DIY Window Garden Boxes.

Hello, hello!
Kids are all back in school. Woo hoo, let’s blog!
Remember the post about my plans for our shed makeover in conjunction with my ACE Hardware big summer project?
Well, today I’m sharing our cedar window grow boxes we constructed…and I emphasize “OUR”.
This was the perfect family project (minus the oldest because he was pouting the whole time.  There’s always one).

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I have to show off my little men,
1). Because they’re darn cute and 2). if these kiddos can help out you know this is a totally doable project.

You may remember we constructed and installed some cedar window boxes on the front of our house earlier this summer.

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We did the same thing for our shed but made them slightly smaller.

Quick revisit:

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This is our vanilla-boring grade Tuff shed.  (Mini-trampoline on the side not included).
The windows are high (and sort of tacky) so to break up some of that real estate we decided to make and install some small garden boxes to go under the windows.

The wood of choice for this project is cedar.  It’s a little more pricey but cedar is probably the best choice for outdoor projects for a few reasons.  Cedar smells wonderful but pests and insects don’t feel the same way so it’s a natural repellant.  It’s also a sturdy wood and won’t warp like other woods do.

Here is the finished result.

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The boxes measure 35″w X 9.5″d X 7″h.  We also painted ours with a coat of Clark + Kensington’s “Silent White” from ACE Hardware.

To get started you’ll need the following pieces:
(Most lumber or hardware stores will cut these down for you for free).

-2 – 7/8″ cedar boards @ 7″ x 7″ (these will be the sides).
-2 – 7/8″ cedar boards @ 35″ x 7″ (these will be the front and back).
-1 – 7/8″ cedar board @ 33 1/4″ x 7″ (this will be the bottom).

Optional trim pieces:
-2 – 1″x2″ cedar boards cut @ 35″ and 2 @ 4.5″.

Construction:

When putting all sides together you’ll want to pre-drill before sinking screws.
We used #8, 2 inch deck screws because they’re not supposed to corrode or rust…especially important because they’ll be outside in the elements. Screws

The construction of this is really pretty easy.  It’s just a box without a top.  I came up with a diagram to help illustrate the process.

Diagram 1

How to screw boards

Diagram

Once you’ve done those steps you will have a box.  Adding trim is totally optional.  It doesn’t add or detract to the function, it’s just purely decorative.

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Using 1 x 2’s of cedar we trimmed out the front edges of our boxes with a simple rectangle.  If you want to replicate this design you’ll need 2 – 1″x2″ cedar boards cut @ 35″ and 2 @ 4.5″.  You could use smaller screws to attach the trim but we used our Craftsman Nail Gun to secure them.  Because I was planning on painting the boxes I used wood filler to fill the holes then I sanded them down.  If you choose to stain the boxes you may not want to fill the holes because the wood accepts stain differently than wood filler.  Even if you use stainable wood filler it still looks different (and by “different” I mean ugly).  But, since we painted ours…not an issue.

To attach the boxes to the shed you it’s first important to determine what you’re going through.  If you’re going through brick you’ll need to use masonry screws.  It’s also important to know what’s on the other side.  We were fortunate that the studs were visible on the inside of the wall.  If there’s no stud you’ll have to use heavy duty anchors.  The friendly folks at ACE Hardware can help you determine what to use.

We first pre-drilled our holes.  Make sure the drill bit you’re using is smaller than the actual screw.  The purpose of pre-drilling is to make it easier for the screw to go in but more importantly to avoid your wood splitting when using the screw.

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We used this baby with a washer.  I really don’t know what size it is because we found them in the nuts and bolts junk drawer.  Long enough to go through the thin wall and sink into the stud.  The washer provide a surface area for the screw head to lay flat against so it doesn’t sag or dig in to the wood over time.

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Using a rachet we twisted the screw secure.

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One step I forgot to photograph…make sure to drill a few holes for drainage in the bottom of your box.

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Once attached I gave them a coat of Silent White by Clark + Kensington from ACE Hardware.

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Silent White has become my favorite shade of white as of late.  It’s a good true white that’s not too stark and but not too creamy.

I was a little apprehensive about putting my soil and plants directly in to the boxes so instead, I found these box liners.  They’re perfect because I can take them and replant, weed… I don’t know, whatever gardeners do to keep their plants alive (I’m praying I can play that part).

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But they’re totally invisible when in the box.

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Full reveal coming next week!

Check out our other DIY Cedar Window Boxes here.

I am a part of ACE Hardware’s blogger panel and I have been compensated for this post and products used.
This post was written by myself.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

Back to our regularly scheduled program.

These little men aren’t so little any more.

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Today marked the end of summer with the 1st day of school.
I’ll miss these boys making the house loud and giving it life but it was time.  Oh yes, it was time!
They’ve kept me beyond busy this summer…as they should.  Now that they’re back in school I will be getting back to blogging more regularly.
In addition to the endless party going on around here I’ve also been busy with some other creative projects.

My latest project has been shooting some DIY videos that will be coming out very soon with my awesome peeps at Home Advisor.

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Remembering lines in front of a camera was exercise for my brain but I’m not gonna lie…having a crew of hair and makeup attend to me several times an hour felt more like pampering than work.

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Aside from the lights and camera I didn’t forget about my shed makeover.  Trim is up, new shutters are installed, now time to unify everything with a coat of paint.

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Goodbye ugly Tuff Shed blue, hello, “Fog Rolls In” gray by Clark and Kensington.  My ACE Hardware project is coming along nicely and I can’t wait to see the final result.

Stay tuned for the reveal coming soon!

Giving old toys new life.

Today I’m participating in a series called Die Ugly Toys Die, thought up by the amazing Stefanie from Brooklyn Limestone.

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The concept behind it is taking toys that you would normally throw out and transforming them in to something cool and usable.  If you’ve been following the series on her blog you’ve seen some really cool DIY transformations so far.

Today I’m showing off what I do with toys that have reached the end of their life at my house…or have they?

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Let me introduce you to Mr. G.I. Joe and his troop.
A toy staple in a boy’s toy collection.  I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with these plastic figurines.  They’ve entertained my boys for years but hot dang!  Have you ever stepped on one of these in the middle of the night? You would have thought you actually stepped on a grenade.  For being so small these things can do serious damage to the bottom of your foot.

I don’t have a hard time letting go of too many things but toys seem to be a challenge.  There are just so many sweet memories attached to them.  It’s not like getting rid of the toys will mean getting rid of the memories but it feels like that sometimes.

Instead, I like to turn retired toys in to art.

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I took a glue gun to  a handful of these guys and glued them to a frame.  My oldest son may not play with GI Joe’s anymore but they look cool framed and hung on his wall.

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And it doesn’t stop there…I’ve also hung and framed some old arrows.

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As well as darts…

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Then there was this vintage Printer’s Tray which I filled with tons of boyhood trinkets.

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Just because toys are old doesn’t mean they have to die…some of the time.
Sorry stuffed Elmo, you have to go.

Keep following the “Die Ugly Toys, Die” series on Stefanie’s blog Brooklyn Limestone.