DIY Cornice Boards--The Window Treatment I Didn't Know Existed

Please tell me I’m not the only one who had no idea what cornice board was…

I mean, I was completely clueless! My sweet and talented friend, Brooke, texted me one night and asked if I wanted to make her some cornice boards. I was like “um, what the heck is a cornice board?” Then she sent me a picture and I was like “ohhhhh…well that’s different.” HAHA. Like where have I been? Obviously not on Pinterest…

So I asked her to send me some measurements and I got started. I have to admit, I was kind of hesitant that these were going to look good in her living room, but OMG for real. They look super cute and I kind of want my own :) And the best part? They’re super easy to make, and install….AND they’re cheap!

First, you need to measure the width of the window including the trim.
Add about 6″ (if space allows) to that width and that is the length you want your cornice board to be. I used 1×12 boards, but you can use 1×10 or even 1×8 if you want your cornice boards to be shorter. Buy enough 1×12 (or whatever size you choose) for the width you just measured plus AT LEAST 7″. You will also need a piece of 1×4 and a piece of 1×2 the width you measured minus 1 1/2″. Once you’ve got your lumber, let’s make the cuts.

Cut two pieces of the 1×12 at 3 1/2″ long
Then cut one piece of 1×12 the width you measured of the window trim plus 6″ (again, if space allows. If you don’t have room for 3″ on each side of the window, you may have to adjust and cut less than 6″).
Using a nail gun (or hammer and nails if you don’t have a gun), nail the 3 1/2″ pieces to the long piece (one on each side) like the picture below.
Measure the distance between the two 3 1/2″ pieces. It should be the width of your front piece minus 1 1/2″. Cut a piece of 1×4 this length and drill pocket holes on each side. If you don’t have a pocket hole jig, you can glue and nail this into place.

Attach this piece to the 3 1/2″ pieces like the picture below.
Once it is attached to the 3 1/2″ pieces, nail it from the front as well.
And there you go! Cornice board! I made five of these for Brooke and she wanted them whitewashed. In order to make the whitewash stand out better, I stained them all first (Minwax Provincial), then whitewashed after the stain dried.
She wanted them really light, so I did several coats.

I apologize that I didn’t take any pictures of the install…mainly because I was the one installing. But it’s very simple. Brooke actually has a few pics of the install on her post if you want to see. And you know you do :)

Cut a piece of 1×2 the width of your 1×4 on the top of the cornice board or a little shorter. Set that on top of your window trim and make sure it is level. Screw it into the wall (don’t forget to predrill so you don’t split it) with a couple of 2 1/2″ screws. Set the cornice board on the 1×2 and screw through the top into the 1×2 with a couple of 1 1/4″ screws. Again, don’t forget to predrill.

When you’re done, it will look like this:
I know, right?! They look so good in her living room! To see the rest of them, be sure to click on over to Brooke’s page! Go to the blog post below and click the links there. Her living room is ADORABLE…but you wont believe what it looked like before! While you’re checking out her living room, be sure to see all her before and afters on their house. It will inspire you for sure! Her vision is amazing!

So what do you think? Are you new to cornice boards, too? Are you now a fan of them? I’ve totally been won over :)

Don’t forget there is less than a week left to vote for me, Shara M, for the first ever Mrs. Meyer’s Home Maker!!! Please Please Please go cast your vote! It only takes a second and it would be a massive opportunity for me!!

Until the next project, happy building! :)
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

4 questions
  • Barbara
    on Feb 13, 2016

    what did you use to hang the cornice on the wall?

    • Deb J
      on Feb 13, 2016

      Barbara, I use L Brackets to hang mine. Attach to the cornice first and then to the wall. You can always put a small board along the inside back of cornice and screw directly into the wall. Just make sure you use anchors or screw directly into the studs.

    • Woodshop Diaries
      on Feb 15, 2016

      I screwed a 1x2 to the wall and then screwed the cornice board into the top of it.

  • MelanieF
    on Feb 13, 2016

    I have no idea what a piece of 112 is! Is that the length of the board? What sixpence boards did you use, 1x12, or 1x10. They look great but I could use the wood dimensions.

  • Vicki
    on Feb 14, 2016

    Didn't quite understand it either at first. We call them pelmets in Australia also. But good job, they certainly glam up a window

    • Brenda Gamba
      on Feb 14, 2016

      Here in south Africa we also call it Pelmets. Cornice is what we have between the wall and ceilings.

    • Jeani Miller Miner
      on Feb 16, 2016

      How interesting to read about the different words in different parts of the world. Here a pelmet is fabric covered wood, typically padded

    • Jackie Webb
      on Mar 16, 2016

      Pelmets here in England too ! they can be wood painted or fabric to match the curtains.

    • DC
      2 days ago

      I am afraid your fried gave uou the wrong word.....

      Cornice: an ornamental molding around the wall of a room just below the ceiling.

      pelmet :a narrow border of cloth or wood, fitted across the top of a door or window to conceal the curtain fittings.

  • Elida
    on Sep 22, 2018

    Where is the link or address to Brooke's page?

    • Kal21880830
      on Sep 25, 2018

      It is right above your question and just above the "Do you have a question about this project?". There is a button to the right that says "GO". Hope that helps.

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