How to DIY a Pelmet or Box Valance…

DIY Pelment, Window Box- Instructions- Interior Design- DIY-Window Treatment


As I started to research window treatment ideas for my master bedroom revamp, I was noticing that a lot of amazing modern DIY pelmet designs were popping up on my Pinterest search. Whether it’s called a pelmet, box valance or cornice valance, even though they all have small technical differences, they are all basically the same thing.

I haven’t really seen much in the way of pelmets since the 80’s-90’s and if someone had suggested that I consider an upholstered pelmet for my home, I’m pretty sure I would have forbidden the thought from even entering my head!  But then I saw these:


Pelemt, box valance, how, instructions, window treatment, Interior Design

Source: Jennifer Eisenstadt via Decor Pad


How to make a pelmet, box valance, instructions, DIY

Source: Kelly Wearstler via Apartment Therapy


How to make a pelmet, box valance, DIY, Interior Design, Window Treatment

Source: Sheffield Furniture and Interiors

 Sheffield Furniture and Interiors


How to make a pelmet- DIY- Window Treatment

Source: Tiffany Eastman Interiors


How to Make a Pelmet- DIY- Window Treatment

Source: Best Home Decor



Pretty amazing designs, huh?

The pelmets that I have run across today are a far cry from the rage of the super padded Laura Ashley floral pelment/box valances that made me cringe back then.  I remember seeing them in almost every home back then (when I was just a baby **wink**) and not quite seeing the appeal.  It doesn’t help that these pelmets were part of the trend of layering bold floral wallpaper, floral upholstery, floral drapes and then throw in a shoulder pad like floral pelmet.

After seeing the pelmets that are being designed today, I was inspired enough to overcome my pelmet flashbacks.   I decided that the solution to my super narrow window problem could be in the form of a pelmet.

Here were the before pictures of my weird windows:


Master Bedroom


Initially, my plan was to create the pelmet box with molding and then paint it the same color of my wall, so it would just fade into the wall.  I realized that if I could cover up the top part of the windows, I could make the box wider than the window itself, which would solve my problem by making the windows look wider by adding drapes.

This pelmet was my inspiration for the molding idea:


How to Make a Pelmet- DIY- Window Treatment

Source: Best Home Decor


However, I immediately changed my mind after I ran across this amazing upholstered pelmet with silver nail head trim from Sheffield Furniture and Interiors:


How to make a pelmet, box valance, DIY, Interior Design, Window Treatment

Source: Sheffield Furniture and Interiors


Nothing outdated about this upholstered pelmet.    Once I saw this and the other pelmets in the images above, I realized that I could upholster the box and really update the room by adding the silver nail head trim.  I immediately got over my Laura Ashley pelmet flashback instantly upon seeing this image.

So long story short, this is what my finished pelmets looked like:


Reupholster Parson's Chair- DIY- Instruction- Accent Chair


Pelmet- Upholstered- DIY- Velvet


Interior Design- Redecorate- Revamp- Instructions- DIY- Ideas- Master Bedroom


My pelmets are not nearly as amazing as Sheffield’s or the others above but for my first pelmet, I have to say I’m pretty pleased.  The best part of all is that by creating pelmets wider than my windows, I was able to address the issue I had with those strange narrow windows.

Making an upholstered pelmet is really easy.  With the creative designs of today, it can be a great way to update a room and your windows.   Here are the instructions for how we made the ones for my master bedroom if you’re interested in making them yourself.

Step 1: Determine measurements for the box itself.

The first thing I did was decide on the height, width and depth of my boxes.  Because I wanted to make my window appear wider than what it is, I measured across my window (frame to frame) which was 14 inches.  I basically doubled the width of the window in the width of my pelmet.  I felt like anything wider would overpower the room.


Pelmet- Upholstered- DIY- Velvet
I haven’t found anything online regarding a rule of thumb when deciding on a pelmet width but it really depends on the size of the window and how much wall room you have to work with {allowance}.  If you have a lot of wall room and want more wall dedicated to the drapes and the pelmet yourself, you can make your box wider.  If you have very little wall space to work with and want to keep the drapes to a minimum, you would go narrower.  The best way to decided on your measurements is cutting poster board and taping it above the windows to really get an idea.

