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Learn How to DIY Renovate

Learn How to DIY Renovate
Learn How to DIY Renovate

DIY Tutorials

DIY Tutorials
DIY Tutorials

{DIY} Rustic Garden Screen

DIY Garden Screen

If you've been reading the blog for a while, you'll know that our garden lacks privacy somewhat. We don't have full height fences, but a half height wall with a kind of trellis on the top. It means is that our garden is very exposed to both our neighbours gardens and a road too. We've used reed screening, grown climbers and even planted bamboo elsewhere in the garden to combat this problem. But I wanted to do something a little bit different in this area of the garden, which is much closer to the house and where we'll eventually have decking and possibly another seating area. Yes, another! (tad obsessed) I picked up some pallet wood locally and decided I wanted to create a kind of quirky rustic garden screen that can also double-up as a trellis.

So here's a quick look at the area beforehand - You can see we already added reed screening over the trellis when we first moved in, but it's not exactly great and we can obviously still see right through. I had added some potted bamboo here to help as well, but it really wasn't doing much at all. Some TLC and other privacy combatting ideas were definitely required!

diy ideas for adding privacy to the garden

You Will Need:

- Pallet Wood
- Rope
- Eye Hook Screws
- Scissors
- Saw
- Tape Measure
- Pencil
- Exterior Wood Paint
- Paint Brush

how to make a garden screen

Step 1 - Cut Wood to Size

It's no secret that I use pallet wood for everything and so obviously this DIY was no different. I purchased some rather long planks of pallet wood (2m long) that I had found on eBay for just 50p a plank. BARGAIN. 2m was a little too tall for our screen, so I've cut them to 1.8m each using just a regular hand saw.

garden ideas for pallet wood
using pallet wood in the garden
Garden DIYs with pallets

Step 2 - Paint Wood

Whilst pallet wood should already be treated for outdoor use, I always find it best to add another layer of protection to be on the safe side. I was really undecided whether to go for a natural clear wood sealer or add a splash of colour. Considering we have a lot of natural wood throughout our garden, I decided to be a little bit more daring and go for some colour! Although I probably didn't go that daring, as I opted for an oh-so-predictable grey ;) The colour I'm using is actually a decking stain - which was given out for free at our local Homebase last year.

creating a rustic trellis with pallets
cuprinol on pallet wood
painting planks from pallets

Step 3 - Attach Screw Eye Hooks

These are super duper cheap (less than £1!) and will be the fixing point for the rope that will hold the whole thing together. We already have fence posts against the wall which the existing trellis is attached to, so I've used these as the fixing point for the hooks. If you don't have any fence posts, you may need to add some, one either side of the screen. The hooks simply screw into the wood, which you can do by hand. I've used five hooks on each side, making sure they were properly aligned and straight with the other side. You don't want a wonky finish here!

using screw eyes in the garden
fixing a screw eye

Step 4 - Thread Rope Around Planks & Secure

This is the tricky bit and does require a little bit of patience and time. But once done right, it looks awesome! To start with, I fed the rope through the hook on one end and tied a knot. I then wrapped the rope around each plank, alternating the way I did this.

(This is a little tricky to explain, so I've included a video at the bottom of this page for a far better demonstration - be sure to check that out, when the next paragraph makes no sense!)

For the first plank, I fed the rope around the plank starting from the front. And then for the next plank, I fed the rope around the plank starting from the back. I then continued this pattern throughout the rest of the planks. You can see some planks almost look like it's double wrapped (its not!) and the planks next to those have a single length of rope around them. This is kind of hard to explain, (am I making ANY sense?!) but I think this adds an extra little bit of interest to the screen and stops the individual planks from bunching together - I specifically wanted a gap between each plank, so this technique really helps separate them.

using rope in the garden
making a screen with rope
privacy screen with rope and wood

I high recommend securing the planks very loosely to begin with. This helps a lot for when it comes to doing the next section beneath or above - if it's too tight, it's hard to get the rope in-between and around the planks. Once all five sections are done, you can then go back and tighten the ropes.

I did also add a little bit of rope along the top of the screen, which I then tied to the trellis behind. This will just give it more strength, particularly when it's windy - you don't want the whole thing to be blowing back and forth. Once it's all tight and secure you can then tie to the ropes to the hooks at the other end and cut the rope.

alternative to garden fencing
how to make a garden privacy screen
cutting rope

Step 5 - Add Accessories (if you want) & Enjoy!

And you're done! The screen can also double up as a trellis as well, as it's perfect for plants to wind and wrap themselves around. Personally I think some kind of hot pink plant would look incredible against the dark grey for ours. Something I'm already on the hunt for!

As for other accessories, well you probably already know I have an obsession with fairy lights, particularly when it comes to the garden. So naturally I had to add some here as well. I thought curtain lights would look amazing running down the lengths of wood and these warm white outdoor curtain lights from Lights4Fun don't disappoint. They're actually plug-in lights so waaaay brighter than any of our other garden lights, but oh my do they make an impact! They're actually quite practical and really do light up the area well. I freaking love them!

Another idea I'm slightly tempted by is to add some hanging pots or other little bits which you could affix to the ropes. You can really add all kinds of personal touches and make it as quirky as you want!

pallet screen
DIY rustic garden trellis
lights4fun curtain lights
curtain lights in the garden
lights against grey fencing screen
feature pallet wall in garden
how to create a screen for garden privacy
warm white curtain lights lights4fun
cute little corner of the garden with feature pallets
feature pallet screen in garden
ideas for the garden

And that's it! Obviously the screen doesn't block out the neighbours completely with the small gaps between each plank - but you would have to get pretty close up and be a bit nosey to see anything that was really going on behind there. I love the way it looks, it has a bit of a beachy feel to it - and it definitely doesn't look like a fence, which was something I was particularly trying to avoid.

The table and chair in the picture won be staying in this spot (you can find a tutorial for the table here if you're interested) and if you're wondering why I didn't continue this screen further along the wall - well, I have a few other little plans which I'll be sharing with you in the early spring next year for that ;)

So, do let me know what you think and whether this is something you would do in your garden. :)


(rounded to the nearest pound)

New Tools Purchased:

Materials Used:
Pallet Wood £7
Rope (2packs) £8
Eye Screws £1
Paint - free from previous projects

Total: £16

If you'd like to see a video tutorial of this DIY be sure to check out my youtube channel below :)

how to make a garden screen
Home Etc


  1. This is a really nice idea, I love the colour you used and it looks great a night. We have a similar issue, thanks for the tips.

  2. Very nicely done, the lights are a nice touch. Even though there are some gaps in between planks it does still offer a semblance of privacy that wasn't there before, and that's what matters!

  3. Brilliant job! Definitely get more privacy now and I'm loving the addition of fairy lights :) x

  4. This is really making me want to fix up my garden.. love this!

  5. wow what a brilliant job and all for £16! It looks super all lit up at night, really cosy x #homeetc

  6. You're the QUEEN of bargain transformations, i wouldn't even know where to start. It looks fab and I love the colour you've painted too. Thanks so much for linking up to #HomeEtc X

  7. Such a great idea and you've done it beautifully! #HomeEtc


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