Window planters are an inexpensive way to add color and character to your home. With today’s tutorial, I will show you how I made a pair of 80″ long cedar window planters that I attached to my brick home, then stained them to match the stained columns on my front porch.
Working on the exterior of my home has been an on-going process. Soon after first moving into our house I painted the door and shutters. Then, last summer, I created my dream design plans for a full makeover. It didn’t take me long to update the shutters with new Craftsman style ones and a number sign planter. Major progress was made a few weeks ago when I gave my front porch a makeover with painted brick, new columns, and a faux brick tile on the cement slab (tile details at bottom of post).
But these cedar window planters really pull the whole thing today, don’t you think?
I love how simple they were to build, and what a great impact they make!
Let’s get started with the how-to shall we?
2- 1×6 cedar deck boards @ 8′ (you can use regular outdoor treated pine if you want)
6- 1×8 cedar boards @ 8′ (OR 4 – 1×8 @ 8′ cedar boards and 5- 1 1/2″ wide trim @ 8′ cedar or outdoor treated pine)
1- 2×4 outdoor treated pine @ 6′
2 3/4″ (or around there) long concrete anchor screws (if your house is brick like mine otherwise you can use wood screws)
12- 3″ long exterior wood screws
75- 2″ long exterior wood screws
drill bit- (just smaller than the diameter of the screws you got above)
1/2″ drill bit
1 1/4″ long nails, 18 gauge
Exterior wood glue
220 grit sandpaper
(Affiliate links of what tools I use below)
Electric brad nailer (or pneumatic nail gun)
Cut List (for 2- 80″ window planters):
4- 2×4 @ 12″
4- 1×8 @ 80″
2- 1×6 @ 80″
4- 1×6 @ 5 1/2″
4- 1×2 trim pieces (that are actually 1 1/2″ wide) @ 80″
6- 1×2 trim pieces @ 4 1/2″
8- 1×2 trim pieces @ 7 1/2″
8- 1×2 trim pieces @ 4 3/4″ (cut a little bigger than 4 3/4″ and then trim to fit)
Step 1: Attach Cleats Under Windows
If attaching your cleats (2x4s) to brick, pre-drill holes in the mortar between the bricks under your window. You will want to attach 2 cleats on either end of your window. For extra strength, add an additional cleat in the middle. Measure and mark to see where corresponding holes should go on the cleats, pre-drill holes, then attach the cleats to the brick using the concrete anchor screws.
Step 2: Build 3 sides of Planter
Place the 1×6 flat on the ground. Place one of the 1x8s along the side of the 1×6, sitting upright. Pre-drill holes along the bottom, long side of the 1×8 and attach with wood glue and 7- 2″ long exterior wood screws. Attach the sides of the planter by placing them on top of the 1×6 on either end and inside the edge of the 1×8. Pre-drill holes, glue, and attach on the one side and the bottom using 2″ exterior screws.
(pictured above I rotated the planter after the first 2 screws on either end were in place, so it would be easier to drive in the remaining screws.)
Step 3: Attach Planter To House & Attach Face
While someone holds the planter in place, drive 3″ long wooden screws from the back of the planter into the cleats, driven in at an angle (going down). I recommend 3 screws for each side of each planter. Attach the face of the planter (the other 1×8) using wood glue and 2″ wood screws (pre-drilling holes before you attach) along the bottom and on each side.
Step 4: Attach Trim to Face
Attach 1×2 trim to the top and bottom of the face using wood glue and 1 1/4″ nails. Place the 4 1/2″ long trim pieces in between the top and bottom trim on either end, and directly in the middle of the planter box. Attach using wood glue and nails. Attach trim on both ends of planter box (covering the seams of the side) with the 7 1/2″ long pieces on the front and back, and the 4 3/4″ long pieces on the top and bottom.
Step 5: Drill Holes in Planter Bottom
Using the 1/2″ drill bit, drill 2 holes every 6″ along the bottom of the planter box for plant drainage.
Step 6: Fill Holes, Stain, Seal
Fill nail holes with wood filler. Let dry and sand entire thing smooth with 220 grit sandpaper. Apply waterproofing stain and sealer combo (2 coats) with a brush. Let planter box completely dry for 34 hours before filling with plants.
Don’t forget to put a thin layer of pebbles or rocks at the bottom of the planters for better drainage (prevents dirt from clogging the drain holes).
So pretty right?
Now all I gotta do is re-do the plant bed in front of the porch! Planting season is pretty much over though, so I may tackle that in the spring!
Here is the before (from when we first bought the house) and AFTER!!
Exterior Brick Paint – Behr Masonry, Stucco and Brick Paint in Dove Gray
Door and Shutter Paint – Behr Marquee Exterior Satin Enamel Paint in Creek Bend
Stain for Columns and Planters – Behr Semi-Transparant Waterproofing Sealer and Stain in Chocolate
Porch Tile – MSI Brick Porcelain Tile in Red
Number Sign Numbers – Hillman Group Black Elevated House Numbers
Shutter Hardware – Richelieu Black Gate Hardware
If you thought this tutorial was helpful, I would love if you pinned this or shared it with others!