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My husband and I celebrated our five year anniversary yesterday. We’ve had this unwritten tradition of creating an anniversary project together for the past couple of years. It’s a nice way to spend quality time together and create something beautiful for our home. I happen to think that our little tradition is so much better than exchanging gifts or going out to dinner!
Since the fifth wedding anniversary is the wood anniversary, I started thinking about a wooden DIY project we could make together. My husband and I love to spend time out in our backyard and garden, so I thought that a wooden planter box would be perfect for us! I started searching the basement for wood scraps to use. I didn’t mind if some of the wood was a little beat up. It’s all part of that rustic charm that I love so much!
My husband cut the wood to size and helped me while I drilled holes and added screws to secure the box. Then, I got to work on staining the planter. I used a mixture of Minwax Gunstock and Minwax Ebony to create a unique color stain. It’s light in some spots and darker in others. I really love the way the color turned out! The stain dried overnight and I planned to finish our planter the next day.
The next morning, we went shopping together and picked out plants and stencils to finish our planter. Succulents are my jam and my husband’s taken a liking to them, too. So I picked out three Jade plants to fill our planter with. Then, I grabbed a variety pack of stencils. This planter wasn’t quite large enough for a quote, but the word “LOVE” spelled out in large letters worked just fine!
But that wasn’t it! I decided to give the letters an aged look. You know, kind of like you found the box hidden away somewhere – like a Pottery Barn catalog. I did this by using a little rubbing alcohol and a finishing sandpaper. The outcome was perfect! As I beamed down at our little project, my husband said, “Ut-oh! She’s obsessed!” Damn right, I am! With the planter and the man who helped me make it!
- 5 pieces of wood
- Bottom – 12 1/2″
- 2 sides – 11″
- 2 sides – 6 1/2″
- All pieces are 1 inch in thickness
- 16 screws
- Wood stain, gloves, and rags
- LOVE, or other stencil
- Washi tape
- White acrylic paint
- Foam brush
- Rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip
- Fine sandpaper
- River rocks
- Potting soil
- Three Jade plants, or other small succulents
- Begin to form your box. Use the largest piece for the bottom. Then, you’ll need two long sides and two short sides.
- Drill small holes where you want to secure the sides together. Then, add screws to hold them tightly in place. I used 4 screws for each short side of the box (8 total) and 8 for the bottom (2 on each side).
- Once your box is made, being staining. Wear gloves and use a rag to dip into your stain. Working quickly, wipe on the stain. Allow stain to dry overnight.
- When the stain has completely dried, position your stencil into place. Secure it with washi tape.
- Using a small amount of paint on a foam brush, paint the stencil onto one side of the box.
- When the paint has completely dried, use rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip to clean up the edges. Lightly swipe the Q-tip over the stenciled letters. Then, use a fine grit sandpaper to gently “age” the letters.
- Add river rocks to the bottom of the planter for drainage. Then, fill the box with potting soil or a cactus soil mix (if planting succulents).
- Plant succulents or flowers in your planter and place in a spot you can admire together!
I thought about keeping our planter outside, but ended up moving it into our dining room instead. If you’re going to keep your planter outside, I would suggest adding a protective coat on the wood to avoid wear or weather damage. No matter where you keep this planter, it will be a charming way to remind you of your love for one another.
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