Monday, May 12, 2014

How To Build Flower Boxes

A year ago, when Brent and I began planning our workshop, I could already visualize sweet little flower boxes on it.  Knowing there were a ton of other details that needed to come first, we put off building them...until THIS WEEKEND!  We wanted something a little different than the standard white boxes with brackets you see everywhere, so here's what we came up with.
If you want to build some for yourself, you'll need about 3 1x4's per box, which should be about $15 worth of lumber.  Brent ripped the 1x4's down into strips.
Here's an important step, I used an orbital sander to round off the edges of all the front and side pieces to create grooves.
If I hadn't rounded off the edges (Brent says this is called "breaking the edge"), the fronts and sides would look flat.
 I'm not going to provide any exact measurements because all of the dimensions can be cut to accommodate whatever width you need, depending on your window size.
After attaching the fronts and sides to the inside support pieces, Brent cut a piece to act as the bottom of the flower box.  You can use a 1x8 cut to size or a couple 1x4 pieces next to each other.
Then cut a piece to size for the back and attach to the interior supports.
I wanted to add some additional detail to give the flower boxes a more substantial feel.  The piece around the top is some 1x4 ripped into about a 1 inch width.  The bottom piece is 1x4 cut at around 2 inches wide.  That's the nice part about designing these flower boxes, you can completely customize all of the measurements and details to suit your taste.
At this stage, I sanded everything again with the orbital sander, making sure to round off all of the hard edges.  I also used a sanding block to get into the tight areas.  
Deciding how to finish them was the tricky part.  I always assumed I would paint them white to match the flower boxes on the front of our house, but after seeing this picture on Pinterest, I definitely wanted to stain them!  I applied two coats of American Walnut stain (one didn't get them as dark as I wanted) and three coats of spar varnish.
I even brushed three coats of spar varnish on the insides of the flower boxes to protect the wood from all of the moisture.
Lucky for me, I got to get up at 7:15 on Mother's Day morning to start applying the coats of varnish!  The coats dry really quickly, so by noon, they were all done and ready for flowers.  We lined the boxes with landscape fabric to prevent dirt from seeping out the fronts and sides.
 To hang them on the workshop, we bought these galvanized L brackets.  Make sure you don't buy brackets made of zinc or they will rust out.
I'm so happy that we went with the stained flower boxes - I think the color of the boxes ties the mulch color (looks like we need to add more mulch!) and roof color all together.  
 The kids and I also had time to put down new mulch in the front gardens and plant the flower boxes under the two large windows.  Emma, Owen and I essentially spent the entire weekend digging in the dirt - which made for a PERFECT Mother's Day weekend!


  1. These flower boxes are so pretty! What a great design and I loved that you stained them too!

  2. How does the water drain out to prevent the wood from eventually rotting?

    1. We drilled small holes in the bottom of the flower box to allow water to drain.

  3. these look great. what type of wood is it. also, what size did you rip the boards down to for the front and sides? i am making this this summer. Thanks.