I’m a little bit obsessed with growing food, so when I saw that the Indie Craft Experience gals were having an upcycled mason jar competition at this year’s Salvage, I knew I had to enter. This seed starter is sort of a mashup of cool mason jar things I’ve run across in my travels, and I’m super happy with it! You get to use chalkboard paint, dye some mason jars, play with dirt, and use a drill. That, my friends, is my kind of project!
Ever since seeing Not Just a Housewife’s gorgeous mason jar wall planter, I knew I wanted to make one, but I also knew I wanted to mix things up a bit to add a splash of color and make it more me. This project fit the bill. Yay! Here’s how to make your own.
- wooden board – I used one that was in my closet. I have no idea where it came from, but it measures 11″ X 23.5″
- chalkboard paint
- white glue
- food coloring
- 3 mason jars
- 2 6×3/4 screws
- picture wire
- 3 hose clamps
- 3 2″x1/2″ mending plates (mine came with screws)
- potting soil
- seeds of your choice. I used some herbs and flowers that we had on hand.
1. Paint that board with chalkboard paint. It took me 3 coats to get it nice and even. Don’t forget to paint the sides, as well. It’s fine to leave the back unpainted, since no one will see it.
2. Dye your mason jars. I used this tutorial from Craftberry Bush.
3. Flip the board over, and on the top corners on the back, screw in your two wood screws about 3″ from the top of the board. Wrap the picture wire around them to create your hanging apparatus.
4. Attach your hoseclamps onto the front of your board, spaced evenly. I had a really hard time attaching the hose clamps. Drilling through them was not working out at all – my drill kept slipping off, even with the metal bit. The kind fellow at the hardware store directed me to buy a pack of mending plates, and let me tell you, it was much easier! Lay out your mending plates where you want the hose clamps to be, and mark where you’ll need to drill your holes. Then, use a 1/16″ drill bit to pre-drill all of your holes. This is called a pilot hole, and it will ensure that your hose clamps go where you want them to.
5. Lay your mending plates on the wood, then screw in the top screw only. Slide the hose clamp under the mending plate.
6. Now you canÂ screw in those bottom screws. Make sure they’re screwed in super tight!
7. When the jars are completely dry, use the hose clamps to attach them firmly to the board. Place the jar into the clamp and use a screwdriver to tighten the clamp until the jar is nice and secure. You want it tight enough that the jar doesn’t wiggle, but not so tight that you crack the glass. Just take your time with this step.
8. Fill the jars with potting soil, and plant your seeds.
9. Hang it on the wall, and you’re all done! I recommend using wall anchors, since the finished product is pretty heavy.
Since this setup has no drainage, you want to be very careful not to over water. Keep an eye on the soil (yay for glass!). If it looks moist, no need to water today. You don’t want to drown your little seedlings! If you like, you can fill the jars halfway with pebbles before adding your potting soil.