A fence built with 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 trips 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) and bent it into the correct shape 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,


Preparing for the fence Preparation work involved levelling and planting a maidenhair hedge, which was chosen to create the right coverage and was a good fit with the soil type.
The Source Material Innersprings from mattresses - yes, they appear everywhere around town!
The posts 90 x 90mm galvanised metal posts were used for support the gates
Collecting Innersprings Bonus! All in one lot and pre stripped of fabric and fillers. 8 innersprings from mattresses were collected from the local waste transfer station
Fence Clip The fence clip we designed, created by bending a piece of bracing strap in a vise.
Attaching the inner springs to the post Detail of the corner bracket. We decided to simply screw 2 of the clips we created together and they worked very well.
Attaching the clips Attaching the clips was a quick and easy process
Clips attaching innersprings to the supports Clips used to attach the innersprings to the star pickets
Installation of the innersprings With installation of the innersprings complete, we needed to find some wood.
Timber for the gates... Discovered on the nature strip, we got permission from the owner and took only what we needed.
Pallets Pallets were used to create the cladding for the gates
Sorting the wood The reclaimed timber and pallets are sorted and measured.
A Finished Gate One of gates, created from the reclaimed wood, ready for installation
The gate, installed The front gate constructed from reclaimed timer is installed.
The completed fence And it's complete - an upcycled fence, easy to construct using reclaimed materials and with a clean industrial design.
Developing Over Time A nice rusty patina is developing on the fence, blending the metal of the innerspring with the reclaimed wood

Mattress fence - all grown up (from Facebook 2020)

Upshop Industries, Australia


UpShop Industries upcycles materials and objects to extend their life span. We connect creatives, businesses, industries, upcyclers and manufacturers to reduce waste and its impact on the environment.

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