Want a place to dry herbs and other garden things using good old fashioned solar power? It’s not hard at all to make a simple DIY Herb Drying Rack. Let me show you how we made ours!
DIY Herb Drying Rack
Now that I actually have some herbs growing, I wanted to be able to dry them and preserve them to use later on in the winter. Right now we have chives and sage coming up in various spots around the yard so I want to be able to take advantage of these “freebies“!
I asked my hubby to make me a few herb drying racks so that I could take advantage of the “solar power” and dry my herbs for free without electricity. Herbs don’t really need to dry quickly so even though I have a regular food dehydrator, there is no need to use it.
So far I’m loving these simple screens! They can be made very inexpensively and are easy to use. Thanks to my hubby for making another one so that I could photograph it for you!
We used 1 1/2 inch wood for an herb drying rack that wouldn’t be too heavy but also would be strong and last a long time. You will need to cut 4 boards from this. We cut ours 24 inches (2 of them) and 21 inches (2 of them) to make a square. You may want to make yours smaller or larger or a different shape depending on where you want to put it.
Lay out your boards into a square (or whatever shape you’ve chosen) before you start drilling any holes.
Be sure and pre-drill the holes to avoid splitting the wood when you put the screws in.
Put one screw in each board end to hold the boards together. We used 3 inch screws to hold it together well and make it stronger.
Then take your screen and measure it out. You want it to come at least 4 inches over each side of your square. If you have screens from an old window you might be able to use that but you will want it to be a plastic screen, not metal. We just bought a screen replacement roll like this one. One roll in that size made us 2 large drying racks with some leftover for another project.
Use a heavy-duty staple gun to staple the screen to the wood. We have this Dewalt Staple Gun.
Once you’ve done 2 of the edges, be sure and pull just a bit of the last 2 edges to make sure the screen is tight. Don’t pull too hard so that the staples are straining on the screen.
Flip the drying rack over and wrap the screen around the edges of the wooden boards and staple on the other side. This will help to make it extra strong.
Fold the corners of the screen over like this before stapling.
Cut the excess screen off the top of the herb drying rack. Now your drying rack is done and ready to be used!
I decided to start mine with some chives since they were the first to be ready and are growing all over the place.
Wash and trim your herbs and place them on the drying rack. Try and set the rack up off a flat surface or make at least 2 racks and put one on top of the other and then switch them back and forth.
Not sure how to use all those herbs you are drying? Here are some tips:
Let them dry in the sun until they are completely dried out. Then you can store them in a mason jar with an airtight lid. That’s all there is to it!
Each drying rack cost us about $4 in the screen. You might be able to find it cheaper. We used wood that we already had from building our house so no extra cost there but you may add a few dollars for the wood. Overall, this is a very inexpensive project and the drying racks should last for many years when put together solidly and stored in a good place when not in use.
Need another project to work on? Here are some of my favorites that we’ve done:
- How to Build a Mini Greenhouse for Free
- Simple DIY Garden Projects
- DIY Cold Storage and Frugal Root Cellar Ideas
Do you dry your own herbs?