I will admit – I was totally intimidated by this project. I knew I wanted to make these planters because buying them off of Etsy would get super expensive. I spent countless hours on Pinterest, looking up directions but always felt like it was TOO HARD. Well – leave it to my husband to take matters into his own hand and come up with a super-easy way to create these wooden beauties.
I struggled to use power tools before owning our home. It really is small steps at a time to achieve the overall goal! Crafting window boxes is a great way to build your confidence by using tools and seeing your handiwork in action.
We built 3 planter boxes for our three front windows. Two 27 inches and one 55 inch box. We had the tools, finishing nails, and masonry drill bit set. Including the cost of soil and plants, we spent $132 to complete this project with comes out to $44 a window box! Honestly, the plants were the most costly piece of this project. I spent quite some time looking at Etsy and planter boxes alone cost over $50 depending on the length!
- Measuring Tape
- Power Drill – We LOVE and use this one
- Dewalt Circular Saw
- Ruler – We like this one
- A pack of Grip-Rite #6 x 1-1/4 in. Philips Bugle-Head Coarse Sharp Point Drywall Screws **NOTE: You could probably use something different but we had these laying around
- A pack of Grip-Rite #15 1-1/2in. 4 Penny Bright Steel Nails
- One WeatherShield 1in. x 6in. x 12ft. Ground Contact Pressure-Treated Board **NOTE: This depends on the size of the window box. If you need a window box over 50 inches in length, you will need more than one)**
- One 1in. x 2in. x 8 ft. Furring Strip Board **NOTE: This depends on the size of the window box. If you need a window box over 28 inches in length, I would recommend two**
- Liner 2 in. White Bristle Flat Stain Brush
- Varathane 1 qt. Premium Wood Stain – I chose Dark Walnut
- 8-Pack of Tapcon 1/4 in. x 1-3/4 in. Hex-Washer-Head Concrete Anchors (to secure the planters into brick)
- Bosch Masonry Rotary Drill Bit Set (needed if you a brick exterior)
- One bag of Miracle-Gro 25 qt. Potting Soil Mix
- 11 plants – Please “Plant Recommendations” at the bottom for more info
- Measure your windows. We have shutters on our windows and only measured to the inside of them
- Once you measured your windows, start making cuts with your circular saw! I will use OUR window measurements for reference but know this will be specific to YOURS
- The base of the box will be the exact length of your window. In our case, 27 inches
- The sides of the box will be 1.5 inches shorter than your base. In our case, 25.5 inches
- The ends of the box are 5.5 inches long
- Using your drill, screw the box together. Don’t overthink it. This is where I would get most tripped out but just think about what will hold it together. We put four screws on the corners of each end piece and then a screw on each end of the base in the middle and on each end **NOTE: We made pilot holes with our drill bit first before we put the screws in to avoid splintering the wood.
- Drill 3/4 inch holes into the bottom board for drainage. It does not matter how many or where.
- Once the box is together, you can now make the cuts to add the trim
- For the front trim piece, measure 1.5 inches longer than the length of the box – this will give it a clean look in the front
- For the side trim pieces, measure the side of the box (approximately 5.5 inches long)
- Adhere the trim pieces to the top of the box with finishing nails and a hammer. We know there are probably other methods to do this, but this is how we assembled our box
- Stain the box with your preferred color!
- Two inches down from the top, screw the box to the exterior right through the back
- NOW have some fun and plant some pretty babies in there!
I do NOT have a green thumb. I do “okay” with house plants, but I have a TERRIBLE track record with outdoor plants. With that in mind, I did my research and figured out what full sun plants can withstand southern heat. Our window boxes are in the front of our house and will be getting 12+ hours of HOT summer sun. These annuals are perfect for just that:
- Sun Coleus
- Sweet Potato Vine
- Fan Flower
- Yellow Creeping Jenny
- Elephant’s Ear
- Purple Fountain Grass
- Mexican Heather
- Yellow Lantana
- Sun Patiens
For our 27 inch planters, I planted three plants, two Mexican Heather and one Yellow Lantana. For our 55 inch planter, I planted two Mexican Heather, two Sun Patiens, and one Yellow Lantana. Also, one bag of 25 quart potting mix will be just enough soil for all three if your dimensions are similar to mine!
Fill the box halfway with soil, put your plants in evenly spaced, fill the remaining space with soil, pat down, water, and THERE YOU GO!
If you make your own window boxes, I would LOVE to see them! Tag me on Instagram at @livingwiththelamberts.