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Consumers Choice Award 2014 Winner

Window DIY: How To Build Your Own Window Shelves

If you’ve been staring out the window waiting for winter to wander away and dreaming of starting your garden this spring, this blog is right up your alley. Why wait for nature to cooperate when you can start flexing that green thumb of yours today? This DIY is easy, will inject life into any space, and will bring you unlimited gardening time in the comfort of your PJs. Plus, they can transform a smaller window with a lacklustre view into a really cool addition to your kitchen, bedroom, or work-space. Just remember that this a general guide – a wide window might need additional supports for your shelf – so be sure to adjust it to fit your needs.

That being said, if you have a window in mind feel free to grab your level, tape measure, and some painter’s tape and start Step 1.

Step 1: Determine the Look

After you’ve found the window you want to transform, think about the materials you want to use. You can use glass, clear acrylic, wood, or really any material that is sturdy and looks clean. We’re using clear acrylic in this guide as it’s light but strong, easy to clean, and clear – which will allow light to better filter down to the bottom shelves. However, the tutorial will work with pretty much whatever you like.

Now, the idea is to have the window shelves up next to the glass, and to take advantage of the depth of windowsill. Decide on how many shelves you’d like. Do you want a few taller plants, or a bunch of small plants? This is more of a personal preference, but a few shelves of small cacti or bonsai make for a really cool workspace addition. In the kitchen, you could use them to grow a small herb garden you can use in your recipes! The choice is yours, but once you’ve decided:

• Measure the height, width, and depth of your window
• Measure even spaces out for your shelves with enough height in-between to grow the plants
• Using a level, place painters tape across the window pane where you want the shelves to go

Step 2: Building the Brackets

Square rods that are at least 1 inch thick make great brackets. Try to find ones that match the material of the shelves (unless glass, in which case wood will work great). Cut them to the depth of your window shelf. Then, using only one side of the window line them up just underneath your painter’s tape guidelines (using a level to make sure they’re straight) and screw them to the window sill – be sure to use long enough screws, these little guys are doing all the lifting for you! Go all the way up the window, putting in all the brackets for one side of the window. Then using a tape measure and a level, measure across the window pane for each shelf and screw in the corresponding brackets – this way you can ensure each shelf will be straight.

Step 3: Add the Shelves!

Next, have the shelves cut to fit the dimensions of your window – if you’re using glass you’ll have to get them professionally cut, but acrylic or wood you can tackle on your own. After cutting them, place them on each shelf bracket and test out its durability. If you like, you can attach the shelf to the brackets using an appropriate glue (wood glue for wood, Gorilla glue for acrylic etc), but we prefer to keep them unglued for ease of cleaning.

And that’s it! The next step is to add all the little plants to your shelves and some Greenery to your home!

We told you it was simple didn’t we? The main thing to bear in mind is that planning and measuring go along way with this project. While the shelves themselves are fairly easy to build, levelling them properly, having them fit the window, and leaving room to have plants flourish is where most of the effort comes in. Try it out for yourselves and inject some life into your living space!

Did you enjoy our DIY? Check out our Learning Page for more great ways to improve your home from your team at Beverley Hills Home Improvements.