DIY Window Plant Shelf - Backyard Boss
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DIY Window Plant Shelf

Having plants is a trend that’s on the rise, and we could not be happier about it. Every tiny plant that a person decides to grow is a win for nature, be it a small succulent or a giant lemon tree. Even if some people grow plants purely for decorative purposes, it’s an initiative we want to encourage, which is why we wanted to show you how you can make your own DIY window plant shelf without spending a fortune on materials.

What You’ll Need

diy plant shelf for walls or windows with plants and hanging plantersThe following list of materials that we are going to give you is for making two window plant shelves. These are a great addition to houses with kids or pets because they are not accessible from the ground, which means that no tiny humans or curious dogs can reach them (unless you have a Great Dane, maybe they can). Without further ado, grab a pen and paper and write down the following products:

  • 1 x 8-foot 1×6 whitewood plank
  • 1 x 8-foot strip, cut to size – This is going to be useful for making a ledge around the shelves in order to make sure the planters won’t fall off easily. It’s mostly a safety measure that you can skip, but we’d recommend making it because it adds extra peace of mind knowing that nothing can knock off the plants off the shelf that easily.
  • 1×2 pine board – Make sure you cut this into small pieces because they are needed to level the shelf brackets with the window frames.
  • 5 x 6-inch shelf brackets
  • 1 x pack of ¾-inch wood screws
  • Paint or stain
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper

Overall, this entire shopping list shouldn’t cost you more than $20, but this depends on where you shop. If you’re remote or would prefer to have the material delivered, Home Depot and Amazon are good places to start looking.

Now, aside from the products above which may require buying, you are going to need some additional tools that we hope you already have around the house. The others materials that are needed to make these window plant shelves are:

  • An automatic drill
  • A wood cutter
  • A wood clamp

Step-by-Step Process for Building a Window Plant Shelf

diy plant shelf bracket wide three plants in green pots with apple sculpture on DIY shelf against dark red wooden wall

Step #1: Making the Shelf

Now that you have everything prepared, it’s time to put together your window plant shelves.

The first thing that you are going to do is to cut the wood pieces after having carefully measured them.

When you’re done, attach the sides to the 1×6 pieces. You can use a wood clamp to make sure that the sides are aligned so that you can pre-drill four holes on the long sides.

Add glue to the edges of the main shelf for extra security.

Secure the strips to the main wood piece that makes the shelves. When you’re done, your two shelves should look like small boxes and the elevated edges should be visible. To secure the strips, you are going to use the wooden screws and a drill. You want to use a drill that comes with an automatic clutch because it makes your life easier. Because they automatically monitor the torque needed for this particular situation, you will get every screw in just right with the first try. This also helps prevent applying too much elbow grease that could lead to splitting the wood and completely ruining your project.

When the boxes are ready, you can use sandpaper to give them a smooth finish.

Optional: if you don’t want your shelves to have that trivial wood aspect, you can always choose to paint them or stain the wood. This step is completely optional and the color of choice depends on your personal preferences. If you do decide to paint the shelves, you can use a little paint roller for the big piece and then a paintbrush for the spots that are more difficult to reach.

hanging a diy shelf with anchors and angle brackets

Step #2: Hanging the Shelf

Now that the shelves are finished, it’s time to move on to the second part of this project, which is hanging the shelves:

  • Grab the 1×2 pieces and cut them, making sure they are about the same length at the shelf brackets.
  • To make this next part easier, pre-drill holes through these wooden pieces and hang them with the window frames by using deck screws. It’s really important that you leave space for the shelf bracket screws to go in as well.
  • You can proceed to attaching the shelf brackets to these blocks.
  • Screw the shelves to the top of the brackets. Make sure you pre-drill first because this always avoids splitting the wood.
  • Your new shelves should be ready for use. Hang your favorite plants here and watch them thrive in the sunlight while also providing you with a nice and green view every time you look at the window.

BONUS: DIY Floating Window Plant Shelf

We came across this really amazing project for floating window plant shelves that we absolutely had to share with you wonderful readers. The end result is astonishing and the project itself isn’t complicated, so here it goes.

What You’ll Need

For this project, you are going to have to equip yourself with the following:

  • Painter’s tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Acrylic shelf
  • Acrylic square rod brackets
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • 9/64 drill bit
  • Drill
  • 6 x 1 ¼ sheet metal screws

Step-by-Step Process for Floating Window Plant Shelf

floating window shelf for plants diy instruction

If you’re ready to start working on your DIY floating window plant shelf, here is what you’re going to have to do:

Grab the measuring tape and get the exact dimensions of your window. It’s a good idea if the shelves fit flush into the window.

Take the painter’s tape and outline where your shelves are going to go on the window itself. This is used to determine the exact placement of the shelves.

Take the support brackets and drill two holes in them. Those of you that use acrylic brackets instead of wooden ones will have to drill really slow. The heat from the drill can end up melting the material otherwise. Make sure you take breaks if you want to avoid overheating.

Stylish green houseplants on wooden shelves. Modern room decor urban jungle.

Now it’s time to determine where the brackets will be placed on the window sill. Mark a level line along the window sill’s depth. Start measuring from the location where the bottom shelf will be placed and work your way up. Use the tape you previously put on the window for guidance. You need to consider what plants you’re going to put on the shelves to make sure there is enough distance between two of them. About 13 inches should generally do the trick.

Every time you mark a spot for a bracket on one side of the window sill, mark it on the corresponding opposite part as well. You are going to use the same level-pencil-ruler combo for this part, but also a shelf. Line up the shelf with the marks you previously made on the window sill. Using the level, make sure that the shelf is parallel with the ground and mark the location for the brackets on the opposing sill. Never forget to use the level for each shelf and measurement. Otherwise, you might end up with crooked shelves.

When you’ve marked the locations for each bracket, you can start to drill in the screws. To make sure nothing goes wrong, drill each screw halfway, then level the bracket and add the other screw. If the leveling is done right, you can drill both screws all the way into the wall.

Once you’re done screwing in all the brackets, you can literally put the shelves on top of them and then add the plants into the equation.


Bottom Line

Making a window plant shelf is actually a very easy process if you know your way around a drill. Most similar products cost less than $50 to make, and the end result is very satisfying. You can play around with the different materials you want your window plant shelves to be made of (today, we experimented with wood and acrylic shelves).  Have you ever tried making your own plant shelves so far?