DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes

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Nesting herb boxes are a great way to grow your favorite herbs, but they can also be used to hold flowers, succulents or even decor items. Instead of buying them, we’ll show you how to make your own. It’s a fun project that’s quick and inexpensive. We’ve also included free Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme stencils!

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

The other day, Handan showed me a picture of some nesting herb boxes for sale online somewhere.

DIY nesting herb boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Simple woodworking | #diy #stenciled #rustic #crates | TheNavagePatch.com

They were out of stock. A quick search revealed that they were out of stock everywhere. Popular little things! But really, even if they were in stock, do you think we would pay good money for something we could make ourselves? Of course not. It was time to make some nesting herb boxes for my babes! I’ve included downloadable stencils at the end of the post.

But first let’s have a little chat about parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. You’ve likely heard Simon & Garfunkel croon about those herbs in their song “Scarborough Fair.” What you may not know is that they didn’t write the song. It is a traditional English ballad that dates back to at least 1670, though the song itself seems to be cobbled together from other old songs dating back even further. The title refers to Scarborough Fair, a 45-day trading event held in North Yorkshire, England from 1253 until 1788. The song is a duet, written for a man and a woman, in which the man makes three impossible demands of the woman in order for her to regain his love. In turn, the woman gives the man a series of impossible tasks, the completion of which will cause the woman to honor the man’s demands. When it comes to love, men and women have been irrational for as long as time itself.

So what about the herbs? Why are they in the song? That part is less clear. It is possible that they just flow within the melody of the song and rhyme with the lyrics of one of the aforementioned older songs from which “Scarborough Fair” was stitched. That may be partly true, but parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme have long been associated with soothing, strength, faithfulness and courage. In medieval times, the four herbs were often mixed and prescribed as a potent love potion. This makes sense in the context of the song: two ex-lovers make impossible demands of one another in order to rekindle their flame, but they could just drink the love potion and be done with it!

I’ve included the traditional lyrics to “Scarborough Fair” at the end of the post for your reading enjoyment.

Okay, now that we’ve dissected the song and had a little history lesson, let’s start the project.

How to Make Nesting Herb Boxes

I had a bunch of shiplap in the basement leftover from some rolling shelves I built long before this blog was a twinkle in our eyes. Shiplap boards are meant to overlap one another, with one side designed to lay atop the other. I trimmed off the edge that was meant to lay underneath.

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

The part I trimmed would be the bottom of the box, at least for the biggest box (thyme). I left the chamfer on both sides of the board. Once I had a few boards trimmed up, I started cutting them into the appropriate lengths. For the parsley, sage and rosemary boards, I also trimmed them to the appropriate height.

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

The dimensions of my four boxes are as follows:

Thyme: 13″L x 7″W x 6 1/2″H

Rosemary: 11 1/2″L x 6 1/4″W x 5 1/2″H

Sage: 10″L x 5 1/4″W x 4 3/4″H

Parsley: 8 1/2″L x 5″W x 4 1/4″H

When I had all the pieces cut to size, I started assembling them into boxes.

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

I began by putting a bead of glue on one side of the base.

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

I then placed the glued side against one of the side pieces…

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

…and fastened it with brad nails.

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

I repeated this process with the other side.

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

I cut the side pieces out of 1/4 inch plywood to save on weight and space. I applied glue around the edges, then brad-nailed the sides in place.

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

I repeated this process with the other side.

Now that the box was built, I took it over to the belt sander to smooth things out and give the bottoms of the parsley, sage and rosemary boxes the same chamfer that the thyme box had (A chamfer is a 45 degree beveled edge).

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

I used the disk sander to take off some overhanging bits.

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

All of the sanding could be done with a random orbital sander, or even by hand with a sanding block.

I repeated this entire process for all of the boxes.

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

At this point, the boxes looked like I do after a long winter lurking in my basement: pasty white and unattractive. They needed a little tan. I didn’t want them to be too dark, so I decided to use my aging solution, aka blackwash.

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

Blackwash will take your pastiest pine and pretty it right up with a reddish tan. I make it by filling a quart jar with apple cider vinegar to which I add one pillow of 0000 steel wool. I cap it up and let it sit for 4 days or even up to a week. After 4 days, I add a big heaping tablespoon of loose leaf black tea, cap it, shake it and let it steep for about 30 minutes. Then I strain out the tea and whatever may be left of the steel wool. To use, just brush it on with a cheap chip brush and let it dry.

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

Here are three of the boxes just after I blackwashed them. The big one in the background is still naked.

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

And here they are after the blackwash has dried.

