Welcome to Lovely Greens

My blog focuses on country living projects including diy tutorials, home cooking, and recipes for handmade bath and beauty products. Click this image to see my project gallery! All the best, Tanya from Lovely Greens x

How to make a Better Strawberry Pallet Planter

Use a single wooden pallet to create a beautiful and rustic planter ideal for planting with strawberries or other edibles.

Getting Started Keeping Honeybees

Linda Tillman of 'Linda's Bees' writes on how you can get started learning about and keeping honeybees. A great guest post for anyone interested in learning more about beekeeping!

DIY Healing Eczema Balm

Learn how to make a healing balm for dry and inflamed skin with this video tutorial. Made with Neem oil, it's a natural product perfect for those suffering from eczema and psoriasis.

Grow your own Beauty Garden

Learn how to create your own beauty products using flowers and herbs from your own garden. This is the first post in a series and focuses on the types of plants you can grow for different types of skin.

How to Make Natural Soap Series

This is the first of a four-part series showing how you can make your own handmade and natural soap at home.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Cutting Garden Journal - Review and Giveaway

Sarah Raven's  The Cutting Garden Journal, A Year of Beautiful Cut Flowers

Sarah Raven is a household name for those who love all things green and growing - especially flowers. From books and television, to teaching, and to branded gardening products and seeds, she's been an inspiration for budding and seasoned gardeners alike. Which is why I was delighted to be able to review her latest book, Cutting Garden Journal, A Year of Beautiful Cut Flowers. And you should be delighted too, since you have the chance of winning a free copy if you leave a comment below.

Sarah Raven's  The Cutting Garden Journal, A Year of Beautiful Cut Flowers

The book is a journal format of Sarah Raven's first book, the Cutting Garden, and is arranged in a practical format that you can follow throughout the year. For each month it lists flowers and shrubs that Sarah thinks are best for that time of year as well as jobs to do, information on the plants she recommends, and a project. Projects include things like a winter wreath for December and a spring globe hanging basket in May.

Sarah Raven's  The Cutting Garden Journal, A Year of Beautiful Cut Flowers

Flower arranging is at the heart of the book though and plenty of advice on how to grow flowers for cutting, as well as how to combine them into gorgeous bouquets can be found peppered throughout the book. Sarah also includes information on how to preserve flowers, whether it's prolonging their shelf-life in vases or drying them to use in crafts and dried arrangements.

Sarah Raven's  The Cutting Garden Journal, A Year of Beautiful Cut Flowers

Sarah Raven’s Cutting Garden Journal
A Year Of Beautiful Cut Flowers
by Sarah Raven

I'm giving away one copy of this book* on Tuesday, September 2nd. To enter, please leave a comment below or share the post promoting this book on my Facebook, Google+, or Twitter pages. To be eligible for a second entry for the giveaway, please share this post and let me know you've done so with a message.

*Giveaway open to residents of the UK, Isle of Man, and Channel Islands. Winner to be selected using a random number generator.

Book to be available to the general public from September 2014
Hardback | £14.99
Published by Frances Lincoln

Learn how to create a plentiful and productive cutting garden by following Sarah Raven’s expert advice every month of the year.

Plan now to harvest armfuls of cut flowers all year round using Sarah Raven's tips, techniques, and projects. This journal's month-by-month format includes jobs for the month, flowers of the month, and a cut flower project for the month as well a general feature on making, stocking, and caring for your cut garden.

From January to December, Sarah shows the best plants you could be growing, how you care for them, and how you could use them in your cut flower displays

* Find success with more than 50 carefully chosen cut flowers from a vast array of annuals, perennials, bulbs, shrubs, roses and trees
* Follow expert advice to sow, grow, cut and keep all of Sarah’s favourite varieties
* Use one of the three bespoke planting plans for a large cutting garden, a smaller cutting patch, and within a mixed border
* Establish key dates for sowing, staking, harvesting and propagating using helpful monthly checklists
* Learn techniques for conditioning, displaying, preserving as well as prolonging the vase-life of your arrangements
* Keep your plants and your cutting garden in good shape from January to December

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

15 Vegetables you can Grow in Autumn

15 Vegetables you can Grow in Autumn - in the garden or containers!

For me it's been a tough year to find time for my allotment but on the other hand I've been growing loads of greens and herbs at home. Whether you're a busy person or short of space, growing edibles in containers is an efficient way to garden. Place your pots on a balcony or the patio outside your kitchen door and you can have a steady and convenient supply of salad leaves throughout the summer and autumn. Bring them into a greenhouse or conservatory and you can continue the harvest throughout the cooler months.

