Monday, July 12, 2010

My Chippy White Window Box

Back in April, I spent a weekend creating a window box for my front porch.

Window before

I ran out of spare rough-hewn boards for the façade of my studio last fall,
and now that the weather’s mild I tackled this.
Just a piece of old plywood sufficed.

Then, I screwed the $8 window boxes I bought at the
Price Chopper grocery store on to get an idea where to build the ‘holder’.

It really helps to have a drill bit to pre-drill holes for screws.
The wood doesn’t split as easily and it hastens the fastening of the screws.
It’s easier to back them out as opposed to pulling nails if you make a mistake, too.
I make a lot of mistakes, so I’m always at Dubben’s Hardware in Delhi
getting half pounds of screws measured out on their antique scale.

I’m very lucky to have a lot of scrap wood left over from other projects.
My appliqués are handy, as is my rose-pattered china bowl of odd screws and tools.

The sides are cut with a circular saw, and go up courtesy of my pneumatic nailer
with 18 gauge nails, ($75 plus the $200 for the air compressor,
bought nearly 10 years ago when we began the huge renovation on our first house
saving us THOUSANDS in contractor bills).
It's there in the corner of the picture with its long orange hose.

Then, the trim and appliqués go on (with wood glue and a few pneumatic nails)
and the plastic window box inserts go in.

This is my favorite part of any project:
the moment it actually looks like something you had in mind!

Sunday morning, I am encouraged by Saturday’s progress,
and I hope to put that step to the door up at long last, too.
My little Maltese dogs can’t have ingress and egress without my assistance, you see.

Set up to paint with my pneumatic paint sprayer ($40) that attaches to my air compressor.
Actually, the sprayer cost $20 at Tractor Supply’s big Memorial Day sale last year,
and I thought I was getting a huge deal because they’re normally $40.
And then I learned I had to buy extra fittings at Auto Parts Plus to make it work,
so it was 40 bucks anyway.

And, your paint has to be thinned to use a sprayer, so you save on paint.
It’s great for chippy things because the chips don’t come off the
way they do when you use a paint brush or roller.
The set up and clean up is the longest part: the spraying took maybe a minute or two.

I set in my Bobo Pink myosotis – pink Forget-Me-Nots,
bought at my favorite farmstand Hanover’s of Mount Tremper, NY on Rt. 28.
April is way too cold to plant these fresh-from-the-greenhouse beauties.
I kept these indoors at night.

The wreath appliqué is $5.25 from The Bella Cottage,
and the swags are $10.95 each from Do-It-Yourself-Chic.

When mid-May arrived I finally planted some lilac-white petunias
(two hanging baskets I split in half, then planted in each window box)
and this new annual that looks like self-seeded white alyssum!

The bluets (Houstonia) are kept in their container so that I can plant them
 in the grass after they finish blooming.   I wish I had the money for a whole flat of them,
but they were $4 each. I grabbed some other goodies, like a lilac flowered,
variegated leaf pulmonaria (Jacob’s Ladder), and some stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ears).
I at least can say I pumped a lot of money into the local economy.

I have no self control when it comes to plants!

I had enough time left to fashion a step out of scrap wood.

The tread is three pieces of a park bench we found
stuck in the muck of our stream bank when we bought our property.
My King suggested I make the front panel into a hinged door so I have storage.
Great idea.

Until next time, stay shabby!

I will be sharing this with:

Please come and see all the pretty entries!

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I think your window boxes turned out beautifully. Then again, I am not surprised. Everything in your dtudio is beautiful.

the cardigan-inn said...

Well done! It looks fabulous.

Margaret said...

It looks fantastic and I loved seeing how you made it. Just adore your studio.

Daphne Nicole & Lynda Cade said...

What a wonderful job! It looks gorgeous. Thanks so much for the tutorial!!!

It's me said...

O wowwww..i saw your beautiful little house in the wood an two blogs this morning !!! wahat a amazing house !! and blog you have,......i folloe you know............and thanks !! for Federica......and Dani to share i found you !! have a nice week !!! love Ria...

A Cottage Muse said...

