Jim Cox
Jim Cox
  • Tutorial Team
  • Springfield, MO

A Quick Shelf for My Kitchen Window

4 Materials
$15
30 Minutes
Easy

A quick shelf for my kitchen window that didn't damage my cabinets in the process
a quick shelf for my kitchen window
Here's the kitchen window where I wanted to put a shelf. The cabinets are already full of holes from previous owners attaching anything and everything. I have a ton of work to do here, and didn't want to make any more for myself. The goal is to attach the shelf without further damage. I hope to grow my tomato seeds here.
a quick shelf for my kitchen window
Here's the left side cabinet (and my antique Kitchenaid mixer below it). You can see holes from previous who-knows-what.
a quick shelf for my kitchen window
Looking under the right-side cabinet: This is a scrap "standoff" of 1x2 about 4" long. I attached to the bottom of the cabinet (Particle board) with 1-1/4" x No. 6 drywall screws. I did this for both sides. I pre-drilled the holes in every wood piece to avoid splitting.
a quick shelf for my kitchen window
Next I made a "Ledge" about 1/2" deep past the cabinet. This was some leftover pine about 1/2" thick and 6" wide. Literally scrap, from a sign I made. I used the same 1-1/4" drywall screws to go into the standoffs installed earlier. Always pre-drill to avoid splitting the wood. Left side shown.
a quick shelf for my kitchen window
Next I made a "riser" about 4" tall from a 1x6. Again I pre drilled both the ledge and the riser with a 3/32" drill bit so the screws wouldn't split it, going into the end of this pine it's critical. Attach with 2 more drywall screws. Left side shown.

I made this tall enough that I can easily reach underneath the shelf to get to the window lock mechanism, but low enough I can see over it into the back yard.
a quick shelf for my kitchen window
I took off my ledge/riser assemblies (I left the standoffs in place) and out to the garage for a quick stain. Take them off one at a time and mark them L and R. This might save you a headache later, and make the holes you've already used easier to line up
a quick shelf for my kitchen window
Re-install the ledge and riser. I know the stain doesn't match, but I was simply going for unobtrusive. Hopefully these cabinets will get painted this fall.
a quick shelf for my kitchen window
Time to measure for the width of my shelf.
a quick shelf for my kitchen window
Out to the garage to cut a section of fence from my stash of reclaimed wood
a quick shelf for my kitchen window
I set the shelf in place and made sure all fit. We're good to go.

Left side shown.
a quick shelf for my kitchen window
Here's a completed view of the left side. You can barely see my index finger is touching the standoff. Below it the ledge, then the riser against the cabinet, and finally the shelf resting on top. I did not screw the shelf to the riser, I wanted to be able to move it when I need to clean the window, so I used adhesive-backed Velcro
a quick shelf for my kitchen window
Here's a daytime view of the assembled shelf, with a locally made mug and some cactus for a test fit. Left side shown.
a quick shelf for my kitchen window
And here it is at night. (You can see the lights on my deck rail outside. Look for it in my other projects). The window lock is easily accesible below the shelf. Hopefully tomatoes will be growing here in a few weeks.

Comment if you have any ideas to improve this : )
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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Kathy T.
    on Apr 18, 2018

    Great idea, instructions and final look.

    My home is very close proximity to nosy neighbors so they would see in my windows.

    An'y suggestion on window coverings?

    Blinds would work on top but what about bottom. Is there room behind shelf?

    • C m Edmonds
      on Apr 23, 2018

      I was thinking the same thing as I have a blind and window topper. I think I'm going to try this on my south-facing kitchen that is almost sunless during the day so I can grow some plants in the window. If I pull each of the pieces out (the ledger, riser and shelf) an inch or two away from the back wall keeping everything flush (in alignment), it should work just fine.

Join the conversation

3 of 29 comments
  • I think I'll use your idea to rig a wide window ledge, as mine is too narrow. I like to sit plants in my kitchen window. I think I'll adapt your system by attaching wood scrap under existing sill, screwing underneath it into the new wider plank of wood. Being cautious, since it's not really weight bearing, I can put lightweight plants & bottles on the shelf, while still being able to open & close window & still be able to raise & lower the shades!! Thanks Jim!!

    • Jim Cox
      on Apr 25, 2018

      Sounds like you have a plan! Let me know how it goes

  • Jim Cox
    on Apr 25, 2018

    The shelf is working!

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