I believe that using fresh herbs rather than dried can make a HUGE difference when cooking. Sadly, a tiny package of fresh herbs costs nearly $2 at my local grocery store, which can really add up, especially if multiple herbs are required for a single recipe. I was happy to discover that in addition to the small packages of herb sprigs, my grocery store was selling live herb plants for less than $3. I started off by picking up a mint plant so I can whip up a batch of my favorite infused water whenever the mood strikes. I’ve since acquired a few more herb plants…Italian parsley, chives, and dill. I’ve been keeping them on my kitchen windowsill in their store-issued plastic containers, where they’ve become kind of unruly, and dare I say, an eyesore. It seemed fitting to continue my recent interest in painting and indoor gardening to create some pretty new planters for my herbs!
I’ve desperately wanted make something using chalkboard paint, and figured this would be the perfect project! I like that my herbs can be clearly labeled, but if any of the plants fails to thrive, or if I change out their contents, I can relabel without repainting. I picked up a few terra cotta planters, which were slightly larger than the store-issued plastic pots, so the herbs have room to grow. Basic planters can be found at your local craft or hardware store, and are rather reasonably priced (I found them for under a dollar each).
I considered a few different ways of painting the pots. One was to paint just the upper rim with chalkboard paint like this, while another was to paint just the base section of the pot like this. I ultimately decided to add a splash of color to my project. Since my kitchen has a red, black, and white theme, I opted to paint the upper rim of the planters red (using the same paint I used for my cabinets), with a black chalkboard paint base.
As for the chalkboard paint, I bought a small bottle of Martha Stewart brand acrylic chalkboard paint, which was $3 with a coupon at Michael’s. It took two coats of both the chalkboard paint and the red paint to get an even, solid look. Per the instructions on the chalkboard paint bottle, I “seasoned” the chalkboard surface by rubbing it entirely with chalk then rubbing it off. I used a liquid chalk marker to write the name of each herb before transplanting them into their new containers with a bit of potting soil. The chalk marker has the sleek look of a paint pen without the permanence. Be warned, it does take a bit of elbow grease to erase the liquid chalk – I had to re-do one of my labels.
I’m thrilled to have a much more attractive way of displaying my herbs – three cheers for craft projects that are both decorative and utilitarian!