DIY planters: How to build a window box from fence board

Here’s something you may already know: Window boxes can be expensive! Not only that, but finding a high-quality (i.e. rot-resistant), perfectly sized window box for your small indoor or outdoor space may be a bigger challenge than actually growing the plants. When we first set out to write How to Window Box, we had to decide whether to use store-bought boxes or to make our own. Since we’d designed and built almost every planter in our own garden, we naturally decided to design and build our window boxes. And the original plan was to include a full DIY project in the book for our readers.

More than 16 window boxes later, we ended up with too many arrangements and not enough pages to show how to build a window box. Together with our editor, we decided that we couldn’t do the DIY justice with the 6 pages left.


So here it is. To learn how we made every box in the book, click the image with “Let’s Get Started” below. It’s not hard. It’s a wood box. And it’s made out of common (and inexpensive) cedar or redwood fence board available at almost every Home Depot or Lowe’s that we’ve checked. The design features a recessed bottom perfect for indoor boxes; you can hide the blocks used for raising the box for water collection trays. Being redwood or cedar, you’ll also have the option to sand and finish box with a urethane to reveal its natural and beautiful grain patterns, or paint for the least maintenance in the future.

Look closely beneath the box and you’ll see that the box is sitting on blocks that raise it above the water collection trays. The water collection trays are placed below the box’s two drain holes.

Start here for our detailed tutorial on how to build a window box from fence board. (Not up to the challenge? Skip the DIY and shop our recommended window boxes.)