Weekend Warrior Projects | DIY Cornice

This DIY Cornice is the perfect way to finish a window where a traditional curtain panel wouldn’t work–in places like over kitchen cabinets, over sliding glass doors, or in a bathroom.  It’s relatively inexpensive (especially as compared to a professionally made cornice) and definitely easy to make…which makes it the perfect weekend warrior project!!

What you will need:

1-30″x48″ sheet of plywood

1- 2″x6″

Table saw (or a skilled hand saw operator)

Staple Gun/Staples


L Brackets (for attaching the 3 pieces)

Corner brackets (for mounting to the wall)



To begin, I took detailed measurements and pictures at my client’s home.  You need to note how much space you have above and beside the window frame so you leave room to attach the cornice to the wall (the bracket goes on the side pieces).  You need to know the dimensions of the window opening (glass part) as well as the framing and trim because you want the cornice to cover the framing and trim without obstructing much of the glass.  For this cornice, we didn’t have any wall to the side of the trim, so I had to account for the trim being underneath the cornice and notch out the sides–don’t worry this doesn’t happen often and really isn’t a big hold-up.

cornice measurements style by design

I went on a trip to Home Depot.  As with every time i’m in there, I was asked if I needed help 90+ times…sometimes I chalk it up to Home Depot having great customer service and sometimes I think it’s because i’m a girl–either way, I always know exactly where i’m going!  I picked up the plywood and 2×6 (make sure you check it for knots–which can cause the wood to crack, or any warping/bowing), the L brackets, and the corner brackets.  I already had the staple gun (3 of them actually), staples, and saw at home.

I started by sketching all my cuts on the plywood and 2×6.  Because it was cold outside, I had my lovely husband cut everything for me ;)  As you can see in this image, I used one piece of plywood to make both cornices…otherwise the cost would have gone up $30 and you know i’m too thrifty to waste anything!  We also decided that one step in the design was enough “frill” where the original sketch (above) had a double step design.

eric stanley style by design

Once the pieces were cut, I set up an assembly station INSIDE by the heat vent {I am well aware that in the new house, I need an actual craft room so i’m not doing these projects on the wood floor}.  There, I attached the pieces together using L brackets connecting the top and bottom of each 2×6 to the plywood.

cornice wood style by design

Then, I stapled the batting to the wood, making sure to keep it smooth (see batting in the background cornice…it was partially removed so I could cut the jog out to account for the window trim).  After the batting came the fabric.  As most of you know, fabric is expensive.  We found one we liked, but it ended up being something like $60/yard, so I made a trip to Target first (looking for curtains or shower curtains that could be re-purposed) and eventually found some Tahari curtain panels at TJ Maxx that would be perfect!

fabric cornice style by design

The first cornice actually had to be re-covered because I had NO CLUE what I was doing with the fabric and the folds.  Remember to hold the wood frame up before you start stapling anything to make sure that you thoroughly cover the pieces that can be seen from the front…including staples!! Fail:

fabric fail

The fabric was the hardest part, but I eventually got the hang of it and ended up stapling a piece to the corner before cutting the fabric at an angle…all so the staples would be hidden behind!

corner style by design

Finally, we had the cornices installed (by the client’s father…I don’t mess around with installations while clients are watching me–too much room for error!) and here is the final product!!

diy cornice style by design

If I could make these again, I would have made them a lot bulkier and splurged on that second piece of plywood.  Hey, even designers are too conservative sometimes!!  I also think Lori would appreciate that I mention the fact that she loathes her countertops and her plans to add to the house and re-design the layout….including new countertops…sometime in the not-too-distant future!!  The “refresh” we just finished was the first step in the home re-design, the second step is still to come and I can’t wait to work with them again!!

Here are some other cute cornices (corni?) found on the beloved Pinterest!

window cornice ideas

And some great profiles in case you want to get real fancy, huh.



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