Upcycled French Country Herb Garden Caddy

Besides wooden trays, one of the things I always keep my eyes peeled for during my thrift store jaunts is wood tool caddies. They have so much upcycled potential and the possibilities for caddy storage ideas are endless. You can turn them into a French Country Herb Garden Caddy like I did or place mason jars inside with fresh-picked flowers for a farmhouse centerpiece. They make lovely tabletop flower boxes for small outdoor spaces or can be used as cutlery/condiment caddies for meals outdoors.

Shabby Chic French Tool Box

Upcycled Wooden Herb Garden Caddy


The inspiration for my herb garden caddy came from a trip to a quaint family-run greenhouse and a box I found in the basement. I've been slowing working through my thrift store stash and at the very bottom of one box, I found a wooden tool caddy that I'd completely forgotten about. Later that evening while admiring the wide selection of herb varieties at the greenhouse, the idea to use the wooden caddy as an herb garden came to mind.

French Country Herb Garden Caddy

An herb garden caddy is perfect for small space gardening. This would be a great idea for an apartment balcony or small patio. But it could also be used indoors on a window sill.

You may be wondering why I didn't just use the galvanized herb garden planter (pictured below) on the shelf of our DIY potting bench. Well, I had too much fun at that little greenhouse and expanded my herb selection not only for cooking but cocktail making too.

Refreshing mojitos being served on our patio soon! The mint variety I planted is an orange mint that I'm excited to try 😋 and the stevia eliminates all that guilt-ridden sugar. I've never made simple sugar with stevia before so wish me luck.

Upcycled Wooden Garden Caddy

This is what my wooden tool caddy looked like before. It has a heart-shaped handle and I seriously considered using a hole saw to change the shape.

Thrifted Wooden Tool Caddy With Handle

But after sitting with it for a bit I decided the heart adds charm to the French Country style I planned for my garden box. Besides, once filled with herbs the heart is hardly noticeable.

French Country Herb Caddy

Let's get into the nitty-gritty of the wooden tool caddy makeover.

How To Upcycle A Wooden Caddy Into An Herb Garden

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

The first thing I did was clean the dirty wooden toolbox with Simple Green spray cleaner and a rag. I also gently tapped the corners with a hammer to tighten the joints.

Thrifted Wooden Caddy Box

Next, I painted just one thin coat of Upper Canada Fusion Mineral Paint onto the caddy so the light wood still showed underneath. I used my handy dandy spray mister to thin the paint as I brushed so the paint went a lot further.

Country Farmhouse Garden Box

Once the paint was dry, I transferred vintage French typography to the sides of the painted caddy. It's so easy to do with this Parchment Paper Image Transfer Technique and this French herbal shop graphic from The Graphics Fairy.

French Typography Garden Box

After the ink on the transferred image was completely dry (I recommend overnight), I used a small round wax brush and applied dark wax along the edges of the caddy to give it an aged patina. A brown glaze would also work to age the painted wood.

I let the wax sit for about 15 minutes or so and lightly buffed it with a lint-free rag. Once the wax no longer felt tacky I applied a non-yellowing outdoor clear coat with my favorite sponge.

DIY Paper Bag Herb Markers

For herb markers, I simply made paper bag sleeves for each potted herb with the name stamped on the front. They'll last longer in a covered area protected from the elements but they definitely would look cute for an indoor herb garden.

Herb Garden Box Paper Sleeve Herb Markers

Simply cut the paper bags in half, using only the top half as a sleeve. I don't throw anything out so I kept the bottom half for grandkid treat bags. I used a stamp kit to label the paper bag garden markers and simply slipped them over each pot and tied them with twine. Easy peasy!

Stamped Paper Bag Herb Markers

Tips for potted herb gardens

I'm fairly new to growing herbs in pots and have been learning tips for successful herb gardening. I thought I'd pass on some of those tips I've learned in case you're new at it too.

  • Growing herbs in individual pots are good for their different watering needs. 
  • While mint likes more water, herbs like rosemary, basil, oregano, and thyme prefer to dry out between waterings.
  • Use kitchen shears or your fingers to pick fresh herbs. 
  • Picking from the top increases growth and makes the plants grow bushier. 
  • For herbs that grow in clumps, like chives, it's better to pick the outer stems first and work towards the center. 
  • For herbs like rosemary or thyme, snip individual branches. 
  • Once flowers start to form, remove the blossoms.

If you like decorating your outdoor living space with vintage-style charm, here's a DIY idea for turning plain terracotta pots with French Country style.

If you have any questions about the upcycled wooden tool caddy makeover, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top. I love hearing from you!

If you enjoyed this herb garden caddy idea, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your Wood Tool Caddy Ideas or Small Space Gardening board on Pinterest.


Wooden Herb Garden Caddy Before and After


I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.

12 comments

  1. oh! it looks so cute! it is great idea with decor on the tray and looks perfect with herbs :) very decorative piece

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    1. Thank you so much! It's great to see you here and I appreciate the visit 😀

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  2. You had me at mojitos, erhhmmmm I mean herb gardens:D Lovely makeover Marie. But then again you do have that magic touch. And thanks so much for the herb growing tips. I didn't know the one about the chives. It's no wonder mine always look so sad. I've been yanking bits out from the middle instead of the sides.

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    1. Girl, the motivation for this herb garden was the potential mojitos! I must've stood in front of the mint shelf for half an hour deciding which of the many varieties to buy. I just harvested and dried my chive crop and hope to get another one or two more harvests out of the summer.

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  3. Super cute herb caddy painted in the favorite color. I am green with envy:)
    Hugs,
    Kippi

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    1. LOL Kippi, thanks to all the rain those herbs are growing like weeds. I need to keep harvesting and drying them so they continue to fit in the caddy. Time for some mojitos! Hugs backatcha

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  4. Marie,
    I love your herb caddy. So cute. Congratulations, you are being featured at Over The Moon Linky party. I hope you stop by. https://www.eclecticredbarn.com/2020/06/over-moon-linky-party_21.html
    Hugs,
    Bev

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    1. I was thrilled to see my herb garden caddy featured when I popped over to the party this morning. Thank you so much, Bev! xo

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  5. What a sweet save! You know I love gardening, so this is right up my alley.

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    1. Yes, you've got some mad gardening skills, girl! I'm in awe of your front garden.

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  6. Where do I start, I love everything about this! From the color of the caddy, to the French graphic, to the fonts on the bag. Beautiful job Marie!!

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I always enjoy hearing from you so please don't be shy! I read and reply to every single comment.