Sunday, January 29, 2012

Make a Hanging Herb Drying Rack

Nothing makes a dish quite as yummy as herbs fresh from your own garden.

But if you've ever grown them, you know that when the growing season is over you will still have a lot left to harvest. Keep your food flavorful all year 'round by drying your excess herbs with a hanging herb dryer. 

Materials:

Old frames...the number depends on how many levels that you want.
Screw hooks -4 for a 1 level dryer, 12 for a 2 level, etc.
Fiberglass screen or whatever kind of screen you have lying around.  .
A plant hanging kit -chain and S hooks
(found at Lowe's in the garden section)
Scissors, Staple gun, Pliers (2 pairs needed)
                            

Step 1: First off if you picked up your frames at a thrift store or flea market then more than likely they are dusty and possibly splintered. Clean then off with a damp rag and sand them smooth if necessary. Flip them over and remove the staples from the back with your pliers.
Step 2: Then lay out your screen and place your frame on top. Cut out the shape of your frame.

Step 3:  Flip your frame back-side up and staple your screen on. Starting in the middle and working your way out so that you have a nice taut screen. You could also use small nails/tacks if you do not have a staple gun.

Step 4: Flip your frame front-side up and screw your screw hooks into the corners. Take advantage of the separation of the corners here for starting off your screw hooks. You could also use a drill to make the starter hole.
Screw hooks in all 4 corners...

Step 5: Take your chain and shorten it if necessary...test it out to make sure that you are happy with the length. If you are using the same packet of chain from Lowe's (2 chains, 4 S hooks) then you will want to split the 2 chains in 1/2 for a good length...about a foot or foot and 1/2.
**Open the links like you would a jump ring...side to side, with 2 pair of pliers.
Step 6: Now take your 4 chains and hook one end of each chain to each of the screw hooks on the 4 corners.
Step 7: Then take one of your S hooks and connect the other end of all 4 chains in the middle.
Step 8: Give the S hook a good squeeze so that you can keep all chains hooked up.
Step 9: Hang and add your herbs!


No flipping necessary...just spread your herbs out and walk away. The air will circulate through the screens and allow for quick drying time. Just make sure to hang your dryer somewhere dark and cool.
***Go a few steps further and add on a couple of levels. All you need to do is add your screw hooks to both the front and back-sides of the frame, in all 4 corners. Add your chain to connect the levels with an S hook or just by opening the chain links. If using the S hooks, make sure to squeeze them closed so that your levels do not come apart when you are moving or rehanging.