DIY Floating Window Box

Instantly elevate your curb appeal and add life to your home with a "floating" window box.

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Photo by: Kamron and Ellie Sanders

Kamron and Ellie Sanders

Tools and Materials

  • (1) 1x8 x 12' pine board
  • (1) 1x3 x 8' pine board
  • (2) 1x2 x 8' pine boards
  • (1) 2x6 x 8' pine board
  • tape measure
  • ruler + speed square
  • pencil
  • miter saw
  • wood glue
  • wood filler
  • staple gun + staples
  • putty knife
  • orbital sander + sandpaper
  • Danish oil
  • cloth
  • nitrile gloves
  • drill + 1/4" drill bit
  • 3" wood screw + matching bit
  • potting soil
  • assorted plants

Step 1: Cut Frame

Photo by: Kamron and Ellie Sanders

Kamron and Ellie Sanders

Start by measuring your window and adding two inches for a box that is slightly wider than the window. The front, back, bottom and sides of the window will all be cut from the 1x8.

Use this formula when making your cuts:

Front: the width of your window plus two inches

Back: 1-1/2 inches shorter than the front

Bottom: 1-1/2 inches shorter than the front

Sides: 9-1/2 inches each

Our window was 32 inches wide, so we made the front of our box 34 inches wide. The back and bottom measured 32-1/2 inches wide. And the sides were both 9-1/2 inches wide.

Step 2: Mock-up Window Box

Photo by: Kamron and Ellie Sanders

Kamron and Ellie Sanders

Assemble the window box. Before securing, ensure that all cuts have been made accurately and that once fastened, there will be no gaps or mismatched pieces. This will be of great value once you begin to attach the trim and align the miters. The two side pieces will sit behind the front piece rather than beside with the back and bottom pieces sitting within the sides and behind the front. This allows for the edge grain to be covered in the front and maximizes the internal dimension while maintaining the desired external dimensions.

Step 3: Glue and Staple Box

Once you've ensured the cuts are accurate and the window box has taken its shape, securely fasten the 1x8 boards using wood glue and staples. Glue all joining surfaces to ensure a connection that will hold up over time and support the weight of your window box's future contents. Staple the box together thoroughly. If you don't own a staple gun, a hammer and brad nails will do the trick. Once stapled, wipe the excess glue to minimize the amount of sanding you will have to do later.

Step 4: Attach Trim to Top

At this point, the window box should be very sturdy, though just a wee bit drab. Add some flare by attaching trim. The trim is not essential to the rigidity and strength of the box, so you can do as little or as much as you desire. To add trim to the top edge, cut the 1x3 into four pieces with 45-degree cuts on each end. The short point will be determined by the internal dimensions of the box. So, for our box, the side pieces had a 7-1/4” measurement, while the front and back trim had a 32-1/2” measurement. Attach with staples.

Step 5: Attach Trim to Front and Sides

For the vertical trim on the front and sides, measure and cut four 1x2 x 7-1/4" pieces. For each piece, create a 45-degree cut on one end only. The other ends will remain straight. 

For the bottom edge trim on the front of the box, cut one 1x2 x 35-1/2” piece, and create a 45-degree angle on both sides. For the two pieces of trim on the bottom sides, cut two 1x2 x 9-1/2" pieces. Attach with staples.

Step 6: Drill Drain Holes

Using a ruler and speed square, make a grid to determine how many drains holes should be drilled. This will be based on the size of the finished box as well as the plans for what will be planted in the box. Once a grid has been drawn and marks made where the holes will be, drill 1/4" holes into the base of the window box.

Step 7: Sand and Finish

Fill the holes left by your staples and any other unwanted gaps with wood filler. Once dry, use an orbital sander to knock down any high spots or other rough spots.

Step 8: Apply Stain

Photo by: Kamron and Ellie Sanders

Kamron and Ellie Sanders

Rub Danish oil into every crevice of the window box. Danish oil provides a beautiful finish while also helping to protect the wood from weathering. Choose an oil or stain that best suits your taste and needs.

Step 9: Hang Window Box

To achieve the "floating window box" look, it is essential that no brackets or other means of mounting are visible. With 3" screws, fasten a 2x6 (cut the same length as the back piece of your window box) below the window where you wish to hang your box. Slide the overhanging 1/2" of your side pieces over the 2x6, and use 3-inch screws to fasten the sides to the 2x6.

Step 10: Plant Window Box

Start with a layer of landscape fabric to help protect the window box. Then add soil and a diverse mix of bright flowers, waxy greens and flowy foliage to bring new life to your home's exterior.

