Today we are SO thrilled to introduce you to a new member of our contributor team, Ashlea from This Mama's Dance. She lives in a darling cottage and does some amazing projects, too, so give her a warm welcome and go pay her a visit at her site to see more of her projects!
Hi, I'm Ashlea, a self taught builder, thrifter and huge sufferer of “I can make that” syndrome, I am sure you can relate! Over on my blog, This Mamas Dance, I love to share furniture rehabs, home reno progress, and quick DIY's that can be completed during toddler nap time. Today I am going to show you how to build a custom cottage window box that can be used all year long. This project can easily be completed in an afternoon and adds instant curb appeal to a home.
I thought long and hard about what style I wanted to build, and in the end I wanted it to be classic, yet versatile. This style of box could also work on a modern style home. For the fall I am picturing large flowering cabbage, and in the winter mini “christmas trees” as you can see I added red geraniums for summer, and some creepy crawlers that will eventually fill in.
My husband and I recently built a DIY addition onto our original cottage, complete with a Cottage Style Family Bathroom, and Boys Bunk Room. I am slowly working on bringing the old and new together. This cedar window box ties in with the beautiful warm wood accents of our addition, and compliments the cottage style that I love.
How to Build a Custom Cedar Cottage Window Box
by Ashlea from This Mama's Dance
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For this project you will need:
- 6 Cedar Deck Boards
- 1 4′ piece of 3/4″ inch cedar square for vertical support
- Wood Glue
- 2 Small Galvanized Corner Brackets with screws
- Galvanized Finishing Nails
- 1 3/4 inch Deck Screws
- Galvanized L Brackets to mount your Box
- Heavy weight plastic to line interior
- Optional: Stain or Paint and wood filler to finish your box
The estimated cost to build one window box is $25. That includes the cedar boards, the screws/fasteners, the interior brackets and the 2 L brackets to hang the box; it does not include the stain.
Cut fence boards to size. The length will depend on the size of your window- 5 ft cedar fence boards were the perfect length for my project, so I only needed to cut my side panels. Be sure to check all boards are the same length before nailing anything. Sand all cut ends. My 2 side panels measured 9 3/4″. The 4 pieces of 3/4″ cedar square measured 8″ long.
Apply glue to front edge of bottom base board. Position the base and lower face board, hold in place with clamps. Attach lower face board to bottom using glue and fasteners.
Attach lower back board to bottom using glue and fasteners.
Attach 2 pieces of 3/4″ square to the inside of first face board, vertically and evenly staggered. This will add additional structure to your box, and tie in the 2 face pieces.
Replicate Step 3, by attaching 2 pieces of 3/4 “square to inside of back board.
Attach both side panels using wood glue and fasteners.
Flip the box face down. Attach a small corner bracket to the inside of the face front on both the right and left side. This adds additional support to the front frame of the box, where finishing nails and glue are used . If you are using screws for the entire box, you can skip this step.
Attach Top Back Panel along outside edge and to center support pieces with wood glue and fasteners. You should now have a finished box.
Drill 3-4 Holes for Drainage. I used a 3/8 bit. For longer lasting window boxes either line with heavy duty plastic or box liners. You may also place a small piece of landscape fabric at the bottom to keep them from drying out too quickly.
Seal, Stain or Paint your boxes for added protection.
Because I used a clear stain, I chose to finish the front with small finishing nails, so that I wouldn't have screw heads showing. I also faced the boards rough side out for texture. If you are going to paint or use a solid stain on your box, you could use screws for this entire project- just be sure to pre-drill any holes to avoid splitting the wood. I used treated screws for the back of the box, because they won't show, and add a little more stability than finishing nails. If you choose to use screws, a little wood filler goes a long way!
I hope you are inspired to build some custom window boxes for you home. If you do, we'd love to see them on the Remodelaholic Facebook Page, or use the tag #imaremodelaholic on Instagram. Please feel free to leave any questions in the comments.
More exterior window treatments to add curb appeal: