Easy window upgrade

Ash and I have (slowly) been renovating rooms throughout our house – the bedroom has undergone patching, painting, painting AGAIN (poor first color choice…), and decorating. One thing we’ve resisted is a window valances – the previous owner had them but we just didn’t want them in our bedroom – the problem is the hardware that was used to hang up the old valances left some decent sized holes in the molding – so we definitely needed SOMETHING to cover it up.

One of our favorite blogs, Shanty 2 Chic, had just what we needed – a rustic way to dress up our windows that would look incredible AND cover up the old hardware holes! PLUS – it wasn’t a valance!

So I set out to build my own window cornices – here’s how you can too:

The tools of the trade!

The tools of the trade!

Start by measuring – you want your cornice to be slightly wider than your window – I went with 1.5 inches wider than my window on each side. Because we had the cheap-o metal curtain rod that stick out a bit, I needed my cornice to stick out enough to account for the curtain rod AND provide enough room for us to get our hands up there to take off the rod to change/clean the curtains.

Our 'before' picture - definitely bland!

Our ‘before’ picture – definitely bland!

I cut a 2×6 to 41 inches in length. Then I cut two 2×6 pieces 4 inches in length – these provide the depth for the cornice

Here are our cuts

Here are our cuts

From there, you want to attach your two small pieces to your longer piece to build the frame of our cornice. I used my handy-dandy Kreg Jig to drill my pocket holes – pocket holes allow you to connect two pieces of wood almost ‘secretly’ – your project won’t show screw heads or nails. It’s fantastic!

Drilling the pocket holes

Drilling the pocket holes

Drill your pocket holes

Drill your pocket holes

I used 1 1/4 inch coarse screws as I was using pine – pine is a soft wood so the course screws work best to grab and hold the softer wood

Pocket holes make constructing a cinch! Thanks Kreg!

Pocket holes make constructing a cinch! Thanks Kreg!

Once the sides are attached, you can see the general shape of our cornice is coming along!

We're getting there!

We’re getting there!

My handsome helper!

My handsome helper!

From here, I measured the interior length and depth for the top to make a piece that would fill the gap as a top. For my piece it was 3 1/2 inches wide and 38 inches long. Cut and attach with pocket holes

Pocket holes - thanks Kreg!

Pocket holes – thanks Kreg!

Constructed cornice

Constructed cornice

Our cornice construction is complete! From here, I took my Ryobi orbital sander with a fine grit and sanded down the cornice – I wanted it smooooooth!

Sanding down the cornice

Sanding down the cornice

With our now smooth-as-a-baby’s-bottom window cornice, I used Minwax’s English Chestnut wood stain to give us a nice warm color in the room.

Now mounting – for my window cornice, I didn’t want to have to mount a piece of wood above my window molding and then mount the cornice to that – instead, I measured the depth of my window molding (1/2 inch) and drilled three pilot holes through the top of my cornice 1/4 inch from the back edge – I then took simple picture hanging nails (they are thin) and gently nailed the cornice into my window’s molding – this allows the cornice to be held up without fail and I don’t have to mount any additional pieces of wood into the wall/above my molding

Pilot holes with nails for mounting

Pilot holes with nails for mounting

Mounting the cornice

Mounting the cornice

With our cornices mounted, our windows look a million times better – the old hardware holes are hidden, the windows are given a wonderful rustic upgrade, and it really adds a lot to our bedroom!

Here is the finished window cornice

Here is the finished window cornice

Here is the finished window cornice

Here is the finished window cornice

These were wicked simple to build and mount – and they are wicked cheap to create! Win-win!

I hope you enjoyed our build and be sure to check out more of the Shanty Sisters wonderful builds at their site!

 

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