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Create a Custom Indoor Herb Garden Design from Mason Jars

Custom Indoor Herb Garden Design

Today’s post was inspired by a Pinterest photo of an indoor herb garden design that you can mount on a kitchen wall.

Pretty cool, huh!

Claire Zinnecker at Camille Styles came up with this original idea, thanks Claire :) (in case you’d like to see her awesome concept in action click this link).

Since I’m a DIYer at heart (and a lover of fresh basil on my pizza) I decided to hash out this project a littler further and share it with you.

You’ll discover that it’s pretty darn easy, doesn’t take a ton of time, and will look awesome in your house. Plus, you’ll get to see how to make your own custom oil rubbed bronze finish (which could come in handy for any number of home decor projects).

Here are the supplies you need

  • Wood plank 
  • Glass jars
  • Hose Clamps
  • Wood screws
  • Paint primer (Rust Oleum Spray)
  • Copper paint (Rust Oleum Spray)
  • Oil rubbed bronze paint (Rust Oleum Spray)
  • Wire brush
  • Drop cloth
  • Scraps of wood (smaller than width of wood plank)
  • Goggles
  • Respirator (chemical rated)
  • Polyurethane (spray)
  • Tin Snips
  • Drill & drill bits
  • Tape (electrical or painter’s)
  • Measuring tape & combination square (optional)
  • Mirror hanging kit

In the end you’ll feel like you’re back in 5th grade working on an art project for class.

And just like back then, you can brag to your friends about a job well done ;)

Let’s get started!!

Make a Custom Indoor Herb Garden Design with an Oil Rubbed Bronze & Copper Wood Board 

Claire’s project had glass jars mounted to a distressed piece of wood.

This is a sharp concept but oil rubbed bronze & copper match our kitchen hardware and style.

As you know oil rubbed bronze & copper isn’t cheap. In fact it’s painfully expensive.

What if you could create this effect without spending a ton of money?

YOU CAN!!

All it takes is a little artistic freedom.

Place a drop cloth or piece of cardboard on the ground and position your board on small scraps of wood.

 

Custom Indoor Herb Garden Design-Place your wood board on top of a drop cloth

 

Prime your wood board with Rust Oleum spray primer. Choose the gray or flat rusty color instead of white.

Let the primer sit for 2-3 minutes or until tacky. Then immediately spray on the copper coat (it costs about $4.50 at Home Depot).

The point of this step is to have the copper paint slightly mix with the primer before it dries. You’ll need to let this topcoat dry and apply a 2nd copper coat.

 

Custom Indoor Herb Garden Design-Spray on the copper coat

 

Once the copper is completely dry spray the wood with the oil rubbed bronze. Again, you’ll need two coats. Allow the oil rubbed bronze to dry for 30-40 minutes.

Here are the three Rust Oleum spray paints you need.

 

Custom Indoor Herb Garden Design-Use 3 rust oleum spray paints

 

This last step is where you need to call upon your inner artist. Don’t tell me there isn’t one hiding somewhere inside your head because that’s not true.

Take your wire brush and envision how you want the copper effect to look. I chose to have the copper brush strokes vertical.

With a light touch move your wire brush on the surface of the wood until you brush through the oil rubbed bronze and reveal the copper undercoat.

This takes some practice. That’s why it’s a good idea to paint both sides of your wood. Have one side be a practice run and the other your masterpiece.

The cool part is that you can customize how distressed to make the oil rubbed bronze & copper.

 

Custom Herb Garden Design-Scuff the wood board with a wire brush

 

Once you’re satisfied with the look you can use a rag to lightly buff off any paint boogers (hey, I don’t know what else to call them).

You can also employ a tack cloth to remove any fine particles on the paint surface but I didn’t do this step because my desired look was distressed anyway (distressed to me = perfect).

Since we’re going to expose this board to herbs and water you should apply 2-3 coats of polyurethane.

You can use the spray on variety like I did or brush it on. Follow the directions on the can. The spray on polyurethane permits you to apply a new coat in 30 minutes (this allows your project to progress a LOT FASTER).

 

Custom Indoor Herb Garden-Apply 2 or 3 coats of polyurethane

 

Let the wood sit overnight then move onto the next step.

