Thursday, July 21, 2011

Upholstered Cornice Box

 Growing up my mom (an amazing seamstress) had several businesses here and there. One of which was a drapery company. My favorite thing was looking through all the sample books of fabric. I loved watching her create beautiful curtains and drapes. She was (and still is) amazing. In fact she will be helping me with a few windows when she comes out for a visit, since well.. a straight panel is about all I know how to sew... One of my favorite looks is the cornice box. They always added a bit of sophistication to any room, and they make quite a statement. I think they are great even for renters since you can get all the boards cut at your local lumber yard and you only put 4 small holes in the wall (like where a curtain rod would be anyway) A perfect way to spice up a rental. There are I am sure a million tutorials for making these since they are nothing new. However if they are new to you, you are about to see how easy they are to make. 
 For our board we used a very thin particle board, we choose this since it was really light and my husband was concerned about it being to heavy, plus it was about 11 dollars for the board and it was enough to make 2 cornice boxes. Any place that carries lumber will should cut the board down to size for you, we went to Lowes and it was no problem at all. (which is nice since a sheet of particle board is 8 feet long and I think 5 feet wide which would be tricky to get in the van) So let's talk measurement. It seems a good height of the box is about 1/3 the height of the window, but whatever you think would look best is fine. Ours is just over 1 foot tall. Then it should be the length of your window with a few inches of over hang. Lastly you need to make the two side pieces. They determine how far away the box will stick out from the wall. For this we measured the curtain rod and made sure our side piece would clear the curtain rod. (maybe about 5 inches) Then using some "L" shaped brackets secure the side pieces on to the front piece
Then you should have something that looks like this. This is a cornice box, yep that simple. Obviously the particle board is ugly so we will be upholstering it. 

To do this I stood the cornice box up on the two sides. (I put some books under in the middle to support the board) Then using batting, (like quilters batting) I covered the whole surface. You could glue this, use some sort of spray adhesive, but I didn't want to wait for glue to dry so I just took my staple gun and fired away. You just want the batting secure enough so it won't shift all over when you put the fabric on. 

 With the fabric laid out flat flip the cornice board over on top of it. Then starting in the middle (you can barely see the seam I had to seam together two pieces to get a piece wide enough) pull the fabric tight at the top and bottom. Staple in place. Then move out to the sides. You want to pull over and up at the same time to make sure it is smooth and tight from staple to staple. Keep it even top and bottom. 
 Then when you get to the end start by pulling the middle tight, and staple in place. Then staple the rest of the top edge. 
Then almost like wrapping a present fold the corners and pull them tight as you staple in place. 

 Then your corners should look nice and smooth, and tight. 
 Continue pulling and stapling until it is all done and then you have an upholstered cornice box. 
 Next we used these triangle brackets they have a flat edge to attach to the wall and cornice box. Shown here is the triangle attached to the box. We did this first so we could mark the wall and so the holes would be pre-drilled for use when we go to hang it. 
 Here is the view of the edge that will attach to the wall. Once we had one on both sides of the box we held it up to the window where we wanted it. Make sure it is level then take a pen and mark inside those holes. Then remove the brackets from the box.
 Then put the brackets on the wall on the wholes you just marked. 
Then put the cornice box back up to the wall line up the bracket with the pre-drilled holes and attach it to the braces. Here you will see the bracket attached to the box, and both brackets for the curtain rods. I have a black out curtain behind another curtain so there are two rods. You could attach rods to the cornice box, but I didn't want my kids to pull the curtains and risk pulling the cornice box down, or damaging it somehow. (you know how kids can be)

That's all there is too it. An easy way to make a bold statement. The curtains incase you are wondering are super basic. For the black out curtain I took blackout fabric (on sale for 2.99 a yard!) It's kind of ugly, but instead of lining the whole piece of blackout fabric I just added a strip on the edge of a fancier fabric. That way when it shows it looks nice and I love layered window treatments. The outer layer are some vintage (if my childhood is vintage :) pink and white pin striped sheets the ruffle on the bottom was already there, I simply cut the sheet down the middle hemmed the side and added a casing at the top for a rod, won't my mom be so proud ha! Even though they are really simple I love the look for the room. The full reveal is tomorrow! (squeal) it's been a fun little project!

5 comments:

  1. I've been thinking about doing this around our sliding doors in the living room! I love how simple yours was!! :) feeling slightly motivated.

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  2. So glad I found you!!! I have made cornice boards before but only on a single window. Did you use something to support yours in the middle or is the particle board simply light enough not to sag or bow over time. When I get mine finished, I plan to post on my blog and would love to link up to yours if that is ok. Love your blog and I am definitely going to follow!!
    Vici
    http://my-timebetween.blogspot.com

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  3. Vici my daughter's window is 6 feet wide so weight was a big concern of ours when making the cornice box so large. This was the main reason behind the thin particle board that we chose. In the end it was very light weight (maybe 10 pounds???) The middle did bow when I had it placed on it's side when I was putting on the batting, but when hanging on the wall it didn't bow at all. I would love a link up and I would love to see the final project so I hope you share!! Thanks!

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  4. Thank you for this tute! I was justing thinking about adding one to my daughter's room the other day, but had no idea where to start or how to attach one. You made it look so easy! Thank you again.

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  5. Great tutorial. I am forwarding your link to my clients who want to attempt their own cornice boxes!

    Warmly, Michelle

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