Happy Monday! I hope you have your coffee in hand, this is going to be a long one! So kick back and enjoy.
You all know that the people from Fusion offered me some free paint a while back to try out. They also invited me to join their blogger group. I am beyond flattered to be included in this group of really talented and creative people. Today I’m participating in a blog hop with the rest of the group, and as a bonus for you, there is a giveaway component! So, first I’ll share my Fusion project, but stay tuned at the end for all of the details on the giveaway and links to visit the other bloggers who are participating with Fusion projects of their own today.
At the same garage sale where I found my hard vulcanized fibre case, I also picked up a rusty old Craftsman tool box.
Personally, I’m not opposed to rust. I would have considered leaving this guy all rusty except for two things. First, it’s going to be a gift for my mother-in-law, and I don’t think she has the same appreciation for rust that I do. Second, someone wrote the price on top with a Sharpie at the garage sale.
Yep, it was $2.
This is a good sized toolbox, and I decided it would make a fabulous portable herb garden for my m-i-l for mother’s day.
To prep the toolbox for paint, I sanded it quite a bit. I wanted to remove a fair amount of the rust because I didn’t want a lot of it to bleed through the paint. I’m sure that a proper paint job would involve somehow removing the rust entirely with some nasty chemicals or something, but that’s not the way I roll. I just sanded until it felt pretty smooth, and then I wiped it down with a damp rag. I taped off the handle, the latches and the Craftsman logo. Then I added two coats of Fusion’s Laurentien. Since you could still see the “$2” through the paint at that point, I added another two coats just over that writing, blending at the edges. That did the trick. I distressed the toolbox thoroughly. Even though I didn’t leave it rusty, I still wanted it to look old.
Next I dug out my trusty Cricut machine and some white vinyl and added a title to my toolbox.
A couple of years ago I used my Cricut and some vinyl to add my house numbers to my mailbox and they have held up beautifully outside in the elements. So I’m hoping that this ‘herbs.’ holds up as well. If not, it’s not the end of the world, the letters can just be peeled off again.
With Fusion paint, you do not need a top coat, even if your piece will be going outside. However, if you distress it down to bare wood or metal, like I have here, you should add some protection with wax or a top coat of some kind though. In addition, you can add wax to help you achieve a more aged look, and that is what I decided to do with my toolbox. I added a coat of Fusion’s beeswax first, and then strategically added some Cece Caldwell aging cream (a dark wax) to add a little more dimension. Having that base coat of beeswax helps the dark wax be a little more ‘workable’. You can blend it and move it around a little.
Never let it be said that I do things in the proper order. I know it drives my handyman Ken a little nuts when I paint something, and then say “now, could you just fix this little piece?”. He would prefer to do repairs before I paint, although I keep telling him that it’s OK if he dings up the paint, I want it to look distressed! Anyway, I next flipped the box over and used my very manly large drill bit to make drainage holes in the bottom.
Plants do not do well without drainage. Ooops, you can also see that I only painted the bottom with one coat. Shhhh. Don’t tell, no one will ever know.
As I mentioned this is a fairly good sized toolbox, and it’s already kind of heavy on its own. For that reason, I didn’t want to fill it up entirely with dirt, so I used a little trick. I filled the bottom with some empty cans and plastic bottles to take up some space. This is a great trick to use if you have a large planter.
Once it gets filled in with dirt, no one ever knows!
One the dirt was in, the next step was to fill this baby up with herbs. I found a great selection at my local Bachman’s. I just love the Minnesota shaped tags on these.
I ended up with the golden oregano, chives, thyme, rosemary, tri-color sage and a purple basil. My m-i-l loves to cook with fresh herbs, so I know she’ll get use out of all of these.
I planted them and then labeled them all with the same chalkboard picks I used for my administrative professional’s day flowers.
I tucked some vintage plates in the dirt too, just to add some interest until the plants fill in.
I know my m-i-l will love this little herb garden. She often uses fresh herbs in her cooking and in salads. If the plants fill in and get too crowded, she can always move some of them into her garden.
OK, now for the fun stuff. You guys are eligible for some free stuff from Fusion now too!