If your windows
are not inset into the wall, you can still add shelves, but you will
need to buy brackets to install on either side of the window. These
shelves will not be inset into the window opening; instead, they will
be in front.
Measure your window
opening's height, width and depth and determine where to place your
shelves. Space shelves about 10 to 12 inches apart and make sure they
are placed out of the reach of young children. For inset shelves, cut
your shelves to the full opening depth, and ¼" shorter than the width.
Shelves can be made
of wood (painted or covered in shelf paper), glass or sturdy wire mesh.
To create an airy greenhouse look, we used ¼" shelf glass in our window
herb garden. If you use glass, be sure to ask the glasscutter how much
weight your shelf will safely hold when cut to size, and request finished
shelf edges. If your neighborhood hardware store cannot help with this,
buy your glass from a glass shop or picture-framing store that can.
Step 2: Cut molding for shelf bracket
Cut two pieces of molding for each shelf to the full depth measurement.
Sand edges and paint with acrylic craft paint to match or contrast with
the window frame
Step 3: Measure
shelf heights and attach molding to the first side.
On one side of the window opening, mark where the bottom of the lowest
shelf will sit. Measure the distance between that mark and the bottom
Use three of the
finishing nails to attach one piece of molding just under that mark.
Starting at the center point of the molding, drive the first nail through
the molding and into the window frame. Use a small level to ensure the
molding has no tilt (rotate the molding as needed to straighten). Then
finish this part of the step by driving each remaining nail halfway
between the center nail and the end of the molding piece.
Use a countersink
(or a large nail) to push the nail heads slightly beneath the surface
of the molding. Cover each nail head with a dab of paint.
Step 4: Level
the first shelf and attach molding to the other side
On the other side of the window, mark the same molding height, but beware:
That mark will be only a rough guide. Despite appearances most windows
are not exactly square, so you can't count on measuring up from the
bottom to guide you to the right height to attach your shelf. But you
can overcome any house's quirks by using a level. It works like this:
Now that molding is up on one side, lay the shelf in place with a level
on top and adjust the height of the shelf's free end, above or below
the mark you've made there, until your level lets you know that the
shelf is perfectly square. Then indicate the ideal placement - avoid
confusion by using the different-color pencil - by marking where the
bottom of the shelf should be. Attach the opposite molding at that mark,
the same way you did on the first side.