How to Build a DIY Window Box Planter

Brittany Bailey
Written by Brittany Bailey
Updated October 26, 2016
window box with flowers
Window boxes boost home curb appeal. (Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl)

Window boxes add instant charm to a home.

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But why settle for standard off-the-shelf window box planters when you can make your own window boxes that have beautiful lattice details?

window box planters with flowers on side of house
Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl

Learn how to build custom window boxes today, and dress up your windows tomorrow.

Materials needed per window box:

materials needed for DIY window box
Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl
  • 8-foot-long 1-by-8-inch cedar planks (7.5-inch actual width) 

  • Two 10-foot-long 1.5-inch white vinyl strips (in window and door trim aisle)

  • Tape measure

  • Pencil

  • Drill

  • 7/8-inch spade drill bit

  • 1/8-inch drill bit

  • 2-inch wood screws

  • Nail gun 

  • 2-inch finish nails

  • 3/4-inch finish nails

  • Wood glue

  • White window and door caulk 

  • Caulk gun

  • Clamp

  • Safety glasses

  • Hearing protection

  • Staple gun with staples

  • Weed block fabric

Cut list:

Note: The measurements below are the ones I used for my shed window boxes. Measure your windows first and add at least 2 inches beyond each side of your window frame. I added 3 inches to each side of my window boxes.

  • Two 26-inch-long 1-by-7.5 inch boards

  • Two 6-inch-long 1-by-7.5 inch boards

  • One 2-foot-long 1-by-6-inch board (You’ll need to rip one of your 7.5-inch boards to 6 inches wide for this)

Making your window box planters

Lay out your wood pieces on a flat surface.

wood pieces for DIY window box
Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl

Apply wood glue to the perimeter of the bottom piece (shown in center above).

applying wood glue to side of wood board
Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl

Set the front, back and side pieces in place.

rendering of window box boards coming together
Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl

Clamp the pieces around the base to form your box shape. Use 2-inch finish nails to secure the front and back pieces to the sides and the base. For more strength, wood screws will be added next.

nailing boards together for DIY window box planter
Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl

Pre-drill three holes into the bottom and two holes into the sides using your 1/8-inch drill bit. Then drive screws into the pre-drilled holes to add additional support to the window box construction. Repeat for the opposite side.

rendering of screw placement for DIY window planter box
Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl

Flip the window box over and drill 7/8-inch holes into the bottom of the window box for drainage.

rendering of drainage holes drilled into bottom of DIY window box
Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl

It’s time to dress up your plain-Jane box. Measure and cut the vinyl pieces to fit around the perimeter of each panel. I suggest making the horizontal pieces full length. Then cut the vertical pieces to fit.

marking trim with pencil
Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl

Nail lattice pieces in place with 3/4-inch finish nails.

adding lattice to DIY window box
Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl
attached lattice
Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl

Measure and cut vertical lattice pieces for the box. Space the pieces evenly, and secure to the front and two sides of your window box with finish nails.

renderings of DIY window box planters
Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl

For more detail, cut and secure horizontal pieces to the centers of each framed square.

rendering of DIY window box planter
Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl

Fill the nail holes with caulk.

caulking nail holes
Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl

To keep potting soil from pouring out of the holes, staple weed fabric inside the window boxes.

stapling weed block fabric to inside of window box
Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl

Your window box is complete and can now be hung. Drill and secure your window box into studs or wood supports with exterior wood screws.

rendering of DIY window box
Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl

Fill with potting soil and flowers.

window box
Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl

Water your plants regularly, as they will dry out faster in window boxes.

window boxes with flowers in them on side of house
Photo courtesy of Brittany Bailey/Pretty Handy Girl

Enjoy the instant curb appeal boost you just added to your home!

Do you have any questions about this tutorial? Feel free to ask them in the comments section below. 

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