Wood Shim Window Box Planter
April 27, 2012
Greetings all and happy weekend! I’ll be spending the next three days at our Alma Project house sprucing up a few rooms, it’s a lot of work but I can’t wait to get it all done with the help of a small crew of volunteers! Also, next week I’m co-teaching a gardening workshop in partnership with the Home Depot in Roseville, California on Thursday evening – be sure to come if you’re local! I’m assigned the task of inspiring the participants with a few creative ideas for container gardening, so it was time to work some magic with some ordinary stuff found at my local HD store.
This planter project is one of the few ideas I’m preparing for the workshop and I thought I’d share it with you all today. It’s a plain window box that I dressed up with painted wood shims that were trimmed to fit the dimensions of the box to form a one-of-a-kind planter. Here’s the quick step-by-step to make your own version in less than two hours.
First, gather up some supplies which include: a wood planter box (I chose this one), several dozen wood shims (I used approximately 40 shims), wood glue, craft paint or paint samples from the paint department, small paintbrushes, miter box or compound miter saw (not shown), spray primer (optional), hot glue gun (optional).
Start by dry brush painting the shims in four to five different colors of choice, or you can water down regular latex paint with a few teaspoons of water, that works too. For a rustic or weathered look, as you brush on the paint, leave some of the wood from the shims exposed. I also ended up mixing in some white and deep blue craft paints with the paint sample jars I purchased. Allow your shims to dry – it takes only a few minutes.
This next step is optional but I wanted the base of my window box to be white, so I primed it with Zinsser Cover Stain primer.
Lay out your approximate design on top of the box…
… then use a miter box or compound miter saw to make the cuts.
Use the wood glue applied to the backside of the shims to secure them to the window box. The wood glue will give you the greatest grip in the long run, but I also found using a few beads of hot glue on the back of the shims in addition to the wood glue held the shims in place well. A little hot glue also allowed me to work faster so I didn’t have to wait for the wood glue to completely dry before rotating the window box around to finish the other side.
With shims, you’ll notice that one edge is thin or tapered, and the other is thick. I overlapped the thin edges and butted the thick edges against each other in the final design (seen below). I also attached the shims vertically along the sides to form an opposite stripe effect along both edges of the planter box.
The end result was a unique window box planter that looks great both indoors and out. Your annuals, herbs, or succulents can be planted directly inside the box, or set inside while kept in smaller containers. Makes a great centerpiece too!
*all supplies for this garden project courtesy of the Home Depot.