Picture of Herb planter box for the kitchen -- easy install
box dimensioned.jpg
We live in an old brick building with deep window sills.
We thought a window box herb-garden would be a nice touch for the kitchen.
To simplify the installation, we wedged the box into the opening. That way we didn't have to drill into the plaster and bricks.

Warning: This project is not toddler safe. If a little kid tries to climb this box, it could topple. We put some plants in containers to cut down on weight, but if it were filled with dirt, our box would weigh close to 100 pounds. No matter what, if this box fell on a small child it would be enough weight to kill her or him.

Step 1: Measure twice -- the window opening and then the wood you have lying around

Picture of Measure twice -- the window opening and then the wood you have lying around
Our window measures about 31-1/2."
the box at it's longest is 30-1/2"
The rest is taken up by the end wedges.

The bill of materials for us:
1x8 for the sides -- 2 pieces about 32" long,
1x8 for the bottom 1 piece about 30" long
3/4 plywood ends -- a little over 7" tall by the same width as the bottom.
Some glue and nails. If you want to splurge, then waterproof glue and galvanized or stainless steel nails cost more but are better.
some blocks 8"x10" x 1-1/2" for the end wedges.

We laid out the sides to taper in about 5/8" on each side, so the top was about an inch and one quarter wider than the bottom."
As for the ends and bottom, the angles are so slight (less than five degree) it wouldn't matter if you cut them straight or at an angle. We happened to have a sliding miter saw, so we cut at an angle. If we only had a circular saw, jigsaw or hand saw, we would have cut those pieces straight.

We banged the box together with some hot dipped galvanized nails so it wouldn't come apart so easy. (We used 2-1/2 inch nails which are over-kill and had to pre-drill our holes so the wood wouldn't split.) Because we have a biscuit jointer lying around, we glued and reinforced the joints to keep everything lined up and together.

Take your time on assembly, but remember that as long as you keep your plants living, you pretty much only have to worry about only one face of the box being pretty since everybody will have their eyes (or noses) on the herbs above.
I hate to nitpick, because this is really cool, but you know you're not supposed to put anything in the way of your access to the fire escape, right?
jkenchen7 years ago
I know you did not want to damage the window sill or wall, but this could easily be made "child-proof" by securing those wedges or shingles from beneath. Can screw, glue and/or nail a thin block beneath each wedge, or simply drive in a few screws depending on the wall material. Also can fix a thin strip of wood or metal across the front to keep it from tipping forward if pulled on.
meddler7 years ago
As someone who has had a few failures with container gardening(not sure how much that has to do with indoor plants) I found you need to water them more often. My wife loves growing herbs and this looks like a neat idea.
shooby7 years ago
Instead of cutting wedges for the box, which requires b little more advanced sawing, why not just use, 1, 1 1/2, or 2 shingles on each side. You could probably get some sample shingles for free. That way you could make this box with a hacksaw, nails, and hammer, great for apartment living. Good idea, I'm moving into a smaller apartment soon and might do this.
see spot run (author)  shooby7 years ago
Good idea trying to get shingles for free. You might get them from a jobsite or carpenter if you ask nicely. See some more information about using shingles in step 2D above. I'm not so keen on the short pine shims that they sell now at Lowe's or Home Depot. they aren't quite long enough to span the whole height of the box. Also probably good to make sure you put the shingles between the woods rather than between the wood and the wall. Just seems intuitive. Don't like hacksaws much for cutting wood wider than a couple of inches. The throat is a little shallow. In any case, use some soap to lubricate the blade -- on this one there's no painting that the soap would interfere with.
Oops, so sorry, I (know it all) didn't take the time to read through the whole instructable, otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned the shingles! Apologies.
see spot run (author)  shooby7 years ago
totally cool. your comments remind people that the first step in "making something" isn't always going out and "buying something." Doing-with-what-you-have makes things more valuable in the end. Everybody already has too much "stuff."
Yeah, no kidding.
Mr. Rig It7 years ago
Cool idea
Sandisk1duo7 years ago
What "other" herbs can you grow?
see spot run (author)  Sandisk1duo7 years ago
I know something about wood, but not until it gets cut down. I'm just hoping these plants last longer than the ones that died in the living room. Lots of people here with really great advice about indoor gardens.