DIY: Planter from reclaimed Pallet Wood (Spring & Summer Garden Projects)

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Today I finally could lay my hands on the 12 small flower plants that I needed for my second Spring & Garden Project.
A few days ago, I told you about all the wooden one way pallets that we had picked up last week. Well, among the pallets, there was this kind of a ‘pallet box’, probably used to transport small parts. It looked like it was built in a hurry, as there were some giant rusty nails sticking out. The moment I noticed the box, I knew I would take it home too, to make a planter out of it.
Here are the pallets and the pallet box, the way it looked before:

Ofcourse the wood was very rough so there were many splinters. First of all I sanded it very well. With the sander it was done quick and easy. At this point the nails were still in it. I couldn’t find the claw hammer to pull them out and to be honest: even if I had a hammer (hehe, now I have this song in my head), I think I wouldn’t have had the strength to pull them out. So I asked P. (my husband) to do it for me, as soon as he came home from work.

After that it was time to wash/stain the wood. For this, I used the grey ‘Chalk wash’  from the dutch brand ‘t Stilleven‘. For the dutch readers: I bought it at Praxis, some time ago. I used this wash before, on a frame and I must admit that the color dissapointed me somewhat. No matter if you use 1 coat, 2 or 3, the color has some more of a beige tone in it than one should expect from grey. After 3 coats, it’s more beige (even a little bit greenish) than what I would call grey.
Don’t get me wrong, the color that it has is nice too but just not what I thought I bought. The brand offers 2 more grey washes: ‘grey light’ and ‘grey blue’. Maybe one of those colors are more what I am looking for. I might try one of those someday but for now I don’t want to spend a lot of money on all kinds of washes and/or stains.
For my planter I did only 1 coat. Also because I wanted the wood structure to still show through.
On the second picture (below) you’ll see the wash still wet, on the third it has dried. It dries very quick, by the way, which is a nice feature. You may not see the beige tone that I just mentioned but that could be due to your monitor’s settings; it really is there.
I almost forgot to add: I distressed the wood /wash just a little bit more by rubbing over it with a damp piece of steel wool.

And here I reveal the little secret about the special flower plants that I needed for this planter. It’s all because of a beautiful old poem, written by William Wordsworth, that I discovered on the internet. The poem has the beautiful title “To the Daisy“. I’ll quote 2 passages for you and then you’ll understand the quote on my planter and why it had to be filled with Daisies (for the dutch: Madeliefjes)…

In youth from rock to rock I went,
From hill to hill, in discontent
Of pleasure high and turbulent,
Most pleas’d when most uneasy;
But now my own delights I make,
My thirst at every rill can slake,
And gladly Nature’s love partake
Of thee, sweet Daisy!


Be Violets in their secret mews
The flowers the wanton Zephyrs chuse;
Proud be the Rose, with rains and dews
Her head impearling;
Thou liv’st with less ambitious aim,
Yet hast not gone without thy fame;
Thou art indeed by many a claim
The Poet’s darling.


Isn’t that beautiful? You can read the complete poem here.
I copied this last line into a new file in Photoshop, outlined and printed it. I taped it onto the front of the planter, careful to get it all straight and in the middle.
With an empty, refillable lead pencil I went over the outlines, to engrave it in the wood. I can tell you, my pointing finger still hurts on top, as I pressed pretty hard to get a nice deep line. That way, the paint would stay in between the lines better. I used a glossy white acrylic paint that we already had and a very small brush.

I could have stopped here but I thought there was something missing: a border. In the garage I found a long narrow wooden board and I was certain that it would be enough. Well, look at the next two photos….

Hehe, the board turned out to be about 2-3 cm too short! Just in time, P. reached the DIY store and bought 2 new boards. Unfortunately: new. Why? After P. had sawn (or is it sawed?) the 4 pieces for me, I first stained them white, using ‘Tuinbeits’ (Garden Stain) from the brand ‘Ceta Bever’. A great stain but the boards still looked new and it didn’t fit the matte chalk wash and the old distressed wood at all. So I made a bit of chalkpaint (click here for the homemade recipe) and painted that as a second layer. Great!
I asked P. to attach the border to the planter with the staple gun, as it had to be done with help of the compressor to ensure the staples went in deep enough – I’m not that technical myself, you know, and I’m a bit afraid for heavy, loud machines ;) . Hammering nails in the planter, instead of stapling, could have caused splitting of the wood and I didn’t want that to happen.
After I sprayed on 2 layers of clear varnish (sorry, I forgot to take a photo of that step), my planter was ready.