Flower Combos to Try

See All Photos

Farmhouse Hues

Fixer Upper's Joanna Gaines kept this cottage-inspired arrangement simple by mixing shades of green with pops of warm magenta.

1: pink pentas

2: white & pink caladium

3: pink verbena

4: wire vine

5: blue daze evolvulus

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Window Candy

Bright and playful, this lush window arrangement takes summer curb appeal to an eye-catching new level.

1: petunia 'Supertunia Royal Magenta'

2: bidens

3: geranium

Photo By: iStock

Pretty in Pink

A pretty alternative to roses, pink tuberous begonias add soft color to this ivy-covered facade.

1: pink tuberous begonia

2: pink petunia

3: purple dracaena

4: English ivy

Photo By: iStock

Happy Flowers

Infuse your summer garden with joyful anemone and hearty calibrachoa — colorful blooms that thrive in full sun and well-draining soil.

1: variegated small-leaf ivy

2: anemone

3: fuchsia tulip

4: million bells calibrachoa

Photo By: iStock

Salad Garden

Keep a fresh supply of salad-worthy greens and herbs on hand all summer long with a window box that pulls double duty as a curb appeal booster and lunch! Learn how to make this DIY lettuce and herb window box>>

1: lemon thyme

2: 'Green Frills' lettuce

3: Romaine lettuce

4: thyme

5: tarragon

6: purple basil

7: lemon basil

Photo By: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Warm-Weather Staples

Add a taste of the tropics to your front porch with brilliant pink mandevilla and cheery yellow hibiscus.

1: yellow hibiscus

2: lobelia

3: coleus

4: pink mandevilla

Photo By: iStock

Sweet Potato Envy

Whether planted alone or with other fun summer blooms, bright green sweet potato vine is a set-it and forget-it spiller that never disappoints.

1: sanvitalia (creeping zinnia)

2: sweet potato vine

3: croton

4: gold variegated plectranthus

5: angelonia

6: lantana

Photo By: iStock

Fairytale Florals

Transform your home into a dreamy summer escape reminiscent of your favorite storybook locale.

1: gold plectranthus

2: 'Silver Falls' dichondra

3: gaura

4: verbena

5: geranium

6: silver dollar eucalyptus

7: petunia

Photo By: Terry Pommett/ Courtesy Skyhorse Publishing

Country Cottage

Pull off rustic charm in the heat of the summer with easy-to-care for sage, million bells and dainty wire vine.

1: million bells (calibrachoa)

2: creeping wire vine

3: tricolor sage

Photo By: Proven Winners

Classic Showstopper

Who says classic is boring? We adore this lush arrangement stocked with all of our favorite warm-weather staples.

1: double calibrachoa

2: petunia

3: sweet alyssum

4: geranium

Photo By: iStock

Shades of Red

Add a touch of sophistication to your curb appeal with a sultry mix of opulent red roses and pink geranium.

1: geranium

2: echeveria

3: rose

4: million bells calibrachoa

Photo By: iStock

Wild Mix

Master the "bed head" look by stuffing your window boxes with low-maintence guara, bright yellow sedum and striking pincushion flower.

1: pincushion hakea

2: gaura

3: dusty miller 'New Look'

4: Gold Edge duranta

5: Lemon Coral Sedum rupestre

6: lantana

7: coleus

Photo By: iStock/kschulze

Dreamy Dahlias

At their peak prowess in late summer, show-stopping dahlias thrive in sunlight and well-drained soiled. Plant with other summer blooms like geraniums and Diamond Frost euphorbia for beauty that will last until first frost. Learn all about dahlia care here >>

1: geranium

2: dahlia

3: 'Homestead' verbena

4: 'Diamond Frost' euphorbia

Photo By: iStock

Summer Succulents

Stocked with rich color and unequivocable texture, what's not to love about succulents?

1: 'String of Pearls' (senecio rowleyanus)

2: 'Perle von Nurnberg' echeveria

3: 'Sticks on Fire' euphorbia

4: jelly bean sedum (S. rubrotinctum)

5: red kalanchoe

6: crassula hybrid

Photo By: iStock

Simple Yet Sexy

Sometimes the prettiest arrangements are the simplest. Keep the color going all summer long with low-maintenance creeping zinnia and shade-loving tuberous begonias.

1: tuberous begonia

2: sanvitalia (Mexican creeping zinnia)

Photo By: iStock

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