For the depth of my pelmet, I decided on 6 inches.  6 inches allowed enough room from drapes and the rod and again, I didn’t want them to come out too much.  Of course if you have a much wider window and pelmet, you will want more depth so it would proportionally balance.

For the height of my pelmet, we went with 12 inches.  Because I am using a tension rod, I don’t have to worry about the height of the placement of the box because I can adjust my rod.

Step 2: Build the Box

After much research, we decided to build the box out of plywood.  We cut a wood pieces for the front and two side pieces for the depth and attached with nails and wood glue.  We then covered the box with two layers of batting and stapled to the inside back:





Step 3: Attach Back Bar to Studs:

In order to make sure that the box would be secure and never fall or come away from the wall, we decided that it was best to attach a 2 x 4 cut to the exact measurements of the exact width of the inside of our box.  The nails went in right at the studs:



Step 4: Upholster the Box:

We cut enough the material that would cover the box and be enough to staple to the back.  We then covered the batting with the material and pulled tight and stapled.  We did this to both boxes.  We then hammered in our nail head trim:



Step 5: Attach Box to Wood Back Board/Bar:

After our boxes were upholstered, we then slid the box over the window to where the inside sides were touching the sides of our bar and with a nail gun with finishing nails (no head), we nailed in the nails to secure:



Because we used long finishing nails, we were able to shoot the nail through through the fabric and then with tweezers, we pulled the outside fabric away from the nails, so you would not see the nails:



Step 6: Attach the Rod and Drapes:

I decided to use a thick tension rod to attach my drapes.  I wanted to make it easy and not have to worry about the exact placement of the box.  This way if I have some flexibility in changing the style of drapes if I want.  The rod is very secure and it looks perfect:


Reupholster Parson's Chair- DIY- Instruction- Accent Chair


Pelmet- Upholstered- DIY- Velvet


I am really please with the end result of the project and I am so glad that I found all of the pelmet inspiration on Pinterest to convince me.  Without the eye candy, I would have never been even given it a thought! Are you convinced?

Well friends, I have a lot of crazy stuff going on this week!  I am trying to finalize the printable templates for the tree cones and I have come up with a pattern that gives perfect cones every time.  Because of this, I was able to design a fabric template too!  My goal is to have this downloadable templates available as soon as possible in my new my new online shop that is coming hopefully by the end of the week. If you are not familiar with my fabric covered Christmas tree cones, you can learn about them by clicking the image below:


Instructions for poster board tree cones- Craft- Christmas- DIY- How


If you are interested in being emailed when the templates are ready for sale, please leave me a note in the comment section here and I will send you a note when everything is ready.

Also, over the next few months, I am going to be adding a lot of unique items to my online store and I will go more into that as soon as I make some final decisions.  Nothing like flying by the seat of your pants, right?!?

I will keep you posted!

Thank you to all of you for your kind comments, sweet notes , emails and comments on The Creativity Exchange Facebook Page regarding my bedroom revamp.  You all just warmed my heart and I appreciate you all so much.  Thank you!




This entry was posted in Box Valance, Decorate, DIY, Do It Yourself Projects, Window Treatments and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to How to DIY a Pelmet or Box Valance…

  1. deb says:

    Great idea..looks wonderful! Love the colors you used in your room. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Megan says:

    This project idea has been on my to do list forever. 🙂 Your project turned out fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing your tutorial. They really make your windows seem larger with them and the curtains combined. Beautiful job!!

  3. Looks awesome Cyndy! I would love an email about the cones when the pattern is ready! Happy Tuesday!

  4. This looks beautiful, I am turning the little nook in my bedroom into my “home office” I think I just might use this idea!

  5. dana says:

    Can you give a source for the top photo with the zebra rug, white bedding and drapes trimmed in black, and the two puppy dogs in the chair? I would like to see more or investigate more on that room in particular. Thanks!

  6. Yikes, I’d hate to tell you how much I paid to have two of these made for me 10 years ago. Wish I had known how easy they are to make. They look so elegant and really add dimension to the room. Love them.

  7. Meg says:

    would definitely like to know when the templates are for sale! Love those “cornice boards” as we say around here! Beautiful work!

  8. Frankie Hughes says:

    Great idea for the window treatment.