DIY Nesting Herb Boxes | DIY wooden herb crates | Step-by-step hanging herb crate tutorial | Farmhouse style rustic decor | Free stencil | Free printable | Scarborough Fair | Scrap wood home decor | Stenciled home decor | How to stencil | Festive home decor | Cheap & easy crafts | Home decor on a budget | Simple woodworking | #TheNavagePatch #DIY #Farmhouse #FreePrintable #Stencil | TheNavagePatch.com

Click on ‘Next’ to continue and download the stencils.

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128 Comments

  1. Now I have an ear worm (but not a bad one) and am itching to make this! I love how you used them too.

    1. I know, I’ve been singing it in my head non-stop for the past few days πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading and commenting, Kathy!

  2. really awesome project greg and handan i have loved that song forever and i too love the way you styles them xx

  3. What a great post! I love these little crates, and LOVE that you took so many pictures to show the prosess. Thank you for sharing! πŸ™‚

  4. Blown away by yet another of your projects and how you hung and styled them. Yours look better than the originals, just say’n. You two are the Dynamic DIYing Duo!

    Oh, and I just read your pond plan post. Ha, I can so relate to the “next year we’re going to relax” thing.

    1. LOL, Thank you, Marie! So are you the one saying “next year we can relax” or the one it’s being said to? πŸ™‚

  5. Your work is fabulous and these would sell like hotcakes around here! Thank you so much for sharing your links with us at Celebrate Your Story. Have a peaceful holiday weekend and we hope you join us again!

  6. WOW is right! I cannot even believe how awesome this post is! Each and every step photographed! Fantastic! And, your boxes are way nicer. I absolutely love how you used them in your home. I love the “blackwash” trick. This is really super and I am inspired to (maybe) try something like this myself! Thank you for the incredible details you shared!

    1. Thank you, Gigi! I hope you do give it a try! If, you do, please send us pictures of your finished project, and we’ll put it up on our FB page.

    1. Thank you, Debra! Yes, they are very useful…but I’d never want to grow herbs in them! Too much work to ruin the wood like that πŸ™‚

  7. Greg, you are a handy one to have around! Those boxes look fantastic and I do love how you did the ‘reverse’ stencil. You and Handan are quite a pair…doesn’t seem like there is much you two won’t conquer.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs, Lynn

  8. What a fantastic job you guys did! I can’t decide which I love better that natural or the black because they are both so beautiful!! Thank you so much for linking these up to our Bewitchin’ Projects Block Party last week. You are one of my Feature pics over at Recreated Designs this Sunday. Have a wonderful weekend! Hugs, Lisa

  9. Oh my word – these turned out So cool!!! I’m feeling a DIY coming on! πŸ˜‰ Found you via Morning Cup of Joe… have a great weekend!

  10. Greg great post and great work as always! I actually remember that song… from back when I was a wee baby! The herb boxes turned out wonderful and what made all the difference was the reverse stenciling. It gives them so much more character. Thanks for sharing all of your projects with us and for the history lesson. Right now I am steeped in Shakespeare. My daughter has wrangled me and we are watching this great BBC series called Hollow Crown (2012) based on the four Henry plays. Your post ties in perfectly with my mood. If you have a chance and are into that sort of stuff check it out.

    1. Hi Mary, I’m definitely into that sort of thing! Handan and I watch a ton of BBC and PBS programming, so Hollow Crown sounds right up our alley! Thanks for the tip!

  11. Now I have the images of this duet singing in a town square and thankful I never had to prove my love that way! Btw…that was a great project! Thanks!

  12. Yours are better than the original! I love them. Thanks for sharing at You’re Gonna Love It.. I can’t wait to share this post on Facebook!

  13. One of the best tutorials I’ve read! Great job on everything! Very cool reading the lyrics too. Thanks?lisa

  14. This is another reason, added to a long list, of why I want a Sihloutte Machine! These are absolutely stunning! I love the step by step tutorial, I will be sending it to my husband, one more thing added to his “honey do” list!! I love they way you hung them, and styled them, they are just gorgeous! This is my first time reading your site, I will be back, again and again!

    1. Thank you, Nikki! Hey, make sure that list doesn’t get too long! Believe me, the longer the list gets, the more we want to shut down for extended beer maintenance!

  15. I never knew that about that song!! And those boxes turned out spectacular!! Great work!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 favorite Things on Thursday!! Hope to see you again tomorrow!! Pinned!!

  16. This is awesome!! Such a great tutorial again! Thanks guys! I just pinned it. Thank you for partying with DIY Crush every Thursday!! Hope to see your latest DIY’s this week!

  17. Oh wow! These are beautiful and so very well done! What a gorgeous addition to the decor!

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop). I hope you’ll join us again tomorrow!

