I was talking to one of my girlfriends a few weeks ago about potential blog projects, and she suggested that I work with some of the thrift store staples. You know, the things that you always seem to be able to find, just not necessarily in the size/quantity/completeness that you might like - around here, that's baskets, mismatched lamps, terra cotta pots, etc. I didn't have any thrift store trips planned at that point, but I had a little extra time yesterday, and I stopped at our local Goodwill.
Almost immediately, I found a brand new curtain panel with a pattern that coordinated super well with the colors in our living room, for all of $6. Pretty good deal, but four really would have been better, for the room's two windows. Alas, there was only one available.
I bought it anyway. Maybe it would be good for pillows.
When I got home, I did some quick Pinterest research, and decided that making window cornices would be way, way better.
I am excited to report that these cornices are super, super easy, very lightweight, and incredibly easy to hang.
Building the Cornices
- One curtain panel (or 1.5 yards of 42" fabric would make 2-3 cornices, depending on size)
- One piece of styrofoam insulation per cornice
- Four 2" common nails per cornice
- An X-acto Knife
- Staple Gun
- Glue Gun (optional)
My windows, with trim, are 39" wide. I wanted a little bit of overhang, so I made my cornices 42" wide, and 9" tall. They're also ~4" deep. I have certainly seen some larger ones, so your measurements will probably depend on your windows and the look you're going for.
Start by measuring your pieces and cutting the styrofoam insulation, using the X-acto knife (I started with scissors - much harder to be precise). To build these super simple cornices, I used three rectangles of styrofoam (one is 42" x 9" and two are 3" x 9").
Assemble the cornices by placing one of the 3" pieces at a right angle to the edge of the 42" piece, and pushing two of the common nails through both to attach. You can use a glue gun here for extra stability, but for me, the nails worked fine.
The next step is to work with the fabric. I cut two pieces from the bottom of the curtain panel, at 15" x 54". After ironing the pieces I had cut, I laid them out face down, with the long side of the styrofoam cornice centered on top.
At this point, you'll make four cuts in the fabric, going perpendicular from the edge of the fabric to the inside edge of the cornice. This allows you to wrap and staple the front of the cornice before worrying about the sides. Make sure to pull the fabric taut as you're stapling, to avoid wrinkles on the front.
Next, we work on the sides. Flip the cornice up, so that it's sitting like it will be hung on the window. With the side fabric, fold a triangle from where you made your cut, and then fold that over. This should create a finished, mitered corner. Staple the fabric down, and repeat for the other corners.
From here, finishing the last edge is essentially like wrapping a present. Fold each of the fabric corners in, and staple the fabric down.
And now you have a window cornice!
Hanging the Cornice
As you've worked with the cornices, you've probably noticed that they're super, super lightweight. I looked at different online tutorials for how to hang them, and I really felt like using D-rings would be overkill (plus, I don't have any on hand). So, I used the super basic hanging hardware that comes in a tool kit (picture hangers and push pins).
Essentially, what I realized was that the head of the push pin rests nicely within the picture hangers, which works because the cornices are so lightweight. I put my push pins 1.75" down from the top of my cornice on the very inside edge, and hung my picture hangers 2" above the top of my window frames, with 40" between the two. Easiest hanging job ever.
And here we have it! I really feel like they make the room look more finished, and I love that they fit within our circle theme.
That's all for now! I know that I've been a little slow to post lately (work travel and a head cold have conspired against me), but I'm over the cold and not traveling again for a week or two, so I should be able to get caught up.