Even if you don’t live in a Craftsman style home, you can add Craftsman style trim to your doors and windows! This trim adds dimension, but has clean lines and is super easy to make into a DIY project with very minimal tools or experience. A great beginner woodworking project!
One of our very first DIY projects when we moved in this house was pull off every singe piece of trim in this house,
I mean every. single. friggin’. piece.
Jordan has this super creepy but also super awesome gift of being able to find things at an INSANELY low price. Like how he scored 9″ unfinished oak hardwood floors for our entire house for 33 cents a square foot. Or how he scored us a $5 bathtub for our guest bathroom renovation.
The only problem when he finds something is that it usually requires a lot to be bought at a time.
See the left side of this picture? That’s the trim that we still have left to do in this entire house. Jordan scored enough pre-primed MDF to do every single baseboard, window casing, door casing, and crown moulding for a whopping total of $700.
Seriously. It’s scary how good at this he is.
I snapped this picture before removing all this stuff to put in portable storage while our floors were installed.
Ha. You can also see we haven’t added said craftsman trim to these windows yet.
This is a shot of our laundry room before we gave her a nice beautiful makeover last year, but the trim on the window was what was on every window in our entire house.
There’s nothing wrong with this window trim, but it just wasn’t our style.
Aight, enough talking from me. Let me tell you how to get your own craftsman window trim!
How To Install Craftsman Window Trim
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Note: We like to use pre-primed MDF because we got it for a steal and it’s super easy to work with, but you can use any 1×2, 1×3, or 1×4 dimensional lumber that works for you!
- 1×2 wood or pre-primed MDF
- 1×3 wood or pre-primed MDF
- 1×4 wood or pre-primed MDF
- Wood filler
- White trim paint (Our color is Sherwin Williams Extra White
- Miter saw
- Speed square
- Nail gun
- 2″ 18 gauge brad nails
- 1 1/4″ 18 gauge brad nails (for header)
- Caulk gun
- Measuring tape
- Remove existing trim.
If you have any trim already on your window, you’ll want to remove that using a crowbar or like, your insane human strength if you got it like that.
- Measure your window.
This is the crucial part, obvi. Everything you do will be based on the measurement of your window.
For reference, ours was 31″ wide.
- Cut your apron.
Nope, Not a sewing tutorial. The bottom piece of your window casing is called the apron. Cute. Anyway, your apron will be made using a 1×4.
You want your apron to be the width of your window + 7 because the side pieces of your window casings are made out of 1×4 and 1×4 is actually 3/4″x 3 1/2″.
How’s that for a mind mash?
- Mark your window.
Measure and mark the center of the window frame
- Mark your apron.
Measure and mark the center of your 1×4 you are using for the apron of your craftsman trim.
- Center your apron on the window.
Center the apron to the center of the window. Height wise, put the top of your apron flush with the edge of your window frame. Secure it with your nail gun.
- Cut window sill
Your window sill is going to be a 1×3. To measure your window sill, you want width plus 8. You want to leave a 1/2″ overhang on either side. Normally, we do 1/2″ overhang, but since it’s in a dormer here, we just actually ran it all the way as far as we could up against the wall on either side.
This photo is an example of another window in our house that is not in a dormer.
- Measure window sill.
Measure in 4″ on each side of your window because that’s the 1/2″ overhang plus 3 1/2″ of the side casing pieces.
Measure the depth (inset) of the casing that is going to sit back into your window.
For us, it was 5/8″ or 1/2″ or something like that. This will vary depending on your window.
- Measure and mark.
Measure your rectangles to cut out with a speed square.
Here is our rectangle measured and marked.
- Clamp your wood.
(That’s what she said) But seriously, we use clamps to hold the piece still so that it won’t move and we don’t royally screw the pooch when using the jigsaw.
- Cut rectangles.
Cut out your rectangles with a jigsaw.
- Add window sill.
Slide your window sill piece in.
Here’s a closeup of what she should look like up close. Not quite as cute as we’d like her, but we’re getting there.
- Nail your window sill.
Top nail this piece to the window and then nail the overhanging pieces on the side down into the apron.Pro tip: You don’t want the back of your window sill trim piece pressing on your window because you won’t be able to open your window which I’m sure is like a code violation or whatever. It needs to be close, just not touching.
- Add temporary header.
Using a scrap piece of wood, nail up a temporary header. This will help you ensure that the side casing pieces will be even on either side in case your window is wonky.
- Measure side casings.
Your side casings will be out of 1×4. Measure the length for both sides and then nail those in as well.
- Remove fake header.
Using a crowbar, remove your fake header. I low key think this is always Jordan’s favorite part because he like breaking stuff more than building. He’s like Chip Gaines in every episode of Fixer Upper where he just wants to put his boot through a wall or something and then make some wrestling reference.
- Make your header.
Now it’s time to make your little header sammich! It’s made up of a 1×2, 1×4, and another 1×2.The 1x2s should overhang 1/2″ on either side just like your window sill, but we had to make them a bit shorter since we have the dormer.
FYI, your 1×4 is the same width as your apron (window width + 7)
- Put it together
Center the 1×4 in between the 1x2s, clamp them together and nail it. If possible, make sure you use the tiniest child’s desk from Ikea as your support and have a really loud electronic mooing cow on said tiny child desk. This really makes a big impact on the final look of your craftsman style trim.
- Add to the window.
Add your new craftsman trim header to the window(wwwwwwww, to the wall!)
- In the words of Donna Meagle…
- Fill nail holes.
Ugh. Now comes my least favorite part. Fill your nail holes using your wood filler.
- Add caulk.
Any places where there are noticeable gaps or areas where things don’t line up, add caulk.
Your final step is to paint your window and you’re done! You did it! Hooray!
I know it feels like that was a lot of steps, but once you do this a couple times, honestly you’ll be able to add this craftsman style trim to all your doors and windows!
You can see here in the before shot of our brand new cleaning closet that we have the exact same trim on our doors.
What I love about adding the craftsman style trim in your house is it’s a step up from builder grade, but it doesn’t feel too fancy.
I’ve always loved a craftsman style home but up here in our neck of the woods, they’re SO expensive to get in a livable one.
Real quick, if you skimmed this post, here’s the recap:
How do you make craftsman style molding?
This is an overview of what pieces of wood should go where to make up your window moldings. If you are doing this on the door, you would do the same process except the side casings would be made from a 1×4 and you wouldn’t be making a window sill, obviously.
How much should craftsman molding hang over on either side?
1/2″ unless you’re building in a dormer or some other weird space like that. Then just butt it up as far as it will go on the wall.
Where can you add craftsman style molding?
Window and door trim! Bedroom, bathroom, open doorways, laundry rooms, living rooms, kitchen windows, your mom’s windows – anywhere! If this is the style of trim you want, go for it, cupcake. We believe in you!
Do I need wood glue to reinforce?
I mean, if you want it to become an integral part of the structure of your home sure, but quite honestly, we’ve never seen the need to use wood glue.
You might want to glue the header piece together, but again, we haven’t seen this to be necessary and not using wood glue will save you boat loads of time.
Whew! We did it guys! Hooray!