Building Your Own Padded Valance

What You'll Need
Screws and drill, or hammer and nails
Four pieces of plywood, one half-inch thick
Tape measure
Marker and pencil
Decorator fabric for outside of cornice board
Spray adhesive, wood glue, and staple gun
L-brackets and hardware
Finishing nails

Creating a valance is a great way to add character to any room; furthermore you can design them using the traditional box frame or you can create a special design based on a particular room’s decor and design. Valances are relatively easy to create, and can generally be done with basic woodworking skills. Here's a quick guide to show you how to go about building your own padded valance.

Step 1 - Measuring

First, you'll need to determine the measurements and size of your valance. Most valances are a minimum of 8 inches long and a maximum of 18 inches. To determine the depth of your valance, use your measuring tape to measure from the wall to where the window covering protrudes out and then add two more inches. Be sure to make the cornice height 1/5 the length of the draperies.

Step 2 - Cutting

This is maybe the most difficult part of the project; therefore, you may want to have the plywood cut at a lumberyard. However, should you choose to do it yourself, remember - the sides should be longer than the front piece. When cutting the wood make sure to use a pencil to mark the pieces to indicate whether it's the top, front or side.

Step 3—The Cornice Frame

Use your wood glue to glue the sides of the cornice to the front pieces. Then, use screws or nails to secure the corners together. Additionally, you may want to use a drill to drill a pilot hole before using screws as this will allow the screws to be more easily inserted.

Step 4 - Putting it Together

Next, attach the top plywood piece to the cornice box using your wood glue. Use your drill to drill pilot holes and secure the pieces together with screws, or you could use a few nails and a hammer.

Step 5 - Choosing Fabric

Now, you'll need to determine what type of fabric and the amount of fabric you will need to make your valances. When you have chosen the fabric, measure your cornice board from one end of the site and go completely around to the other side and then add four more inches. Next, measure from the bottom end piece of the cornice board, across the front face, and over the top of the cornice board - then add an additional four inches.

Step 6 - Cutting Batting and Fabric

Next, you'll need to cut your batting and fabric to match the measurements you just took from the cornice board.

Step 7- Applying Adhesive

Working with only a very small area at a time, apply a spray glue adhesive to the outside edges of the cornice board and begin applying your batting. Depending on how thick you want the batting to be, you may need to add two or more layers. However, always make sure not to apply too much spray adhesive as it will make the batting difficult to work with.

Step 8 - Securing the Fabric to the Batting

Next, use a staple gun to begin stapling the fabric to the batting and cornice board. Start from the middle of the cornice at the top or bottom edge for your staples. Make sure to pull the fabric taut and then staple the opposite side. Continue this along the edges of the cornice working outward. Always make sure to alternate stapling sides as you go.

Fold the edges of the fabric into hospital corners and staple them to the inside. Optionally, you may want to attach beading or buttons to hide the corners.

Step 9 - Attach the L Brackets

Using your screwdriver and screws attach the L brackets to the wall.

Step 10 - Attach the Valance

Again, using your screwdriver and some screws, attach the padded valance box to the L brackets. Always be sure to make sure that the valance is centered on the window.

That's it; you've now built a beautiful padded valance that will make your windows more beautiful and add character to your room.