From Crib, to Bench, to Herb Container Garden Decor

This herb garden container I made from a salvage crib turned bench is perfect to hold a lot of pots in various sizes, and is definitely going to add a lot of character to your garden, porch, or deck!

herb garden from old crib

My friend is moving, and she gave us this bench she had on her porch. Along with 900 other gorgeous rustic items hidden on my porch. A few weeks ago, we went to grab the bench from her porch, and Andrew showered me with a host of cuss words as he realized how rickety it was. Man alive, he was so annoyed, and I was so excited.  This is basically how our marriage goes, when it comes to salvage items.

By the way, this post contains affiliate links. It is also sponsored by my loves at HomeRight! Full disclosure: here

As we lifted it, more cuss words filled the air. A few pieces of wood on the base began to jiggle loose and the spindles started rattling. I was saying nonsense like, “This is going to look so cute on the porch!” “I can glue it!” “It will be FIIIIIINE!” “Don’t worry about it, I have a plan for this!”

I didn’t.

Not entirely believing glue would work, and not really having any of ‘this’ under control. All I knew, was those spindle legs would make really cute towel bars, should the whole thing be beyond repair. That plan is still in my back pocket. Anyway, we gathered the slatted pieces, squeezed the base so we didn’t lose any more pieces, and made our way up the hill to our house. The neighbors who saw us, must have been laughing with me (but not Andrew, he wasn’t laughing at all) as we lugged this thing across the street. We had to stop and start a few times because of the loosey-goosey nature of this thing, but we made it.

Andrew pulled out the power washer and I said a prayer the pieces wouldn’t fly apart or crumble, as he slowly aimed the water at the slatted base of the old crib.


They fell out.  I’m not even kidding, the rectangle frame shook loose, the thin wood in the headboard and footboard flew out, and a handful of the slats fell out of their little track. Andrew was so annoyed. I was so pumped. The crib-bench looked beautiful when it was finished!

We sat it in the sun to dry, then dragged it (in a few pieces) to the garage for reassembly. We definitely ditched the footboard and headboard panels, and one of the crossbars ended up broken. There was a lot of glue in the legs, base, and the curved spindle tops – which are actually 3 pieces with dowels inside, all nailed together with THE longest old rusty nails I have ever seen in my entire life.

Instastory Post: During re-assembly. Pretty sure I was crying at this point. Follow me on IG – @FarmhouseMade

Andrew was starting to question what the heck I was doing with this thing, once it was done.  Need I remind you I have the guts of an old mattress, all gorgeous and rusty with the springs, I found in a neighbors trash heap, that is currently without purpose – the dahlias are way too huge and it had to come out. First world problems, right? I scratched the van up real good shoving that thing in my car off the main road through town all by myself, so Andrew hates salvage with no logical plan.

None of my salvage mishaps have a plan, but they always end up amazing.  Toot, toot (my horn). Andrew was against this continuing on as a bench. As soon as he was power washing the pieces to the moon, I already decided this would live in the micro farm, as a pretty piece to fill in by the fence, to hold a container garden of some herbs and flowers.

The girls sanded the crib-bench-herb-holder, and I planned to either seal with my favorite sealer ever – Varathane water-based clear satin poly OR stain it the same black to match the fence. I was leaning toward clear, but I figured I should at least ask my people their opinions, in case I was too blinded by the bench.

Have you ever painted, stained, or sealed spindle type pieces with a brush? Don’t torture yourself.  Get the Super FinishMax instead.

Using my favorite HVLP paint sprayer on this thing is a no brainer.  The wood was so thirsty, the spindles are so detailed, I have no patience for a paint brush here. My trusty HomeRight Super FinishMax was the perfect solution to getting a nice, even coat, on all the nooks and crannies.

Visit HomeRight and my DIY Expert Advice page to get more details on how the sprayer works, and assembly! It’s very easy, and will save you so many tears, and so much time!  We used the sprayer on the cabinets, fireplace, a shed, and the fence.

I sprayed the slatted base extra well with the frame sitting up on an end, making sure to get the slats twice, since they’ll be wet all the time (assuming I remember to water the container garden), and the legs. When that dried, I put it right side up, and started at one end, and worked to the other.  Top to bottom, making sure to get all the nooks. Take your time here, the sealer goes on a whiteish color and dries clear. If you’re moving too quick, you’re going to miss some spots, so be methodical.

container garden architectural salvage

architectural salvage herb container garden paint sprayer

architectural salvage herb container garden

Once it was dry, the kids and I lugged it back into the garden, and they stacked all their herbs and flowers in it.

container garden

I love how the wood pops against the fence!  My favorite part is that there is still a lot of chippy paint hanging on there, despite Andrew’s power washing/demolishing efforts.

herb garden salvage crib

Swoon. We have lots of creeping jenny, which I love so so so much. Sweet potato vines, flowers, and vinca. Cilantro, mojito mint, rosemary, oregano, and basil.

herb garden salvage crib

We now break for chippy, crusty, goodness…

herb garden salvage crib

herb garden salvage crib

Ahhhh…  I love it. This is my ultimate level of chippy goodness.

I hope the glue holds, friends!

In the meantime, pin this for later: 



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