Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Making a Fabric Window Cornice

I think the last thing we did in the Kitchen Remodel was the window treatments. We learned how to make a Fabric Window Cornice. We really wanted to replace the old metal sliding glass door and put in a beautiful wooden one with those neato shades that are on the inside you just pull a switch and they appear and block out the view. But we were paying for a wedding this same summer we remodeled so that has been put on the backburner for now.  Maybe next summer when we are planning on redoing the backyard decking and adding a jacuzzi, that would be the time to add the glass door. Anyway, we decided that a nice thing to do for now would be a handmade window cornice for up above the wood blinds and vertical blinds.

Johnny's little bird clock, he LOVES that clock, it chirps a different bird every hour.....
He has a few birdhouses outside on the deck and a hummingbird feeder too. He loves birdwatching!
 We bought some wood blinds for the kitchen window (if I had it to do over I would choose white, it really darkened the room to have wood).  I like the look of wood in our office, but the thing is since there is only one window in most of my rooms, it doesn't bring in the light I like. Especially in the kitchen where I specifically chose light cabinets and light granite so I wouldn't darken my room. So now when I buy blinds, I have tried to only go with white from now on.  It helps reflect the light from outside in better than brown wood slats do. 

Anyway, making a cornice is super easy.  All you need is a piece of plywood, cut to the length and width you think you need. Then a few side pieces cut to the depth out from the window you want the fabric cornice to hang. Then get some fabric you like, upholstery fabric remnants are really good, that's what I found for $4.00 a yard at an upholstery fabric store.  There is one in draper on 124th just West of the 15 Freeway in Draper. Find the link HERE They have sales about once a month and put all their extra stuff in big barrels around the store. They also have cornices all done up with cool decorative medallions and swags all around the top walls of the shop. You can order one from them, already made up in your choice of fabric, or you can get ideas and ask questions from them. They were very helpful over there, even though I always planned to do it myself.
(being the do it yourselfer than I am...hehe)

This is the fabric window cornice over the sink. I liked how the wood blinds look, but
they sure don't let in bright light...I  definitely need more lighting...
 Get a staple gun and scissors and some sheet batting.  I just bought a bag of blanket batting at Joannes Fabrics link HERE for about $6.00 bucks with a 40% off coupon.  Then layer your batting first and material second onto the piece of plywood and stretch it around to the back and staple it down.

 I didn't do a real pretty job, it is kind of messy in back but it won't show, it will face the window. I tried to tuck the raw edge under before the final staples just to be a little neater with it.  Then I had to do 2 end pieces the width of the cornice but we measured how far out from the wall we wanted to build it before we cut the length.  I think it was like 5 inches from the wall.  Then I did the same thing to those 2 pieces, batting and fabric, staple it all down.

On this window below we tried it a different way. We attached the side pieces of wood first, and then covered the whole curvy piece with fabric and batting all at the same time, and then staple gunned it down to the wood.  It was definitely easier the 2nd way. But both ways LOOK pretty good. (we learn as we go...)

New sliding glass door cornice 
 Then John bought some L shaped brackets and put the 2 end pieces onto the long main piece with some L brackets.  And he had some other brackets he found to hook onto the side of the cornice sections and then hook the other side to the wall. They were our first time, we didn't use a book or instructions, we just tried it....and it worked fine. I think those were L brackets too.

I love the fabric window cornices. They look very rich and tapestry like, and they look kinda custom. If we had been more talented we would have tried a curvy shape on the bottom, but we just went with simplicity.  It is not too late to add a swag or medalion to the sides. You can get books on cornices in the city libraries. I've seen them there and maybe someday I'll mess with them and add something to the top or sides.  For now, it is finished!  3 cheers!

The fabric window cornice is kind of a shiny brocade in a sage green with rust and pumpkin
 The thing about remodeling is you cannot expect things to be done quickly. Even if you are having it done by a professional, they screw up timelines sometimes too. It takes soooooo long to get it all done down to the details. And do it yourselfers, well we get tired and quit for a stretch....and then pick it up again when we get our 2nd wind. So it is not an exact science or anything.  But to see it go from your brain through your creative handiwork, to the finished product is kind of a rush. Well, not just kinda, it is definitely A RUSH!  I love to decorate. It is very rewarding to me.  I hope you enjoyed the kitchen. 

The next thing we did was our guestroom. The craftroom is still a work in progress I'm not progressing very much lately though... (such a slacker!)but I must just give myself a break on it.  I work with 1st graders all day, and those little guys wear me out sometimes!  I'll show how I did the guestroom next. It is very pretty.  Watch for a birdie theme....I'm a birdhouse collector...

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