Removable Window Shelf for Plants

8 Materials
4 Hours
Even in the dead of winter, I am buying plants. My husband thinks I'm crazy, (Yeah, crazy plant lady!) but he supports my love for greenery any way he can.
Most recently, he helped me create more space indoors to contain my growing number of plants. I also needed a spot high enough that our dog wouldn't be able to nibble them. (See shredded peace lily below.) The simple solution was to make a removable shelf in a sunny window.
Here's what we did:

(1) We bought a 1x8x6 pine board and cut it to length with a miter saw. (Save the scrap; you'll use it in a later step.)

(2) We then cut out the back two corners (marked below with an "X") so the shelf would rest against the window.
(3) To account for the caulk along the windowsill, we routed a beveled edge along the shelf's bottom. It's not a necessary step, but the clearance lets the shelf sit tight against the window.
(4) Then my hubby got really fancy and routed a lovely edge along the front of the shelf. He used this ogee bit, which he had on hand from building our daughter's dresser.
A couple of passes through the router and my simple shelf concept was vastly enhanced.

(5) Next, we lightly sanded the shelf and applied two coats of white paint.
(6) While that dried, we cleaned and fixed the caulk around the window.

Even though there's currently nothing in front of the window, I wanted the option to remove the shelf without too much work or damage, and so my husband came up with these guys.
(7) Remember that scrap from step 1? We used it to cut those two blocks, then sanded and painted the exposed edges. To avoid the chance of the wood splitting during installation, we drilled pilot holes and added countersinks so the drywall screws would drive flush.

(8) Lastly, we installed them in the corners right above the shelf.
You can slide the shelf in and out, and the little boxes keep it from tipping forward. A quick touch-up with white paint to the screw heads and the little boxes are virtually invisible.
A seriously easy fix that makes me (my plants and my dog) seriously happy.
Thanks to this removable window shelf, I can easily bring plants indoors over winter and start new ones before spring has officially sprung.

For more DIY projects like this, please visit my blog and subscribe to the newsletter. Thanks so much for reading! -- v.
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Vernichel // created by v.
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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 14 questions
  • Susan Bailey Susan Bailey on Mar 05, 2020

    How could you do this for slider windows? Unfortunately, that's what I have in my condo.

  • Julie Hutzler Erskine Julie Hutzler Erskine on Mar 05, 2020

    I love this!

  • Em Em on Mar 05, 2021

    Just curious, if you build a nice wide window sill why would you want to remove it?

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