Building a Window Box

By Heidi Green , last updated March 17, 2011

If you'd like to grow herbs, flowers or foliage right outside of your window, consider building your own window box. You'll be able to see your pretty plants from inside and outside of your home, and you'll have easy access to your plants for care. If you live in an urban area and don't have access to a yard, a window box is also a great way to grow ingredients to add to your salads. Use this plan to build a custom-fit window box of your own. You will need:

  • 1-inch thick cedar board (at least as long as the width of the window)
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Screwdriver
  • Electric drill
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • 1.5 inch wood screws
  • Waterproof sealant (optional)

First off, you should measure your window frame to determine the length of your window box. Though the length of the box is up to you, boxes that are as long as the length of the window create a uniform, built-in look. They'll also allow maximum room for growing your plants.

Next, you should measure the boards and make marks for all of your cuts. Cut all of the boards with a saw, and then sand down the edges to remove any rough, splintery particles. Using a drill, make holes for all of your screws at the joints, being sure to line the boards up carefully while doing so. Screw your boards together by beginning with the sides, and then screw the bottom on last. For adequate drainage, drill several evenly spaced holes in the bottom of your new planter.

The basic construction of your box is finished. Next, you may wish to waterproof your box to prevent rot and weathering. Cedar is recommended for this project because of its weather resistance. If you use another type of wood, however, consider waterproofing it with a paint or spray sealant. Apply these products in an outdoor area for proper ventilation.

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