15 Vegetables you can Grow in Autumn - in the garden or containers!

August in some parts of the world is still the height of summer but for us on the Isle of Man, it's usually the beginning of Autumn. As I sit writing I actually have a heater on under my desk! Before long, the rest of the northern hemisphere will be feeling the cold and those who grow their own veggies might be digging under the remnants of the garden and thinking about preparing the soil for next year.

There are still loads of vegetables that can be grown in these cooler days though and many of them can be grown in containers. Any vegetable that will grow in shady areas or that thrives in cooler climates will burst into fruition between September and early November. Fruition is a bit of a misleading word though since any plants that fruit or flower will need to wait for next year's sunshine.

15 Vegetables you can Grow in Autumn - in the garden or containers!

15 Vegetables you can Grow in Autumn - in the garden or containers!

Autumn sown vegetables from seed will tend to be green and leafy and used either in salads or stir-fries. Think lettuces, Asian greens, and cool climate herbs and leaves. Many seed sown herbs will need a bit too much time to produce greens so another way to extend the season is to grow from plug plants. I've grown the cilantro (coriander) in the below tub from such plugs - I found a tray of them on sale for 35p at a local gardening centre and planted them a few weeks ago.

15 Vegetables you can Grow in Autumn - in the garden or containers!

You can also encourage new growth on non-woody perennial herbs by cutting them back hard. Herbs like Peppermint, Lemon Balm, Lovage, Welsh Onions, and Chives will begin producing new shoots and leaves that will last you throughout the days leading up to the first frost. Bring them indoors if you'd like to further extend their season.

15 Vegetables you can Grow in Autumn - in the garden or containers!

Container growing: You're aiming to harvest the below veggies in their immature state for some of the larger plants such as Chinese Cabbage and Kailaan. Sowing instructions for all of them is to fill a pot or container with multipurpose compost (or your own mix) to a depth of at least six inches and press it down firmly. Sprinkle the seeds on relatively thinly then cover with a layer of compost - the rule of thumb with seeds is to cover them with a depth of soil that is twice the thickness of the seed itself. To keep the moisture in, consider mulching the top with a thin layer of fine gravel (stones should be less than 10mm in diameter). Water well and every day thereafter. Even if it rains you'll still need to check your pots to see if they're moist enough. 

A tip on container gardening - keep your pots near buildings to keep them warmer and to reduce the risk of cold and frost damage. Also, most of the veggies mentioned below are green and leafy and very attractive to slugs and snails. When grown in a container it's easier to combat these pests organically by ringing the pot with copper or using other barriers to keep them out.

Direct sowing in the garden: follow the instructions on the back of the seed packet. Use horticultural fleece to keep your greens from being damaged by early frosts.

15 Vegetables you can Grow in Autumn - in the garden or containers!


15 Vegetables you can Grow in Autumn

Arugula 
Also known as Rocket
This peppery leaf is easy to grow and can be used in all manner of dishes ranging from salads to rice to pizza toppings. It grows long tap roots and can grow as a perennial if it isn't killed by frost.

Beet Greens
The green tops of beetroot
Though it can take considerably longer for the actual root to develop, you can expect to have beetroot greens ready for picking in as little as a month. The leaves are similar in taste but earthier than Swiss Chard.

Chinese Cabbage
A mild flavoured crisp vegetable that can be used both raw and cooked. Though each plant needs about a foot to mature into full size, you can grow 'baby' leaves in pots and containers. 

Cilantro
Also known as Coriander
Cilantro is a popular herb used in both Asian and Latin American dishes including soups, salads, and ethnic savoury dishes. Though growing the leaves from seed can take up to ten weeks, you can also purchase plant plugs to shorten the growing time. This tip applies to many leafy annual herbs so have a look around your garden centre for ideas!

