DIY Herb Drying Rack

We’re growing our own herbs this year because…well, tons of reasons…but mostly because this way we can have fresh herbs pretty much whenever! And we can dry any extra that we won’t use right away and use it later. It’s a win-win!

The little herb plants are doing great so far! JM has started telling me I can’t call them “the little herb plants” anymore because they are over a foot tall, but whatevs!

Anyway, they’re doing so great that it was time to start pruning them before I was really ready for it. I woke up one morning and was watering the plants when I realized “I gotta cut these suckers back!” I did, but I was totally unprepared for what to do with the parts I cut off. Silly, I know. I mean, we’re growing these plants so I can cut pieces off and use them, but I didn’t think it would be this soon!

So I did the first thing I could think of and I made a drying rack for them!

DIY Herb Drying Rack

This rack works great for drying herbs, but you can use the idea for tons of different things! You can hang pictures, little reminder notes, holiday cards…anything! It was very easy to do and took less than an hour.

Here’s what I used:

  • a picture frame (just the frame, no glass or backing)
  • string
  • nails with heads
  • a bit of wood for the sign
  • mini clothespins
  • glue

Because this was such a last minute project I just ran to Michael’s to get the frame. They have a whole section of “just frames” without the glass, mats, or backing. And this one was perfect! It was already a bit weathered looking and it was on sale for $9. But if you have an old frame laying around, this is a great project for it!

Start by figuring out how many strings you want going across. I only used three and spaced them about six inches apart because I knew I would be hanging tall stems from them and wanted to give the herbs room to dry. Measure out your string and mark where it attaches to the frame at both ends with a pencil.

Then hammer in your nails at the marks, but don’t hammer the nail all the way in! Leave it about 1/8″ to 1/4″ out so you can tie your string onto the nail. Hammer in all your nails on both sides.


Tie one end of the string around a nail, then stretch it tight across the frame and tie the other end to the nail on the other side. I used slip knots for this part so that I could keep the tension in the string while I tied the second side. This was definitely the hardest part. I ended up doing a crazy thing with a toothpick in the knot to pull it tight and using my teeth to hold the string so I could keep the tension with my hands…it’s hard to explain and even harder to do, so just find someone to help you if you can!

Once the string is tied on at both ends, cut the loose ends of the string and use a bit of glue to secure the ends and the knot. I used tacky glue and it worked fine.

Glued String

The last part is the fun part! You get to paint an awesome sign for your frame. 🙂

I was really loving the whole distressed look of the frame itself, so I took a scrap from a pallet I took apart for another project (I’ll post that project soon, promise!) and used it for the nameplate. It was perfect because it was already broken across one edge, and I didn’t paint it because I loved the natural wood color.

I printed out the word “Herbs” on some plain paper, cut it down to size, and taped it onto the wood. Then I used an exacto knife to gently score the wood through the paper along the edges of the letters. This way even when I removed the paper I would still be able to see the outline of my letters. Another simple trick is to use a sharp pencil and trace the outline of the letters, pressing down into the wood. But this trick only works with soft wood, not the super hard stuff that a pallet is made of!


It’s a little hard to see in the picture above, but there is an H etched into the wood. This way you can paint your letters perfectly! Or, if your art skills are good enough to just do it by hand, you can do it that way. Mine are definitely not!

Once you have all your letters traced out fill them in with paint. Let the paint dry a bit and your sign is done!

Finished Sign

Then all that’s left to do is to attach the nameplate to the rack itself. I just used wood glue because I didn’t want to ruin the distressed look by adding shiny new nails in the middle of the sign. :-p Put some wood glue on the back of the sign and stick it on the frame. Clamp it to hold it in place while it dries; wood glue dries super fast, so like 20 minutes tops. I don’t actually have any clamps (though I should, given how many wooden things I’ve been gluing lately!) so I put some heavy books on it to hold it down.

Then clip a few mini clothespins to the strings and that’s it! You’ve got a very cool, very simple herb drying rack! Or picture frame. Or greeting card holder. 🙂

DIY Herb Drying Rack

I hung it just inside the doorway into the kitchen. That room never gets too steamy, too dry, too hot, or too cold, and that wall doesn’t get direct sunlight so it’s the perfect place for drying herbs!

How do you dry your herbs? Have you ever made something like this for a different purpose? I’m sure there are tons of ways you could use a frame, strings, and clothespins!

Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Kimberly Sneed says

    9 years ago

    What a great project! It turned out so beautiful, and functional!

    CSI Project Guest Judge

  2. Kimberly says

    9 years ago

    I love this idea and made one this weekend. I’ll be adding your site as my Pinterest Inspiration. Check it out. I’m also your newest follower.

