Are you looking for a way to elevate your window space and turn it into more than a frame covered by drapes? There are plenty of ways to transform and utilize this space. One of the best ways to give your windows a unique flare is by adding DIY window plant shelves.
Opting for DIY window plant shelves gives you artistic freedom, allowing you to curate the best designs to match your home’s style. Further, it’s a great way to save a buck and enjoy more value. So, before you take out your power tools, here are 30 inspirational ideas for DIY window plant shelves you are bound to love.
DIY Window Plant Shelves
Window plant shelves simply refer to plant shelves or holders built on or around your window. These shelves come in different styles, including regular horizontal or vertical shelves. However, you can also get alittle more creative and build designs, such as hanging or suspended shelves.
In addition to adding more style and character to your window space, DIY plant shelves allow you to make good use of the free space. Placing your plants near the window also gives them better access to natural light and even oxygen to promote better and faster growth.
How Do You Make Window Plant Shelves?
Different window plant shelf designs will have slightly varying building instructions. But, the basics remain the same. Here’s a basic guide for making window plant shelves:
- Get the dimensions of your window using a measuring tape – i.e. the width and length. Depending on the style of the shelf you want, you may or may not include the frames in the measurements. The dimensions allow you to get the right wooden shelf plank size or at least cut it into the right size.
- Measure the space between each intended shelf installation location and mark them with a pencil. This is where you will be fitting each shelf bracket. Most DIYers leave at least a foot between each shelf.
- Use a drill to make holes where you marked with the pencil, starting from the bottom and working your way to the top of the window.
- Drill each bracket into the wall and screw them securely
- Once done, place your empty shelf wooden plank on each bracket and add a few books. Leave them on the shelves for at least an hour or two to ensure the shelves can handle the weight.
- If they don’t snap, you can proceed with connecting the shelf to the bracket and drilling the shelves into the wall.
Now, here are our favorite ideas for DIY window plant shelves you can try at home;
1. Built A Simple Wooden Plank Window Shelf
If you are on a strict budget, you can still transform your window with a DIY plant shelf. All you need is two wooden planks you can get from the nearest home improvement store, a drill, and smaller tools. Home improvement stores will help you pre-cut the planks to the size of your window, eliminating the need to invest in a saw.
After installing the shelf, you can choose to polish, paint or leave the shelf, depending on your preferences. You also have the option to go for single or multiple shelf layers. This simple design also works for different parts of your home.
You can set it in your room for a refreshing display of green succulents or the living room for beautiful floral displays. Alternatively, you can give it a more functional role in your kitchen for edible herbs, such as mint, thyme, rosemary, and cilantro, to name a few.
2. Affix A Window Sill Shelf
Alternatively, you can save even more if you take this approach. This design involves fitting a wooden plank into the depth of your window sill if you have a concrete sill. The best part of this type of shelf is that you can go with any finishing design – whether paint or polish.
Additionally, since it’s not suspended, the shelf can support any plant size – the only thing you have to compromise on is how deep your sill is.
3. Hang A Shelf With Hooks & Ropes
If you live in a rental home and don’t want to make significant alterations to your windows, this is an excellent shelf idea. Instead of drilling holes and brackets into the window, you will affix only four hooks at the top frame of the window in a rectangular layout.
The hooks allow you to thread in ropes on either end. These ropes act as the support for the shelves – think of this design as that of a swing! Tying a knot underneath each shelf plank helps to hold them in place so your plants don’t topple over. The best part of using this design is you can always move with your shelves.
4. Get a Little Creative With Hanging Shelves
This idea works for windows with already fitted curtain rods and rod holders. You can also try it if you are open to installing curtain rod holders and rods on your window. Instead of the traditional shelves, hooks, and ropes, this design takes a slightly different approach. Instead of using hooks, you can fasten your ropes on a curtain rod supported by regular rod holders.
The ropes can then be threaded into the edge holes on the shelves and knotted at the bottom of each hole for support. You can suspend two to three shelves. But, make sure the rod and rod holders are strong enough to support the plant pots. You want to ideally opt for metal or wooden rods in place of plastic rods.
5. Add More Plants To Your Hanging Shelf
This elegant DIY design is great for those who want to hang smaller plants or herbs in their kitchen. In fact, it allows you to support more plants since it gives you more space than the option above. Instead of using a single rod, this design allows you to install two to three rods.
Drill curtain rod holders on either side of the window. You can even set one rod holder pair slightly above the window frame and another one on the middle part of the window. Next, add a rod for each pair of holders and add in large curtain rings (for supporting eyelet curtains) depending on the number of plants you wish to add (no more than 4 or 5 plants per rod).