Kailaan
Thick fleshy cabbage flavoured leaves that can be used in stir fries, salads, and other dishes that call for cabbage leaves and greens. When grown in containers you must use the plants in their 'baby' state. In open ground they need just over a foot to mature to full size.

Lamb's Lettuce
This hardy green can take a long time to establish but it is perennial and grows well in containers and in situ. Though the leaves can get a bit tough later in the winter, it can stand all the way through to spring making it a handy green to have in the garden. 

Lettuce
I often see winter varieties recommended for Autumn sowing but it's probably fine to use any types when sowing in late August to September. With winter varieties, harvest when in a 'baby' state for fresh salads. I also generally buy varieties that are marketed as Cut-and-Come again varieties but have had luck with 'All the Year Round' lettuce as well.

Mibuna
An Asian vegetable with a peppery, mustardy flavour. It's used in stir fries but is more commonly uncooked and used in salads or as toppings for savoury dishes.

Mizuna
Similar to Mibuna, this Japanese green resembles Arugula (Rocket) and is used predominantly in salads and uncooked dishes.

Mustard Greens
Hot and peppery, use Mustard Greens in salads, stir-fries, and other dishes that need a little heat. Keep in mind that while the baby leaves are tender and flavourful, more mature leaves can be bitter.

Oriental Greens
This category is for two items - mixed Oriental/Asian greens as sold in seed packets and all the other fantastic green leafy veggies that hail from Asia. Oriental Greens are used in stir-fries, salads, savoury dishes, or simply steamed and used as a side dish. You can find dozens of varieties available both online and in your local gardening centre.

Pak Choi
Make sure to protect these from slugs and snails! When grown in the garden, mine generally always have a few holes in the leaves when it comes time to harvest them. Though they need a bit of space to mature fully, you'll be able to get decent sized baby Pak Choi if you give them around four inches of space. So thin the baby plants around a few to use as 'baby' greens then let the last ones grow on in size.

Radishes
Juicy and peppery, radishes are a relatively trouble-free vegetable that loves cooler conditions. If you grow them in the heat of summer you shouldn't be too surprised if your radishes to go to seed and/or become woody. Autumn and Spring conditions are perfect for these tasty and colourful little root veggies.

Spinach
Like Radishes, Spinach doesn't much care for hot conditions. Turn your back on it in the summer and you can expect it to bolt! It's a perfect vegetable for growing in Autumn though so make sure to sow loads.

Winter Cress
Another spicy green that's fantastic in both salads and soups, Winter Cress is a hardier cousin of Water Cress. Sow the seed in late summer and Autumn and pick leaves from November to early spring. After that, the leaves go bitter.


15 Vegetables you can Grow in Autumn - in the garden or containers!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Blogging Break this Week


I've been putting it off for some time but now the deadline is drawing near - I  need to sort out my new office and work space. Later this month I'm getting a roommate so need to move my home office from upstairs to the little room under the house. Right now it's filled with kitchen units needing to be fit, a desk needing to be built, and walls and ceiling in dire need of painting. So this week I'm taking a little break from blogging so I can concentrate on getting organised downstairs.

It's actually going to be a good move for me I think since it means that I will have to go out the house and in through the separate entrance "to work". Right now, I don't have a clear delineation between personal and work space so I'm pretty much always on my computer working when I have spare time. This move will be good!


Aside from that, I'm still recovering from two days on my feet at the Royal Manx Agricultural Show. It was a fantastic weekend though and I really enjoyed meeting friends and customers, new and old. I'm pleased that a lot of my handmade soap, candles, gift sets, and body balms, found new homes and that I received so many compliments on both my stall and my products. I'll be back at it again this Saturday at the new Farmers Market day in Douglas - every third Saturday the market will set up outside the Regent Street post office so mark it on the calender :)

I'm also very happy that my two newest products did very well at the show! I'm now offering Peppermint Foot Balm and a Calendula Healing Salve in addition to my other body balms. I'll have them for offer and sample this Saturday and am also taking an order of them into Abode on Friday. They'll be available at other retailers shortly.

It's time to get to work with the first stages of project work room...I'll be posting as usual on my Facebook page if you'd like to see progress. Have a great week and catch up with you soon!



Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Handmade Calendula, Oats, & Honey Body Cream Recipe

Recipe for handmade Calendula, Oats, & Honey Body Cream

The weather on the Isle of Man over the past few weeks has been hot, then rainy, then windy, then back to being sunny again. It's nice to have a bit of moisture for growing plants but the constant change is hard on your skin, and can leave it feeling chapped, dry, and in some cases burned. The simplest remedy to treat environmental damage is to moisturise it with protective cream. You could of course buy it but it's far more fun and less expensive to make it yourself. Another benefit to making your own is that you can control which ingredients you use and keep it as natural as possible.

Recipe for handmade Calendula, Oats, & Honey Body Cream

Making handmade and natural creams is easier than you might think. Lotions and creams are basically water and oil held together by a cosmetic emulsifier and topped off with optional ingredients such as essential oils, luxury oils, preservatives, and other extras. You can think of making a cream like you would of making mayonnaise - but instead of using egg to bind water and oil together you use Emulsifying Wax. Though there are other emulsifiers, E-Wax is the easiest to use for the home and hobby beauty producer.

The ingredients in this recipe for natural body cream are chosen to help soothe irritated skin, to moisturise, and to promote healing. Included is an infusion of oats which creates natural glide and helps treat inflammation and sunburns. The extract of Calendula petals helps to promote healing of minor cuts and reduce the chance of scarring and honey provides natural moisture and additional healing properties. It's a simple recipe using only a handful of ingredients and that I feel confident that anyone could make it.

Recipe for handmade Calendula, Oats, & Honey Body Cream


Handmade Calendula, Oats, & Honey Body Cream
Makes approx 100g/ml

To learn more about making infusions in water and oil please read this post

80g Water infused with quick oats
16g Sweet Almond oil (or other light oil) infused with Calendula petals
8g Emulsifying Wax
2g Honey
1g Vitamin E oil
Optional: 5 drops of your choice of essential oil
Optional: Broad spectrum cosmetic preservative
Heat proof bowls and containers
A handheld milk frother

1. The first step is making your oats infused water. The rule of thumb for making water infusions is one cup of boiling (filtered or distilled) water to 1tsp (28g/1oz) dried plant material. Read more about infusions here. To make your oats infusion, pour the boiling water over 1tsp quick oats and allow it to sit for five minutes. Strain the liquid out and discard the remaining oats. Weigh 80g of the liquid and use it for this recipe.

2. To make your Calendula infused oil please again refer to 'Oil Infusion' in this blog post.

Recipe for handmade Calendula, Oats, & Honey Body Cream

3. Place your oil and emulsifying wax in a heat proof container and melt them in either a microwave or a double boiler (essentially a pan set within another pan filled with hot water).

4. When the oil and wax are completely but only just melted (you don't want it to get super hot), submerge the milk frother in the oil and slowly add the oats water. Turn the frother on but try not to get air into your cream. Keep 'frothing' until your mixture resembles cream/lotion. You can also use an ordinary whisk for this step but again, avoid getting air into your cream if you can.

5. Add the honey, vitamin e oil, and the optional ingredients and stir them in well. Spoon the cream into an air-tight container and use within one week if you have opted to not use a preservative. A preservative can extend the shelf-life for eighteen months or longer.

Recipe for handmade Calendula, Oats, & Honey Body Cream




Pin this tutorial on Pinterest
Recipe for handmade Calendula, Oats, & Honey Body Cream


Create infusions of herbs and flowers for handmade beauty products

Friday, 1 August 2014

What I've been up to...



Another week has flown by and I feel like I've accomplished a lot and barely made a dent in my to-do lists. I say lists because I'm generally working off several that I tend to write on the backs of envelopes or any other scrap paper that I fish out of my bin. Organized chaos...welcome to my life!

Last weekend I spent both Saturday and Sunday manning my market stall at the Southern Agricultural Show. Again I booked a pitch with the Farmers Market and had a fantastic time meeting returning and new customers alike, as well as catching up with other local producers and friends who stopped by. My next big event will be on the 8-9th of August and you'll find me at the Royal Manx - again with the Farmers Market.


