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Tulips in the Toolbox: How to

Since you all loved my tulips in the toolbox from this post, I thought I’d write a little “how-to” and update you on their progress!

I had two packages of tulips that just never got planted last fall.  So, I threw them in the basement.  And lucky for me, they sprouted down there!  I accidentally “forced” bulbs!  I’m so proud of myself!
Tulips in the Toolbox
When I discovered them with their little “horns” (as Adam calls them) I decided to plant them inside the house.  And naturally, a toolbox came to mind as the perfect place for them.

To begin, I sprayed the inside of the toolbox with some clear sealant.  I don’t have a picture of this process because I did it long ago, when I first bought the toolbox.  I like spraying rusty containers with a clear acrylic because it helps keep the rust on there, and helps prevent further rust.
Then, I lined the bottom with press n seal.  I’m pretty sure the toolbox is waterproof, but I didn’t want to take any chances.
how to plant tulips in a toolbox

Next, the containers.  I used my drill to put holes in the bottom of two ice cream buckets.  They fit in the toolbox perfectly.

drainage holes in ice cream bucket for plants
Ignore the level.  It was for another project.
ice cream buckets in tool box for planting

Finally, planting.  When you plan bulbs outside, they have to be several inches deep.  But some googling told me that when they are inside, they can be right at the surface.  So, Adam helped me plant the bulbs with just their “horns” sticking out.  We did it in our nasty, yucky, old bathtub.

planting tulips 
 forcing tulips
This was pre-googling, when they were several inches deep.
We covered the dirt and ice cream buckets with moss and waited for the magic to begin.
February 21st  We must have planted the right side a bit lower, because it has been behind the left side all along.
Tulips in a Toolbox
February 27

Tulips in a toolbox
March 5
Tulips in a Toolbox
March 10

Still lopsided, but also quite lovely, even with a firehat in the vignette.  (It is, afterall, our dining/PLAY room!)

Shared at Home Stories A to Z 

Saturday Night Special 

Wow us Wednesdays 

Would you like to comment?

  1. SO cute, Katie! I have never had any luck with bulbs, but this makes me want to try harder :)

  2. SOOOO beautiful!! Tulips are my favorite flower and they look wonderful in that box. Megan

  3. love this, id love to feature it on my revival monday, please let me know if this
    would be ok with you,

  4. I like that a lot maybe I will try that next year I didn't want to have to put them in the refrigerator for a time and then mess with the forcing your project sound easy. Enjoy your flowers

  5. I absolutely love this idea! So cute :)

  6. This is so lovely! I love the graceful lines of the tulips with the rusty charm of the toolbox.
    "Spring Fling" linky party now open.

  7. this looks beautiful, i would love for you to come and link it up at http://twiggstudios.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/sunday-show-off-party-6-come-and-link.html

    thankyou so much enjoy the rest of your weekend xxx

  8. I love it - I'm a huge fan of rusty old toolboxes (or rusty old anything). I think my favorite picture is the one including the firehat - that is SO my life! Usually there's a random toddler hand, foot, body included in most of my pictures.

  9. So pretty! Picture perfect! I wouldn't have thought to try growing tulips indoors, but I'm going to now!

  10. How lucky that the tulips sprouted in your basement! They look fabulous planted in the toolbox. The whole vignette is so yummy :o)

  11. Such an original container for tulips! (I love the tutorial, too.). Simply beautiful!

  12. Just saw a link to this project on FB and LOVE IT!!!

    Many years ago (too many to count), I forced Paperwhites. That was a lot of fun because I swear I could actually see them growing (they grew that quickly!). Think I'll try that again someday. :-)