CEDAR WINDOW BOXES

Build Flower Boxes for Windows

The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. -Psalms 92:12

The Hebrew word for cedar is `erez, meaning “to be firm”. Scripture refers to cedar often in prescriptive analogies and also descriptive details of construction. Some historians say the biblical world was built of cedar. In Psalm 92, a righteous man is said to “grow like a cedar in Lebanon.” From palaces and boats, Lebanese cedar was highly desirable for its virtuous properties.

Lebanese cedars grow on the tops of mountains and are not found in lowlands. They have a robust trunk and can grow over 100 ft. high, standing above other trees. This type of timber is costly, based on its scarcity and difficulty in harvesting it. They are an evergreen and grow in clusters with entwined branches for strength. The cedars of Lebanon withstand horrible weather, are resistant to bugs and rot, but also have a pleasant scent.

So why the comparison of a cedar to a righteous man? The bible says that righteous men and women are hard to find. You won’t find them slumming in lowlands, but standing out from others in high places with a firm foundation. They show growth all year and entwine themselves with their church family to withstand terrible seasons of life. They are resistant to pests and parasites who try to chew them up. And righteous men are pleasant to interact with; they don’t leave people with a crinkled nose from the stench of pride.

If you are like me, you are evaluating yourself presently to see how you measure up to this kind of righteousness . . . and now you are trying to decide how to attain it. The key points to me are 1) working diligently at our relationship with God, and 2) establishing accountability with a family of believers. Through Scripture, God constantly makes demands of us that are we not capable of doing alone. “Be strong”, “don’t be afraid”, “show honor to everyone”, “love others like yourself”, “be grateful for everything.” It sounds very difficult and a little unfair for Him to demand it of us, doesn’t it?

But God commands us to do things we can’t do without Him. To be a cedar is to be firm. And where we fail to lean on the Lord for strength, it sure helps to have people entwined in your life to hold you up in His direction.

Step 1) Plan & Design

This is the original photo of our house; it’s a little bland on the outside. I’m not sure how long it will be until we can do an overhaul on the siding and windows. So until then, I’m going to slap a little lipstick on the pig (or shall I say ox, given its coloring, #BabetheBlueOx).

And this is close to what I picture the house becoming eventually. Probably not this color palette.

It wouldn’t look exactly like this due to the shape of the yard and driveway, but similar. I love how the flower boxes dress up the windows. This is Nate-approved, so looking forward to some lovely curb appeal.

We went to Home Depot to buy cedar lumber- they were significantly cheaper than Lowes. We bought eleven 1″x8″x8′ boards and had them cut in the store. Not because we can’t cut them at home, but because our blazer is broken down and we are currently using our Mini Cooper as a truck. 🙂 I have to admit I’ve been a little embarrassed as people watch us pile things into the Mini from floor to ceiling. When we unload it, it looks like a clown car ate Mary Poppin’s handbag.

I would recommend having them cut in the store because they can do a pile of boards at once and this saved us a ton of time. The cuts were a little rough, but for this project it was just fine. We bought enough lumber to do 4 small windows and the large living room window.  We were also surprised that the boards were very light in color being untreated (I should mention I have only worked with cedar once before). So I went to pick up some stain so they would match the garage door (that I will finish one of these days).

At this time I am picturing a very basic cedar box with no added trim due to the cost. It’s possible I could dress them up in the future if funds allow, but for now I am literally making a box to fit the window, and brackets to support the weight. I did some research and saw that a lot of people don’t use brackets. And I can see why given the extra cost. But I have read that they will eventually dip forward and work the screws out of the side from the weight. I really didn’t want to take the chance after all of the work and $ we are investing. Doing the math, it is cheaper to build them than buy.

So we got the lumber home and was pretty confident that our math was correct. I’d find out soon enough!
Step 2) Build Boxes
After the lumber was just sitting in the garage for several weeks, we finally got a rainy-enough weekend to justify starting this project.
First, I cleaned out a good work space, assembled my table on saw horses, and got out the miter saw.
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Then, I turned on the air compressor, which I have to admit I was deeply afraid of. My dad instilled a fear that if I used one without help it would blow up on me (I was 8, so that was reasonable). But thankfully, Nate is a firm believer that an educated person doesn’t need to be afraid (so said his hand gun, the fuse box, and the hot water heater). So he showed me how to use everything with precautions and I was good to go.
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I loaded the nail gun and Nate gave me extras for refill. After the air compressor built enough pressure in the tank, I attached the nail gun and hose.
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I then grabbed the pieces needed to fit the 37″ window and made my cuts. It was important to Nate to hide the seams of the box from the front, so I exposed them on the sides. I cut my sides to make a box that is 7″ deep- room to hold enough soil to keep the plants moist, but not too heavy.
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I carefully chose the prettiest piece for the front. Then ran a line of glue along my seam.

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I fit the two pieces together, and shot my nail gun (careful to keep my fingers out of the way). At first, I pulled the trigger with my chin right over the back of the gun, and the kick back of air startled me to the point I thought I had accidently shot myself. Now I know why professionals hold it off to the side. Duh.

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But after I got the hang of it, I was flying through. The bottom piece needed to be slightly shorter to fit into the box, hiding the seam. I made sure to use enough nails for stability (I read online that the store bought ones seemed really flimsy and fell apart easily).

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And this is my first one, done!

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Then I made three more just like it to fit the smaller windows.

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For the large living room window, I built 3 boxes that will butt together. These are 39” long vs the four 37” ones I just built, but same depth.

After the seven boxes were done, I had lumber leftover. And all of my tools were still out, so . . . I built another small one for the basement window. And then one to fit by the mailbox (I may put the house numbers on it).

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Btw, this is what I always look like on the weekends. I’m really grateful Nate still finds me attractive.

This is my pile of completed boxes. Given they are cedar, they will hold up just fine. But before I hang them I’m going to stain and seal them a bit darker; this will also protect them from discoloration.

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I got all of this done in 3 hours Saturday morning; plenty of time to work outside for a bit. More to come with staining and hanging!

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