I'm about to admit defeat on my allotment for this year. I feel terrible as the Secretary of the association but the time I've been able to dedicate to it has dwindled to basically nothing. I'm going to cover up half my beds in carpet next week and am going to leave it until I can really spend time getting it back into order. Looking at my schedule I'm unlikely to have much time between now and September to really tackle the jungle my plot has now become.

On a positive note, I grow a lot of flowers and herbs in containers at home and this year I've started growing greens as well. It's so much easier to keep an eye on growing plants when they're literally just outside the door. Take the below containers of lettuce and salad greens for instance. To help myself I literally just have to open the door and pinch out a handful of leaves. I also have tomatoes in the conservatory but this year I've only been growing a new variety from Suttons Seeds called Indigo Rose. The fruit are supposed to be nearly all black when ripe but it's taking quite a while. I'm looking forward to tasting them though!


I also have to mention a new composter that I've been using recently just because I'm super excited about it! Back in April I was contacted by Straight Plc in the UK who manage the getcomposting.com website. They're a commercial company passionate about composting and the environment and offered me a couple of their Anaerobic kitchen composters to try out.

So far so good and the kitchen waste that I'm not sending to the wormery goes directly in the bin that I keep in the kitchen. The units take meat, bones, fish, dairy, flowers, and vegetable matter that I can't give to my worms such as onion skins. It doesn't smell at all and uses an interesting bran-based composting activator called Bokashi that helps speed up the composting action. My first bin is full and is now sitting outside finishing up composting and I'm about half way there with filling my second bin. After 14 days of general composting, the contents can be emptied into your ordinary compost pile or buried in the garden. I'll let you know how my experience goes.


It's August now and berries are coming in thick and fast. Right now I've got loads of red currants that I've been transforming into jelly with this recipe - I love red currant jelly with Swedish meatballs. Yum! I also have big juicy thorn-less blackberries ripening at the allotment. The Isle of Man is thick with Blackberries but this variety is long like a Loganberry and juicier than any wild berry I've ever foraged from the hedgerow. I've been having them scattered over my yoghurt and honey in the morning.


In other news...I was contacted recently by a lady who follows me on Facebook and who happens to be married to the editor of one of the local papers. They've asked me if I wanted to be featured in the Examiner's 'A Day in the Life' column next week which I was more than happy to agree to. I've written up a short piece on what my typical day is like and it's going to be accompanied with the photo below in next Tuesday's edition.

With pieces like this and my new regular column with the Southern and Northwest Chronicles I'm trying to raise more local awareness of both my blog and handmade beauty business. It's amazing how much online traffic I get from overseas when I have so many people to reach out to here on the island and in the UK.


I generally work every day at least part time but this week I took an afternoon off and spent it at Niarbyl with two of my friends. Well, there was a tiny amount of work involved since one of them, a photographer, took some pictures of me including the one that will be in the Examiner.

After that tiny bit of 'work' we set out along the coastal footpath and ended up on a secluded beach where we sat on the warm stones, had a laugh, and played in the water. It was a beautiful day and we finished it off at the Niarbyl Bay Cafe with coffees, scones, and cheesecake.



I took more than a few photos of the day and you can see many of them on my Instagram, including this one of blackberries on the footpath. Even though I have plenty of berries at the allotment I was happy to see that wild berries were coming on too. I have a mind to try making blackberry wine with nearly all juice this year so I'll need a big bucket of fruit. I'm going to have to chat with Ben Hardy, my wine making friend/guru, about what he thinks about my idea.


It's on days like this that I feel so fortunate to live in such a beautiful and magic place. I've said more than once that there's no place like the Isle of Man when the sun is out! Hopefully we'll get a few more weeks of summer sun to spend exploring the wild and windswept places on the island. It's easy to get bogged down with work and lose sight of enjoying the outdoors so my friends and I have made a pact that we'll plan an excursion once a month. Next time I'll be taking them to see the Wallabies at the curragh.


I hope you've had a great week and are looking forward to a weekend of fun and relaxation. Have a good one and see you next week!

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Video Tutorials on making Decorative Trugs from Pallet Wood

Tutorial on how to build Rustic Wooden Trugs #diy #pallet

I'm especially pleased to let you know that I have not one but two new videos up on my YouTube Channel today! The first video shows you how to make the trugs and the second one details how to convert one into a planter.

