Spring Pinterest Challenge: Planting & Hanging Window Boxes

Word up my fellow Pinterest playas. Hope you got down with some baking, crafting, painting, organizing, sewing, building, or knitting fun because it’s time to share this season’s (completely unofficial) Pinterest Challenge (not sponsored by Pinterest or anyone else, just dreamed up by Katie to make us stop pinning and start doing). The only rule is to pin something you’ve wanted to get done (big or small) and do it. You know, instead of sitting on your duff pinning other things… which I’ll admit happens a whole lot in my world.

Our mission this season? Window boxes! I actually pinned two window-box related pics, this picture just for the eye candy of it (at $90+ bucks per box they’re purely for inspiration) and this tutorial for making them (which we planned to do if we couldn’t find ready-made ones in our price range). We thought they’d add some nice dimension and soft greenery to our long boxy ranch, and they’d been on our list for a while. They’re definitely not necessary for resale or anything, but we just couldn’t part with this house without seeing how cute they’d look. How’s that for being a weirdo? Anyway, here are the three windows that we thought could use some quaint greenery…

And here are the materials (the window boxes, liners and brackets) that we grabbed last week at Home Depot (we priced out building vs. buying and realized it was pretty close).

We loved that the planters were clean-lined and mid-century-ish (it was like they were made for a ranch). As for how to hang them, here’s what worked for our brick facade:

Step Numero Uno: Use a hammer drill to drill pilot holes for the screws for each bracket (after carefully marking where you want them to go by holding up the window box to make sure it’s centered).

Step Dos: Hang the brackets according to the package instructions (you’re essentially just drilling them into the pilot holes you make while adding that weird little metal thing up top (we’ll get into what that’s used for in a second). Oh but we made two mistakes for you, so now that we know what not to do, we wanted to spread the word:

  1. Don’t use the cheap/short/non-masonry screws that come with the kit! We had 2″ masonry tapcon screws that we had leftover from our fireplace project that worked really well.
  2. Don’t use a regular drill to get the screws in, be sure to use a hammer drill! It really got them in tighter and the ones we screwed with the regular drill were lose and needed to be redone.

Step Tres: Once we got our method down, it was easy to get them in nice and tightly. And then the weird metal thing on the top of the bracket could be bent over the window box once it was placed onto the bracket, thereby locking it into place. The metal thing was so soft you could just bend it with your hand. Although I should have told you guys that it was crazy hard and the only reason I could do it with my bare hand is because The Hulk is my second cousin.

Step Four: Drop the plastic liner into the planter box while making a weird face (check). Oh and be sure to pop out the two drainage holes in the plastic liner beforehand (I used a house key to smash them out since they were slightly perforated but I couldn’t get them with my finger). The cool thing about the drainage holes in the plastic liner is that they line up with the pre-drilled drainage holes in the planter box, so that was nice planning on Home Depot’s part.

You might wonder what John and Clara were doing while I was on window box duty…

Yup, they were spreading mulch. And it was adorable. And we all had about 100 inch worms on us by the time we were done outside.

But back to the window boxes. I used an old “cheaper and already grown in” trick, which is to buy two hanging baskets from a local nursery (Great Big Greenhouse, here in Richmond, where I actually had a store credit so they didn’t cost me anything). The reason hanging baskets are so smart for window boxes is because they already spill down and appear to “drip” instead of the typical pots and flats that they sell for gardening. Hello, instant gratification!

I just dumped them out and very very carefully divided them as gently as I could…

… and bam: I had a few spilling-over flowers for each window box, without having to play the waiting game while they grew over the edge.

Aren’t they cute? I have no idea what kind of flowers these are. I think the white and pink ones are petunias though. Maybe these purple guys are some other blend of mini ones?

I think the window boxes are sweet little additions. Not giant and commanding, just casual and simple. I actually love that they’re the color of the brick so the flowers are the star and they don’t look too busy. And as they continue to fill in and spill out more I think they’ll look even better.

So there you go, three window boxes, some tips for what not to do while hanging them, and one way to find already-droopy flowers to fill them.

And just look at that fresh come-hither mulch. Me-ow.

Don’t forget to check in on Katie, Emily, and Renee to see what awesome projects they’ve whipped up (they’ll all be sharing theirs sometime today as well)!


