The first time I looked at our 100 year old house when it was for sale, (it’s a big ole rambling house) and I was totally, and I might add, very sweetly surprised when at the end of the 2nd floor hallway… or so I thought it was the end, not only did I find the back kitchen stairway that had been closed up from the kitchen end, as well as an attic stairway, but still there was another door! As I tugged it open I was greeted with this room… a wonderful 2nd story porch on the south end of the house!!
This hidden 2nd story porch gets wonderful light with huge expansive windows on all 3 sides of it. I’m sure originally it was a sleeping porch with just screens at the window openings, but at some point a previous owner put in these windows, and I’m so glad. It makes it so much more usable for Wisconsin.
So this year I wanted to try a go at raising some herbs and lettuce…
When I found these 6 handmade window boxes that a gal in Minneapolis was selling I was thrilled. They fit comfortably end to end on the 2 South facing windows. She was a very interesting lady… had started her own business making casegoods for a major retailer. She designed these and had her carpenter make them for herself, but when she moved, they didn’t fit in her next porch.
They fit mine! Aren’t they so cute?
I was thrilled with the vintage green color and fun contemporary yet classic style.
If you don’t happen to find some on the 2nd hand market like I did, have no fear… HERE are some really cute wood window box choices!
When it came time to mount them, since these windows didn’t have much of a window sill, I was left with a couple of options. I could invest a lot of time and effort and money and make deeper window sills, or same story to make shelves at the sill height to set them on, which would be nice…
But I opted for a much more economical and easier route…
The key was to find the right hardware to do the work.
I’d mount them just below the actual sill with a simple bracket.
The bracket needs a block about 1″ deep behind it to hold it firmly in place.
I found a strip of MDF leftover from when the carpenter was making trim for the kitchen that was the perfect thickness.
All I needed to do was cut 18 blocks from the leftover board.
Now let me just pause a moment here and say, I am not by any stretch of the imagination a carpenter, nor do I really like using power tools all that much. However, I do love the chop saw we have and the ability it gives me to make a quick cut.
Here is a link for a best selling chopsaw at HomeDepot. Ours has saved me lots of time trying to handsaw a board… to make these 16 cuts with a handsaw would have taken me most of the day, and I’d of been exhausted after!
I don’t know much in the way of tricks & tips for using power saws… except keep your fingers out of the way.
OK, so actually, here is a tip, besides the obvious fingers thing:
I had to make 18 cuts all at the same 3″ width…
So instead of measuring each one out, I did like what I have on my sewing machine…
I marked with a pencil right on the flat surface of the saw bed where to place the end of the board for the next cut, (if you look carefully, you can just barely see the pencil line a couple inches to the right of the red cutting area)
That actually saved a ton of measuring time.
So with the blocks of wood, simple white hardware brackets and a drill with some proper length screws, (longer for the wall and shorter for the bottom of the window boxes) I drilled then screwed each window box up….
The brackets hold the window boxes firmly in place.
Now I have herbs and lettuces getting plenty of sunlight and hopefully growing healthy.
Once the window boxes were done…
I realized that when we moved into the house, we were so busy renovating the rest of the house, we had just left this 2nd story porch exactly how it was, only added a bunch of furniture from our last sunroom into here…
These cute window boxes make me realize how awful the floor looks…
Ugh, and that dark brown ceiling… wouldn’t it look so fresh and light if it were porch ceiling blue?
OK, I’ve got a little more work to do before I show you the rest of this room… But I already have the paintbrush in my hand, so hold tight, I’ll be right back.
Here are more carpentry tips and tutorials:
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