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How to Make Upholstered Cornice Boards

How To Make Upholstered Cornice Boards

What are Cornice Boards?

Cornice boards are used to top off your window treatments like a valance. They are often added to hide the unattractive window treatment hardware which is visible at the top of your windows. They also give a stylish, neat and accomplished look to your shade or blinds. You can create an attractive contrast by pairing neutral colored shades with a pop of colored cornice boards. They help hold your room decor together and help make a bold statement. Often even after adding window treatments to your windows, they can seem to lack character. This is provided by the cornice boards. While cornice boards and valances perform similar tasks, the difference lies in the way they are constructed. Valances are made of loose fabric or completely with wood, while cornice boards are hard window treatments where fabrics are often created by upholstering a board. Unlike valances, there are no loose fabric hanging at the bottom of a cornice board.

You can choose from different shapes and sizes. They can be arched, straight, step arched, scalloped, skirted arch, etc. The best thing is you can make your own upholstered cornice boards right at home and it takes no special skills.
Cornice Boards

Things Needed for Making Cornice Board

To make cornice boards at home you need the following tools and materials:
• ½” or ¾” thick plywood
• 1” * 4” boards
• Decorative fabric
• White lining or white fabric
• Cording
• Batting
• Staple gun
• Hammer
• Drill or screwdriver
• ½” long staples
• 1.5” long wood screws
• Clamps
• Work stand

Disclaimer: Please follow the instructions at your own risk. ZebraBlinds takes no liability for any issues or damaged caused through following DIY methods. Since all blinds and shades are different, we always recommend checking with your blind manufacturer or retailer first before making any modifications to your blinds. As well, if you are uncomfortable on your own, look for the help of a professional.

Steps to Construct Your Upholstered Cornice Board

Once you have your supplies ready it is time to get to work.

1. The first and most important step in the construction of your cornice boards is measurement. When measuring the width of the window, add 2 inches to the measurement for placement, and a few additional inches to accommodate the thickness of the board. Secondly, you have to take a call for how tall you want your cornice board to be. Ideally, it shouldn’t be taller than 1/5 of the total length of your window or the window treatment. You want the cornice board to enhance your window treatment but not overpower it. It is designed to cover only the topmost part of the window and window treatment. At the same time, the length of the cornice board will also depend on the height of your window treatment. While a window shade will require a 2” cornice, a full-length drape will pair best with a 4” cornice board.

2. Once measurements are taken you need to make markings on the board and then cut the front, top and sides of your board. Once you have all the sides cut out it is time to assemble them. Use wood glue on all the joints to stick them together. Also, take three nails, place them equidistant apart on the sideboards and hammer them in. Wipe any glue that may run down the sides using a damp rag.

3. It is now time to attach the plywood to your cornice board. The plywood will be attached to the front of the cornice. Use wood glue and nails every 6 inches to complete fixing the plywood.

4. Now place the cornice board on the quilt batting material. Time to cut the batting. Cut it in such a way that there is sufficient material to cover the front face of the board and can be folded over the edges to be stapled inside. It is preferable for the batting to be extended 3 inches inside the cornice box.

5. Fold the batting neatly inside, around the corners and staple it in.

6. Now place this batting covered cornice box on the fabric that you have selected for your cornice boards. The fabric too should be cut in such a way that there is sufficient material to cover the board and to be folded inside. The fabric must slip over the edges smoothly and covers the batting completely. Once you have cut the fabric, fold it to the inside of the cornice box and staple them in neatly.

7. Your cornice board is now ready. All you need to do now is install them over the windows using L-brackets. As the jack and king studs are located near the window, you can screw the L-brackets directly into the wall if you can keep the box within 2 stud widths of the window edge.
Upholstered Cornices


• Before stapling the batting or fabric, take care to fold them neatly at the corners for a clean and professional look.
• If you want thicker upholstered fabric you can use upholstery foam on the cornice board before covering it with your fabric.
• Ensure that the batting fits snugly but not too tight as it may cause the batting to thin and pull apart.
• You can embellish your cornice boards using braided trim accents or tassels and use a hot-glue gun to attach them.
• For a tufted upholstery board, you can use upholstery buttons or tacks to create square or diamond-shaped areas.

Making your upholstered cornice boards is no tough task. You just need all the stuff handy so that you need not run all around the house looking for them when you get down to the task. Take your measurements well and make the cutting proper. Much depends upon this. If you cut the batting or fabric small they cannot be folded neatly in. Once you have installed the cornice boards, bask in the glory of having created it by yourself and see the magic unfold in your room.