Looks so wonderful! Love the tip of using the sprayer to paint over the chips! Have a great week!!

Claudia said...

I love the way the window box turned out, Sandy. And your sweetie's idea of hinging that step is inspired.


Garden Antqs Vintage said...

Sandy, you did an absolutely beautiful job as always. Love it. Hope you have a great week, Theresa

Anonymous said...

Your window box is just gorgeous! It's the perfect finishing touch to the porch ~ the whole place is simply gorgeous! I would so much love to have a place like that. :)

Lori Katies Rose Cottage said...

Sandy ~
That is so beautiful !! I love window boxes with pretty flowers flowing down ~
You are such a talented gal !!


mariondee-designs said...

Truly inspiring.. love the choice of flowers too...take care, Maryann

Carousel Dreams said...

Clever girl! This looks so pretty...

Creative Ambitions said...


Glenda said...

wow what a lovely job you did, it all looks so grand and so pretty.,I love your blog,.love from Glenda

Jeanine Burkhardt said...

OMG!*!*! Sandy- YOU are just AmAziNg!!! I loved the hint about "spray-painting" stabilizing the natural chippy paint patina... Just GoRgeOuS!*!*! Jeanine, ChiPPy!SHaBBy!

Ozma of Odds said...

...oh my! I would love to borrow your magic wand!! I admire the way you approach a project, you see, you do!!!!!
~ simply fabulous :)
xo, Rosemary

Crystal said...

Your so creative!!! I love it! Window boxes make everything better! I love the hidden door in the step....brilliant!

mo said...

You make it look so easy! Just beautiful. You are such a rare talent. Just know we appreciate your work very much. *hugs*

MJ Ornaments said...

Sandy, your window box came out so well, and I love the white flower choices. Great idea for storage under the stair too. Take care, Martha

Sharon~heartsongs said...

That is beautiful! I am so amazed how you can take any old scrap and make it something so beautiful.

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

You are so talented! It looks wonderful!~Patti

Anonymous said...

Brilliant & beautiful!!! :)

Ms. Bake-it said...

Looks fabulous Sandy! I love window boxes and cannot wait for next year when I can finally add some to my house. Love the idea of adding a hinge to use the step as storage.

fairmaiden said...

You are so creative and you build things like my Carpenter hubby does! So impressive. I lOve your garden window box!!!

Oh...and your lil puppy peeking out from above the step...priceless.

Boxwood Cottage said...

You did a fabulous job on these gorgeous shabby plant containers again Sandy! I just love how you do it all by yourself without much help of your king. After I read the article about you, loosing your home and all, I think you don't have an easy life and I admire what you achieved and do even more!
Also thank you for sharing the links to the pretty swags and wreath!

xoxo~ Carola

Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

Oh Sandy,
You are such an inspiration, thank you! It turned out beautifully and I love the idea of having storage in the step... perfect.
I just re-read your article, it put a little pep in my step for things I have in mind around this old house. I more than understand about no will power with plants, spent the weekend outside (my therapy!).

Debby said...

Love flower boxes and yours are so nice and chippy.

Brenda-shabbycatsandroses said...

Hi Sandy :) Love, love, love your window boxes! They look wonderful and look as though they have been a part of your lovely studio for years :)

Warmest hugs, Brenda

Revamped French Maison said...

Sandy your window box is perfect! Those little flowers are so dainty and whimsical too. I need to make some for a few windows on our home too.

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

I love this window box. Great tutorial. I need to make window boxes for my house. This post was a great inspiration.

Prencie said...

Love, love, love!!! Thanks for sharing!!!:)

Anonymous said...

I love the window box. It turned out just beautiful.Your studio is so beautiful...Kathy

Atelier de Charo said...

Wonderful project, great!

Home and Heart said...

Every time I visit I can hardly breathe. So much loveliness!! I don't think I would want to ever leave, if I had such a gorgeous getaway!

Cinderella Moments said...

Hi Sandy! Love your flower box! I finished the doll house! Tell me what you think.


My Cottage Charm said...

