Innersprings and ingenuity

The challenge? Create a fence that is beautiful, low-cost and with reclaimed material. The solution? Upcycle the inner springs from discarded mattresses.

Friends, Simon (an accomplished industrial designer) and Naomi May, were all for experimenting and loved the idea. Innovation required that we start from scratch. We worked together, combining our knowledge and expertise in materials and design.

First step: the concept and layout. 
The first innerspring frame was placed to assess the scale and general aesthetic of a slightly industrial look. With a drop of around 3 degrees, the driveway proved quite challenging and needed to be levelled.

We established how the ground would be prepared and selected the plants appropriate for the type of soil (maidenhair) that would be planted by Naomi and family.

Then we discovered we needed 16 meters of mattress innerspring frames, which meant we had to find 8 mattresses! We expected to be searching for them on nature strips around town. It turned out, though, that the best place is the local waste transfer station. They have no use for them and mattresses are difficult to compress for recycling.

Then we needed to find 5 metres of timber to build the infills and gates. We discovered a supply not far away. When we asked for permission, the owner allowed us to take as much as we wanted – but we only took what we needed, leaving some for the next person.

90 x 90mm galvanised metal posts and star pickets were chosen as the vertical supports. The design includes three openings for the gates. We disassembled and de-nailed shipping pallets to clad the gates, and used spacers to ensure the gaps were equal gaps.

Simon devised a very simple clip from bracing strap (a standard building product that comes in a roll) to attach the innersprings.  The look was very professional but based on  the idea that anyone can make one. Here’s how…

As we started to build the fence, there were many complements from passersby. The construction seemed seamless, but this is because we spent so much time on the initial design.  We are very pleased with the outcome. Over time, the vines will grow up and through the mattress springs, providing more privacy in the front yard.

A fence that is beautiful, functional and made with ingenuity and innersprings,