Gardening

How to Build a Bale Frame

Add a touch of elegance to bales of straw used for gardening with a simple, handsome wooden base. We’ve added casters for easy movement, making it perfect for a deck or patio. Cut the lumber yourself if you have some woodworking experience, or make it easy by having the boards pre-cut at your local home improvement store. (You can use either treated lumber or naturally long-lasting cedar.) To assemble our bale frame, scroll down for instructions or download the PDF. Then, learn how to condition and plant the bale here.

Estimated Time: 1-2 hours (Less if you have woodpre-cut)

Project Difficulty: Easy

List of Materials

  • 2 – 1 x 4 x 8 boards
  • 3 – 1 x 6 x 8 boards
  • 2 – 2 x 4 x 8 boards
  • 12 – 2½-inch deck screws
  • 40 – 1¼-inch deck screws
  • 16 – 1¼-inch washer-head screws
  • 4 – 2½-inch swivel casters
  • Wood stain (if desired)

List of Tools:

  • miter saw or circular saw*
  • drill/driver
  • clamps
  • square
  • measuring tape

* or can have lumber pre-cut at home improvement store per dimensions in Parts List

Parts List:

Part Quantity Size
Cross Rails 3 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 18
Long Rails 2 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 40
Slats 7 3/4 x 3 1/2 x 18
Side Panels 4 3/4 x 5 1/2 x 40
Short End Panels 2 3/4 x 5 1/2 x 16 1/2
Long End Panels 2 3/4 x 5 1/2 x 19 1/2

Use this slideshow for step-by-step directions

  • bale slide
    Use the Parts List and Cutting Diagram as references for part dimensions. Cut the parts as needed for each step.
  • bale slide
    Position two Base Cross Rails flush with the ends of the Base Long Rails, and one Base Cross Rail centered on the Base Long Rails. Attach using 2½-inch deck screws as shown in Figure 1.
  • bale slide
    Position the Base Slats equidistant apart on the Base Long Rails as shown in Figure 2 and attach using 1¼-inch deck screws.
  • bale slide
    Position one Base Side Panel 2¼ inches from the edge of another Base Side Panel and attach using 1¼-inch deck screws as shown in Figure 3. Create two assemblies.
  • bale slide
    Position one Base Short End Panel 2¼ inches from the edge and centered across the length (1½ inches from each end) of a Base Long End Panel. Attach using 1¼-inch deck screws as shown in Figure 4. Create two assemblies.
  • bale slide
    Position the Base Side Panel Assemblies with the 2¼-inch overlap flush against the Base Long Rails and Base Slats as shown in Figure 5. Attach to the Base Long Rails using 1¼-inch deck screws.
  • bale slide
    Position the Base End Panel Assemblies as shown in Figure 6 and attach using 1¼-inch deck screws. Be sure to drive screws through the Base Side Panels and into the Base Short End Panels, as well as through the Base Long End Panels and into the Base Long Rails.
  • bale slide
    Flip the assembly over and attach the casters to the ends of the Base Long End Panels using 1¼-inch washer-head screws as shown in Figure 7. Apply wood stain if desired.

Design by Chris Hill.