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I know many of us are still cleaning up the Easter grass (boy, is that stuff crazy messy!), but it’s time to start thinking about a new holiday: Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day means finding the perfect gift to say, “Mom, thank you for changing my diapers, counseling me through the teenage years, and being the very best friend an adult can ask for.” Talk about big shoes to fill!
Outside my kitchen window sits a beautiful handmade garden box. A few weeks ago, while performing my daily dish duty, I peeked out the window at my box for the umpteenth time, and suddenly an Aha moment struck, ” Mother’s Day!” I immediately called Dustin and explained the idea of building a DIY garden box for our moms. “It’s the perfect mix between practical and thoughtful!” Dustin was sold!
With a few upgrades from my initial idea, Dustin and I (okay, mostly Dustin. I took pictures!) created two custom boxes for Mother’s Day. To make the boxes extra special, we worked with the kids to transplant herbs from our backyard garden (and planted a couple of new seeds) so our moms can instantly enjoy the benefits of using fresh herbs at home.
We chose our Florida-friendly, non-GMO seeds/herbs based on the regional recommendations from SeedsNow.com. Of course, herbs aren’t the only plant that will work in these boxes. Leafy greens, lettuces and even micro greens are great edible plants to grow in a smaller container.
After so many of you fell in love with Dustin’s DIY Headboard and Photography Board, I just knew you’d want the deets on how to make your own DIY Herb Box. To guide you through this project I asked Dustin to share a complete step-by-step tutorial.
Dustin, they’re ready!
Hey, it’s Dustin here! I’m excited to share another fun weekend DIY project with you. Once again, this project is made using one wood pallet (one wood pallet = 2 herb boxes). You can get a wood pallet for free from local businesses around your area (check Craigslist).
DIY Herb Box
- boards from wood pallet or you can buy a 1"x6"x8' pine board
- saw to cut boards to length, I used a table saw
- wood glue
- brad nail gun or hammer
- nails 1 1/4 inch long
- paint in desired color
- chalkboard paint if you'd like to add a chalkboard surface
- sandpaper 80 grit
- hand sander where to bu
- handles we found our handles in the hardware section of Home Depot
- potting soil
- seeds for planting
- chalk for the chalkboard surface
Step 1: Measure to Size
First, decide on the length you want. Herb boxes can be adapted to whatever size you desire. I chose to make our boxes 2 feet long so one person can handle them, even weighted down with soil. Also, this is a great size to fit virtually any windowsill.
I came up with a size of 6″ tall by 6 3/4″ deep from the leftover wood pallet boards I had from previous projects.
Step 2: Source and Cut the Wood
I prefer wood from pallets because this wood is a rough-cut which allows you to create a very distressed look after the boxes are painted and sanded. Disassembling wood pallets can be labor intensive since you have to take apart the boards yourself. In my case, I had leftover boards from a previous project. You can learn how to dissemble boards in this tutorial.
Tip: Cut the boards next to the ends with a saw so you don’t have to bother pulling out all the nails (as pictured in the tutorial link above). This saves a lot of time since you only have to concentrate on pulling out the nails from the middle section of each board. It will take one pallet to cover the dimensions for two herb boxes.
If you want to save time you can purchase a 1″x6″x8′ pine board at your local hardware store. This will provide a similar finished dimension size; however, you will not get the same distressed finish as with the rough-cut pallet wood.
Step 3: Assemble
Glue the edges and nail the boards together with 1 1/4″ nails. You can use a good ol’ hammer or a brad nail gun. You can clamp the frame together to help stabilize the box while nailing, so you get a tight bond for the glue to set.
Water drainage is important. I intentionally placed two boards at the bottom so the water drains between them. If you’re using a purchased 1×6 pine board be sure to drill a few small holes (1/4″ in size) in the bottom to allow the water to drain.
Some of my cuts were not very precise so I had to make a few adjustment cuts. This happens from time-to-time when you are just too excited for the finished product.
Step 4: Paint, Sand and Mount Handles
I really like an antique white color paint with a satin finish, and thankfully, I had some left over from my previous headboard project. I also wanted to create a different colored herb box so I chose a nice Live Simply aqua blue…it looks great!
I wanted a unique way to label the herbs we planted, and thought a chalkboard surface would be super cool. We have chalkboards all over the house so I knew we wouldn’t have to buy any white chalk, lol. We found this Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint product at our local hardware store.
The herb boxes only needed one coat of paint to achieve the look we desired. The next day (once the paint was fully dry) I used a hand-sander, fitted with 80 grit sandpaper, to achieve the distressed look.
We chose these handles because they have a unique old-time feel. Center align them on the sides and drill in with screws (our handle choice came with screws). A pilot hole helps; simply drill a 1/8″ (or smaller) hole so the screws are easier to secure.
Step 5: Plant and Label
Fill the boxes with potting soil, and penetrate the soil with your finger so you can easily drop in the seeds. Label the front of the boxes with chalk. In four weeks you’ll have a beautiful selection of herbs to enjoy.
PS: SeedsNow has generously offered the Live Simply community a special coupon code that’s good for 10% off your entire order at SeedsNow.com. Use the code “SIMPLY10″ at checkout to redeem this offer.
The Big Reveal: A Gift that Keeps Giving
Yes, the mint and cilantro are switched. It’s about the experience when you have kids, not instant perfection.
Disclosure: This post was written as a collaboration with SeedsNow. The opinions and photos expressed are completely my own. I was already a customer of SeedsNow before our collaboration. As a blogger, I’m privileged to partner with companies making a difference in the natural and real food world. I only endorse companies and products I 100% love and believe in.
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If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #LIVESIMPLYBLOG. I'd love to see what you make!