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Add Personality to Your Drapes With a Padded Valance

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What is a Padded Valance Box?

A padded valance box is a decorative box used to dress up drapery panels and hide the drapery hardware. It is also known as a cornice. A padded valance box is frequently used in rooms that are decorated in traditional or French Country style. The following instructions will make building a padded valance an easy, enjoyable project.

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Varies

Here's How:

  1. A padded valance box is usually a minimum of 8 inches long and a maximum of 18 inches. To determine the depth, measure from the wall to where the window coverings stick out and add 2 inches. Make the cornice height one-fifth the length of the draperies.
  2. You may choose to cut the plywood yourself or have it cut at a lumber yard. Remember, the sides should be 1 inch longer than the front. You might want to mark each piece of lumber to indicate whether it’s top, front or side.
  3. Glue the sides of the cornice to the front, then secure the corners with screws or nails. It may help to drill pilot holes first.
  4. Attach the top to the cornice box with the wood glue. Drill pilot holes and secure with screws or use a few nails.
  5. To determine the amount of the fabric you’ll need, measure the cornice board from the end of one side, around the front, to the end of the other side. Add 4 inches.
  6. Measure from the bottom front of the cornice board, across the face, and over the top. Add 4 inches. Cut the batting and fabric to those measurements.
  7. Working a small area at a time, apply spray adhesive to the outside of the cornice board and add one or two layers of batting. The number of layers is a matter of decorating taste. Take care not to apply too much spray adhesive.
  8. Begin by stapling the fabric from the middle of the cornice at the top or bottom. Pull the fabric taut then staple the other side. Work toward the ends of the cornice, stapling alternate sides. Fold the fabric at the edges into hospital corners and staple to the inside. As an option, attach beading, braided trim or other accessories with a hot-glue gun.
  9. Measure carefully and attach the L brackets to the wall.
  10. Place the padded valance box on the L-brackets. Be sure that it's centered on the window.
  11. Hang the cornice on the L-brackets and secure the top of the cornice to the brackets with screws, screwing from inside the box up into the top.

    You now have a beautiful padded cornice that will add beauty to your window treatments.

What You Need

  • Four pieces of plywood, one half-inch thick
  • Tape measure
  • Marker and pencil
  • Decorator fabric for outside of cornice board
  • Batting
  • Spray adhesive, wood glue, and staple gun
  • Scissors
  • L-brackets and hardware
  • Finishing nails
  • Screws and drill, or hammer and nails

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