Hi ya Sandy! :)
I absolutely love your window box! I used to have the sweetest window boxes at our last house, but we moved about 4 years ago and I haven't gotten around to building any new ones for this house. (been too busy working on the inside) I'm thinking I might have to get busy and build some next spring. (or maybe make em' now so they'll be all ready for next spring!) Thanks for the inspiration!
I LOVE all your flower choices too! Oh and I have NO control whatsoever when it comes to purchasing flowers either! :)
Blessings & Hugs

My Cottage Charm said...

Hi ya Sandy! :)
I absolutely love your window box! I used to have the sweetest window boxes at our last house, but we moved about 4 years ago and I haven't gotten around to building any new ones for this house. (been too busy working on the inside) I'm thinking I might have to get busy and build some next spring. (or maybe make em' now so they'll be all ready for next spring!) Thanks for the inspiration!
I LOVE all your flower choices too! Oh and I have NO control whatsoever when it comes to purchasing flowers either! :)
Blessings & Hugs

a Bohemian Market said...

Hi Sandy:
Absolutely divinely shabby; what a great idea for the hinged door for storage. Your King is marvelous too.
My dream is to be back living on Oahu before I am 65. I can see doing some of the things you have done in your shabby little white stream side cottage. Thank goodness you let us know how you get it all done : ) Thank you. Have a wonderful week.
ZuZu is so beautiful!!!

Sylvia (at) Lily's Pad and Petals said...

Hi Sandy
Love love love that window box and you know how much I love your little studio.
I am getting ready to paint 6 dining room chairs and am getting ready to buy a compressor and sprayer. Can you tell me about your compressor (what size or however they describe them)?

Vintage Rose Collection said...

Sandy, you are quite the handy diva! A little bitty thing like you with big man power tools. I need you to come over to my house. now! LOL
I really wish I had the talent to do what you have done to your cottage. You amaze me!


Anonymous said...

You are an endless source of inspiration!! Thanks for showing us how it's done. I've been wanting to put up window boxes on my house, but can never find ones that I like or are in my budget. I may just build some, after seeing your post! Thanks for the motivation!!
~ Jo :)

clustres said...

Wonderful! Hey, I did a post about your cottage on my blog before I even knew to follow you!

helle - said...

I truly admire the skills you have and the tutorials you are giving!

Shanna said...

oh my achin' word. i am lovin' your blog!
and now i am hell bent on building my very own cottage! wow. truly amazing. im inspired.
hope you don't mind if i feature you in a post (with your link attached, of course!).

One Shabby Old House said...

OH MY FABULOUS! I feel like a junky visiting your blog. Waiting for my next fix of " lovely" and you have yet to let me down.


Cute, cute cute :)

Isabelle - Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

I am so impressed with what you have created! It looks so romantic and beautiful! I love it!
Isabelle x

Jackie said...

Miss Sandy~~
Now you've got me wanting an ole fish shack or travelin trailer to redo!!
You're the greatest (and so talented). Thank you for all of your inspiration!
Hugs from Florida to NY!

Megan {ShabbyBlogs} said...

I am blown away by all of this. BLOWN AWAY. Talk about inspiring!

Cindy Adkins said...

I am in awe of all you have done...It is like a storybook tale...totally amazing!!! Oh my goodness, I will be thinking about it all day...You are so talented!

Hamptontoes said...

I am so happy to have found out that you have a blog. I read your article in the NY Times with such delight. I love your passion to create a beautiful surrounding! I will be checking in often. I too, love the Catskills. We have friends who have a place there and we visit it twice a year...what a special place you reside. Your cottage is beyond charming!

Charity said...

Holy moly girl! I am in LOVE with this studio, and your blog. I absolutely adore everything girlie! I went through your whole blog and of course I am a new follower now, because I just can't get enough! Beautiful!!!

Missypixie Doodle said...

I was just on a blog > = and saw your wonderful project of the cottage. That's is the most lovely building/structure I have seen in a long time.
Your dogs are so cute!!
Any chance I can just squeeze in a corner for the night? lol.
Thank you for sharing <3

Fata Sabrina said...

