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DIY Herb Dryer Out of Old Picture Frames

Updated on October 21, 2019
Faith Reaper profile image

Theresa loves repurposing old things or turning things into other useful items. She loves creating something new from something old.

Herb Dryer Outside

Herb Dryer Outside
Herb Dryer Outside | Source

Best Herbs for Air Drying

This natural air-drying process works best with herbs that do not have high moisture content such as:






Summer Savory


Enjoy Making This Simple, Quick and Easy Project

Do you love fresh herbs from the market or do have an herb garden? Do you want to save money by drying your own herbs? If so, you will love making this simple, quick, easy and inexpensive project!

Drying your own herbs is very easy and really does not cost a thing, other than the small initial cost of making this inexpensive herb dryer. What is great about this project is that you may already have all or most of the items needed for this project just lying around your house. Drying herbs by air is a slow process, but it is best, as it does not diminish the herbs of their oils.

You can air dry herbs inside or outside. If you dry the herbs outside, be sure to hang the herb dryer in a shaded dry area. Also when drying herbs outside, you may come across the problem of critters trying to bother the herbs.


What is your favorite herb?

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Collection of Old Wooden Picture Frames

Collection of old wooden picture frames.
Collection of old wooden picture frames. | Source

Materials Needed:

Old wooden picture frames (wood picture frames are best)

Staple gun

Old screen

Eye bolts

Small Vice Grip (if necessary)

Chains (12 pieces of 10" in length each)

One large cable tie

Wood Picture Frame

Wood Picture Frame
Wood Picture Frame | Source

Step One:

Make sure your old picture frames are down to just the wood.Remove the glass or anything on the back of the frames.You can use the frames as they are or paint the frames.It is all up to your preference. You can even use different size frames.The amount of frames you use is also up to you.You can even just use one large frame if you so desire. Here, I am going to use three frames of the same size.You may also like to paint your frames or leave them natural as you found them.

I love to use a frame that has a bit of depth and width to it to keep the herbs in place and keep them from blowing off when drying the herbs outside.

Old Screen Found Under House

Old Screen
Old Screen | Source

Step Two:

I found an old screen under our house that we were not using. If you do not have any old screens lying round, just go down to your local flea market and you are sure to find one for about $3.00. You will need to wash the screen and allow it to dry.Since the screen is going to be attached to the back of the frames, be sure to measure your screen to fit the back of each frame.I just placed each frame on the screen and used a Sharpie to mark the size of the frame on the screen.Then cut the screen to fit. To my surprise, I found the screen was easily cut with a pair of cutting shears. Next, just staple the screen to the back of the wood frames.

Cutting Screen

Cutting Screen
Cutting Screen | Source

Back of Wood Picture Frame

Back of Wood Picture Frame (notice the inlay here, which helps in securing the screen).  This is the kind of picture frame I prefer.
Back of Wood Picture Frame (notice the inlay here, which helps in securing the screen). This is the kind of picture frame I prefer. | Source

Cut Screen Placed On Back of Wood Frame

Cut to size screen placed on back of wood frame.
Cut to size screen placed on back of wood frame. | Source

Staple Screen to Back of Frame

Staple screen to back of frame.
Staple screen to back of frame. | Source

Step Three:

Next, it is time to screw in the eye bolts into each corner of the top of each frame.These will hold the chains in place to attach each frame together and to hang the herb dryer. You must also screw in eye bolts into the back of two of the frames in each corner of the frames that will hang above the bottom frame. At times it was difficult to screw in the eye bolts, being they are so small, so I used a small vice grip to help. That did the trick!

Eye Bolts

Eye Bolts
Eye Bolts | Source

Eye Bolt Screwed into Corner of Picture Frame

Eye bolt screwed into corner of picture frame.
Eye bolt screwed into corner of picture frame. | Source

Using Small Vice Grip to Screw In Eye Bolt

Using small vice grip to screw in eye bolt.
Using small vice grip to screw in eye bolt. | Source


Pile of Small Chains
Pile of Small Chains | Source

Step Four:

It is time to attach your small linked chains to each frame, connecting each frame together.Be sure to leave enough chain at the top to attach all chains together in a triangular form so that your herb dryer can be hung from a tree branch or wherever. I used a large black cable tie to hold mine together at the top.

You can purchase these small chains or any size chains at your local hardware store. An employee of the hardware store will be happy to cut to size each piece of chain you need. I used 12 pieces of 10" chain.

Herb Dryer Inside

Herb Dryer Inside
Herb Dryer Inside | Source


In the summer, you may want to place mosquito netting around the herb dryer when using it outside.

Ready to Use!

Your herb dryer is now ready to be used! Air drying herbs naturally is less expensive than other methods. Well, it is free! This project just does not get any greener.

Air Drying Herbs

These Make Wonderful Gifts Too!

If you have friends or family who have an herb garden, I am sure they would love receiving this handmade herb dryer as a gift! They are simple to make and very inexpensive too, but very useful.Therefore, they make the perfect gift for your friends or family who love fresh herbs, whether bought from the market or grown at home.

I bet your family or friends have not yet received this particular item as a gift!

© Copyright, Faith Reaper, January 5, 2014


Do you think you would like to make this herb dryer for yourself or for a friend?

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