Build a mobile home for indoor plants

Houseplants are happiest when they’re next to a window. This movable window box is a handsome home for potted plants. It’s sized to hold a pair of off-the-shelf plastic boxes to prevent water from leaking out and damaging floors or rugs.

The window box is built from a half sheet of plywood and is trimmed with lengths of 1-by-3 and pieces of thin molding. Furniture castors mounted to the base make it easy to move the unit. Materials are available at home stores.


1. Following the plan, cut the plywood pieces.

2. Make an open box by butting and nailing end pieces to side pieces.

3. Add bottom supports, nailing them to the insides of side pieces, flush with lower edges.

4. Turn the box upside down, put castor plates in each corner, and mount castors with 1 1/4-inch screws.

5. Using pieces of the 1-by-3, make a mitered frame with outside dimensions measuring 16 by 37 inches. Glue and nail each corner joint. When dry, center and nail it to the top of the box.

6. Cut pieces of mitered 1-by-3s to wrap around the base of the box. Position them to be 3/4 inch above floor level.

7. Measure the distance between the 1-by-3 skirt and top. Cut the pine molding to that length. Butt pieces together at each end and secure them with glue and wire brads. Equally space and secure remaining strips.

8. Countersink all nails, fill holes with wood filler, sand smooth, and paint. For an aged patina, we sanded back through the paint randomly to expose wood. Place plastic storage boxes inside finished window box.

Adding plants: One-gallon plants fill the box pictured previously. Use bricks or turned-over pots to lift smaller potted plants above the rim of the window box. Cover plastic box tops with sphagnum moss. 


TIME: A weekend

COST: About $70


Table or circular saw


Electric drill

Miter box


Putty knife



Half sheet 3/4-inch plywood

1 1/2-inch finishing nails

Four full-pivoting furniture castors with flat mounting plate

16 1 1/4-inch wood screws

20 feet alder 1-by-3

Wood glue

16 feet 1/4-by-1 pine molding

Wire brads

Wood filler


1 quart paint (we used flat interior)

Plastic storage boxes (Clear Storage Box, model 2222 from Rubbermaid; about $5 each)

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