Would you like more privacy in your terrace or garden? An outdoor privacy screen through the form of a trellis planter is a great option when you want to visually separate different areas in a decorative and practical way. This tutorial will show you how to build your own outdoor privacy screen in 5 easy steps.

If you are wondering about how to divide a space, either temporarily or permanently, in order to either make more efficient use of it, hide a specific area, or make it more private, a privacy screen is the solution you are looking for.

You can use it both indoors and outdoors, and it is an ideal option for your terrace, balcony, living room or even the office. It will also add a touch of elegance to the space, especially if it includes a wooden planter, as in the case we are showing you here.

Outdoor privacy screen: Tools and Materials

Cost, time and difficulty

If you have all the necessary tools, the total cost of materials is about £40, depending on the size of the trellis or privacy screen.

It will only take you one morning or afternoon to build this planter with trellis. The level of difficulty is low, as it only requires some DIY practice. It is, for this very reason, the perfect DIY project for beginners or those with little DIY experience.

Build an outdoor privacy screen step by step

The main advantage of this trellis planter as a privacy screen is the fact that the wood has been pre-treated to be used both indoors and outdoors.

In addition, it is not very heavy, making it easy to move, although if you prefer, you can attach castor wheels to move it even more easily. Another idea is to put a few of these trellis planters in a row in order to divide a large space in an elegant way. Here is the step by step guide to build this wooden trellis planter.

Step 1 – Cut the pieces

First, cut the pine wood boards and slats, either with the mitre saw or with the hand saw and mitre box. These are the different pieces you will need:

DIY garden trellis planter
To begin, cut the pieces
  • 4 boards measuring 60 x 10 x 1 cm and 4 boards measuring 20 x 10 x 1 for the planter
  • 1 piece of plywood measuring 60 x 20 x 0.5 cm
  • 4 slats measuring 25 x 3.4 x 2.2 cm for the planter’s legs, 2 slats measuring 60 x 3.4, x 2.2 cm and another 2 measuring 16 x 3.4 x 2.2 cm for the top part of the planter

Step 2 – Assemble the pieces of the planter

Next, assemble the pieces that make up the planter. In order to do this, follow these steps:

Glue the pieces of the outdoor privacy screen together
Bring the pieces together
  1. Glue the 25 cm long strips that make up the legs.
  2. Nail two 20 cm long wooden boards to one side of the legs and another two 60 cm long boards to the other side.
  3. Nail the plywood board measuring 60 x 20 cm to the bottom.

Step 3 – Protect the wood

Protect the wood for outdoor usage
Protect the wood

The next step will be to protect and stain the wood. This type of finish is ideal for terrace and outdoor furniture, as it allows the wood to breathe as well as regulate its moisture. This prevents it from cracking due to the contraction and expansion movements typical of this material.

For this tutorial we have used a wood stain with a slight green hue that highlights the wood’s grain, and is close to the colour of the trellis that will be attached to the planter.

Step 4 – Apply the finishing touches to the edges

Next, you will need to apply the finishing touches to the top and bottom edges of the planter. In order to do this, glue the slats measuring 60 cm and 16 cm long, and then fix them with the nailer.

The finishing touches to the outdoor privacy screen
The finishing touches

Then apply a water-based wood varnish suitable for the outdoors, and fix the PVC angle profiles measuring 25 cm long to the corners or edges. 

Step 5 – Attach the trellis

The last step will be to screw the trellis to the back of the planter. For this tutorial we have chosen a wooden trellis measuring 180 x 60 cm, made of pine wood previously treated with autoclave in order to make it suitable for the outdoors.

Add the trellis to the wooden planter
Add the trellis to the wooden planter

Another option would be to build your own trellis by nailing the wooden slats and then protecting the wood with wood stain.

The last thing you need to do is just add a few plants and ornaments to decorate the trellis planter.

Add some greenery to the wooden trellis planter
Add some greenery to the wooden trellis planter

Its versatility will allow you to place it in any indoor or outdoor space to suit your particular needs.

Voilà! An outdoor privacy screen
Voilà! An outdoor privacy screen

Written by Bricoydeco

Mari Luz is the author of the Spanish blog Bricoydeco. A big DIYer and lover of recycling, she retunes and customises furniture and objects to give them a second chance – and to turn them into unique pieces.

Did you enjoy this article on how to make an outdoor privacy screen? Perhaps you’d be interested in reading our fence buying guide or seeing our tips on what plants to grow for maximum privacy.

