Make a simple reclaimed wood box (or new, distressed wood) perfectly sized for your favorite containers and then fill the containers with plants, treats, or other things for a special gift for Mother’s Day, birthdays, Christmas, and more. Find more gift ideas on the handmade gifts page.
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Isn’t this reclaimed wood box so cute? Scrap wood – or new wood painted to look old – can easily be turned into a cute box sized to hold whatever containers you have. That’s a custom gift, right?
I used mason jars in the example above and they’re always a great option, but you can use any type of containers you can find from recycled glass to galvanized pots.
Brian made a long, skinny version for our table a couple years ago and I thought a smaller box would make a great gift. So I headed out to the shed to see what type of wood we had lying around and hit the jackpot with a chippy, weathered 1×4, complete with knotholes and been-around-a-million-years look (probably because it has been out there awhile…).
Reusing or repurposing things for gifts – like some of our Thrift Store Transformations that you can see in this gallery – is one of my favorite things for a number of reasons (and frugality isn’t one of them, believe it or not – though it’s a benefit, for sure!):
- You are giving new life to something old (there’s just something about this – it really is wonderful!).
- You are stretching your creative muscles to envision & create that new thing.
- You are giving a one-of-a-kind gift (or maybe two-of-a-kind if you make a couple!)
- You are helping to keep things out of the landfill.
- Your time & effort = a way more thoughtful gift than running to the store.
In other words, it’s not cheap or weird to give a gift that was originally something else!
So now that I’ve convinced you, lets gather your materials and take a few minutes (yep, this was done in less than 30 minutes!) to make your own DIY reclaimed wood box and mason jar planters.
- 1 x 4 piece of reclaimed wood in any condition, painted or not, at least 3′ long.
- measuring tape
- 2 mason jars
- 2 plants or flowers: the small 2-1/2 x 2-1/2″ pots fit best in mason jars. The plants pictured are Creeping Jenny which I actually uprooted from overwintered hanging baskets. The reusing goes on!
- touch-up paint or stain and a foam brush
You’ll also need some type of saw (we used a powered chop saw, but a hand-held saw and miter box would work, too), and 1-1/2″ finish nails with a hammer or nail gun. The nail gun with compressor obviously makes it easier – if you use a hammer, it would help to have a partner to hold the box pieces square.
How to Make a Reclaimed Wood Box
- On the 1 x 4, use the tape measure to find 7-inches from one end for the bottom of the box and mark with a pencil. Cut.
- Measure two 8-1/2-inch pieces for the long sides; mark & cut.
- Measure two 3-1/2-inch pieces for the ends; mark & cut.
- Set parts together on a flat surface.
- Bring sides up around bottom to square. Make sure all the sides touch – sand or recut as needed.
- Nail in place with finishing nails, holding tightly to keep as square as possible (remember, it’s never about perfection here!). Nail in this order as you’re holding the box together-> nail sides to the ends, then nail the end pieces to the bottom, finishing with nailing the sides to the bottom piece.
When your box is finished, you’ll be left with raw, freshly cut ends on your reclaimed wood box – not the look we’re going for, right? If your wood is white, like mine, just dab a bit of craft paint (or any matching paint you have) on the ends with a foam applicator. It shouldn’t be perfect – you can see above where I left some of the wood showing so it goes with the rest of the box.
If your wood is stained or weathered, I’d try to find a stain or even watered-down brown craft paint you could dab on just to diminish the raw wood showing.
Make Mason Jar Planters
For the mason jar planters to fill your box, add some rocks or gravel to the lower 1/4 of each jar and then fill about halfway with moistened potting mix. Remove the plants from the nursery pots and gently plant them into the jars, pressing down and filling in with potting soil as needed. Water them a bit, but not too much.
Make Gift Tag
Adding a tag onto a simple wooden dowel adds a fun look to your gift – it could say whatever you wanted it to say:
- Happy Mother’s Day
- Happy Birthday
- Thank you
- Congratulations (for a wedding or achievement)
There are many printable tag ideas you can find on my Free Printables Pinterest board, or you can quickly create one using stickers and a few other items you may have lying around like I did.
- Grab a piece of cardstock and apply one of the chalkboard stickers to the paper.
- Use scissors to cut out around the sticker (again – let go of perfection!).
- Write your sentiment with the chalk marker (or chalk – a marker will just last longer and won’t smudge).
- Push a wooden bamboo skewer between the paper and sticker to hold it.
- Insert the other end into one of your mason jar planters.
And there you go – totally adorable gift just about anyone would enjoy!
You can change it up by planting herbs in the jars, or sweet flowers like pansies or marigolds. You can also fill the jars with cut flowers from your own garden as sweet little bouquets.
In addition to filling this reclaimed wood box with plants, here are some other options of filler ideas:
- home-canned foods
- soap & lotion dispensers
- cupcake kit (one jar with liners, the other with decorating items)
- bean & bread mixes (like this red beans & rice mix & this focaccia bread)
- breakfast kit (with pancake mixes & syrup)
**This project is also featured in 31 days of handmade gifts for the holidays and beyond. Click here to see all the projects in this series.
Find more garden gift ideas & inspiration from the other bloggers in the Tuesdays In The Garden group:
3 Garden Gift Ideas @Frugal Family Home
DIY Garden Tool Box @Homemade Food Junkie
6 Easy Mother’s Day Planter Ideas @Simplify Live Love
Mother’s Day Gardening Gifts @The Freckled Rose
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