How to Build a Window Cornice Board

What You'll Need
L-shaped brackets
Wood glue
Glue spray
Screwdriver and screws

To add impact to your interior windows, you can build a cornice board as a do-it-yourself project.

Take Measurements

The first thing you will have to do is take measurements. A measuring tape makes this part easier as opposed to a yardstick. Also make a drawing of these measurements as you go so you know you have them correct when cutting. Measure the width of your window and add a total of four inches, which will allow two inches of space on each side when installed. You’ll need to measure from the wall out next to get the width of the top. You can come out as far as you would like, but a good rule of thumb is to measure 2 to 3 inches further out than your curtains.

Next measure down from the line where you will be mounting your cornice, to the point where you want your cornice to come. Keep in mind that if you plan to add scalloping or any other decorative scrolling to the front of your board, add extra room here. Add the measurement on your paper for the sides of your cornice board so these are not forgotten when the wood is being cut.

Choose Fabric

Any fabric that you like will be fine as long as it is not too thin. A medium-weight fabric seems to work best for this project. If your fabric is too thin, it will lose its shape over time. If you use a heavy fabric, you’ll just need to be sure that it is well secured to the cornice board, and that extra nails or screws are used when mounting so it doesn’t fall. In addition to the fabric, you will need to choose some padding, also called batting, which is most commonly used for quilting. You can choose cotton or polyester batting. Either will work fine for this project. When you cut your fabric, be sure to allow at least 2 inches all around to wrap it around the board. As for the batting, cutting it exactly to measurement works best and gives you a clean line.

Buy Wood and Brackets

Go to your local home improvement store to have your wood cut for you. There is no real need to buy an expensive wood. Do avoid using particleboard though, as it starts to deteriorate after a while. While there, also purchase L-shaped brackets sturdy enough to hold up your cornice. You’ll also need wood glue and glue spray for assembly, and screws to hang it in place when ready to hang.

Assemble the Cornice

Take the wood glue, and assemble your cornice board, and then add screws to each section to secure. When completely assembled, spray one area at a time with glue spray and carefully attach each of your batting pieces. When you have completed this on the entire cornice, you can then begin covering your cornice with fabric. When applying the fabric, be sure to start in the middle with the fabric pulled taut. Secure with a staple gun on the backside of the cornice board. Work your way out from that point to assure that the fabric is smooth. After you finish attaching the fabric, attach the L-brackets to the back securely with screws. You are now ready to hang your new cornice. Mount above your window by simply screwing in the L-brackets. If you feel it needs to be sturdier, you can also add a few nails or screws in the wall under top of the cornice.

Cornice boards can be added to a window with or without curtains. You can easily recover them whenever you like. If you do decide to do this, either add or change out the batting. The boards themselves will hold up for years bringing additional style to your home or office.