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How to: Indoor Herb Garden IKEA Hack

by on Jun 18, 2016

Don’t ask me how I came up with this project… it’s a long story. Basically, my dog Charlie can jump really high and will eat anything, so I needed to make a wall-mounted planter that I could place out of his reach. So the Vurm indoor herb garden planter was born!

IKEA Vurm wine rack transformed into an indoor herb garden

I already had the IKEA Vurm on hand; it is actually a wine bottle holder, but it turns out that the wider white wine bottles don’t fit, and I’m a big white wine fan. So I took the Vurm right off the wall and it sat collecting dust on a shelf for a few months.

But then, the other night, it hit me – why not mount it horizontally and try sticking some pint glasses in there? And then plant some basil and cilantro in the glasses to make an indoor herb garden? And why not label each glass with chalkboard paint? Well, I tried it and it worked.

Here’s how you can make a Vurm indoor herb garden of your very own: 

how to make an indoor herb garden planter from an IKEA wine rack

1. Collect your materials:

  • IKEA Vurm
  • 4 herb plants
  • 4 pint glasses
  • A few handfuls of small rocks
  • Latex paint in any color
  • Americana Clear Chalkboard Coating
  • White chalk
  • Paintbrush
  • Paper towels
  • Wax paper

2. Dip the bottom of each glass into the latex paint, creating a 1″ tall coating of paint. Let the excess paint drip off. 

3. Set each glass onto a paper towel to remove the rest of the excess paint. 

4. Set the glasses on the wax paper to dry. Move them around on the paper after an hour so they don’t get completely stuck. Let them dry for a couple more hours.

A paint brush brushing the bottom of a glass, hands pushing something white onto the painted bottom of a glass, a hand wiping the bottom of a glass with a cloth and several glasses with colored rocks in them.

5. Next, use a paintbrush to put a layer of the Clear Chalkboard Coating on the painted area of the glass. Do the same for the remaining three glasses. Let this coat dry for one hour, then add another coat. Now let the glasses dry completely overnight.

6. Condition the chalkboard coating by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk over it.

7. Now wipe off the excess chalk with a dry paper towel. 

8. Fill each glass with rocks, so that they are each almost half full. This will help extra water drain from the soil.

Seedlings in a glass, screws sticking out of a wall and a silver rack held on by two screws.

9. Now, transfer the herbs to the glasses. You may need to remove some of the dirt from the side of the plant so it fits in the glass. Try not to damage the roots when doing this. 

10. It’s time to mount the Vurm on the wall, horizontally instead of vertically. Use a pencil or pen to mark the placement of the Vurm mounting hardware, and use a drill or screwdriver to screw them into the wall. Be sure to attach at least one side to a stud so that it will stay mounted securely to your wall. 

11. Hang up the Vurm, and tighten the screws. Now put your plants into the open spaces in the Vurm. And you’re done!

Herb seedlings in labeled tubes.

Use chalk to label each of your plants.

Three black valves hanging from above.

Now go use your fresh herbs to make something delicious for dinner!

Plants sitting in four vases attached to the walls.

This Curbly Original Project was originally published on May 23rd, 2013. 

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  1. This is wonderful! I also purchased a Vurm months ago, only to discover that it didn’t fit any of our wine bottles. I was disapointed initially, but now I’m glad it didn’t work- I like this use even more! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  2. Congrats on a great hack!  My son found it and forwarded it to me.  I have purchased the rack and the glasses (4 for $5 at local grocery store), and found a great cheap source for pretty rocks for the bottom (Dollar Tree).   So I just need to find mounting hardware – it was not included in my sealed bag, but I didn’t buy it from Ikea.   I am going to skip the paint and labels, I think.  I am looking forward to being able to “save” some of my outdoor organic herbs in the fall!

  3. First this is a great idea! We just made one today. Has anyone had success with their herbs growing? I’m afraid that the glasses may be too small for them to flourish, but I’m not a gardener so idk

  4. @Leanna the rocks help with drainage and preventing root rot (but it may eventually happen, because of the closed containers). Be sure not to overwater… that will help. And you might consider putting the plastic pot that the plant comes in inside the glass so that the water will drain through the pot and into the bottom of the glass. You might want to paint the whole glass though, so you don’t see the plastic pot!

  5. I will be using attractive stones in the bottom and NOT painting the glass.  This way I can visually observe the amount of water in the bottom and the condition of the roots.

  6. Herbs need a lot a sunlight to continue to grow. This method is fine, but might last longer on a patio wall. Somewhere that gets sunlight. The painted bottoms are a good idea, for those thinking otherwise. The stones are good drainage, but the water gets muddy as it filters through. Pretty stones won’t show after several waterings.

  7. Extreme closeups and odd perspectives make it difficul to visualize this project. Straightforward shots would have been appreciated.

  8. So how did you solve the wine bottle storage dilemma? I am building a wine rack that will accommodate the larger bottles, and would love to see what you did. Thanks!

  9. @anonymous we’ve been storing our wine in a modular shelving unit… still haven’t found the perfect storage solution! Good luck with your wine rack project 🙂

  10. Love the idea. Same thing happened to me, left in storage. My question is won’t the glass tip over and fall? Are they secure?

  11. @Daney mine are very secure… as long as the glasses fit snugly, you shouldn’t have a problem!