Fancy Schmancy Cornice

I can’t help but feel like an arrogant a-hole whenever I use correct terms in decorating. We built a cornice box last weekend. Then we sipped champagne and talked about that one time back at [insert name of Ivy League College here] when we got crazy and ordered caviar with red wine instead of white. OH, THE INSANITY.

Anywhoo. We did build a cornice box over Christmas weekend. And if you don’t know what that is don’t feel bad; I’ll walk you through it. The box part was built before we headed out of town, and the upholstering happened when we got back Sunday night. What can I say? Who doesn’t love a little upholstering after 5 hours on the road and a plate-full of Christmas cookies? We had some energy to burn.

FIRST AND FOREMOST — Steve got a table saw from my parents for Christmas! I wish you could’ve seen his face. One thing you need to know about him is that he would’ve been happy with a book of Mad-Libs and a new hammer. This guy never buys himself anything but I know he’s been longing for his very own table saw for years. He was shocked to say the very least. This cornice box project was the first time he got to use his new toy and he was pretty pumped up about it.

Ok, so back to this not-really-that-fancy cornice project:

My lumberjack sawed some logs for me. After taking measurements, of course. We figured out how far it needed to stick out from the window, and how tall it had to be to hide the blinds when they were drawn.

After screwing all the pieces together we held it up to make sure it fit right: LIKE A GLOVE.

The next step was to wrap the wooden frame with batting. I used the leftover medium-weight batting from my headboard project, and really, I used the exact same technique. I stapled it in the middle and then at the sides to get an even tautness. Is that even a word? Just roll with it.

You may or may not be able to see the beginning of a gallery wall getting curated in the background. And just so you don’t think we have a rodent problem, that is one of Olive’s stuffed toys sprawled out on the floor.

After the batting is all stapled on, flip that baby over and cut out a rectangle of fabric a few inches too large on all sides. (Same technique you used for the batting.) In the picture below you can see the brackets that we left exposed. Because of the way our window is configured we had to attach the bracket on the cornice box before we upholstered it. If you have to do the same, be careful about wrapping the fabric around it. You want it to lay flush on the wall.

We have got to fix our camera. Sorry for the wonky colors. Here you can see me stretching the fabric around the corners. There’s no scientific formula I followed for this. I just pulled it tightly and it sort of formed corners all on it’s own — It’s a little like wrapping a present. Just fold, tuck, and staple. (There’s a cross-dressing joke in there somewhere.) Repeat on all four corners.

Once you get all your staples in (Muwhahaha — I got to use my staple gun and it was AWESOME) go ahead and install that sucker. Ours slid right into place and stayed there with the help of a few screws.

Now for my favorite part: standing back to admire our work:

This was a good solve for us because there was really no other kind of window treatment that would’ve worked in this space. I didn’t want anything that hung down too low because I wanted all the light I could get. I’m really happy with the way it turned out. I still have about 1.5 yards of this fabric so I’m thinking about other ways to incorporate it in the space. I’ll probably throw some in a frame for the gallery wall. Everyone loves a good mustard yellow chevron print.

Whenever I get frustrated and feel like we’re not making enough progress with the house, I just look back at the photos from when we first moved in.

Even though we’re not doing groundbreaking renovations and smashing walls and floors, the little and affordable changes we’re doing are making a huge difference. Did I mention how much this project cost? ZERO DOLLARS. We already had all of the supplies laying around. So, high five for low cost / high impact projects!

I know, I know… will I just pick out a damn paint color already?

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8 thoughts on “Fancy Schmancy Cornice

  1. THANK YOU for that super easy tutorial. I have been wanting to make my own cornices but was too scared to try. Now I can’t wait to find the right fabric. Great blog !

  2. Pingback: They’re Baaaa-Aaack | The Harpster Home

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