How to: Cedar Window Frames with Floating Shelf Planters.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Bllrrtt, a mouthful, right?  Cedar frames around our garage windows with a cedar floating shelf planter....honestly I was trying to figure out how to shorten that up.  Hey, it's a DIY!  hahaha

And truth be told, this was originally a one-part'er project that morphed into two but I think it's much better now.  And Mike likes it!  Woot, Mike likes it!

Ok!  So for years now, seven-ish to be exact, I've been staring at the plain ol' boring garage.  Boring.  Booorrrr-ing.  Trying to come up with ideas to ya know, spruce it up but without filling the siding with a bunch of un-repairable holes.  Dilemmas, right?!

After making the cedar frame for our bathroom mirror, I thought, huh, yeah, frame the windows.  Cedar.  Cedar good.

So I did just that, built frames exactly the same way as the mirror (check out that post to see how I built them) but with 1x3 cedar lumber rather than 1x4.  Yes of course I hemmed and hawed over what size but went 1x3; always doubting. 

To attach the frames...there was this weird lip around the windows.  They come out of the window frame and make a ninety degree turn; set within that are the screens.  In actuality, in thinking about it, I bet these windows are supposed to be set so that this L shape is flush with the siding but instead it sticks out.

Regardless.  Neither here nor there.  But, helpful construction error.

Holding the frame over the window, I dropped a wood backing block behind the L thing on center-ish then drilled a pilot hole through the frame, through the L, into the block, and using those fancy pants pole barn screws leftover from the back door awning, attached it.  Whew, that's tricky to do solo!

pole barn screws and parts
Installation supplies:  wood block, drill bit,* pole barn screws, magnetic drive bit set* whoo-ha thingie.
Went around, zip zip, in a decorative but practical fashion, and sunk a bunch more screws* to hold the frame on securely, sans backing blocks.

cedar wood frame diy framing garage window
Voila!  Cedar framed window!  This serves a dual purpose, holding the screen on as the plastic frame around it was breaking.
Showed off the finery to Mike who kinda paused, kinda said yeah he liked it but then said, "are you gonna paint them black?  [hahahaha, wow, he's well trained now!]  Or match the deck?  It should be either/or."

This after I sealed the cedar up with some leftover drying out teak oil (see the slideshow above).  "I uh, well, um, that would be tough now, we'll see," I said.

He asked a second time so something had to happen.  Picked up some Watco Teak Oil + Stain; it helped but not a lot.  Sigh, ah well.  Maybe a touch-up post-winter will make a difference.

Watco teak oil stain
I really wanted it to turn out like the "before" on the can, haha!  Nope.  It's very subtle.
Big roundabout back to the part two, I have forever wanted some kind of planter, window box, soooommething to get some plants or color or texture or something up on the face of that boring as sh*t garage face.

Fast forward a couple two 'tree weeks and Hometalk sends me a lil' note, "planter ideas please!"

Then it hits me!  Yessss, a floating shelf type thingamagig hangin' off these window frames and I can complete my whole circle!  Yess!

Dashed out and picked up a 1x8 by eight feet board o' heady cedar along with a box a' ten plastic grow pots.*

cedar and planter cups
More nummy cedar and the cheapy lil' grow pots, but they're perfect!  Matching, black, lightweight, and easy to replace should something happen to them.
Ok, back home, sliced the 1x8 in half.  Hot tip?  Be sure to measure your lumber before halving; it is never exactly what it should be and that can screw you up.

Next.  AutoCAD.  Because I was not up for mathing on the fly.  It was hot.  You do not need AutoCAD to do this though, just math skills or a calculator.
lay out for holes in cedar plank
The dashed line is the depth of space between the frame face and the garage siding, no fly zone.  Then all the plus signs are the center points for each grow pot cup.
So I set the left- and right- most cups four inches in on center then divided the remaining space between three more cups.

Yes, there was too much math involved here.  But I did good.  I did good.

Right, with a compass ('member those?*) I scored in a 3 1/2" circle which is close to the diameter of the lil' cups just below the top lip.  Using a big paddle bit,* I made a hole (yes Mike, I made a hole) for the jigsaw* blade to get in and at it.
drilling holes to cut larger holes in cedar
Grade school tool at top, grown up tool makin' holes on the bottom.
holes cut out for plant grow pots
Splintery ratty cut hole top, not my best work ahem but hey, bottom, the grow pot fits perfectly!
All righty!  Let's install!

All I did was cram the 1x8 snug to the siding, pilot drilled a hole through it into the existing 1x3 frame, then zipped a pole barn screw into it.  Did that a total of five times across, making it secure.

A quick splash a' that Watco oil + stain...
installing plant grow pot shelf on cedar window frame
Top, one pole barn screw down, a few more to go.  Bottom, all screwed on there!  Sweet!
...plop those cute little pots in there, drop some plants in there and tada!!  I am truly so excited.

cedar floating shelf planter installed on window frame
It is the wrong time of year to find plants, ha!  But that's ok, these will do for photos.  Pretty awesome, right?!
Mike, he always cracks me up whenever he unexpectedly runs into something new.  "OoHH!"  ... "Ooh!"  pause...."Oh ok, those are going to need watering now (aka, labor)."  pause..."That's interesting."

plant floating shelf on garage window
Yes I know, I gotta get to the flaky fascia.  It's been way too freakin' hot for way too freakin' long though.

Two days later, "babe, yeah, I like these, they're good."

cedar wood floating planter shelf

cedar wood plant floating shelf

Yay!  Next spring when I plant them, they should turn out suuuuper pretty.  Is it weird to already be looking forward to next spring??

cedar window frames with floating shelf planters

*The drill bits, magnetic drive bit sets, pole barn screws,grow pots, geometry compasses, paddle bits, and jigsaws are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.


  1. This is awesome! Love the way it looks and the functionality of it. Great job!

    1. Oh thank you so much! Your compliments are so kind, thank you! We love them too!


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