    Kimberly @

  3. Shawna says

    9 years ago

    I love this idea! Our herbs have grown a ton this summer. So far I have made 14 bags of pesto. I am definitely making this to dry some herbs.

    • Jessi says

      9 years ago

      Wow, that’s amazing! We started our herbs from seed so we’re a little behind, but they’re almost ready to start harvesting, so that’s exciting!

  4. [email protected] says

    9 years ago

    Great idea — functional and looks great too! Like that you thought of the shiny nails in the old wood — its the details that count! Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy. Hope to see you again soon!

    • Jessi says

      9 years ago

      Wow, cool! Thanks Vanessa!

  5. Nicole says

    9 years ago

    Oh, I love this… so smart and useful and smart…

    Following ya now from We’re riding the wave of life at and I’d love it if you’d join us for the sweet ride.


  6. Miki says

    9 years ago

    Hi, Jesi! What a neat idea! And it looks great! ;D

    Thank you so much for dropping by my blog! I can’t believe Kara mentioned a little blog like mine! I’m beyond happy :P.

    Hope you’re having a great week!


  7. Alana says

    9 years ago

    This is a fabulous idea! I am pinning it 🙂

  8. Niki says

    9 years ago

    Definitely going to have to do this. We have a fantastic little herb garden growing but I am getting overwhelmed with what to do with all those herbs. Thanks for such a simple and great idea.

  9. Tamara @ Etcetorize says

    9 years ago

    That doesn’t sound funny at all…I have loads of herbs in my garden and don’t use them because I have no clue what to do with them. I think I’ll start by making a drying rack like yours though! Thanks for the idea~

  10. Aimee - ItsOverflowing says

    9 years ago

    This is precious! Crossing my fingers you’ll share at my party! Saturdays at Seven!

    XO, Aimee

    • Jessi says

      9 years ago

      I’m all linked up, thanks for the invite!

  11. Lauren says

    9 years ago

    What a wonderful idea!! I too grow my own herbs and use them year round. Usually I freeze mine but drying would be fun too.

    • Jessi says

      9 years ago

      Freezing them is a good idea too! If we ever have more than we can use fresh we’ll do that to keep them yummy for longer 🙂

  12. [email protected] says

    9 years ago

    Love! I need this pronto! We grow our own herbs and I never even thought of this…smack! Brilliant! Thanks for linking and playing with the bloggy Olympics!

  13. JES says

    9 years ago

    What a practical but fun project. I love this kind of stuff 😉 I am visiting from the Country Mamma Cooks link up.

    • Jessi says

      9 years ago

      Thanks Jes, glad you stopped by!

  14. Patricia P says

    9 years ago

    How inventive! It looks great and it’s functional too!

  15. Smallgood says

    9 years ago

    What a great idea! I love every bit of this. And it is so useful as well as beautiful.

    • Jessi says

      9 years ago

      Thanks Mary, I’m really happy with how well it’s working. Plus it’s pretty enough to be like “art” on our walls too 🙂

  16. Evelyn says

    9 years ago

    What a good idea, my herb garden is also out of control and needs pruning. This is a perfect and pretty solution to preserve my herbs. Thank you for sharing at Freedom Fridays.

  17. [email protected] raisins says

    9 years ago

    What a great idea. I love it such a pretty way to dry them and acts like a nice piece of art.


    Creative Raisins

  18. Debra Kapellakis says

    9 years ago

    I like your idea.

  19. Kim says

    9 years ago

    This is so cute! I’m growing herbs this year too and they are so tall! I need to do this, I have always wanted to use those tiny little clothes pins too 😉 great idea!

  20. [email protected] Delights says

    9 years ago

    Thanks so much for linking this project up on Naptime Delights! I definitely need to make one of these!


  21. Kimberly says

    9 years ago

    My husband and I have a 40′ x 20′ garden and have been trying to figure out what to do with all our herbs..I love this idea. Also beautiful for kitchen decor.

    Kim @

  22. Ashley says

    9 years ago

    This is gorgeous! I’m sharing on facebook! : )

    • Jessi says

      9 years ago

      Yeah! That’s a great idea! Now I may have to make myself a second one 🙂

  23. Katie says

    9 years ago

    Woah. I need one of those. Now. What a great idea! In the past I’ve tied them with string and hung them from the ceiling, or just laid them on a table in the garage. This is way cuter, and probably less messy. ^_^

    • Jessi says

      9 years ago

      Plus we have mischievous kitties, so putting it on the wall keeps the catnip away from the cats until we are planning to give it to them!

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