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Thursday, April 24, 2014

DIY Spring Planter Boxes

Elizabeth Troutman Adams
Hobby Farms Guest Blogger

DIY Spring Planter Boxes - Photo by Elizabeth Troutman Adams (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Elizabeth Troutman Adams/Bluegrass Goodness

On Mother’s Day, there are two items that will make every mother beam. One, of course, is an oversized card that sparkles and sings adorations of mom. The other is something that grows and blooms. Of course, as my mom would say, the best Mother’s Day gift is a simple iteration of "I love you;” but for the sake of marketing your farm stand, let’s look at how building gifts for occasions like Easter, bridal showers, birthdays and Mother’s Day can help you grow your business.

In a few steps, with a little attention to detail and some color, you can make a plain planter’s box a sought-after item for those last-minute Mother’s Day shoppers—and a few of those unfortunate folks who might have forgotten the big day until they saw your stand.

These planter’s boxes take a little time and money to make if you buy the wood new, but if you’re resourceful, you can create a couple of these boxes using wood slats laying around from other projects around the farm. I bought my wood from a big-box store so I could request the cuts for easy assembly. I chose cedar, as it holds up well outside.

I’d suggest making three or four planters at a time, using them to attract new customers on a first trial. If there’s more of a demand, then continue making them as a supplementary item to your farm stand (not the main attraction unless you want to foray into woodworking).

Here’s what you’ll need for one box:

  • wooden board, 5½ inches wide x 1 inch thick x 8 feet long
  • nails (or screws)
  • hammer (or electric drill)
  • wood glue
  • spray paint
  • weatherproof sealant

Step 1: Cut Your Pieces
Request or cut the following pieces from your wooden board using a simple in-line cut:

  • two 22¾-inch pieces (for the sides)
  • one 21¼-inch piece (for the base)
  • two 5½-inch pieces (for the ends)

Step 2: Assemble the Box
Now, get out your nails and hammer—or for faster assembly, an electric drill and screws. Shawn (my woodworking husband) and I tried out both versions. If you decide to use the drill, create pocket holes before slowly driving in the screw—the wood will split if you’re too hasty.

To begin assembly, first mark with a pencil the spots on the wood where you’ll want to insert a nail. On the bottom of each side piece, space marks evenly in 6-inch increments, no more than ¾-inch into the box. Next, place two marks at each end to where the end pieces will attach, measuring 1 inch down and 1 inch from the bottom. You might consider adding a couple more nails at the short ends and on the base for extra security, but this is up to you.

Now, attach the long side pieces to one of the end pieces. Reinforce the hold by first applying wood glue. Using either a clamp (if you have one available) or a friend, attach the first side piece to the first end piece. Then add the base piece, hammering nails in the three spots marked on the side piece. Next, attach the other short end and then complete the box with the final side piece. We found this order to be the most logical for hammer-and-nail assembly. Finally, use your drill to make some holes in the bottom to allow for drainage.

Step 3: Dress It Up
Now you have a blank canvas that you can color, chisel or adorn to your preference. For Mother’s Day and Easter, I decided to color my planters in purple and green pastels. I used an easy spray paint, available at home improvement stores or craft stores, but any weatherproof paint will do. Follow the spray paint with a clear layer of weatherproof sealant to create a barrier between the soil and your paint layer.

Spray paint outside (it’s a good idea to wear a scarf or mask over your mouth), and wait a few hours before applying again. I’ve found two coats of paint will do the trick. Once the pain is dry, you can use a paint pen to write "World’s Best Mom” or a special sentiment on the side of the box for personalization.

DIY Spring Planter Boxes - Photo by Elizabeth Troutman Adams (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Elizabeth Troutman Adams/Bluegrass Goodness

Step 4: Fill your Planter
Fill the box close to the top with nutrient-rich soil, and plant flowers like marigolds or daisies, a variety of herbs, or even some mircogreens for easy picking.

Whether the box ends up being sold to a customer or serving as a gift for your own mother, I hope you enjoy this fun springtime project.

Elizabeth 

Troutman Adams at The Craft Hub
About Elizabeth Troutman Adams
Elizabeth Troutman Adams is a freelance writer, public- relations specialist and blogger based in Lexington, Ky. When she’s not churning out words, she loves dabbling in the kitchen, riding and jumping horses, improving her home with her own hands, and bringing people together with the sentiment of old-fashioned hospitality. Look for her DIY marketing projects each month on The Craft Hub, and get to know her better at Bluegrass Goodness.

 

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DIY Spring Planter Boxes

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Reader Comments
Those look nice. And easy.
Galadriel, Lothlorien, ME
Posted: 4/27/2014 11:57:15 PM
nice article
kathleen, Diamond City, AB
Posted: 4/26/2014 8:35:56 PM
nice article
Kim, Thonotosassa, FL
Posted: 4/24/2014 1:26:09 PM
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