DISCLAIMER: Please wear goggles, gloves, and a respirator when painting the wood. This will keep your eyes, skins, & lungs healthy.

 

Add Stainless Steel Clamps & Mason Jars to Your Custom Indoor Herb Garden Design

This next step is fun because you can arrange the mason jars on the wood board.

It’s up to you to figure out what position will look best. Keep in mind the kind of herbs you’ll plant in the mason jars and how high they’ll grow over time (this is especially important if the jars will be vertical and not angled).

Once you determined the general orientation of the jars use either a combination square or measuring tape to mark the center of the board.

 

Custom Indoor Herb Garden Design-Mark the center of the board with a combination square or measuring tape

 

Drill a pilot hole into your board (use a drill bit that’s almost equal in diameter to the wood screw you’ll be using).

Now, take a stainless steel hose clamp and place it onto the jar neck. Completely tighten the clamp.

You’ll notice that there is excess clamp that can be trimmed. Use a sharpie to mark where the excess length of clamp exits the screw housing.

Loosen the screw on the clamp until it comes undone and the entire stainless steel band is no longer a circle. Trim the clamp at the sharpie mark with a pair of tin or aviation snips (If you don’t have a pair of these I bet your neighbor will or you can but a cheap pair at the hardware store).

Put the clamp back together by feeding the trimmed end into the screw housing while turning the screw to the right.

Place the clamp back onto the jar neck and tighten it again. Notice the slots on the clamp, this is where the screw will go to mount the clamp to the wood board.

Mark one of the slots on the clamp with your sharpie. Remove the clamp from the jar.

Widen the slot so it will accommodate your wood screw. Use a drill bit that can drill through metal and choose a diameter that’s bigger than the screw’s.

 

Custom Indoor Herb Garden Design-Widen the slot in the stainless steel clamp

 

Feed the wood screw through the hose clamp and into the wood board. Tighten the screw with a screwdriver.

You can adjust the orientation of the clamp buy simply loosening the screw and turning the clamp (make sure to re-tighten the screw though :)).

This is cool because if you decide you want the jars to be positioned differently it’s way easy to do so.

Slide the jars up through the clamp and tighten the clamp’s adjustment screw.

 

Custom Indoor Herb Garden Design-Slide the jar up through the clamp and tighten the adjustment screw

 

YOU DID IT!!!

Here’s a video of this entire step in case you like moving pictures better than words. Don’t miss the outtake at the end :)

 

Create a Custom Indoor Herb Garden Design -- by Home Repair Tutor
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5:47
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1,237

 

All that’s left is to plant your herbs in the jars. But first you need to somehow hang your piece of art on your wall.

 

How to Hang Your Custom Indoor Herb Garden Design on Your Wall

The wood board, jars, soil, and plants are probably going to weigh several pounds.

Use a mirror hanging kit that can support 50lbs.

 

Custom Indoor Herb Garden Design-Use a mirror handing kit to attach your design to the wall

 

This kit comes with two eyelets that will go into the back of your wood board.

Choose a drill bit that’s the same diameter (or a little smaller) than the eyelet diameter

Place a piece of electrical or painter’s tape on the drill bit that indicates the length of the eyelet.

This will stop you from drilling through the face of the wood board.

 

Custom Indoor Herb Garden Design-Place a piece of electrial tape on your drill bit

 

Here’s a Big Tip: Make sure the holes in the wood board for the eyelets are are a good 7-8 inches from the top of the board.

Otherwise, you might be surprised to see the hanger for the wire showing above the board. Which isn’t good.

I made this mistake (DUH!!!).

Thread the steel wire through the eyelets and tie it off. If you know a good knot to use for this step let me know because all I do is add a double knot using pliers (be careful, the steel wire will prick your fingers).

Try to find a stud in your wall by either using a stud finder or knocking on it with your knuckles. A high pitch thud indicates a stud.

Center your hanger on the wall using a measuring tape and pencil. If this center falls on a stud hammer the nail into it.

If you don’t find a stud you can still hammer your nail into the wall and it should be fine. But it’s always better to nail into a stud versus just plain drywall.

 

Hang your new custom herb garden design on the wall and give yourself a pat on the back.

