A while back I posted a picture of my front bay window on Instagram and got a lot of great feedback! However, it was one of those times that I wasn’t really thinking about taking pictures as I was figuring it all out. So, I made a smaller version to fit over my kitchen window and this time I thought I’d try to do the best I could to give a step by step. I didn’t add any specific measurements to this post, other than the wood thickness used because it will depend on what look you like and size of your window. This is going to be a long post, so hang in there with me:)
When I was planning the layout of the house, I knew I was going to need a shorter window to maximize space for my kitchen. Because the house has milled siding, the easiest way for me to fix the hole was to simply cover it up. So I added a wood dowel the same thickness of my wall and then framed out the window with 1/16″ basswood and painted it white.
I held a piece of paper on the outside of my house with a quilting ruler behind it to give me a hard surface to write on and traced out my window opening.
I used my tracing to layout my window plan. I measure out all of my sides and trim. The dark parts that make up the actual window are inside the window opening so they can be seen from the inside of the house.
After I had all my measurements, I set to getting my pieces cut for the main body of the window. The front and back pieces were cut from 3/32″ thick basswood and the middle pieces from 1/16″. The plexi I used is 1/16″ and the basswood in the middle creates a spacer to insert the plexi as you’ll see in the next steps. The top and bottom pieces are all the same size, on the side pieces, the front and back are the same size and the middle piece is 3/32″ shorter in width.
*If you wanted to use the thin acetate for your windows, you could skip the 1/16″ piece all together and just glue the fronts to the back with the acetate in between. You would want to build the front of the window frame and the back of the window frame separately before gluing the acetate in.
The top and bottom pieces should be glued together to make a basswood sandwich with all edges flush and the 1/16″ piece in the middle.
The side pieces need to be glued so that the outer edges on 3 sides are flush. This left a 3/32″ gap that will become what holds the plexi in place.
The front should be glued in the same way. You should have a nice groove to place your plexi into.
I marked a 3/32″ square on the inside corners of the side pieces. I used my scroll saw to cut them out. This step could also be done before constructing the side pieces with an exacto or easy cutter.
I painted all the parts that will be black before assembling the window just for ease.
Next step is to glue the sides to the bottom of the window. Let it dry before moving to the next step. I cut my plexi out while I was waiting.
I then slid my plexi into the grooves I made and then glued the top on.
I cut 3/32″ basswood square dowels to fit the top and bottom of my window frame where I cut the notches out. I did this for the front and the back of the window.
I used 1/16″ basswood to wrap the sides and bottom of the window with a more finished look.
I started the trim on the front with the trim pieces that were around the window itself. I pre-painted these so that I didn’t mess up my black paint on accident (which I ended up doing a couple times anyways lol). I added the horizontal pieces first and then filled in the vertical pieces. 1/4″ x 1/16″ basswood was used for the trim pieces.
After all the glue was dry on the trim, I painted the rest of the window area white. I didn’t paint or trim the top since it will be covered with a roof.
Lastly I installed the window lites using 1/16″ square dowels pre-painted to match the window. I did this for both the outside and inside of the window.
I eyeballed my window from the inside while holding it on the outside to get it centered in the opening on the house. Then glued it on with some tacky glue and let it sit overnight.
I’m really big on gaps, they drive me crazy. So I like to use a paintable caulk for stuff like this. Just run a bead down the edge and wipe excess away with a damp rag. Q-tips work great for hard to get to places too.
Next up is to add the roof. I kind of just eyeballed this for what I wanted for an overhang. Cut two triangle at an angle I thought would look decent and that were the same length on one side as the long piece that will serve as the bottom of the roof.
I glued the triangles on the ends and then glued the whole piece to the top of the window.
Once the glue dried, I caulked any gaps and painted the outside of the roof support.
Next I started the actual roof. I used 1/16″ basswood cut to the width of my roof supports and the length just enough to overhang in the front of the window. I used some scrap pieces that I had left over from roofing the rest of the house. Details for that can be found under my porch roof post.
I found the center of my roof and measured 1/2″ from that to set a guide for my first roof piece. This way the edges will be pretty even.
Once I got to the edges I needed to cut down my roof pieces. I wanted the ridges on the edges to give a neater appearance, so I subtracted 1/16″ from the outside edge of both end pieces.
I had initially added the end piece ridges and got everything painted. I glued it on my roof support and had a duh moment. I needed to miter the ends to give a flush appearance against the house.
I popped the flat ended pieces off and replaced them with the mitered pieces. It worked out with my angle on my roof that the miter ended up being 45 degrees. I painted them black and moved on.
The last bit was adding a piece of trim where the roof meets the house. This was just a 1/4″ x 1/16″ strip of basswood.
And that’s it! I did my front bay window in the same fashion with the difference being that it juts out farther and has an inner frame that is inserted into the window opening. I don’t have many pics of the progress of that window, but I do have one of what it looked like on the inside part before it was attached.
Thanks for holding out until the end! I am still trying to navigate this blogging bit, and I really just want to share ideas! If you ever have any questions about any of my processes, please feel free to reach out and I’ll see if I can help:)