    Please let me know when your fabric tree template is ready.


  9. Pendra says:

    Wow, your bedroom update and pelmet valances are AMAZING! We just purchased a new to us home…it’s 44 years old and hasn’t been painted in 44 years (not to forget all the 44 year old wallpaper). So I am busy trying to find DIY ideas. Thanks for sharing, it’s all beautiful! Also love the Cone Trees and would love to know a little more info about ordering the templates.
    Crafty Hugs from your newest follower,
    pendrah (at) comcast (dot) net

  10. I never would have considered a pelmet either, until I saw all of your great inspiration pictures here. I’m dealing with an awkward window in my master bedroom as well, and wondering if I can adapt this somehow in that space….

    Thanks for sharing.

  11. I never thought I would want to use a pelmet either until I saw yours and these inspiration pictures.

    I’m dealing with an awkward window situation as well in my master, and I think this might help remedy the situation, besides for the fact that I like the look:

    Thanks for posting this step by step; I already showed it to my husband. We will have to customize it a bit to fit the shape of our ceiling, but he seems to be up for the project. I will be sure to share pictures once we are done – although I won’t lie, it could take some time with all the other things we have going on around here. 🙂

    Thanks again.

  12. Liz says:

    I’m in the middle of making box valences, but I chose to make them out of styrofoam sheeting, easier for me to hang, added batting and a beige linen. I couldn’t decide on the nailheads – going around the sides just on the bottom, or a design? But you’ve inspired me and I love that you use the trim in a square only on the front. I’ll try that design and see how it looks. Thanks!

  13. kiki says:

    Such a beautiful blog and I love the pelmets you created. Very inspirational indeed!

  14. Heidi Pearson says:

    This was awesome! I’d love to purchase this template. Standing by for your email! xo


  15. s says:

    Hi, looks great and I LOVE your bed – where did you get it from? thanks in advance

  16. Cande Buyuklu says:

    Love the way your windows turned out, it really made a huge difference in the appearance of your beautiful bedroom. I’ve been considering a pelmet for years but it’s so costly to have it done professionally that I could never afford to have it done. I went to the trouble of purchasing a book about making them but it’s so hard I never did that either. Your idea of attaching the extra piece of wood to the studs is brilliant!! Most of the pelmet ideas are attached to the ceiling and require some major overhaul or professionals to get it to hang correctly and not come crashing down because of the heavy weight. I’m overjoyed you put this up on Pinterest!~!! I’m finally going to be able to finish my beautiful drapes and get them looking like I want. I spent over $1,000 on my drapes and now I can finally get them to look really professional as well. Thank you VERY much for a great idea..can’t wait!! By the way, love your bedroom, especially the bed; it’s truly beautiful and the new drapes just make it more so. :o)

  17. Krystie says:

    The bedroom looks like. It’s in a model home now! Love your solution, great job!

  18. Thomas Bartell says:

    I usually look at creative ideas on the internet with mild
    enthusiasm, but your treatment for the long thin window
    is beyond comparison. What a clever thing you are!

    Y’rs truly, T Bartell.

  19. Charla Olson says:

    I made these out of insulation board and duck tape! Light weight and easy to install! Just built a new house and get lots of compliments on them! Thanks for sharing.

  20. Rose Lake says:

    Would love the templates for the tall thin round Christmas trees cones covered in fabric or paper.

  21. Aileen Burns says:

    Hi Cyndy,

    Please can u let me know when the templates are available to buy in relation to window pelmets.



  22. what do you call a three sided cornice board?

  23. Christina says:

    Love this idea. Ive been out of the DIY for a very long time and would like to get back into it. With my husband’s tools and more time on my hands now, maybe I can get to make things to decorate my home like a pro.
    Thanks for the directions too! Great blog.

  24. Clare says:

    Did you have the drapes custom
    Made ? Are they punch pleat ?

  25. Amanda says:

    hi I’ve just moved into my new home so I am looking for inspiration for my house and this seems to be a great website especially the boxed valance

  26. Pingback: Copy Cat Chic Room Redo | Glamorous Girls Room

  27. Fiona says:

    Super idea!! Love those pelmets. Do you have templates did you say? If so, I’d love them. Thanks ever so!

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