Transfer your plants to a pot with rope holders (get macramé pot holders for more style) and insert the ropes into the rings. This design works great if you only intend on using blinds or simple pop-in shades for your window since the plants take up regular curtain space.
6. Design Small Hanging Tubes
If you are just starting with your plant growing journey or want to grow a lot of plants, this design is a good idea. This design follows the same hanging shelf principle. Drill in a hook at the top of your window frame, pass a large thicker rope through the hook, and thread it through the holes of two shelf planks on either side.
Don’t forget to knot the rope under each hole to hold the planks securely. Each of the planks should be at least 3 inches wide, 15 inches long, and drilled with holes at least 1.75 inches in diameter. Drill at least four to five holes on each plank.
Once done, fill up your test tubes with water and the plants you wish to grow and replace them with new ones when it’s time to transfer them to pots. You can follow the same design with slightly larger holes (than 1.75 inches) if you want to attach smaller succulent pots instead.
7. Use Glass Window Shelves
If you have a smaller or narrow window you want to set your plants, a glass window shelf is an excellent DIY idea. Glass shelves also do the trick for smaller windows since they don’t require full coverage, which creates clutter.
Glass shelves aren’t the best options for larger windows as they may easily crack under the weight of plants. But, if you can afford it, you can go for stronger glass to handle the weight – although you will pay more.
8. Try Acrylic Window Shelves
If glass shelves aren’t the best option, you can opt for acrylic ones instead. After all, acrylic window shelves can handle more weight from your plants. You can even customize the width of each shelf to cater to the load capacity you want. When purchasing your tools, choose the right acrylic shelf plank width!
9. Go Mess Free with Command Display Ledge Slate Shelves
You can simplify your DIY shelving project by opting for slate shelves by the Command brand. These shelves come with integrated tapes that hold securely onto a wall or window. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about the mess of drilling. You can attach the shelves using the command tape directly on the window glass or interior corner of your window sill.
For window shelves, you are better off going for smaller single pot shelves to support smaller plants and succulents and reduce the risks of snapping. A small Command slate shelf will typically support a weight of up to 4 lbs.
11. Build A Movable Plant Window Frame
If you don’t want to make any alterations directly to your window, you can build a plant window frame. This simply refers to a frame with multiple shelves that you can fit into your window. You can build this frame like any other woodworking frame.
All you do is take the dimensions of your window (the length and width of the frame should not exceed that of your window). You can build any design you want and then fit it into the window and add your plants.
12. Fix Permanent Wooden Frames
You can also build permanent framed shelves if it’s your permanent home. The best part of building a permanent structure is that it will be strong enough to support even heavy plants.
13. Repurpose Unused Coffee Mugs
You don’t always have to take the traditional route when it comes to DIY plant window shelves. You can get a little creative with tools readily available in your home. In this case, you can use your coffee mugs as shelves and plant holders.
Drill hooks (the amount depends on the size of your window, but leave at least 12 inches of space between each hook) on the top part of your window frame. Tie a rope that runs the length of the window on each hook and attach white mugs from the top to the bottom (leaving 12 to 24 inches of space between each mug).
Once done, place small plant pots into each mug. You can mix up succulents and crawling indoor plants for visual appeal. You can even knot spoons between some mugs for a more dramatic look.
14. Reuse an Old Drawer
If you have a window built with a deep sill, you can use an old drawer as a shelf. Line the drawer with a tarp, add dirt and fertilizer, and add in the plants you want to grow. You can even DIY a small pond for a refreshing appeal. If it’s too much work, you can simply use the drawer as an ordinary shelf and add already potted plants. If the drawer is too old, give it a good sand and a fresh coat of paint or polish.
15. DIY A Small Step Ladder
This is another excellent design idea for a deep window sill. You can build a small step ladder, giving each ladder more depth to accommodate your potted plants. Alternatively, attach each pot to the steps instead if you have limited space. You can also choose to drill it into the window frame or wall or leave it immobile and let it support itself.
16. Drill In A Plant Hanger
If you want to hang different plants and plant sizes, whether large pots or crawling plants, you can add plant hangers. Get at least two metal or wooden rods and screw them in parallel to each other on the window frame interior. Next, insert shorted rods perpendicular to the two parallel rods. You can hang different plants on both large and small rods.
17. Design A Plant Bench
If you don’t want to spend much on materials, build a small bench to fit the width of your window. Then, set it on your window sill and top it with your favorite plants. The good thing about a bench shelf is it supports plants of any size depending on how you design it.
