I don’t know about you but for some reason, I always seem to be tossing out fresh herbs that have gone all yucky in my fridge. Maybe it’s coz I hardly ever cook, or because I just forget they’re there. It was time to make another plan. And that plan involved a chunky pallet and a battered silver jug so I could put a framed bouquet of fresh herbs on display and start using them instead of tossing them 😉
And I could kick myself for not doing it sooner. I love the way it turned out and how it adds such a gorgeous rustic touch to our kitchen.
Plus, the herbs definitely stay fresh for longer, in fact, the mint I added grew roots and I could plant some in the garden too 😉
Okay, before we get to the tutorial to make a framed bouquet of fresh herbs, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
What you Need
- Pallets or scrap wood
- Wood glue and screws
- Backing board. I used MDF
- 2 Styrofoam/polystyrene sheets
- Texture paste
- Craft paints – burnt umber and a dirty grey
- E6000 glue
- Old urn, vase, pitcher, or jug
- Fresh herbs sign (optional)
How to make a framed bouquet of fresh herbs
There are three parts to this tutorial,
- creating a faux concrete backdrop to suspend a pitcher or jug inside;
- adding a distressed paint effect to the backdrop;
- making the frame from pallets.
Creating a polystyrene backdrop for the framed bouquet of fresh herbs
First things first, I needed to figure out a way to “suspend” the silver jug inside a frame. I could either embed the jug in a thin layer of concrete or fake it. I decided to fake it. And polystyrene is a great base if you’re going the fake route. Kim Kardashian might disagree with me, but hey what do I know 😉 To do something similar you’ll need two large, equally sized sheets of polystyrene.
Using the eyeball method, figure out where you want to suspend your jug and press the jug firmly into one of the sheets, so it makes an indent.
Trace around the indent with a marker and use a sharp craft knife to cut it out.
Glue the two sheets of polystyrene together, using white craft glue.
Cover the entire sheet with a thick layer of texture paste to hide the polystyrene. You can find texture paste in most craft stores or you can make your own by adding talcum powder, sand, or any other fine textures to this homemade gesso recipe.
Once the paste dries. We can give the backdrop a distressed look with some craft paints.
Distressing the polystyrene backdrop with paint
For this backdrop, I wanted to mimic the effect of those gorgeous old Tuscan villas you see dotted around the Italian countryside. I prefer using oil paints mixed with turpentine for something like this. You can use watered-down acrylics if you prefer. I start off by painting the backdrop with a thinned-down layer of burnt umber. It’s such a lovely warm color.
Once the background paint is dry, mix a tiny amount of the dirty grey (a mix of brown and grey) and drizzle it down from the top of the background.
The trick here is to get gravity to do all the work, so stand the backdrop up straight and let the paint run down naturally. If you find you’ve overdone a spot, quickly blot it away with a paper towel. Oil paint dries really quickly when mixed with turps.
How to make a rustic pallet frame for the herb bouquet
By no means can I claim to be a frame-making expert 😀 so it would be impertinent of me to try and tell you how to make a frame. I either cheat and get the experts to do it for me or I use this tutorial to make the easiest frames in the world. But they wouldn’t work for this kitchen décor idea. I needed something thick and sturdy, to suspend the silver jug inside the frame. To make this frame I cut two long pieces and two short pieces from my wood scraps and glued and screwed them together using the polystyrene backdrop as a guide.
To support the backdrop I used MDF. Unfortunately, I didn’t have one big sheet of MDF to create a backing board. But I did manage to cut two strips (if that’s the right word) that fit the space. And while I’m not a framing expert, I do know how to distress wood and give it that aged-worn appearance using a wire brush and drill.
Please wear safety glasses and a protective apron. Those metal bristels have a habit of flying all over the place.
Look at those beautiful gouges, knicks, and dings. The wire brush removes the softer wood between the grain so this technique works best with something like pine or oak.
Sadly, the wire brush also removes that gorgeous aged wood color, but that’s easy to fix with a little bit of black and grey paint. I used Unicorn Spit to age the frame for the herb bouquet.
Any craft paint should work. If you are using US, seal the paint afterwards with polyurethane so the colors really pop. If you look at the piccy below you can see the Unicorn SPiT on the left before applying the sealer and the difference on the right after the sealer.
To finish off, find a small plastic container that fits neatly inside the jug. I used an empty spray bottle and just cut the top off.
Adding something that’s easy to remove inside the jug or pitcher makes it easier to replace the water every few days.
Use E6000 to Glue the jug to the back drop …..
…… and then glue the backdrop inside the frame. Pop some fresh herbs inside the small plastic insert and slip them inside the jug.
And just in case someone doesn’t know what fresh herbs look like you can add a fresh herbs sign at the bottom 😀
Now my kitchen smells amazing thanks to the yummy scent of fresh herbs. And since I can see and smell the herbs, I actually use them more often too. It hasn’t improved my cooking skills though, but my mojitos sure taste delicious with a sprig of fresh mint 😉
Place your framed bouquet of fresh herbs near a sunny window. If you live in the southern hemisphere as we do, a north-facing window will give you the most light during the day. If you live up in the northern hemisphere, choose a south-facing window.
How to grow herbs in water
Most perennial herbs will grow in water. As long as they get enough light, and the water stays clean and algae-free. You can either take a cutting from a mature plant or use fresh herbs from the grocery store.
Cut 15 cm long stems at an angle and remove all the leaves towards the bottom of the stem. If you’re using fresh herbs from the store, you’ll need to trim the stems before placing them in a container. Trimming the stems allows the herbs to absorb water at a faster rate which reduces the chance of them dying. Fill a container with good old-fashioned tap water or harvest some fresh rainwater. Herbs aren’t fussy and distilled water has no nutrients for the little plant to feed on 😀 Containers that block out the light are best for indoor herb gardens.
If you like the idea of making a framed bouquet of fresh herbs, don’t forget to pin the tutorial for later.
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And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.
And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.