A combination of the hot tub effect and the insanely lovely summer weather we’ve been enjoying recently means it’s quite possible I’ve been in my garden more in the last few weeks than in the whole of the four years we’ve lived in this house. While that’s been fantastic, it has also drawn attention to areas of the garden in need of some attention. So when Sadolin contacted me to suggest a collaboration, it was the perfect opportunity for some outdoor DIY styling.
My decked patio next to the house and in particular the wall behind the hot tub has been troubling me. In contrast to the verdant life-filled lower garden space, the patio looks stark and uninviting. I know that planters would be a good solution, but I struggle to keeps plants alive in pots. (Perhaps it’s something to do with the fact that on the rare occasions when free time and a hot sunny day coincide, I tend to give more priority to getting out the Prosecco than the watering can.) Restocking the planters has become an expensive and labour-intensive annual chore.
My thoughts turned to living walls. Pinterest abounds with the most glorious and striking vertical garden inspiration. However, I reasoned, if my ability to keep plants in pots alive was lacking, I would certainly be overstretching myself to attempt anything with additional challenge.
So I decided to create a DIY faux living gallery wall instead. There’s tons of fantastic inspiration for how to create faux living walls or wall art on Pinterest. But many are complicated, needing specialist equipment, and others involve significant expense. (Quality faux plants don’t come cheap.) I wanted to create a DIY faux living gallery wall that would be easy to make, and give a lot of bang for buck.
Here’s how I did it.
DIY Faux Living Gallery Wall
I picked up some vintage frames very cheaply from my local charity shops. I removed the backing and the glass.
Here are the other materials you need.
I found these Ikea artificial plant panels which create a realistic looking but inexpensive backdrop to my wall art. To enhance the panel, making it look full, lush and real, I picked up a few of these artificial air plants there too. I found a fab selection of faux succulents like this one at my local Hobbycraft too.
To give my gallery wall a uniform look despite the different shapes and styles of the frames, I chose to paint them the same colour. As my DIY faux gallery wall was destined for outside, I needed a paint that would withstand the elements. The lovely woman on the Sadolin customer helpline advised Sadolin Superdec Satin Opaque Wood Protection for my job. It has a highly durable, flexible finish. (No flaking!) But best of all it’s self-priming and undercoating, so I didn’t have to prep the frames at all. I opted for classic black, but with 48 different shades to choose from, there’s something for every garden look.
The Ikea wall panels clip together to make larger sizes if necessary. The backing can then be snipped to size with sharp scissors, so that the panel is just slightly overlapping the frame.
I used strong packaging tape to stick the panel to the back of the frame. A waterproof tape would have been better for outdoors.
Decide where you’d like the additional artificial plants within the frame. To place a plant, pierce a hole in the panel fabric carefully using the scissor tip pressed into a suitable soft surface (I raided the boys’ stationary drawer for a spare rubber.)
Once you’ve threaded the plant stem through, secure in place with a short length of garden wire.
Continue to build your living picture up by adding the additional faux succulents until you’re happy.
The finished result:
For my gallery I chose to fill three of my frames with faux plants and a fourth with a DIY neon sign. It spells “hot” as it’s going above the spa tub but is meant to double as a witty comment on the users of the tub. Much more amusement has been caused however by the fact the sign (arguably) more closely resembles “hob”. You decide.
And in situ..
There’s still some work to get this part of the garden picture perfect, but my DIY faux living gallery wall has made a huge impact in softening the brick. The folliage looks realistic, but I’m reassured to know that even a lengthy drought this summer will not result in the premature demise of my faux living art.
This post was sponsored by Sadolin who also kindly supplied me with paint for the frames. All of the content and opinions are my own.