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How to Make a Window Box with Vintage Trim

Wrap curvy door casing around a plastic planter filled with bright blooms for cheery window decoration

vintage window box with planted flowers
Photo by Kristine Larsen

All you need to build a cottage-style window box is a few feet of 6- or 8-inch-wide trim (choose straight baseboard or casing, rather than angled crown), one 2-by-2-foot sheet of ½-inch exterior plywood, water-resistant wood glue, and a shallow plastic planter to cradle the soil and flowers. Because most old trim is covered in toxic lead paint, either remove the finish with a wet stripper or seal it under a clear top coat. This is an easy one-person project, but it's more fun with a helper.


Steps // How to Make a Window Box with Vintage Trim
1 ×

Build a Plywood Frame

 
Step One // How to Make a Window Box with Vintage Trim

Build a Plywood Frame

woman hammering nail
Photo by Kristine Larsen

The sides' height should match the molding width, and their length should be slightly longer than the plastic planter that'll nest inside. Glue and nail the sides together.

 
2 ×

Attach the Bottom of the Frame

 
Step Two // How to Make a Window Box with Vintage Trim

Attach the Bottom of the Frame

man and woman attaching bottom of window box frame
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Wait about 15 minutes for the adhesive to cure. Then flip the frame right-side up, and insert the plastic planter.

 
3 ×

Add Drainage

 
Step Three // How to Make a Window Box with Vintage Trim

Add Drainage

woman making hole in planter bottom
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Mark the locations of the planter's existing weep holes, and use a drill/driver fitted with a paddle bit to bore corresponding holes in the wood bottom.

 
4 ×

Determine Molding Lengths

 
Step Four // How to Make a Window Box with Vintage Trim

Determine Molding Lengths

woman measuring window box frame
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Steady the trim against the plywood frame, and trace cut lines for the front and sides of the window box. No need for a back panel; it won't be seen.

 
5 ×

Make the Cuts

 
Step Five // How to Make a Window Box with Vintage Trim

Make the Cuts

man using a miter saw
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Use a miter saw for angled corners where the molding pieces intersect. Make straight cuts at the back, where the molding will rest against the house.

 
6 ×

Adhere the Molding

 
Step Six // How to Make a Window Box with Vintage Trim

Adhere the Molding

woman gluing trim to flower box
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Apply glue to the backs of the trim pieces, and adhere them to the front and sides of the frame. Use clamps to hold the molding in place while the glue cures.

 
7 ×

Secure with Nails

 
Step Seven // How to Make a Window Box with Vintage Trim

Secure with Nails

man using nail and hammer
Photo by Kristine Larsen

For extra strength, tap in fasteners along the top and bottom edges of the molding. Use a nailset to recess the heads. Remove clamps.

 
8 ×

Seal the Finish

 
Step Eight // How to Make a Window Box with Vintage Trim

Seal the Finish

woman sealing window box finish
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Let dry, and plant your box with flowers; they'll boost your home's curb appeal—and your mood.

 
 
 

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