Mamma mia, che meraviglia!!!
Un posto incantato ideale per le fate

Laboratorio Delle Fate

LuLu Kellogg said...

Hi Sandy~

I just found your Blog whilst Blog hopping. I love your wee is just full of sparkle and magic!

LuLu Kellogg ♥

Patyclau said...

I'm really in love with your studio, a wonderful job, congratulations.

Patti said...

I love what you created for your front porch! Beautiful!

Lori said...

Wow, just found your blog! Beautiful! You are so talented. I would love to just sit in the little cottage... or just sit & stare!

g.suzie said...

Love the window box, you are an amazing artist. . .Your studio is every girl's dream! I'll be checking your blog for more great ideas and posts!

Debbie @ said...

HI Sandy, nice to visit you for the first time. I enjoyed reading your post and hearing your thoughts as you were doing the project. Very funny and yes I followed every thought and enjoyed the end project! It is fun to see the before and after and yes the orange cord in the photo. Loved that...I too have a few of those. I will be back for more visiting!

Marie said...

I'm a new visitor from Outdoor Wednesday and it's so good to see your blog. Your little studio is amazing! I also want to congratulate you being featured in NY times. Soo deserving. I'm your newest follower!

meandering pearl said...

how beautiful!!! i do love window boxes!!! & i have something special for you from my giveaway!!! sending loveliness

Julie said...

I am loving the window box . It is just what I like! the flowers are awesome. And your little models are just the cutest! Thanks so much for sharing over at Kathleens. I loved visiting!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Your window box really turned out great-love it!

Tania - Grange de Charme said...

How amazing ! I made a post today over your charming little cottage that I found on Fifi's blog and I just discovered right now the owner of the cottage and the blog ! I am so glad to found your blog I really LOVE it ! I make a link from my french blog to your's and I'll make a post about you as soon as possible, I'll tll you ! Have a great week and yes i'll stay shabby ! Xoxo

Molly Mo's said...

Oh my gosh, just found your blog and it is amazing! I love your window box and the great step by step instructions. I'll be visiting often!


Digella said...

Checking in from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia!

Lovely little place you have here.

I am just in LOVE!

Vintage Girl said...

Hi Sandy,

The window box is beautiful! Love it.

Fine Bessot said...

Bonjour Sandy, je viens de découvrir votre petite maison sur le site du New-York Times. Je suis éblouie. En tant que romancière je cherche un endroit calme pour écrire, je crois que je l'ai trouvé, du moins l'idée. J'ai édité un post sur mon blog parce que ce lieu représente pour moi le summum du calme.
Merci et avec toute mon amitié.

Electronic translation :

Hello Sandy, I have just discovered your small house on the site of the New York Times. I am dazzled. As novelist I look a quiet place to write, I believe that I found it, at least the idea. I published a post on my blog because this place represents for me the highlight of the peace.
Thank you and with all my friendship.

Lilla Blanka said...


WOW..! I´ve been sitting here for at last half an hour looking through your absolutely gorgeous blog now, and I really need to get back to my kitchen renovation (but it´s hard, hihi).

I´ll put you on my linklist and get back soon again :)

Thanks for lots lots of inspiration!!!

Mia (a.k.a Lilla Blanka of Sweden)

revesdargile.canalblog said...

Wonderfull, wonderfull !!
It's fabulous !
I'm falling in love !!


KarenHarveyCox said...

You have certainly created a fairytale cottage. I just popped over from Anita's post. I was reading your precious posts and browsing all of your gorgeous photographs of your enchanting creation.

You certainly can take something as ordinary as a simple window box and turn it into perfection. So nice to meet you.

Fete et Fleur said...

It's beautiful! I just saw your Home and Garden Feature, it is breathtaking. You have created an amazing space to dream.


bloomerie said...

It's really neat to see how you've taken really basic materials that EVERYONE has access to and made something with such incredible impact.

Looks like a million!

(And thank you for stopping by my blog. I'm so excited to be able to follow along with you on your blog!)

Linda said...

That turned out really great! I love window boxes but sadly,I have no place on my little house to put them. I just found your site and I love everything! Thanks for sharing!

