How to Build Cedar Window Boxes

By Robert Robillard on How To

How to Build Cedar Window BoxesHistory of the Window Box

The use of window boxes dates as far back as the first century B.C in ancient Rome where they were used to keep small gardens for cooking herbs, medicinal herbs, and flowers for rituals and decoration.

Among the lower classes, in small villas where peasants had little gardening space, many people grew the plants they needed in window boxes.

How to Build Cedar Window Boxes

Building Cedar Window Boxes 

Window boxes can add an array of seasonal color and enhance the curb appeal of almost any structure.  Window box gardening can be a fun and relaxing way to express your creativity or create a small garden in a cityscape.

This article will explain how to build a cedar window box and customize the dimensions to fit your desired window space.

Window boxes are relatively easy projects, we added some features to our design that some folks may or may not choose to do.  Either way, the project requires only a few tools to complete.

What materials should the box be made of? How big should the box be? What size and depth is best for the plants that you want to pair with your home?

Let’s find out…

Cut all stock at one time

Cut all stock at one time

Choosing Materials:

We chose 1×8 Cedar to make our window boxes, mostly because the species is inherently insect and rot resistant.  Additionally Cedar is light weight, paints well and has an attractive natural color if left unpainted.

Pine, Fir and Poplar simply do not last long in the elements, especially when you consider window boxes receive water almost daily.

Side panels

Side panels

Size and Depth:

Before purchasing your materials take time to determine how long your boxes will be.  Generally speaking, window boxes are the same width or slightly smaller than the window they will be mounted under.  Although I have seen folks use larger window boxes on windows with shutters.

You may also choose to go smaller and center it under the window.  It really is up to you and your aesthetical eye and décor.

As far as height is concerned, you can follow a rule of thumb to size your box to 20 to 25 percent of the height of your window, for best symmetry.

Window boxes should be a minimum of 8 inches in depth and 8 inches from front to back to have enough room for a selection of plants.  Larger is even better, particularly if you want to include a lot of plants and want them to fill out enough to overflow the box.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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