Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The One Where I Pretend Like I'm Bob Vila. And fail.

This is was gonna be my first full and "real" tutorial.

I'm telling you, I was gonna go all Ana White and have a shopping list, a cut list, and step by steps.

Someone (else) please sweep the garage. Yeesh.

And now-- now I have way more respect for her than I did before. And that's hard to top, folks. Plans for a project? Waaaaay.hard.

Just trying something as simple as this scrambled my brain with a fork. A fork.

And so, I said, "screw it."

Let's do this my way, peeps. The craptastic way, of course, if ya don't mind.

Oh, you do mind? What?? I'm sorta hard of hearing. Here we go!!

First things first. I want you to know that I thought these window boxes through from every angle, and lemme explain ma-self.

1. You can make these from rot-resistant molding (i.e., pvc molding). You could, but then it would cost you your right arm and your newborn child.

2. I find this to be the most economical route to take. In other words, I'm cheap. Everyone knows this.

These are the boards I suggest. They are pine. They are also referred to as "Common Pine", and Lowe's calls them "Top Choice Whitewood Board".

I'm thinking these descriptions are a tad contradictory.

Why did I use these (why do I always use these?)? They are the cheapest. Pretty sure they're cheaper than MDF, even. Pretty sure.

*Note: you can get a 1x6x6 for the low, low price of around $3. BUT! Do check for straight boards. You've got to dig for awesome boards. It's the price ya pay for awesome, cheap pine, okey dokey? Ana explains how to find a good board here.

Okay! We've got that out of the way.

Let's cut some crap.

I cut my boards to the length of my windows and the trim surrounding it (for me, that's 5 feet exactly, thank you for asking):

and cut the ends of the sides on 45° angles. The back-cut, crown-molding way-- not to be confused with the 45° way you'd cut a frame, okey dokey? I think it gives them a nicer edge, as opposed to a wood butted-up look.

Couple things, here:
1. The bottom of your box will be all on the inside. Then, the ugly way the boards meet up is hidden on the bottom.
2. If ya used 1x6 boards, the side pieces should measure at 7 1/4", long point measurement, ends cut on 45°, sides not parallel. Obviously.

Used 2" screws, along the bottom, 'cause I knew I was gonna just cover them up with some purty molding. Do pre-drill in this pine. Take my word for it.

Then, go ahead and attach your molding of choice with your trusty nail gun. The molding I just so happened to use was pvc molding-- it's cap molding actually, hehehe, but I like that it will hold up well. Cuts like butta, too.

Now-- these boxes (molding excepted) are just pine. Yes, I mentioned that before. Yes, this is re-dun-dun-dundant. I have a point, here.
Pine is just not gonna hold up well outside. It's just not. Am I right or am I right? Right.

For one thing: they're not going to stay out there through the winter (show ya my handy hanging trick later).

Second: gonna line the insides in plastic.

Third: I'm gonna hose my window boxes down with a good coat of poly. Just so ya know, all "clear" coats are not created equal.

So frustrating when you're trying to keep your white stuff white and your final coat makes everything yellow-ish. Arrrr. Been there, done that?

I have found both these two up here to be really, truly clear. It's a miracle! I used Rust-oleum's on this, due to it's "maximum weather resistance!". Gotta have that.

And so:

here's window box numero uno all done. And so, what do I envision?

Hopefully a little a this:

Source: bing.com via Mandi on Pinterest

Or this amazeballs-ness.
Show ya when I get 'em hung up. Tee hee.


Rach said...

I like your "tutorial" style...it's you!
Thanks for the tip on the poly.....I have been reaaaaaaly afraid to poly anything white because of that yellow fear! : )

kristen said...

I love you and loved your first tutorial...however...I have no idea what you are talking about :) It was like a different language to me. Your box looks super cute and much better than the one I will most likely purchase from Hobby Lobby :)

SueAnn Lommler said...

I enjoyed the tut. Fun and very informative. As you say, it was full of craptastic information.

Suesan said...

Looks amazing, as always. I appreciate the tip on the non-yellowing poly. I'm not sure I understand how a 1x6 board can measure 7 1/4", but it's really early in the morning. I'm not sure I understand how to brush my teeth right now, let alone anything involving math!

Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures said...

I like that 2nd window box with the sweet potato vine! I can't wait to see how you hang them. I don't have a saw, nail gun or guts so now window boxes for me.

jtatiana21 said...

I can’t wait to see how you are going to hang them on your windows.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Great job, Mandi! I love windowboxes, hubby hates them because to him flowers=bees and he hates bees. I love the inspiration pictures. I was going to suggest Marine Varnish for the boxes, but I saw you mentioned something you found. Can't wait to see it filled up!

Jen said...

That green stuff spilling out all over in the bottom picture is what I was trying to remember the name of!! So glad you have a picture of it, because I still don't remember! ;)

Kimbo West said...

if i wanted ana white...i would read ana white.

i want tremayne.
and so i read tremayne.

and you never disappoint.
(i totally just had to spell check disappoint..it's early)

love you!

Anonymous said...

Jen, the green stuff is sweet potato vine, if you're talking about the green stuff I think you're talking about. It spreads & hangs really well in window boxes. I use it every year, except the years when stupid Lowe's runs out before I get there.

And Mandi, hurry & post that hanging trick, cause I'm dying to know & I need to know now how to do it. Thanks.

Jean said...

No third nipple here! Your tutorials are a lot like mine. I'm a do as I say, not as I do tutorialist. (is that a word?) I usually don't do things in the right order and I'm probably working in a space that's half the size that I need. Love your blog. Love your humor. Can we be neighbors?!!! Jean @ www.thebackyardbungalow.com

Lisa Scibilia said...

The first one looks so pretty, I can already imagine it overflowing with flowers!!

Rebecca D said...

Your "tutorial" was fun to read... and that is an anomoly! Your window box looks great and I can't wait to see them up and full of flowers...

Maureen said...


Did you drill holes in the boom for drainage? I saw somewhere years ago where someone - initials MS - basically made the box upside down and cut circles in the bottom of the box large enough to hold clay pots. This still made for a great planters box but saved the wear and tear on it. This also allowed for drainage and you didn't have the weight of as much potting soil.
That being said, I love the look of yours and there was nothing wrong with your tutorial. I want to make things like this for my house but lack the tools and the funds. :( I think that I may just have to bite the bullet and purchase a tool or two and then I can make my house the way I want.
You have been a great inspiration on what can be accomplished if you try. I love (I know, I'm using that word a lot but we don't have all the different versions of it like in Latin) the improvements you have made with your crown molding and designs. I think my favorite one is the doors for shutters in your dungeon.
Hey, if you ever complete your house and 100% satisfied are you going to move and start over again? When we were in the military and the people in town knew me well enough to call me by name - cashiers, library workers, waiters, etc. - then I knew it was time for us o move again. It sucked the biggest lemon you ever saw!


Emily said...

Flower boxes are the best! Yours are going to look fabulous!!

Teri said...

Fabulous tutorial, lady! It's hard to believe it's your first one! :)

Sara said...

Your window boxes turned out great! I went to lowes to pick up the supplies but I need somemore info on the cap molding. Did it come from Lowes and how wide is it? Thanks....Sara