Last week I shared a blog tutorial on how to create wooden trugs using pallet wood. I think that with these types of diy projects, it's sometimes easier to see how it's made rather than following still images and descriptions. Hopefully the video instructions are helpful to those who prefer seeing the trugs made in 'real life'. Plus you get to see and hear me! Wave hello :)

The tutorial shows you how to reclaim the wood from a single wooden pallet and use it to create not one, but two trugs. I'm using one of mine as a planter and the other has a home on my table at the farmers market. It's perfect for displaying my handmade and natural soaps.

Tutorials on how to make and convert wooden trugs into planters #gardening

You can view the videos by clicking the images above or the links below. Please also subscribe to my YouTube channel to get the latest on my future videos!



How to make Rustic Wooden Trugs from Pallet Wood

Convert your Wooden Trug into an Outdoor Planter


Pin this on Pinterest!
Tutorial on how to build Rustic Wooden Trugs #diy #pallet


Friday, 25 July 2014

Pallet Project: DIY Rustic Trugs

How to make TWO rustic wooden trugs out of a single pallet. Gorgeous for indoor display but can also be used as wooden planters #pallet

While I was in the States recently I came across an old strawberry trug in an antique shop. As much as I'd have loved to buy it and bring it back to the Isle of Man, it was just too large for my luggage. I kept coming back to it though and in the end came to the conclusion that I could make it myself. And I could probably make it out of pallet wood.

I love making projects out of pallets because A. the material is free, and B. I love transforming simple materials into beautiful pieces. So instead of bringing back the original trug, I brought back a photo of it and an idea. Then this week I broke down a single pallet and was able to make two complete trugs from it - one that I'm now using as a rustic indoor decor piece, and the other I have planted up with Lobelias and lettuces.

How to make TWO rustic wooden trugs out of a single pallet. Gorgeous for indoor display but can also be used as wooden planters #pallet

Before I continue on with how I made them, I'd like to first make sure that you're aware of the dangers of using the wrong pallet wood for your projects. Pallets are essentially wooden platforms that are used for transporting goods all across the world. To ensure that foreign pests are not spread from region to region, pallets are either sprayed with insecticides/fungicides or they are heat treated. You definitely don't want to use wood that's been chemically treated if you're going to bring it into the house or use it for outdoor furniture or planters. You can avoid them by keeping an eye out for a stamp that you will find on every pallet. If you see the initials 'DB MB' it means it's been chemically treated and if you see 'DB HT' it's just been sterilized with heat.

Choosing the best pallets for your diy projects

Now on to the tutorial! I also have a YouTube tutorial video for this project so please check it out if anything is unclear. The materials and tools I used are:

1 Wooden Pallet - with seven planks across the front
Additional piece of wood for the handles - width of 13/16"/2cm and a height of 1.5"/3.8cm
Jigsaw
Hammer
Electric screwdriver & stainless steel screws
Ruler / Measuring tape
T Square - this is a tool that helps create square (90 degree) edges
To line the trug to use as a planter: plastic lining and a staple gun. Scissors to trim the excess plastic.

If you'd like to make two trugs, like I've done, find a pallet that has seven or more planks across the front side. Using a jigsaw, cut the planks off as you see in the photo below. At the end you'll have fourteen smaller planks from the front side.

How to make TWO rustic wooden trugs out of a single pallet. Gorgeous for indoor display but can also be used as wooden planters #pallet

My pallet had planks of two different widths of the seven original planks, the top, bottom and middle ones were slightly taller than the other four. These taller pieces I've used for the sides of my trugs and the eight other planks make up the bottoms.

You'll see in the below photo that the planks that were cut off only account for part of the project and that the second trug is missing two of its sides. No worries because you can flip the pallet over and take more wood off the back.

How to make TWO rustic wooden trugs out of a single pallet. Gorgeous for indoor display but can also be used as wooden planters #pallet

Cut the planks on the back side and you'll have an additional six planks - with my pallet, these were the same height planks as the taller ones from the front side. That worked out perfectly because then I could use two of the best ones to complete the sides on the second trug. The other four pieces are used to create the verticals that hold the handle on.

