Thursday, November 10, 2011

Distressed Herb Garden Tutorial

It's gotten pretty cold, pretty fast around these parts and the cold combined with the ever present clouds can get a girl down sometimes. I think bringing some green inside helps brighten the place up.  A super cheap craft, using things I've already got laying around the house, also makes me happy.


4 tin cans
2 X  piece of wood
white and turquoise acrylic paint and paint brushes
Crackle Finish Medium or Elmer's Glue
Light to medium grain sandpaper
Antiquing "glaze" (see recipe below)
Hammer and nails

Step 1:  Tin Can Prep.

Wash and dry can, then paint them white.  I gave mine two coats.  Another option would be to spray paint but since I was going for a distressed look, I thought making the cans a bit "streaky" would lend itself to the faux aged factor.

Step 2:  Paint and Distress Wood

Paint your piece of wood with a thin layer of turquoise paint.  Once dry, spread a thin layer of crackle medium or Elmer's glue on the surfaces you want to crackle.  Let dry, but not all the way or the paint will not crackle.  You want the glue to still be a bit sticky.

Paint a thin layer of white glue over top the Elmer's glue.  The white topcoat will start to crack as it dries.

Step 3:  Sand

Step 4:  Antiquing

Mix a small amount of brown paint with water.  You want it to be runny.  About a 1 part paint to 4 parts water ratio.

Apply a small amount of paint, going with the grain, and immediately wipe it off.  Work in this way, leaving a little more paint or less.  You can always go back over it with a second coat to make it darker.  The more you let sit in the cracks the more they will stand out.  This is what give it the aged look.

Step 5:  Attach cans to wood and fill with plants

Measure your board and lay out your cans so they are evenly spaced on the wooden board.

Attach each can using nail/hammer or by drilling a hole and attaching a screw.

I decided to use a nail since I'm using "disposable" herbs.  I wanted the small, plastic container that holds each herb bunch to be held in place by the nail.

Since each herb is "disposable" and contained in a plastic planter, I'm able to pull it out each time it needs to be watered.  If you plan to plant your herbs directly into each can, think about adding a few small holes at the bottom of each can, for drainage.

I also like the portable-ness of this garden.  When the weather is nice, I can relocate for watering and general sun absorption.

Which my poor plants apparently need.  I super, pinkie swear these herbs were purchased yesterday.  The parsley gets extra points for proper modeling behavior.  The dill and basil do not.  In fact, as punishment, I'm using them up for dinner.  I mean, if you can't stand up to a bit of snipping, you've got to go.  At least that's my excuse for why I'll be making Caprese pasta-again tonight.

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  1. This is awesome, Stacey. I'll be interested to know how your herbs do through the winter. :)

  2. This came out great!!

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    Have a great weekend!! :)


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