And we’d love to hear what you guys did for this season’s challenge. If you’ve already blogged about it, just:

  1. click on the blue “Add Your Link” button with the odd cartoon head at the bottom of this post (you might have to do some scrolling, depending how many projects are added)
  2. add a link to your specific blog post about your project in the url field (not your home page)
  3. where it says “name” write a descriptive name for your project (ex: “Homemade Leaf Wreath”) as opposed to your actual name
  4. we’d also love if you could quickly link back over to our project posts within your own (here’s Katie’sEmily’s and Renee’s) – it’s also nice to link to your inspiration project on Pinterest as well as to directly link to the original project/site, just so they get some love too.

And if you’d rather just link over to your project in the comment section, feel free to do that – or even add a link to a free photo sharing site like Flickr with your pics if you don’t have a blog (remember to set the gallery to public so we can all see it). I’m borderline too excited to see what you guys have been up to…


  1. says

    They look great, guys! I also love how fresh mulch looks so inviting, we just spread some mulch ourselves and I can’t stop staring at our garden beds.

    If you don’t mind me asking, how to you pick the guest hosts? Sorry if that’s a nosy question!

    • says

      Since this is Katie’s brain child, she does that each time, but her method is to look at people who shared projects that she really liked the previous season and then she reaches out to them to see if they’re interested in playing along :)


  2. says

    What a smart tip with buying hanging baskets! I did a plant-themed project this time too, but now I’m playing the waiting game while things fill out and spill over.

  3. Stephanie says

    The window boxes look great!! The purple flowers are called ‘million bells’ and they come in a huge variety of colors – they love the sun and do really well in container gardens! They also attract hummingbirds!

  4. says

    Thank you so much for hosting and congratulations on your new home (again). ;)

    I have been wanting flower boxes for our hum-drum 1960’s rancher forever. My husband just isn’t on board, but perhaps your project breakdown will help me persuade him? Thanks so much!

  5. says

    Yay!! Thanks for hosting such a fun party… can’t wait to see what everyone has been creating lately:) LOVE your window boxes… your home looks so charming. Every time I see your yellow door I start thinking about repainting mine, it is so fabulous!

  6. Karen says

    I love window boxes, but I thought the purpose of the Pinterest challenge was to link to the pin that inspired you and then to actually complete a project.

    Does buying pre-made window boxes and hanging them really count?

    • says

      Absolutely! You can pin anything and the challenge is just about getting off your duff and getting it done (even if it’s just organizing your pantry, planting annuals around the mailbox, or hanging a gallery of store bought frames)! We linked to the two pins that inspired us, and in keeping-it-real fashion, after we priced out building them (which was our initial plan) we learned that buying them was just as cost affective… so we weren’t going to build something “just for the blog” if it made more sense to buy them and share how to hang them & fill ’em with flowers (heck, that might be more helpful to most people). The Pinterest challenge is all about getting things done that you dream about doing (big or small) – and having fun along the way! :)


    • Linda says

      What I loved about this example was that (a) it’s not always cost or time effective to DIY every little (or big!) thing; (b) the tips about adding in better masonry screws and which drill bit would work best (heck, how many people have never messed with their brick exteriors and don’t know where to start), and (c) the use of hanging baskets. I just realized two years ago that it can be way cost effective to buy hanging baskets and redistribute the plants into other planters for my patio and the front entry of my condo building. Instant gratification is not always bad!!!

  7. Gretchen says

    Congratulations on your new petunias. A word of warning though – they dry out quickly and once they do, they don’t bounce back. Water regularly!

  8. says

    I’ve been wanting to add window boxes for some time. They just make a house so much cuter in my opinion. :-) Great Job!

    p.s – We all know you guys must be super busy with all the going-ons with the new house. Thank you for taking the time to host another edition of Pinterest Challenge. I love these.

  9. Cathy says

    I still can’t believe you guys are moving…again! What’s the reasoning behind it? It seems like you guys just got done remodeling the big things – kitchen and deck – don’t you want to finally enjoy it? Could it be that…*gasp!* you guys are expecting??

  10. says

    Love them! And I had never thought of using hanging baskets in window boxes for instant gratification. I’ve been debating adding window boxes to our house so I’ll have to keep that tip filed away if we do.

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