How To: Make Your Own Upholstered Cornices for Cheap!

By: Capreek Sep 28, 2011

created at: 09/28/2011

It's no secret: custom window treatments are EXPENSIVE.  Excessively so, it seems.  That's why I flipped my lid when I spotted this tutorial for making your own DIY cornices (those fancy box-like things at the top) for about $15 a piece.  Yes, fifteen dollars.  


created at: 09/28/2011

It's almost unbelievable, but I've seen the tutorial and the photos and the cost break-down... and I can tell you this is for real!  Erin from Domestic Adventure created these cheerful yellow cornices for a new nursery (now finished - check out the big reveal right here).  We love the final outcome!

But, back to those cornices.  To make your own, you will need:

  • pine boards or plywood
  • L-brackets
  • batting
  • fabric

When you're ready, check out Erin's post for tips and tricks to making your own DIY cornices!

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Finlayson Fabric?


Quick question. These ideas are awesome, BTW, but I was curious about using the "builders' insulation foam." Isn't this made w/fiberglass and is therefore potentially toxic to breathe? Thanks for clearing this up for me ('cause I really want to do this!).

According to the 'Singer sewing for Home reference book', they are called cornices. Pelmut works too probably but cornice is the preferred nomanclature. BTW-this is a Nice tutorial too! Beautiful cornices!

the  cornices look great, but i would make them a bit bigger in relation to the window size, these look a little small for the window

These can be made out of builder's insulation foam! I just completed 2 in my son's home. Easy to form into any shape...and VERY light to hang. pcs. can be glued with a special calking for foam..or low temp hot glue. You can pin batting & fabric to these foam forms...makes it easy to reposition & change out at a later date!!

Agreed--I love the look!  Though I might start referring to them as pelmets now, because that word just makes me smile. :D

My bad then, I have never heard them referred to as such.  Love them though, very clean way of not having to see a curtain rod!

Erin - Thanks for the great inspiration! You did a wonderful job.

Laura - You're right, a cornice is indeed an architectural element, though this style of window treatment is also commonly referred to as a cornice--or a pelmet if you're fancy. ;)

Not to be a snot or anything, just an FYI, these are actually called "pelmets".  Cornices are the decorative elements near the roof of a building.

Thanks so much for featuring my cornices!

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