DIY: Herb planters for pennies

By Julia Dilworth, 24 hours Vancouver


This afternoon DIY project all started because I was trying to figure out how NOT to kill my basil. I buy a new little bushel every few weeks, I eat some leaves and then it rapidly shrivels up and dies, leaving me with questions, hurt feelings and out another $4.

Survival isn’t the only problem I have with basil, the other is that in my balcony-less apartment, I don’t have planters. So I usually sit the grocery store basil (in its ugly plastic pot) onto a plate and park it on the windowsill. It’s not the most attractive solution and frankly this is borderline disgraceful for someone who writes about home decor.

So what would happen if I made it more beautiful? Would the positive vibes from its good looks save my basil’s life? I was willing to try anything! With what I had on hand. For zero dollars.

A shoebox, Mod Podge and plastic bag later, it’s been a week and the basil lives — so far, so green.

How to: shoebox planter

  • The shoebox is great because it’s a bit taller than the plastic pots herbs come in.
  • You can recover a shoebox (sans lid) in patterned duct tape, or use Mod Podge to decoupage the outside in scrapbook paper, like I’ve done here.
  • After the Mod Podged paper was dry, I cut off the bottom of a white garbage bag and taped it to the inside for an interior lining.
  • This way you can just place the grocery-bought pots in your planter to hide the ugliness, AND you can still water them easily, without mess or water damage.

How to: fabulous fabric pot

  • Recover an old pot, shoebox or planter with fabric using Mod Podge (found at craft and art stores).
  • Cut a piece of fabric large enough to wrap around your pot, leaving a generous inch top and bottom.
  • Slather Mod Podge on the pot, lay fabric on top, smoothing it taut as you go and brushing more Mod Podge overtop. Fold edges in top and bottom, cutting excess fabric as needed.
  • Let it dry and voila!

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