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We all like to enjoy our privacy in our outdoor spaces and keep away from prying eyes or unsightly views. Here are some ideas on what privacy plants to grow alongside ways to build a plant screen for your balcony, garden or terrace so you can enjoy your outdoor oasis in private.

Privacy plants

The choices available to us for our plant screen will largely depend on the size of our balcony, terrace or garden. Bamboo, for example, is a great plant for privacy, but as it grows it can end up taking up a lot of useful space in a small balcony. 


Privacy plants for your balcony (C) shutterstock_1355766608

Boxwood is an evergreen (it does not lose its foliage) low maintenance plant, ideal for areas where the weather allows you to enjoy the outdoors for many months. 
It can be grown in full sun and in partial shade, and it can also withstand below zero temperatures in the winter.


Bamboo is a luscious way for balcony privacy (C) Franco Mariuzza

Bamboo grows very fast and is a plant resistant like few others, easily withstanding both direct sunlight in the summer, and very low temperatures in the winter. Its leaves sprout from the base of the stem, so it is ideal for building tall plant screens or barriers. It can be grown in pots or planters, although its height and growth will be limited to the available space: the bigger the planter, the taller the plant will grow.


Horsetail is a good plant for privacy (C) Alesah Villalon

Horsetail (Equisetum hyemale) is ideal for demarcating spaces or if we want to give our outdoor space a zen look. It can be grown in direct sunlight as well as in partial shade, and requires frequent watering, especially in the summer.


Hedges provide luscious privacy
(C) Wonderlane

We cannot fail to mention hedge plants, even though they are usually planted directly in the soil. The cherry laurel has glossy round leaves, and is perhaps the smoothest to the touch of all the hedging varieties. Thujas are much more dense, and can grow quite tall. They can all be grown in large pots or planters in order to achieve the desired density.

Climbing plants

Climbing plants can provide a privacy screen
Climbing plants provide a vertical screen

All climbing plants can create a more or less dense screen to provide some privacy. However, some of them lose their leaves in the autumn, so keep this in mind if you need your screen during the winter months as well.


Jasmine provides beautifully scented privacy (C) Shutterstock

Not only can jasmine provide us with a beautiful privacy screen, it will also allow us to enjoy its wonderful jasmine scent during the whole summer. It is a hardy plant, which can be grown in partial shade as well as in direct sunlight when mature. Be careful if you transplant it in the middle of summer to an outdoor area with a great deal of sunshine.


Luscious flowers for the garden
Bougainvillea (C) David Clode

This shrub can be grown in large pots or planters, and requires regular pruning if we want to guide its growth. If you have the space to grow it in a big pot, don’t hesitate to do so. Its blooming in summer is absolutely spectacular and will fill your terrace or balcony with gorgeous colour.


(C) Dalia Mu

If your balcony or terrace receives little direct sunlight, ivy will grow there very easily. You can guide its stems so that they attach to the balcony railing, or you can grow it as a hanging plant in pots or planters. Little by little you will manage to build a dense screen to keep your terrace safe from prying eyes. We must warn you, however, that both its leaves and fruit can be toxic when ingested. This is something to keep in mind if there are children or pets in the house.

Privacy plants: vertical structures, pots and planters

Privacy plants for your garden
(C) Shutterstock

In good-sized terraces we can combine tall pots and planters to divide the space, gain height for our plants and create a good privacy screen. At ManoMano you can find a great variety of options.

Stackable pots and vertical gardens can also provide some privacy if we place them in strategic places or hang them from the railings. We can grow flowers, ferns, scented herbs and small vegetables, all depending on the amount of sunlight available.

In addition to the plants themselves, planters, pots and planting structures can help us gain some further privacy.
On a balcony with railing, for example, we can grow all kinds of plants by placing some planters on the floor and hanging others from the railing. You will need to know how each of the plants grows, in order to achieve the privacy screen that you want. Lastly, let’s not forget that some plants can take longer to grow, so they won’t be able to create a privacy screen immediately. In these cases, we can use other, more conventional, solutions to gain privacy on our terraces or balconies, such as privacy screens, retractable side awnings or even roller blinds that we can roll out and back in at our pleasure.

Best privacy plants for your garden (C) Annie Spratt

Did you enjoy this article on the best privacy plants for your balcony, terrace or garden? Perhaps you’d be interested in reading our BBQ buying guide or seeing our 4 tips on garden lighting.

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