Create a Harvest Basket
July is one of my favorite months of the summer. All of the hard work that went into preparing and planting during the spring begins to pay off! Most vegetables, fruits, and berries are just about ready for harvest, and this year you can retire the many large bowls and containers that you once used to gather your homegrown goods!
Creating your very own harvest basket is relatively easy, and with just a little bit of patience, you will be ready in no time to get a jump start on your canning season!
Table of Contents: Create a Harvest Basket
- Digital Products
- Cricut Design Space
- Staining & Sealing the Wood
- Adding the Wire Netting
- Painting the Text: Your New Harvest Basket!
- Wooden crate (I used these from Walmart)
- Wood stain (I used Golden Wheat by SaMan) & staining sponge or brush
- Varathane Diamond Wood Finish – Exterior & foam or brush
- Digital Product: Any stencil font (I used a stencil font that I installed a long time ago called “Stencil BT Regular”, however, I recommend using the “Recluta” font.)
- Stencil vinyl
- Measuring tape or ruler
- Weeding tools
- Outdoor paint & small paintbrush
- 1/4” Wire mesh netting & wire cutters
- Staple gun
- Cricut cutting machine (or another)
Before opening Design Space, you will first need to decide on which font you want to use for your harvest basket. I feel that a bold stencil font offers a more rustic look, but feel free to use any other font you wish – as long as you keep in mind that it should be bold enough to cut out on the stencil vinyl.
I used the Stencil BT Regular font that I installed on my computer a few years back, but I do also like the look of the Recluta font from Creative Fabrica. It’s slightly more narrow than the Stencil BT, but I really love the industrial vibe it offers.
Once you choose your font, download and install it.
Cricut Design Space
After installing your font, open up Design Space and start a new project.
The design aspect of this project could not be more simple. All you will be doing is creating the words to cut out on your stencil vinyl, which in turn, will allow you to paint flawlessly on the wooden crate later.
Type out the text that will be displayed on your harvest basket. Change the font to the stencil font you have just installed, or alternatively, another font type.
I am the first one to admit that I have a slight (huge 😂) obsession with blackcurrants. Not only do I adore the yumminess of the jams, spreads, and cordials they make – but I also use blackcurrant seed oil in all of my skincare. So much so that I even make and sell some of my serums. My little hobby skincare business is called “Currantly Yours”, so it’s only fitting to have this on my crates, which I plan to use strictly for harvesting the currants from my garden.
Now all that is left to do is to resize. First, measure the height and width of the area you will be placing the text/s, and then insert a square shape from the Shapes Library. Unlock the square and change the size to match your measurements. This is your template to gauge how you want your text to fit on the crates.
Next, adjust the size of the fonts to fit the shape template/s. Once you are happy with the look, delete the square shape/s.
It’s already time to cut your stencils out! If you are making multiple harvest baskets, I recommend cutting out the same number of stencils to save you a lot of time. This way, you can paint them all at once.
Go ahead and click on that “Make It” button and choose stencil vinyl as the material setting. No mirroring is required for this one!
When the cut has finished, weed as per usual. Apply your transfer tape and set it/them aside for later.
Staining & Sealing the Wood
Before staining your crate, you may need to give it a light sanding – this is especially true if you have built your own crate. However, if you purchased the same kind of crate that I did from Walmart, chances are you can skip this step.
Pour a small amount of stain onto your sponge and apply a thin, even coat to the entire crate – both the inside and outside. Allow the stain to completely dry for at least an hour if you are planning on applying a second coat. Re-apply if desired and allow to dry for at least 6-8 hours before moving on to the next step.
After the drying time has finished, you can take your paintbrush and seal the entire crate with the Varathane Diamond Wood Finish Exterior. Be sure to cover every part of the wood. This sealant is to protect the wood from any moisture damage, so be sure to get every nook and cranny!
Allow the sealant to dry for 12-24 hours.
Adding the Wire Netting
Now that the coat of seal is thoroughly dry, you can add the wire netting to the inside of the crate. The wooden crates from Walmart only have two sides with wooden slats, so because of this, you will only need one strip of the netting.
To determine how long the strip should be, measure the sides and bottom from the inside and add the measurements together. For example, my sides are 8.5” x 8.5” x 8.5”, for a total length of 25.5”. For the width, just measure the inside of one of the sides. So my total measurements are 7.75” wide by 25.5” long. I recommend adding a little extra to allow for some wiggle room in case of errors. Use your wire cutters and cut to size.
With your staple gun, staple the netting to the inside of the crate. I secured the top of both sides and the bottom corners.
Trim away any excess.
Painting the Text: Your New Harvest Basket!
Now that your harvest basket is stained, sealed, and secured, it’s time to add your text!
Apply the stencil vinyl decals that you set aside earlier. Make sure you burnish extremely well to ensure that there are no air bubbles – you don’t want any paint seeping through the stencil!
With a small paintbrush, paint a thin and even coat over the text on the stencil and allow to dry for about 15-20 minutes before removing it. I do not recommend waiting for the paint to completely dry before removing the stencil, as this could chip and lift off the paint.
- 👉 Painting Tip: Feel free to use some masking tape the further protect the edges of the stencil against the wood while you paint!
You can apply a thin coat of the seal over the paint when it’s dry to protect it.
That’s all there is to it! These harvest baskets will come in handy for many years to come – and add a touch of flair to your gardening toolkit! 🌱🥕🍓
Keep on Crafting! 💖