The other day, Handan showed me a picture of some nesting herb boxes for sale online somewhere. 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! Be sure to check out our blog post at the end for the free downloadable stencils I used in this project.
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! Okay, now that we’ve dissected the song and had a little history lesson, let’s start the project. 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. I cut a bunch of them to the sizes I needed to make 4 nesting boxes. For the exact dimensions, please head over to our blog at the end of this post.
I put a bead of glue on the side edges of the bottom piece then brad-nailed the long sides to the base.
After both sides were attached, I glued and brad-nailed the short sides to the base and the long sides.
After the boxes were built, I sanded any overhanging pieces, until everything was smooth and flush.
At this point, the boxes looked like I do after 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.
Here are the boxes after the blackwash had dried. Handan and I decided to invert the stencil. So what you’re seeing in the photo below is not the finished product, but the boxes with stencils, waiting to be painted. Yeah, I know, Rosemary isn’t stenciled yet. Don’t you worry. We didn’t forget her.
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