Create - Grow

The Dirt On: Drying Herbs & Building Shelves

September 22, 2016


Hello hello everyone! I feel like all my creative energy is being sucked away by wedding planning, but I haven’t forgotten about this series! So far we’ve learned how to start an apartment garden, maintaining it, and found beautiful planters. Time to shift gears with the seasons and turn all your hard work into a nice fall/winter dried herbs supply.

And if you’re in a small apartment this diy is especially for you! This drying shelf is a small space two-fer. Bump up your storage and increase your wall space’s functionality in one go.


When I first thought to add shelves to the kitchen, I wanted something simple & clean with some kind of extra function. Finding affordable shelving that matched what I wanted was not simple. So on went the DIY cap and out came the calculator. For 4 custom shelves, going the diy route only cost $50! Could you save even more? Yes! We chose to spend a bit more on wood to get the color & wood knots we wanted plus ‘fancier’ brackets for the entry way shelving.  We love how customizable they are and how perfectly they fit in each space.


wood (we chose 8″ width to match the bracket width)
shelf brackets
wall anchors + screws

1| Measure out your space before heading to Home Depot- they’ll cut your pieces there! Pick a piece that has enough thickness to support what you’ll grace it with. Our 1″ thick shelves don’t bend under anything 😀 (note: scrap wood is pictured because I forgot to take process pics along the way -.-‘)

2| Sand sand sand sand sand. Wipe down and sand again. No splinters in the kitchen please! I knew I wanted to keep as much as the visual texture as possible so I skipped straight to 600 grit, then 800. This technique keeps the rough wood look but feels silky to touch. #protip Consider sealing the wood in this step if you’re planning on storing liquids.

3| Attach the brackets to the wood and mark & drill where you want the hooks to go. (If you’re feeling extra ambitious, you can countersink your screws for a perfectly flush look.) Before you attach the shelf to the wall, do you know what you’re drilling into? We had no clue (#apartmentliving) and didn’t want to risk ripping a giant hole. Enter the most magical piece of hardware- wall anchors.

4| If you’re a home improvement pro, skip ahead to styling your cozy kitchen vignette! Need to be convinced why this extra step is necessary or how to do it? This video is the clearest explanation.

5| Bundle your herbs and hang out for a few weeks.


Ok, maybe you just came by to see how to build shelves on the cheap and don’t want to learn how to dry herbs. But give me a chance to show you the brilliance of the herb shelf.

To air dry herbs you need 2 things:
1| a dry environment
2| moving air

This keeps the herbs from getting moldy before they ever dry out. With the herb shelf you have a built in area with plenty of air space around each bundle. Simply tie the bundles together, hang them up, and enjoy a few weeks later.


I am ridiculously proud of my first garden small haul. Look at those tiny bundles! I like air drying herbs the best because I’ve burned a few too many in the microwave…  And when the herbs have dried I can use the hooks for anything else.

What are some of your favorite uses for dried herbs and what do you display on your kitchen shelves?

herb shelf

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