 £
- Duration3 - 8 h
Having nice neighbours is great – but we all want a little bit of privacy on the balcony or in the garden, too. Follow our simple step-by-step guide to build your own stylish privacy screen made from pallets. The integrated flower boxes turn it into a vertical garden – what more could you ask for?Having nice neighbours is great – but we all want a little bit of privacy on the balcony or in the garden, too. Follow our simple step-by-step guide to build your own stylish privacy screen made from pallets. The integrated flower boxes turn it into a vertical garden – what more could you ask for?
- box knife
- pocket rule
- painting coveralls
- protective sheet
- face mask
- work gloves
- safety glasses
- 2x euro pallets
- 6x boards (same width as the pallets)
- 2-in-1 paint: approx. 1 litre
- Pond liner: 2.5 x 2 m (LxW)
- Potting soil: approx. 20 litres
- Pebbles: approx. 5 litres
- Flowers and herbs of your choice: 20–25 kinds
- 2x post anchors (same width as the pallets)
- 8x wood screws: 6 x 100 mm
- 36x wood screws 4 x 50 mm
- 4x wood screws: 6 x 120 mm
Let's go - step by step
Sawing the boards for the flower boxes to length
Start building your privacy screen by first sawing the boards to the length of the bottom board of the pallets. These will form the flower boxes later. To do this, mark out the correct dimensions with a pencil and pocket rule and then draw a straight saw line with the angle measurer. Secure the board using G-clamps so that it can’t shift while you are sawing. Make sure you put on safety goggles and work gloves to protect yourself before you start sawing. Let the saw run before you put it on the wood. Make sure that the plate of the saw rests on the wood. This will make your cut cleaner. Check out our tutorial and find out how you can make straight cuts with a jigsaw.
Pre-drilling the holes and fastening the boards with screws
Now it’s time to first pre-drill the holes for the screws so that they don’t fray the wood. You can then screw the sawn boards to the underside pallet. This will create the base for the flower boxes. A small cordless screwdriver will help you to get in between the spaces in the pallets.
Thoroughly sanding the pallets
Now, sand the DIY privacy screen all over so that there are no splinters sticking out. Using a delta or multi-sander will allow you to get right into the corners and sand them thoroughly, too. You can find out more about which sandpaper is suitable for which type of work in our DIY tip. For your privacy screen, start with an 80-grain sandpaper. You can then go over everything for a second time with the 120-grain sanding sheet.
Time to add some colour
You need: paint spray system, protective sheet, face mask, work gloves, safety glasses, painting coveralls, 2-in-1 paint
Coloured paint allows you to give your privacy screen a unique look. Before you start, lay out a protective sheet to protect nearby objects from being covered with the spray. You can now fill the paint spray system with the colour of your choice and apply it in even strips at a distance of around 20 cm. Make sure you wear a mask to avoid breathing in any of the paint. Protect yourself against paint dust by wearing protective goggles and work gloves.
Covering the underside of the privacy screen
You need: cordless tacker, box knife, work gloves, safety glasses, Pond liner
Cover the pallet from below with pond liner to protect it against the weather. To do this, cut the liner to match the dimensions of the underside of the pallet and tack it so it’s sufficiently tight.
By the way, one pallet is more than enough for a privacy screen for a balcony. If you want more privacy, use two pallets – one on top of the other and then screw them together. That’s why you only need to do this step for one of the pallets. The second one remains uncovered on the underside.
Screwing the post anchors in place
To make sure that your privacy screen remains in place whatever the weather, screw post anchors to the underside of the pallet. Of course, you’ll only need to do this if you’re planning to countersink the pallet into the ground. If you’re going to use the privacy screen on your terrace or balcony, you should attach to a wall. To ensure the screen holds firmly in the ground, the post anchors need to be the same width as the pallet is deep.
Once you’ve screwed the anchors on, stand the privacy screen up and knock it into the ground with a sledgehammer. You can place a board between the hammer and the pallet to act as a buffer so that your new privacy screen doesn’t get damaged.
Fitting out the flower boxes
You need: cordless tacker, box knife, pocket rule, Pond liner
It’s now time to turn your attention to the flower boxes. First, line them with pond liner. Cut them to the correct dimensions – about 40 x 40 cm (LxW) – with a box knife and place them in the boxes on the pallet. To stop the liner from tearing under the ‘weight’ of the flowers, you should make sure that the liner is as smooth as possible and that no waves are formed. You now simply need to tack the liner on.
Planting the flower boxes
You need: shovel, work gloves, Potting soil, Pebbles, Flowers and herbs of your choice
The privacy screen is almost done. You now just need to add the plants to decorate it. First, fill stones into the flower boxes. These will act as drainage. Next, add the potting soil into which you’re going to put your plants. If you need help creating a herb garden, then check out our guide.
Screwing the pallets together
You need: Cordless Drill, work gloves, 4x wood screws: 6 x 120 mm
To make sure your screen gives you maximum privacy, you should place two pallets on top of one another and screw them together. Find yourself a hard-working helper to help you hold it, or do this step before step 8 and screw the pallets together while they’re lying down. Place one pallet on top of the other. The flower box on the bottom pallet of course remains free at this point. Now, screw the two pallets together by placing two long nails side by side. Screw one in diagonally from top to bottom and screw the second one the other way round so that an X shape is created. Start by screwing straight into the wood for one or two turns before then screwing at an angle.
Congratulations! Your finished DIY privacy screen complete with plants can now bring a touch of beauty to your garden or balcony. On that note: if you’re planning to use the privacy screen on your balcony, you can just skip steps 6 and 9. As in the picture, the pallet with the planted flower boxes will be all the decoration your balcony needs. We’ve put together this article to share our four most eye-catching ideas for vertical gardens with you.