For a recent holiday our boys (upper elementary aged) received REAL tools. To say they were excited would be an understatement. Since they, they have saved up and added a few more to their collections, as well as grabbing some awesome deals at estate sales (kids get the best deals- I think I need them to start negotiating for me!)
I digress…. We typically do some kind of plant gift (flowers and gardening gloves, hanging basket.. etc.) for our teachers at the end of the school year. Since the kids are loving woodworking, I figured I could put them to work on this one, and it might be more thoughtful in the end (although I was terrified it would look like a kid built a box, and was pleasantly surprised the boxes turned out pretty awesome.) This wooden herb box would also be great for mother’s or father’s day. I am confident the Grandma’s are going to be asking for one soon too.
Here’s how to make a simple Wooden Flower Box (to gift to your favorite person, or keep for yourself (I should have ordered one myself!) It’s so simple my kids made them (while I took pictures and gave directions):
SUPPLIES (for 1 box):
- 53″ of fence picket (1 single picket) We used reclaimed fence posts (but you can pick up single fence picket at your local home improvement store)
- Measuring Tape
- 22-ish 1.5″ nails with heads
- 2 Clamps
- Writing tool
- Square edge
- Wood glue (not pictured)
- Wood Stain (not pictured)
- Rubber gloves
- Rag or sponge paint brush
- Handle hardware (not pictured)
- 2-4 plants/flowers in pots
- Hand or electric saw
- Drill (if adding handles)
- Screwdriver (if adding handles)
Mark for the bottom of our box first = 13″ long. Then cut that piece.
Next, measure and mark for the side piece. Depending on the wood you use, take your bottom length and add the width of your wood. In our case, it was 13 5/8″. Cut 2 at this length. Be sure to measure after each cut, because the saw blade will remove some material and throw off your measurements.
Finally, measure your end pieces, mark and cut. The end piece should be the short measurement of your wood, plus the width of the side piece. With our wood, the cut was 6 1/4″
Spread a thin line of wood glue along the edge of your bottom piece. Match up the side pieces. The side pieces should alternate being flush with the ends so that all your sides wrap around the bottom pieces. See photo above.
Clamp on both ends.
Place two or so nails near the center of your edge. Do this on both sides, then remove clamps and nail close to the edge. Be sure you line up your nails so they go through the center, and don’t pop out inside your box.
You will nail up the sides on the short ends as well as the bottom edge. We used about 22 nails for this project.
Since we were going for rustic, we skipped any sanding, but if you wanted a more polished box, sand away.
To stain, cover your work area (I just used a trash bag to cover the boys work table). Rubber gloves are highly recommended. Gently dip rag into stain, being careful not to soak up too much. Your rag should not be dripping. Gently rub your rag across your wood, following the grain. Keep rubbing until the stain moves across all the wood. A little goes a long way, and you want to rub it into the wood for the best results.
We choose not to stain inside the box since we were going to plant in them. (We also didn’t stain the bottom.)
The boys (with some coaching) choose the hardware on a trip to our local store. I also let them decide how they wanted them positioned on the box. One choose center, the other wanted them a little higher.
Drill holes for your screws. Then screw on handles.
I’m not sure which finish I like more. I really do need to get them to make me a box, or two!
STEP 7: Fill with plants or flowers
To make a Herb Box:
- Think savory: Basil, oregano, cilantro (or thyme)
- or Think sweet: Lavender, Rosemary, Mint
To make a Flower Box:
- Try to keep your colors similar.
- Or go with one type of flower or grass.
- I also love the idea of doing something low lying that will just flood over the edges of the box.
Add this free “Thank you for helping me grow!” gift tag to sweeten up your already awesome gift! (Oh, don’t forget to mark the box somewhere. My guys wrote “Made by …… 2015” on the bottom side of their creations.
- BOX: $3 for hardware (because we had the wood, nails and stain), $10 if you had to purchase all the materials
- PLANTS: $12 on herb boxes, $10 on flower box
Total time: 1.5 hours, including clean up
Tag us on Instagram if you make a box, or use this gift tag.
Enjoy your day! -Resa