Make a spring planter with this Target Dollar Spot hack

Make a spring planter with this Target Dollar Spot hack
Make a spring planter with this Target Dollar Spot hack

The moms in my life have had a tough winter. Advanced age, more than one life-threatening surgery and a far-below-sub- zero polar vortex have taken a toll on them.

Unfortunately, they won’t be enjoying the warm sun of spring anytime soon. Even though it’s April, that other maternal figure–Mother-insert-expletive-here-Nature–dumped more than a foot of snow on us last night. That’s why a walk by the Target Dollar Spot inspired me to create inexpensive springtime gifts for my mom and step-mom.

Pssst this would be a perfect Mother’s Day gift

Paper Calliope Spring Planter Box

I spotted these kraft boxes in Target’s Dollar Spot. Except they were three dollars. Hmmmm. Dollar spot…three dollars…someone is stretching the truth in advertising concept a wee bit. Still, when you look at the end results, I hope you agree that it was an awesome deal.

If you act quick, you might still be able to purchase these boxes. If not, Target usually has some sort of kraft box in their Dollar Spot section that should suffice just as well. What’s more, if you are wearing your glittery creative beanie, you are likely to find a half dozen other things that will make perfect craft projects. That Dollar Spot is a dangerous place, I tell you.

Stuff you need

  • Kraft box
  • Pages from old book
  • White Gesso
  • Water
  • Matte Mod Podge
  • Brown stamp pad such as Tim Holtz Distress Ink Vintage Photo
  • Washi tape, I used Recollections Crafting Tape from Michaels
  • Foam brushes
  • Hard-bristle paint brush
  • Transparent tape
  • Tinfoil


Step 1

Remove pages from old book. I chose this 1882 book “The Growing World”. While I always feel pangs of guilt when I tear into it, it is chock full of wonderful old text and illustrations. Where else can you find a book with paragraphs about “ancient gluttony” and “instances of sagacity in parrots” followed shortly “English versus American good breeding”. Titillating stuff, I tell you.

Did that book just call me old and fat? Bastard.

Pages drying from a Gesso whitewash.

Step 2

Untie and remove the string handles from the box. Set aside the string.

Step 3

Since I made two boxes, I took a different approach for each box. For the first box, I mixed water and Gesso together and whitewashed the pages. For the second book, I wanted to leave more of the text visible so I did not whitewash the pages. Instead, I lightly brushed Gesso onto the pages later in the project.

Step 4

Measure the sides, ends and bottom of box.

I keep one of my paper trimmers with a scoring attachment to use exclusively for when I need to make a quick score--because that's the kind of exciting life I lead.

I keep a special attachment on one of my paper trimmers. It’s always nearby for when I need to make a quick score–because that’s the kind of exciting life I lead.

Step 5

Trim your pages to fit the box and make a score line on the pages at the point where the page should fold over the top of the box.




Step 6

Starting with one of the wide sides of the box, apply Mod Podge to both the box and to the back of the page that you will paste onto the box. Line up the scored fold with the top of the box and slowly position the paper onto the box. Repeat this as needed to cover the entire box. Carefully trim and fold edges as if you were wrapping a package.

Step 7

Find the holes of the box where the handles go and use a sharp object to puncture your paper and re-open these holes.

Step 8

Cover the exterior of the pages with Mod Podge. Let dry.You will need to do this work in two stages, because one side will need to dry completely before you can turn it over and apply Mod Podge to the other side.

Instead of whitewashing the pages of this box, I lightly brushed Gesso onto the box. This is a picture of the box while it was still wet. As it dried, the Gesso became more faint.

Instead of whitewashing the pages of this box, I lightly brushed Gesso onto the box. This is a picture of the box while it was still wet. As it dried, the Gesso became more faint.

Step 9

If you didn’t whitewash your pages, you can use Gesso and a hard-bristle paint brush to add faint lines of gesso to the pages now. To add even more texture, use a scissors to cut small chunks of bristle out of the brush in two or three locations. Let pages dry.

Step 10

After the box is completely dry, lightly rub the brown ink pad along the edge to give the edges a distressed look. Because the pages have a coating of Mod Podge on them, you can also use your fingers to help smudge and feather the ink to improve the distressing.

Step 11

Carefully line the inside and outside top edges of the planter with a spring-themed washi tape.

Step 12

Apply another coat of Mod Podge over the box to further secure the tape in place.

Step 13

Apply transparent tape to each end of the string that was used for the handles. Curl/smoosh the tape together to form pointed ends. Thread these ends through the holes of the box. Remove the tape and tie the string together .

Step 14

Line the bottom of the box with a sheet of foil, turning up the edges to form a pan


Step 15

Add plant and deliver to someone who needs a bit of cheer.

My boxes made some moms happy!


3 Responses »

  1. Hi Betsy, You asked me a question on my blog and I just figured out how to contact you as I found your blog. For my “raindrop” layout, you asked what I used to created the teal surface. If you referring to the bottom its just Shimmerz Jenni B Blue spray however if you meant the top teal, I mixed Light Molding paste (Golden brand) with Silks Glaze Teal. It created a teal paste that I later smeared on my page with a palette knife. here is the original post so you know what I”m talking about:

    thank you for visiting my blog!! I really appreciate it!

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