The only thing that still missed were the Daisies. Regarding the species Daisies, I only knew them as those lovely little wild flowers, with white ‘petals’ and a yellow centre that you find everywhere in the grass (Bellis perennis). They are so nice to make chains and headbands with. Or to use them if you want to know if ‘he/she’ loves you too, by ripping off (oops…) the petals one by one (he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not).
But how on earth should one plant those Daisies in a planter? I guess, cutting out a deep piece of grass somewhere won’t work that long, I have no idea, lol. But I didn’t want to use any other flowers. I wanted to bring a (kind of) ode to the Daisy, just like Wordsworth did. I wanted the quote on the front to stay for the Daisy only, so I googled a bit and found out that there exists another Daisy flower, a so called cultivar (Bellis perennis Aucubifolia). And guess what…. this week one of our local garden Centers (Intratuin) has these Daisies on sale. Apparently I was not the only one who’s interested: so far they were sold out and yesterday I had no time left to get there on time. Today though, I was lucky enough. I still like the little wild Daisies more (especially with green grass, how pretty that would look in my planter!) and I’m pretty sure those are the ones mentioned in Wordworth’s poem but well… in this case it’s okay, I think.

And here they are in the new planter :)

Ofcourse the planter with the Daisies won’t stay inside our home, it’s just for the photos. When our garden is nice again (read my previous post about that), I will show you all Spring & Summer Projects together.

At this time, I can’t tell you what my next Spring & Summer Project will be, as I don’t know it exactly myself yet. But I’m sure I’ll come up with something by the end of this week.
If you don’t want to miss these other Projects, be sure to fill in your email address in the sidebar and you’ll receive new posts in your mailbox.


PS: if you have already done some spring or summer projects yourself, you’re very welcome to participate in my Link Party!

I linked this project to….

It’s so very Cheri
A Bowl full of Lemons
Not JUST a Housewife

    9 comments / reacties

  • This turned out lovely! I wish I didn’t have such a black thumb!

  • Haha, Meg, but I have a black thumb too ;) The Daisies all came in seperate little pots so I just put them next to each other, with pot and all. So no green thumb needed with this project. Just watering them now and then should be enough, I guess; I saved the tag where it says how to treat them right :)
    You may like to visit one of LoeLaLoep ‘s latest posts: DIY: a Bucket, Paint and a Stencil (Spring & Summer Garden Projects)
    * More information about LoeLaLoep : My Profile

  • I love this!!! So beautiful :) I also noticed your floors. I love those too. Did you DIY those> I would the link to that if you have a post about them.
    You may like to visit one of Stacy ‘s latest posts: Dessert with the girls. . . . #TCBYGrocery #CBias
    * More information about Stacy : My Profile

  • Hello Stacy! Thank you :) No, I didn’t DIY the floor (I wish I could!). It’s a normal laminated floor that we bought.
    You can see some closeup photos here:
    A link is provided in the comments below. We bought it in germany (we live close to the border) but they sell it in the Netherlands too. No idea if they sell it outside from Europe!
    You may like to visit one of LoeLaLoep ‘s latest posts: Freebie: A Cute Alphabet Bunting (Baby & Kids, 43 Pcs)
    * More information about LoeLaLoep : My Profile

  • Hey, Heidi!!! That came out FANTASTIC.

    Oh, I know just what you mean with those daisy fields…. Love them too, and I too recall those lovely daisy crowns we used to make after a busy afternoon running around in the field first….

    I’ve got something for ya. It was buried deep into my blog, but I dug it out and reposted it as today’s article. You’ll love it! DAISIES !!

    Happy Spring to you!

    btw I will feature your planter in an upcoming post about pallets… Yes, it’s that good…. (smiles)
    You may like to visit one of Rose :: Fine Craft Guild ‘s latest posts: Crochet Daisies Free Pattern
    * More information about Rose :: Fine Craft Guild : My Profile

  • Rose, thank you so much for your comment! The crochet daisies on your site look so adorable – I love Spring! So sweet that you’ll feature my planter soon. I can’t wait to get our backyard ready and show it in his final place ;)
    Happy Spring to you too :)
    You may like to visit one of LoeLaLoep ‘s latest posts: Freebie: A Cute Alphabet Bunting (Baby & Kids, 43 Pcs)
    * More information about LoeLaLoep : My Profile

  • […] (Source) […]

  • […] Get the tutorial here […]

  • […] A small planter box can be made from a pallet for a deck or […]

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