How To Make Living Blinds

How To Make Living Blinds

I’m the kind of person that hates the morning light. Funny thing is I would rather prefer putting my bed beside the window or facing the window than away from it because I love how cold it can be at night. However, when morning comes, I regret my decision and mutter the words never again, but I’m too lazy to even rearrange. A friend suggested that I change my blinds to a darker color, that way the early morning light does not affect me. However, all the options I got didn’t fit into the design of my room, at this point, I don’t have time to be redecorating my room. I searched online stores and finally I found something that even suits the decor of the room. It is called living blinds. It is basically potted plants that creep and block the sunlight from entering. The beauty of this blind is that you can add or remove plants depending on how much light and privacy you need. They say it is for people that don’t require lots of privacy, but I love it and I want to try it in my kitchen too. The fun thing about it is that You can also change the plants depending on the season so you keep it fresh. Interesting right? You can even add fake plants, if you are terrible at taking care of plants.

To achieve this you would need:

Materials Needed:
1×6 pine or other finished wood. Make sure it is enough for the desired number of shelves you want and for supports.
Sand paper


Tape measure
Rubber mallet
Miter saw
Stud finder


Step 1

Determine the shelf placement. This is a very important step. Make sure you do not divide your window into thirds and attach your shelves there.  Rather than doing that, think about the plants you would be using, both tall and short, the privacy you are trying to create, and also the design of your window and how best they would fit in.  The best way to do this is hold up a few plants and mark where you think they look the best. Then, measure the distance between the wall or window frame from each location you want to place a shelf.  Measure each shelf location independently because your window frame may not have the same width from top to bottom.  For instance, my window is almost 3/4 of an inch wider at the top than at the bottom, so to avoid errors, it is better to measure independently.


Step 2

Cut and prepare your shelves and the supports. Cut the 1×6’s to the length of your earlier measurements.  Make sure you get the  exact measurements so that the shelves will  fit in tightly between the walls or window frame.  The remaining 1×6 will be cut to make your supports. Cut 1/2 inch thick pieces from the 1×6. Make sure you cut enough so you can have at least two supports for each shelf.

I didn’t have to use so much support for my shelf as I ended up using it only on my top shelf. This is because I made use of the trim attached to my wall as the support for the middle shelf, and I attached the bottom shelf directly to the windowsill.  It is very advisable to sand and paint your shelves and supports before attaching them to your window, it is less stressful.


Step 3

Place your shelves in their position.

First place your top shelf and level it. Make sure you leave enough space between the shelf and the window so you can open and close the window easily. The space should be about 1½ inches between the window and the back edge of the shelf. That should be enough. Draw a line under the shelf from front to back on both sides, then remove the shelf so you can attach the supports. Use a stud finder to locate a stud at any point along the lines you just drew.  Normally, you should use your studs to screw your support to the wall. However, If you don’t have any studs, you will need to use wall anchors to attach your support pieces.  Align your support to the line you drew, pre-drill, and then screw your support pieces to the wall. Follow the same steps for your remaining shelves.  Then, when you are done, use a rubber mallet to tap your shelves into place.  My shelves were so tight between the two walls that I didn’t need to nail or glue the shelves to the supports, but if you have even the tiniest bit of wiggle room, I would recommend using a bead of adhesive or small nails to secure the shelf to the wood supports.

I screwed my last shelf directly on top of my windowsill with two screws. But, If you don’t like the idea of drilling into your windowsill, you can place your bottom shelf just above the sill just make use adhesive. Then add your plants and admire your hard work!

Suggestions for Plant Placement:
Small plants and succulents are great on the top shelf.  Vines and cascading plants are perfect for the top two rows to provide more window coverage. And don’t be afraid to mix in a few fake plants as well. Personally, I like vines and creeping plants so they can block the light, but you can make use of flowers too.

Did you find this helpful? Tell me what you think about it.