Mantel decorating with a reclaimed scrap wood window box

Mantel decorating with a reclaimed scrap wood window box filled with willow tree and honey suckle branches / funkyjunkinteriors.net
When we were in Hawaii last summer, we went to this little town called Paia, in Maui. It wears a true hippy vibe, with patchwork buildings, tall looming rustic trees, with plenty of dreadlocks and bare toes for good measure.

So when I whipped up this little window box, it yelled BOHO!

Or maybe it resembled to being found underground on LOST.

Or inspired from Fried Green Tomatoes, with plenty of cicadas buzzing in the background.

Ohhh, I just found this YouTube video with the most wonderful outdoor sounds… play THIS nature clip YOUTUBE video and we’ll just call this one a down by the river styled reclaimed scrap wood window box, and call it a day…

Mantel decorating with a reclaimed scrap wood window box filled with willow tree and honey suckle branches / funkyjunkinteriors.net
This whatever you wanna call it is casual, laid back, and my living room officially feels like I’m sitting in the middle of some swamp land somewhere, thanks to those trailing willow branches. And I LOVE it!

This place needed a little touch of spring, and my first shot is always towards the fireplace mantel.

But it would work equally well outdoors too!

So here’s how I made it, and I’ll show you a secret about it too.

crumbling wooden barrel planter
It kinda all started with this little accident. A wooden barrel that had seen better days literally crumbled at my feet as I attempted to move it. 

Gathering up some of the good chunks of wood (of course…) was a great starting point!

dryfitting the design / Mantel decorating with a reclaimed scrap wood window box
How to make this reclaimed scrap wood window box

You’ll need: (some Amazon affiliate links below)

scrap wood
cordless drill / bits
screws
rope
a stencil if desired
rusty hooks and hinges

HERE’S a post where I store my rusty junk stash.

assembling the box / Mantel decorating with a reclaimed scrap wood window box
1. Decide on the size of your box, and cut wood to size. 2 long boards, and 2 short ends.

2. Predrill holes into the four corners of the short boards, then attach with screws.

3. Cut scrap wood pieces with staggering heights, attempting to leave the tops ‘live’ if possible.

4. Attach the scraps to the front and 2 sides of the box.

5. Place planter where desired.

assembling the box / Mantel decorating with a reclaimed scrap wood window box
Here’s the secret… the box doesn’t have a bottom, in case I decide to place it outdoors and insert live, potted plants that would actually drain.

installing the scrap wood front / Mantel decorating with a reclaimed scrap wood window box

One could attach the scrap wood pieces from behind the main front, so the screws don’t show.

I actually tried that, but kept getting them crooked, so this worked for the look I was after anyway. I just inserted the screws in a super random way… as if I wasn’t wearing my glasses maybe…

Isn’t rustic decorating grand? You can DO NO WRONG.

Attaching a rope and hardware / Mantel decorating with a reclaimed scrap wood window box
Here’s the BEST part! This is where I look at something and yawn because I saw it coming. That just won’t do.

So I rummaged through my rusty junk bins, grabbed some twine and made it look as if the rope was holding it together for dear life.

Nothing like a little drama thrown in.

Attaching a rope and hardware / Mantel decorating with a reclaimed scrap wood window box
Three drills were hard at work producing something that resembled it was found with no work at all…

Imagine.

Attaching a rope and hardware / Mantel decorating with a reclaimed scrap wood window box
Stenciling numbers onto the wood / Mantel decorating with a reclaimed scrap wood window box / funkyjunkinteriors.net
And… well, you know how I feel about old signed up stuff, but I didn’t want that look to overpower this piece.

So I just used a few numbers off the large BINGO stencil HERE, and faded out the last number. 

Mantel decorating with a reclaimed scrap wood window box / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Oh goodness… could this be any more me?

Mantel decorating with a reclaimed scrap wood window box / funkyjunkinteriors.net

And because this one was about bringing a little spring indoors, I sized the box to work perfectly on the fireplace mantel.

Mantel decorating with a reclaimed scrap wood window box filled with willow tree and honey suckle branches / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Read more about how this fireplace was built HERE

Nothing is really growing yet. So a big willow tree out back saved the day for something to trail, and the honeysuckle bush got raided for a little branchy green-ness.

A few really old branches from my moody winter mantel finished it off.

Mantel decorating with a reclaimed scrap wood window box filled with willow tree and honey suckle branches / funkyjunkinteriors.net

Mantel decorating with a reclaimed scrap wood window box filled with willow tree and honey suckle branches / funkyjunkinteriors.net

Sweet tea, anyone?

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Categories: All Cool Projects, DIY, Fireplace mantels, Gardening, Junk Drawer, Reclaimed wood projects, Seasonal, Spring, Summer
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  1. Love the window box and the random screws and the rope to hold it all together! It looks great on your mantel with spring trailing down. I am surprised you have that much green going on at this time of year. We are not that far along here in Maryland. In fact, we had a little snow today. But I am so looking forward to spring. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Donna, I love it. I am truly a fan of your site. I work with old boards and rusty metal because it’s mostly free and it suits me perfectly. I anxiously wait for your crafty ideas. It would take me months to be Better Homes and Gardens ready but it is a good life. Please continue ‘talking’… you are so very enjoyable.

  3. Loving it, Donna!!!

    If I read many more of these posts of yours, I’m going to have to move back into a house again so I can have a basement or workshop area! ?

  4. Those are some beautiful pieces of weather wood and I love your project and your mantel display. Very charming.
    Have a happy weekend!
    Connie 🙂

  5. This little box is so quaint! I just love it. Leaving the bottom out must make it much lighter and easier to maneuver. The hardware and rope give it just enough interest. Nice job! I’m sure you could sell these at your annual junk fair.

  6. Cute, cute, cute – I pinned it! I’ve got an old wine barrel in my basement that’s missing two of the rings, but I’m still hoping to salvage it. It’s one of the few things that survived a tornado at my cousin’s house, so I’d love to save it.

  7. I think you’ve really captured of piece of that little Maui town in this window box. Love this, it so unique even without the rope and hardware, but those touches are what also make it a Funky Junk creation!

  8. I think we need to call you the Junk Whisperer! And HGTV needs to have you star in a show where people bring in their broken junk and you figure out what to do with it and turn it into one of a kind masterpieces. Donna you are the salvaging queen! Love all of the details on this planter box! Who would have thought that a broken barrel planter would become two new gorgeous projects And your photos never disappoint! Seriously drooling! ;o)

  9. I love how you see all these great things that most people want to pitch!
    (Not me – I keep it all!)….and love to see what can be done with it from you! I just love everything you make!! Many thanks!

  10. My nine year old is reading this post with me and loves your mantel box as well as I do! Looks like I need to make one too…LOVE this idea!!

  11. Super use of the wood! And THANKS for a GREAT idea, I also had same experience with my barrels 4, caving when moving them!
    Can’t wait to put my orbs together, thanks again.

  12. That is perfect for you and the mantle! The little extras (twine, latch, stencil) are what makes it so special and shows your real genius! 😉