Cate said...

Dearest Sandy,
I've stumbled upon your blog "by accident" reading the article in the New York Times which Carina from Made in Persbo posted recently.
I must say, your cute little cabin is a DREAM COME TRUE! My heart stopped there for a second looking and awing at the pictures ...
I will definetely drop by here more often, I hope you don't mind me linking you to my blog?
Cate from Germany

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dear Sandy,
I was so moved by your featured piece in the New York Times this week that I spoke about you on my blog. I have sent over some friends to your blog and they are totally in love with your ingenuity and talents, as I am!!! Your vision is right up my alley, as my husband and I are also DIY people! I have provided a link to your blog with a link to the article as well. Thank you for the inspiration and I am now a follower!!! Much admiration, Anita

Gail said...

Sandy, I love your chippy window box, it is so pretty on your studio. I am off to see more of your posts, and find your follow button.

Linda said...

Sandy, this is just charming! So pretty and love the chippy wood! The step is a great storage idea, too!

Debbie~ said...

Your window box is terrific and your flowers look so pretty! Your King was smart to think of making the niffty little storage area under the step, great idea! Your studio always inspires me...well actually it's YOU who inspires me and your studio is truly a beautiful tribute of lovliness that comes from within you! Debbie @ Cottage Hann~Me~Downs

Anonymous said...

From France : your blog is a dream ! You are the fairy of this cottage...

Norma said...

I missed this post before :(

What a fabulous way to do a window box, and thanks so much for the tip on using spray on paint to preserve a chippy surface.

Ha, how cool to store your things in the step - that's genuine ingenuity!

Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

I love it! I just love everything about the little cottage! I am thinking of getting a sprayer. It would make short work of painting and give a nicer coverage. I am curious of what you think of the sprayer. Totally understand if you don't have time to answer! Your a celebrity now!!!

Candylei said...

Hi: We saw your article in the New York times and our jaws dropped and we have not been the same ever since. I am so glad you are getting the recognition you so deserve!

I am not looking at my old white shed in a different light and am already looking for new (old) doors for it as a beginnng. I already have the windows. Mine could never look as drop dead gorgeous as yours, but it will be a place of peaceful whites and light!

Please tell us more about your book as it happens? Maybe you will come to the D.C. are for a book signing????

Keep up your lovely blog and keep creating.
From Maryland,

Gail Griner Golden said...

Thanks for this - planning to add window boxes to my home,too. I love your is gorgeous. Shalom, Gail

Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage said...

Your window boxes are absolutely gorgeous!

I so admire how you take whatever you have and make your world more beautiful. You're such an inspiration!

Jennifer Rizzo said...

These turned out gorgeous!!!

Cyriaque_L said...

That's a very good idea which makes its effect ! So lovely ! Your Shabby blog makes me dream !

Nasheikah said...

your blog is so yoummy ! your home so sweet !
I am moving into a tiny home and you just made me feel so good ! i cant wait to let love expand my new home !!! thank you for showing the world your lovely world!!!
alls i can say is wow . you hit the nail on the head ...ur living my dream: land, man , mobile home ,dream home, roses ....beautiful pics...did i say i was inspired...did i say thanx ????
smilez !

Anonymous said...

R. U. Kidding. Me. I think i'm going to DIE! this is a little piece of heaven!!!!! ***FAINTS*** wakes to take another peek at the chandelier *Faints again*
Jenny Shain

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Hi Sandy, I've been catching up on your's so beautiful! I really love this window box! You have so much talent!

Jacqueline said...

Fabulous tutorial, Sandy! Lush window boxes can sometimes be so tricky to achieve, because they look effortless ... but it takes a bit of know how to get there. I love what you've done. Thanks for taking time to share the results! xx

Marie Lang said...

Your tutorial is so helpful! I recently moved form a vintage home, circa 1922 in Cols. OHIO toa 1970's home in Mesa, Az. Your blog tutorial has helped me to get a vision of how to make a new thing look and feel like it was always there. Thanks and blessings to you in your creative life!!!marie


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