Monday, May 7, 2012

A few of my favorite things.

Chalkboards, mason jars, and fresh herbs.  These three things, in my opinion, should have a place in every kitchen.  In my house, mason jars serve all sorts of purposes aside from the preserving job they are meant for. At about 10 bucks for a dozen, they are cheap and dead useful.  They are glassware for sweet tea and storage for any refrigerated leftovers that will appropriately fit.  A votive dropped in transforms a mason jar into a candle holder and in the hands of a little boy on a June evening, they become the home of glowing fireflies. They stand proud on the table as a vase for dandelions presented by loving children and today they took on a new role as a window sill herb garden.

My friend Jessica and her family joined us for lunch yesterday and my giant wall calender started a conversation about our shared adoration of chalkboard paint.  It reminded me of this project I've had in my head for quite a while.  I love mason jars and I love all things chalkboard, so I decided to marry the two and throw in some fresh cooking ingredients for good measure.  Sounds like a win all around.

For this little undertaking you will need:
 a few wide-mouth, quart mason jars (one for every herb you want to use)
small herb plants
chalkboard paint
potting soil

I used a small bottle of chalkboard paint from Michael's.  I think I paid about 4 dollars for it after using a 40% off coupon.  If you are planning any larger chalkboard projects, you might go ahead and invest the 15 dollars for an entire quart of paint at Lowe's.  I've also read that you can make chalkboard paint by mixing two tablespoons of tile grout to 1 cup of flat paint in any color.  

I didn't have a paintbrush so I just finger painted it on.  I like things to be a little imperfect so this delivered a satisfactory result, but you could use a stencil and a brush if you wanted something more precise.
After one coat, it was still a little see through...

so I let it dry and added another coat. 
The finished jars before planting....

Now you could probably fit an entire small herb container in each jar, but since I have large pots of herbs on my porch and I was mostly doing these for decoration, I just separated small portions from my big plants to keep inside. 

And another idea for mason jar planters...a cute touch to a front porch with flowers and words/sayings. 

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