With spring around the corner I have bulbs, blooms and seeds on my mind!
I’ve been puttering in the Potting Shed, enjoying some tabletop gardening and have a fun project to help you bide your time until spring planting season~ growing a Vintage Seed Box!
I have three vintage seed boxes from my retail days, found at flea markets 20+ years ago~ a Ferry’s Seeds Box, I use for a seasonal planter; a Mandeville & King Co. Superior Flower Seeds Box; and a Reliable Seeds Box that holds my Staffordshire Bouquet.
You can find vintage and authentic seed boxes on eBay and antique malls, but they are harder to come by these days with prices ranging from $100 to $300 or more, depending on condition of the graphics.
The inspiration for making a vintage seed box came from Debra at Common Ground. I share her love for all things vintage garden and pinned her project when I saw it a couple of years ago. You can see how she transformed her boxes, here.
I have been on the look out for a wood box and found one recently one at an antique mall. It was in a sad state but the $15 price tag made it a prime candidate for this project.
The box was battered and in need of some TLC. I cleaned it first and then gave it a couple of coats of Danish oil, I picked up at Lowe’s to cover some of the scars and warm up the finish.
I found vintage seed graphics available from the Smithsonian Institution Libraries Digital Collection.
The graphics and content there have no copyright restrictions and available for download for personal, educational and other non-commercial purposes.
You can find the Smithsonian Institution Libraries catalog collection and 500 images, here. Search by cover art image~ flowers, fruit, vegetables, or catalog name.
I used Mod Podge to adhere the graphic to my box. I have an Inkjet printer, so I gave the covers a couple of light coats of clear acrylic sealer and let them dry, to prevent the water-based ink from running when I applied the Mod Podge.
To cover the whole inside of the lid of the box, I used a couple of pieces of scrapbook paper I picked up at the craft store for less than a $1.00 to span the width of the box and centered the graphic in the middle. Everything was given a couple of coats of Mod Podge.
My vintage Seed Box is planted on the counter of my Potting Shed along with some other vintage goodies. . .
Old tools~ garden forks and trowels, flower frogs. . .
And old garden encyclopedia and stamped spoon garden marker. . .
Vintage farmer’s almanacs and seed catalogs. . .
Along with some pieces of transferware and an old scale.
Hen and chicks are nesting in this boot planter that flew home with me from HomeGoods last year.
And potted hyacinth bulbs are growing with the promise of spring!
Since the top of the box was not too pretty, I added an additional graphic to the top of the lid with Mod Podge. After a couple of coats, I applied a some Plaid FolkArt Antique Medium around the edges as well as along the inside lip of the box. I wiped it off with a damp paper towel to add some additional age.
There are a couple of wrinkles on the label and around the edges but they lend some age and give a little feeling of wear to graphic, similar to my authentic vintage seed boxes. I may take a little sand paper to the paper for some tattered wear to add some authenticity.
Growing a vintage seed box is a fun tabletop gardening project!
I’m on the look out for another box to plant some veggie seeds labels!