    Wishing you a lovely evening.
    xoxo

  18. These herb boxes turned out so great! You did a wonderful job. Thanks for linking up to The Creative Exchange. We are featuring your project this week.
    xo,
    Laura

  19. Hey Handan & Greg! I love this idea! Even if your aren’t a word worker, this could easily be applied to store bought or yard sale boxes! You are my feature this week at Funtastic Friday! Thank you for linking up!

  20. The boxes turned out great! I love the lettering. It’s so much more satisfying to make something instead of buying it!

    Congrats, you’re featured at the #ThisIsHowWeRoll Link Party. Pinning now.

  21. Thanks for sharing with peace love link up! This post has been chosen to be featured on the next Link Party! It starts tomorrow at 6, so grab a button and stop on by with some more great content! : )

  22. Holy cow, thought would be scrolling to get to comment box all night. You two are rocking creating couple, really. The incredible things you two make are so awesome (little southern CA speak there), am loving every post you do.
    Been seeing these boxes all over blog land, they are choice looking. I have Cricut so will be able to make stencils (if I ever learn to use it) not tech savvy at all, machine kinda scares me but that’s just cause am digitally challenged, duh!
    Thanks so much for providing images for stencils, might just get me to try out my beloved Cricut. Guess better get some stencil plastic for machine. Am finding out cartridges and other goodies aren’t inexpensive at all., ouch.
    What are you two creating now? Will I have to wait, see next post to find out I suppose? You are some talented couple. Have great fun weekend

  23. These are absolutely amazing! I’m ready to buy a Silhouette just to make these. Thanks for the detailed instructions AND template.

  24. These look awesome. You make it look easy with your tutorial. We used to sing the song at school and now I’ve got the lyrics stuck in my head!

    Sally @ Life Loving

  25. Oh my gosh these are FABULOUS!! I don’t think I have the patience to make them though. I would probably buy unfinished pre-made boxes and finish them myself

    1. Thank you, Karyl! I’m so sorry for the late reply. I was just going back through some old posts and noticed that I had missed your comment. πŸ™‚

  26. Holy cow. I’ve loved those boxes since I first saw them online, but they’re pretty expensive too. You did a fantastic job!

  27. These turned out AMAZING! I love your step-by-step detailed tutorial and how beautiful they look in your space!! Thanks so much for sharing at our party…featured today, pinning and sharing! XO

  28. Just want to be sure I didn’t miss something…..to download the letter stencils…just click on each set then “Save as” into a file??? I didn’t see one link for all at one time…am I correct?? Thanks….love them!! Going to give my also very talented hubby this project….

    1. Hi Linda, Handan added a Download button at the end of the post (above the pictures of the stencils) to make things easier. Good luck to you and your husband!

  29. I lost the stencils for the herb boxes. I tried to get them again but the blue letters wont show again. what can I do?

    1. Hello Reva, no worries – I sent the download link to your e-mail. I hope you also checked the oversize book page wall art printables we’re offering today. I think you might also like them πŸ˜‰

  30. Hi! Your boxes are absolutely gorgeous, much prettier than the original!! Can’t wait to make them too! There’s only one thing I can’t quite figure out… how and where do you place your hooks (and drilled hole) so they can hold the boxes? There’s only one end of the hooks that is actually “hooked” so how do they stay in place?
    Thanks so much for your post, your rock!!
    Caroline

    1. Hi Caroline. Check out the picture at the following link: https://www.thenavagepatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Scarborough-Fair-037.jpg It shows where the hook is placed on the box. I simply drilled a hole there with a drill press (drilling with a hand drill works just as well). I then inserted the hooks and pressed them in. For my boxes, friction was enough to hold them in place. IF the fit is loose, then you can add a few drops of glue. When hanging from a wall, just the one hook coming out of the back of the box is sufficient to hold it in place. Good luck with your project, and let me know if you have any more questions!

  31. The download for the stencils are JPG and PNG files not SVG for cutting machines. Do you have an SVG file? Great tutorial!
    Thanks,
    Nancy

    1. Hi Nancy, both Silhouette and Cricut machine accept PNG files, so if you have either of the machines PNG will create a better cut (trust me when I say that as I tried it also with SVG files of these stencils and the letters didn’t cut as nice and sharp.) However, if you’re using another machine which only takes SVGs, then click on the link below to use the free online SVG convertor. It converts any PNG or JPG files to SVG files.
      Online SVG Creator
      I hope this helps! πŸ™‚

  32. Could you possibly tell me approximately how thick your shiplap was? I would love to make these for my kitchen!! Thank you!