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Decorative Window Shelf

Install this shelf -- made from ornate brackets and a stair tread -- in front of a window, and then fill it with sun-loving plants or your favorite accessories.

Plant shelf below window sill

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 day

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Screwdriver
  • Ruler or straightedge
  • Electronic stud finder
  • Level
  • Wall anchors (optional)
  • Wood glue
  • Painter’s tape


  • 36 x 11-1/2-in unfinished red oak stair tread, #46009 (Model XBTRO1136)
  • 2 - 11-1/4 x 3-1/2-in pine shelf brackets, #64384
  • Valspar signature satin paint, Michigan Ave. (#ar1421)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online


Step 1

Place the stair tread upside down on a work surface. On the back edge of the tread, mark 2 inches from both ends. By spacing the mounting holes 32 inches apart, you have a better chance of being able to drive screws into wall studs.

Good to Know

We used this stair tread at its full length for the window shown. For a wider window, use a longer stair tread. For narrow windows, ask a Lowe’s associate to cut a stair tread to fit.

Step 2

Position the bracket on the shelf

Place a bracket with the end of the mounting board flush with the back edge of the stair tread near one of the marks. Align a ruler or straightedge with two mounting holes and the edge mark. Mark the bracket position on the shelf and repeat for the other end.

Step 3

Glue brackets to the shelf

Glue the bracket and tape it in place on the stair tread until the glue dries. Repeat for the other side.

Step 4

Apply the finish of your choice (Michigan Ave. shown). Hold the shelf level beneath the window and mark the screw hole locations. Check for wall studs beneath the marks and add wall anchors as needed. Then screw the brackets to the wall.

Good to Know

To hide the screw heads, consider inserting wooden buttons painted to match the brackets.