18. Attach Suction Shelves To The Window
Suction window shelves are also great for your plants. If you are looking for a short-term solution for your plants or don’t want to create a mess in your window, a suction shelf is ideal. These shelves come with a suction cup that holds onto the window glass or interior part of your frame. You can readily find one in any home improvement store or online. You can even get multiple shelves to spread across the window.
19. Build Hanging Panel Shelves
Use small wood planks to create panels on the interior of the wood frame. Start with two longer planks running the length of the window parallel to each other. Then, drill smaller planks on top of them, placing them perpendicular to the longer planks. Affix hooks after every 5 to 6 small planks and use the hooks to secure your plant pots.
20. Incorporate A Ceiling Hanging Shelf
If you don’t want the plants to be in the way of your direct view, you can suspend them on a slightly higher shelf. However, this process involves drilling into your ceiling, so you may need to call a professional at least during this initial step.
Drill into the ceiling and insert hooks in a rectangular shape. Attach chains on each hook (a professional ensures the ceiling can handle this weight). Get a thick wooden plank or slab with dimensions similar to that of the rectangular area filled by the four ceiling hooks.
Drill hooks into the edges of the blank and attach each hook to the suspended chains. You should now have a hanging shelf and be ready to place your plants. Placing the hooks at the far most edge of the planks helps to keep it stable when suspended.
21. DIY A Herb Garden Stand
You can also design your shelf in the shape of a garden stand or chest. This is a great idea for storing herb pots or directly planting them in. Put together the basket using wooden planks of your choice and place it on your window sill for easy access to your herbs.
22. Design or Buy Small Plant Stool
We’ve pointed out building a plant bench above. However, this design is great for outlining and giving attention to individual plants. If you have plants you are proud of and want to show off, you can build or purchase small wooden stools you can place on your window sill to support your plant pots.
23. Affix An Extended Window Shelf
An extended window shelf offers the much-needed stability and space to add different types and sizes of plants. But, with this design, you will only be able to fit in blinds – which you have to add before putting up the permanent structure. On the bright side, it works great for any shelving material, whether metal, glass, wood, acrylic or plastic.
24. Install A Floating Shelf
If you want to keep accessories and décor in your home to a minimum, a floating shelf is just what you need. Attach a hook at the ceiling or top of the window frame, thread in a rope, and use it to support a circular or rectangular wooden plank shelf. You can then set small plants for a natural and clean look in your home.
25. Add An Under Window Shelf
When thinking of the best window shelf idea for your home, don’t limit yourself to in-window and over-the-window ideas. This design allows you to build a separate shallow, longer shelf and place it at the bottom of your window.
So, when you place your plants on it, they are still in good view from the outside and receive enough light. This design allows you to support larger plants without worrying about complicated design details.
26. Build A Window Sill Frame & Shelf
If your window’s length doesn’t run to the floor, you can build a shelf frame that runs from the sill to the floor. This shelf design lets you accommodate multiple plants of different sizes and types. You can add flowering plants at the top, regular green plants on the preceding shelves, and throw in crawling plants for a dramatic, garden look in your living room.
27. Maintain Your View With An Over-the-Window Shelf
If you want to maintain your view and even dress your window with drapes, an over-the-window shelf is a good option. Get a wooden or metal mesh shelf that runs the width of your window (you can get customized sizing at a home improvement store), drill it into the wall slightly above your window frame, and place the plants you want.
28. Put Together a Multilayered Shelf
Build a large multilayered shelf to support a variety of plants if you have a large window. In addition to supporting different size plants, this shelf design is also convenient for when you move, allowing you to take it with you. You don’t have to drill it into the window!
29. Try a Metal Plant Tray
You don’t have to always use wood to make a plant window shelf. Get a simple metal tray from a thrift store to complement your farmhouse kitchen theme.
30. Integrate Plant Crates Into Your Window Sill
Build a box-style shelf on your window sill. Attach a plank at the bottom and add four on either side to create a rectangular box, according to the width of your window. Line the bottom with a tarp, add dirt and fertilizer, and add your plants!
31. Mix It Up
You can also mix up your window plant shelf design. If you have a large or long window, build a permanent multilayered frame shelf at the bottom and drill in hooks at the top of the frame to hang more plants.
With the DIY window plant shelf ideas outlined above, there are various directions you can take for your home. The only thought load you have is figuring out which style works best for you and the time and expenses you are willing to incur.
You can also take advantage of your exterior window sill in a home or apartment, add a shelf, and keep the exterior as beautiful as the interior.