How to DIY a Bed Pelmet
Hi, Liz here from SimpleDecoratingTips.com
I’m so excited I finally found the time to make this DIY bed pelmet for our bedroom. By embellishing premade drapery panels for part of the project and a using little ingenuity made this DIY project fairly easy.
This is the only ‘before’ picture I could find!
It gives you a rough idea of the bare look we’ve had in the bedroom since we completed the whole house renovation and moved in a few years ago… So many other things were taking my time and energy, detailing this space got set on the back burner.
When I was younger I would start a project and not do anything else until it was done. That approach did help me achieve a lot, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that there needs to be balance, especially since I get tired more easily. Therefore I try to be more balanced in my approach with life and certainly with my projects.
All that being said, I actually purchased the fabric and drapery panels for this project way before I found the time to work on it. The fabric, drapery panels and my bed pelmet design sketches sat silently in the sewing room waiting to be brought to life.
Finally, it was time to start…
Determining the bed pelmet exact size:
The floor length side drapery panels of the pelmet needed to fall in the space between where the headboard ends and the nightstands starts. Carefully measuring the headboard width, at the very widest part it was just under 7 feet.
Once the 1/2″ plywood was cut to 7′ long x 2′ wide, I stapled fabric over polyester batting, covering the bottom, (this is what would be the exposed underside once it was mounted to the ceiling) of the plywood.
Next, I after I determined how long I wanted the front pelmet, (the valance part of this design) to hang down, and working with the large pattern on the premade panels, I cut them using a long metal ruler to keep the lines nice and straight.
I was incorporating a small check fabric into the design of the pelmet. A box pleat at the front outside corners of the pelmet using this check fabric was a simple detail to incorporate this fabric.
HERE are more detailed directions on how to create a simple pleated valance similar to this one.
The entire valance was then lined with the small checked fabric.
Finally, I sewed the tassel trim to the bottom of the pelmet valance, across the blue and white main fabric as well as the green check fabric sewn into the two ends for the box pleats.
This completed valance was then stapled to the top of the plywood, carefully stapling the folded and pressed box pleat corners as neatly as possible.
Here is this valance part finished:
After much thought, I decided the best way to attach the side panels to the pelmet would be with good old velcro.
So on the two ends of the plywood, I lifted up the valance and using my hot glue gun, I glued a strip of velcro along the edge of the two ends, (or sides, if you will) of the pelmet plywood. This was placed under the valance, but obviously over top of the green check fabric stapled on the plywood.
Time to mount the pelmet to the ceiling…
Having my husband help me get the 7 foot long pelmet into the exact place on the ceiling hovering over the bed, we used THESE Zipwall supports to hold it into place until the permanent hardware was in place.
I’m not going to bore you with all the details, but I will say I had some issues here. First, the ceiling in our bedroom is plaster and very hard. Secondly, the new styled anchors I bought to hold it in place were absolute junk and broke every time I tried to get them to open,
When I tried to drill a pilot hole through the fabric, batting, plywood and plaster ceiling to mount the plywood top of the primer to the ceiling…
The batting snagged on the drill bit and twisted under the fabric covering. It just wound and wound until it was one huge lump under the fabric.
Looking back at it now, I see the comical scene. There’s the mysterious huge growing ‘lump’ of batting combined with the ridiculous look of me trying to drill into the ceiling while balancing as I was standing on top of the foam bed mattress.
I might have laughed then, if I wasn’t so exhausted from trying to drill straight up over my head all the while standing on that squishy mattress, drenched in sweat, because these days when I start to get warm, I get hot! No, I didn’t see the humor as I took it all back down to re-do.
Once I removed all the batting, restapled the fabric without it, I put the pelmet back up with the spring loaded poles. Then I got the good old fashioned toggle bolt anchors. Second time around it was a piece of cake to mount! Ha… (2 hours later!) Truth is, there was no difference in the look with or without the batting.
To hold the pelmet to the ceiling, because I had to drill fairly large holes to fit the toggle bolt anchors through, I used a fender washer on the head of the bolt that went into the toggle anchor. This way, it was larger than the hole in the plywood and actually held it all in place to the ceiling. That made for rather unsightly hardware showing on the bottom side of the pelmet though. No worries, I had a plan on how to cover these bolt heads I’ll share with you a little further on.
Now, to the back wall part of the pelmet design…
There is a window that our bed sits in front of. Part of me feels bad that we don’t use this window but in my bedroom, it’s ok. We’re not ones to sit in bed and look out the windows, so it’s not a great loss… plus this wall is the best wall to place the bed head up against.
There is a roman shade on the window that juts out from the wall a couple inches. I needed the back drapery panels to hang across that and extend out from the wall those couple of inches to clear the shade depth.
To accomplish this and have it be sturdy for the 7′ span, I opted for a continental rod. It is stronger than a standard curtain rod.
I made sure to use the supplied center support for this long span.
To hang the drapery panels on the continental rod was a cinch…
I made simple unlined panels from the green check fabric.
Then placed drapery hooks in the top rod pocket and slipped them over the continental rod.
Here is the progress:
This picture shows the pelmet was finally mounted securely to the ceiling and the back drapery panels were hung over the window and roman shade.
Now to the side panels…
Using the gathering tape on the premade drapery panels, I gathered the panel to the 2′ wide length needed for the two pelmet ends and sewed a strip of velcro that would hold the gathered drapery to the pelmet side.
I added a full length of the small check fabric to line the inside of these 2 end side panels, and finally embellished the front edge with brush fringe and more green check fabric. (I have a separate post detailing this drapery panel embellishment coming up)
To hold the side panels back, I used a pair of tasseled tie-backs.
The final finishing touch:
To cover the unsightly screw heads visible on the inside of the pelmet, I made fabric covered buttons, which I added a little gathered pizazz detail to. (for this detail, I have a separate post detailing how to DIY fabric covered buttons)
A dab of hot glue holds the fabric buttons in place covering the bolt heads and adding a little charm to boot!
Here it is, the finished bed pelmet!
All in all it was fairly easy to make. It took just a little trouble shooting when the anchors and batting were causing issues and a bit of design detail to make the finished project work with the existing features, such as the window shade and headboard.
I’m super happy with the finished bed pelmet. It adds character and a cozy feel to what was a pretty basic white wall.
HERE is where I purchased the premade drapery panels I used in this project.
Be sure to stop by the DIY and decorating blog SimpleDecoratingTips.com to see more sewing tips I've written about!
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Happy Days Hometalker on Mar 13, 2023
WOW! Looking good! You put a lot of effort into this, and it shows!
well constructed...would be fun to play around with the textile choices. How hard would it be to change out textiles?