DIY Projects

How to Make a Fabric Covered Window Cornice

By: Allen Lyle

A fabric covered cornice over a window can really dress up a room. Since this window was almost 10’ long, the cornice was made from two pieces of 1/2” thick by 24” wide plywood. Here’s how to go about it.

Build the Cornice Frame

  • Rip the plywood for the cornice frame to the desired width with a circular saw or table saw (24″ in our case).
  • Cut the plywood to length using a circular saw or table saw (1″ to 2″ longer than the outside of the window facings).
  • If the window cornice is over 8′ long, join two pieces of plywood together with metal mending plates to form the frame.
  • Use a jigsaw to cut an arched shape in the middle of the cornice.
  • Cut ends and a top header for the frame to length and width from plywood, molding, or solid wood to hold the cornice off the wall and give it depth.
  • Attach the sides and top header to the plywood frame using glue and nails.

Cover the Cornice Frame with Fabric

  • Wrap the front and edges of the frame in upholstery batting, stapling it to the back.
  • Cut the fabric oversized to width and length.
  • Staple the fabric to the back edge of the top header.
  • Fold the fabric over the front of the frame and staple it to the bottom in the back.
  • Use multiple cuts with scissors to fit the fabric around the curves in the arch.
  • Cover the back of the frame with white fabric to hide the unfinished plywood and fabric edges.
  • Use a hot glue gun to attach a decorative fringe to the bottom edge of the cornice.

Hang the Window Cornice

  • Screw “L” brackets to the wall studs above the window on each end.
  • Rest the cornice header on top of the “L” brackets.
  • Attach the “L” brackets to the cornice header with screws.


Please Leave a Comment

5 Comments on “How to Make a Fabric Covered Window Cornice”

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  • Gladys Daily Says:
    October 7th, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Is there a pattern for the different designs available.

  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    November 17th, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Hi Valerie,
    I added a list of step-by-step text to make constructing the cornice clearer. Hope that helps!

  • Valerie Simonton Says:
    November 10th, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    This is supposed to be a “How to…”, but just skims quickly over everything. No details are shown. Why even bother?

  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    October 20th, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Hi Sue,
    The L shaped metal brackets are attached to the wall 1/2″ below the height you want the top of the cornice. The cornice has a 1/2″ plywood top frame which rests on top of the bracket. The bracket is then attached to the cornice frame with screws.

  • Sue Says:
    October 19th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    How was the cornice mounted using the L bracket? It doesn’t show how.

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How to Make a Fabric Covered Window Cornice