How to make TWO rustic wooden trugs out of a single pallet. Gorgeous for indoor display but can also be used as wooden planters #pallet

Once cut I then measured each piece out and cut it to the specs listed below. The width of my A pieces was 16"/41cm if that helps you to make your own. Your wood might be differently sized so I've just left general measurements rather than exact.

I also need to point out that the handle for my trugs is the only piece of wood that did not come from the pallet. It has a thickness of 13/16"/2cm and a height of 1.5"/3.8cm.

How to make TWO rustic wooden trugs out of a single pallet. Gorgeous for indoor display but can also be used as wooden planters #pallet

To create the 'Picket' cutout on your C pieces, center the handle (D) in the C pieces and measure the space leftover at either side. In my case, I had an inch to spare on either side. Whatever measurement you have, multiply it by 1.5 and then make a mark further down the plank. Connect the measurements to form a triangle and you have your angle for cutting. You'll make these cuts on both your C pieces.

How to make TWO rustic wooden trugs out of a single pallet. Gorgeous for indoor display but can also be used as wooden planters #pallet

To put the wooden pieces together you have two main options - glue it or attach them with nails or screws. I opted for screws because I wasn't sure at the time if I'd like them both to be outdoor planters. I wouldn't use glue in that case because I wanted to grow edible plants in them and was concerned about contamination. Call me paranoid! If you do go for the gluing option, you'll need clamps to keep the planks in place while they're drying or you'll have a nightmare of a time.

How to make TWO rustic wooden trugs out of a single pallet. Gorgeous for indoor display but can also be used as wooden planters #pallet

The first parts I screwed together were the C and D pieces which together form the trug's handle. Align the ends of D into the cut out 'Picket' parts of C and screw it in place. Use two screws/nails on either side if you don't want the handle to turn at all when you pick it up. This entire piece will slip over the edges of the box part when you're finished building that.

Next, screw the box together. Pallet wood isn't perfectly square and can often be warped and bent so don't be too concerned if it doesn't fit together precisely. We're aiming for trendy rustic here right?

How to make TWO rustic wooden trugs out of a single pallet. Gorgeous for indoor display but can also be used as wooden planters #pallet

Slip the handle component over the box, center it, and screw it into place with two screws on either side. Can you believe that your trug is now complete? Easy as pie and it really doesn't take very much time at all.

I'm choosing to leave my trugs unpainted for now but am considering staining the one I'm going to have in the house. My second trug I'm using as a planter so I'm leaving the wood as is so reduce any paint contamination when growing my edibles. Now, if you're planning on planting your trug up with decorative plants, feel free to glue the trug together and paint it up as you see fit. I'll bet it would look lovely in a bright color and it will also reduce the chance of getting any splinters in your hands from handling it.

How to make TWO rustic wooden trugs out of a single pallet. Gorgeous for indoor display but can also be used as wooden planters #pallet

There's just one final step you'll need to complete if you do end up using the trug as a planter. Line the sides and bottom with an impermeable material such as plastic and secure with pins or a staple gun. This lining will help protect some of the wood but also keep moisture in. Because the trug is relatively shallow, it has a high likelihood of drying out, especially in the hot weather we've been having on the Isle of Man recently.

For drainage, poke holes or cut slits along the bottom of the plastic where you can feel the seams between the planks. To plant up, remove any cats from the trug and fill in with compost. Plant the trug up how you'd like, water it well, and then make sure to place it in a prominent place so you can show off your handy work to all your visitors!

How to make TWO rustic wooden trugs out of a single pallet. Gorgeous for indoor display but can also be used as wooden planters #pallet

As far as projects go, this one is relatively simple and I feel that most people will be able to complete it within a couple of hours. Have fun and if you do end up making the trugs I'd love to hear how you got on! Leave me a message below or email me with a photo. I can't wait to see how you decorate and plant up your own rustic pallet wood trugs :)

How to make TWO rustic wooden trugs out of a single pallet. Gorgeous for indoor display but can also be used as wooden planters #pallet

And if you enjoyed this tutorial, check out my very popular post on how to make a Strawberry Pallet Planter out of a single wooden pallet. It's another project that looks great but that I think pretty much anyone could make!

Strawberry Pallet Planter Tutorial


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How to make TWO rustic wooden trugs out of a single pallet. Gorgeous for indoor display but can also be used as wooden planters #pallet