 

Custom Indoor Herb Garden Design

 

Now take a picture and post it on your favorite social media outlet (I wouldn’t mind if you said you did it with the help of Home Repair Tutor, haha).

What suggestions do you have for this project?

Let me know below in the comment section, don’t be shy :)

Thanks for coming by, I really appreciate your time.

Make it a great day!

Jeff Patterson

 

 

 

 

P.S. If you like this project go ahead and pin it on Pinterest or add it to Facebook because someone else might find it cool.

 

 

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18 comments… add one

  • SheilaG @ Plum Doodles March 14, 2013, 10:51 AM

    What a great idea for growing fresh herbs. I love the orb & copper finish on the wood.

    • Jeff Patterson March 14, 2013, 9:16 PM

      Thanks Sheila, I’m really happy about how it all turned out.

      The oil rubbed bronze & copper look turned out way better than I expected.

  • Matt@theDIYvillage March 16, 2013, 1:26 PM

    Jeff, what a cool painting/distressing technique! I’m always on the lookout for functional and practical decor! I’m off to share this!

    • Jeff Patterson March 16, 2013, 3:38 PM

      Thanks Matt. This is a project anyone can do :)

      I originally wanted to apply this idea to wood molding that could be used to frame a mirror. That project might still happen!!

  • Samantha March 16, 2013, 1:59 PM

    I appreciate the concept but what do you do with the extra moisture in your plants? There is no way to allow run off…

    • Jeff Patterson March 16, 2013, 3:42 PM

      Good point Samantha.

      Since I’m not a master gardener it’s hard to say what will happen to the herbs long term.

      But a lot of the plants are pretty hardy and seem to thrive in any condition :)

    • EddieB. March 16, 2013, 9:23 PM

      Be careful not to overwater. Since the jars are clear you can see if you are overwatering or not.

      • Jeff Patterson March 16, 2013, 9:34 PM

        Eddie, are you saying not to overwater because it will ruin the herbs?

        Do you recommend watering just enough to keep the soil moist?

  • Kelly Shirley March 17, 2013, 11:23 AM

    Great job as usual Jeff. This will fit perfectly with some small size adjustments of the edge of the wall adjacent to backsplash where ktichen meets dinning room.

    • Jeff Patterson March 17, 2013, 11:55 AM

      Thanks Kelly, please let me know if you have any questions along the way.

      I’d be more than happy to lend a hand :)

      Hope you’re having a great day!!

  • Crystal @ 29 Rue House March 18, 2013, 10:29 PM

    Hi Jeff – I love this project – great for people with little window/counterspace! I like your trick of spraying copper first and then sanding through to it a bit after using the ORB spray.

    • Jeff Patterson March 19, 2013, 5:38 AM

      Thanks Crystal.

      This copper effect with the ORB is way cool and could definitely be something to use on other projects like picture or mirror frames.

      Hope you’re having a great week!

  • Dria @ Dio April 5, 2013, 8:25 AM

    This is so awesome and versatile you can put it on a wall or the side of your cabinets I may have to give this a try! (found your site via hometalk)

  • JUDY IN TEXAS August 8, 2013, 12:12 AM

    JEFF,
    PERHAPS PUTTING A 1 1/2 TO 2 INCH LAYER OF CHUNKY STONES IN THE BOTTOM OF THE JAR WOULD ALLOW RUN OFF OF EXTRA MOISTURE — NOT CERTAIN IF THIS WOULD WORK BUT WORTH A TRY. THE PAINT TECHNIQUE IS INTERESTING. NOW I KNOW HOW I WILL SPEND THE BIRTHDAY GIFT CARD.

    • Jeff Patterson August 8, 2013, 5:24 AM

      Hi Judy,

      I should definitely put some rocks at the bottom. The plants are looking good but the roots looked a bit cramped for sure. Make sure to send me some pictures of your project, I’m sure it will turn out fabulous.

      Jeff

  • Ann-Marie January 12, 2014, 9:00 PM

    I did this this weekend with some extra left over baseboards from another reno. Turned out great – planted chives, basil, peppers, catnip, etc. Instead of on the wall, I put it on my window, so I could still see outside. Lovely! Wish I had a way to upload a picture to this blog!

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