One thing I started to notice about my window well garden was how flat it looked. You really only have one viewing angle, straight on from the inside, so everything is on the same level. I have been in love with some risers I had seen at a fruit stand near our house. Sadly they closed last year. They had a “yard sale” on Saturday so I went hoping the risers would be in my price range. Unfortunately they were not ($200!) and they were also way too big, so really, it was a good thing. It started me thinking that I should be able to easily build my own though. The best part of creating my own is that the only thing I had to buy were screws! You may be thinking I had to buy the wood. I’ll tell you a little secret… a lot of wood gets discarded when people are building new homes. They throw away perfectly good wood! My brother lives in a new development so he frequently checks the dumpsters near new houses for wood. I new he had a stash so I went and grabbed some from him. I got 4 pieces of wood that were each 43″x3.5″. I ended up only using two and a half pieces. Not bad!
You might also be thinking, you had to buy paint too! True, I did at some point have to buy paint but I used paint I already had from other projects (some of which I still need to post). I did however, get some of the paint for free. A while back Ace Hardware had a coupon for a free quart of paint so I ended up using that on this project too. Overall this was a very inexpensive project!
Here is what I did:
First, you’ll want to create a drawing of how you want the riser to look along with the measurements. While I had a pretty good idea in my head of what I wanted I was very glad I drew out the plan. My wonderful husband was happy to help too. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just enough to give you and idea of what you want. Once we had a plan drawn out I wrote down the sizes of board I needed cut and how many I would need of each size.
Then you’ll want to gather all the tools you’ll need: wood, saw, screws, screwdriver, paint, paintbrush, and newspaper.
Next, you’ll want to measure and mark the boards so you know exactly where to cut. Measure twice cut once!
After you measure (and double check your measurements) go ahead and make the cuts! I didn’t get any photos of cutting because I was by myself :)
Once all your boards are cut you can piece them together to make sure they fit properly, and to see how you’ll need to attach them.
Then you’ll go ahead and screw it all together! I should have taken a little more time and drilled holes for the screws to go into so that the wood didn’t split. But…. I didn’t, so the wood split in places. I ended up putting two screws into each board to make it extra strong. I’d say it worked out pretty well though!
While the plain wood looks great I decided to give it a little more personality and add some chevron stripes. To do this I first spray painted two coats of yellow over the whole riser.
Once the paint was dry I used masking tape to mask off the chevron shapes. You’ll find I’m not super precise on things like this… I just estimated where I thought they should go and started taping. I didn’t measure in between the strips to make sure they were even, I just eye balled it.
You should then spray paint again with the base color to prevent the top coat from bleeding. Again, not being super precise I didn’t do this and ended up with a little bit of bleed in the end, but oh well! So after putting the tape down I painted over the top with my (free) blue paint and waited for it to dry.
Once the paint was dry I did a second coat and waited for it to dry again. When that was dry I pulled off the tape to reveal the beautiful chevron!
It was a little skiwampus but overall really even and consistent. I then put the riser inside the birdhouse I purchased at Deseret Industries for $5 (awesome deal right? this thing is so big!) and placed my succulent containers on top. I am so happy with how it turned out! It is a little difficult to see through the birdhouse so I’m thinking I will cut of the back so it is completely open (and then have the back face forward) but I need to find some really heavy duty dikes first.
My little window well garden is pretty much finished! I’m making a few changes and then I’ll show you the whole thing. I’m sure it will constantly be changing but it is definitely looking more put together now!