Back to School Planter

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By General Craft Contributor Michelle

Create a fun little appreciation gift for your favorite teacher to show them that, “You RULE!”

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

To begin, use one of your rulers and a pencil to mark 3-inches up from the bottom of your milk carton on all four sides. Use your craft knife to cut around this line, removing the top.

Use your pliers to remove the metal edge along the top of the rulers–it should pull right off. Mine were actually plastic, and pulled off easily. Use a hacksaw, or table saw to cut your rulers up into 4-inch long sections. Sand off any rough edges with your sandpaper.

Starting at the bottom edge of the carton, use your hot glue to begin adhering your ruler pieces
horizontally across the side of the carton. Butt them right up next to each other, leaving no gaps. Three pieces of ruler will cover one whole side.

Continue covering your sides, nesting the ends of the rulers over, and butted up against the ends of the rulers from the other edges–however it makes the ruler lay the most flat.

Cover the bottom of your carton, it will take four pieces of ruler.

Now, because hot glue is notorious for being unreliable for holding wood projects together for the duration, I took the time to run some regular white glue along all of the seams of my ruler box. I find hot glue great for the quick hold for wood projects like this, but in the long run your rulers will fall off, and peel apart from each other. I highly suggest reinforcing your box at all of the seams with a bead of Elmer’s. Let dry.

Your box is cute as is, but if you’d like to take it a step further, you can “age” your rulers a bit with a stain made of brown acrylic paint mixed with water–you don’t need to mix a lot, just a couple of teaspoons or so of water/paint mixture will go a long way. It could also be really cute to use bright colors of paint to stain your rulers different colors to make a colorful box. Either way you do it, just remember to add a lot more water than paint to your mixture, because you want to be able to see the markings on the rulers through the paint. Err on the side of too much water, because you can always add more paint.

Let your box dry, and then plunk a potted plant inside with a little sign that says “You RULE!” Don’t want to give a plant? How about a bunch of pencils tied with a ribbon, packages of post-it-notes and other supplies, or their favorite treats? It just makes a cute, and reusable gift box, no matter what you decide to fill it with.

Happy Crafting!

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