Tutorial: How to make a wood valance window treatment

I have been staring at the blank window in my living room for a whole year now. I kept thinking about doing a window valance tutorial and then kept putting it off. I finally decided I wanted to make a wooden cornice. I saw a similar version in a model home once and loved it! After doing a little googling, I decided to make one of my own, that way it would be unique. How hard could it be?

It really wasn’t that hard to make…it just took time letting the glue and paint dry. It was well worth the wait though!

how to make a cornice

We finished it last week, and I LOOVE it! It adds the perfect touch to our living room.

how to make a window valance

This trim and scroll on the wood cornice adds a wonderful look!

Do you recognize the crown molding? It’s the same kind we used in our kitchen makeover. It’s my favorite stuff. You can find it at Lowes.

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To make this you’ll need to start out with a long piece of MDF wood. Decide how long you want it and how wide. I bought a pre primed piece of MDF wood and had it cut down to 65” x 11”. Measure your window and decide what your measurements will be. I wanted a fairly large cornice so I chose 11 in. for the height but I think anywhere from 5”-12” would look great.

 

 

 

how to make a wood valance

I bought some trim to place at the bottom of the board to add a little more character.

how to make a cornice board

We glued that on using power grab.

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I also wanted to add one of these scrolly things to the base. I LOVE those things…whatever their called. ;) After everything was glued I added two coats of Swiss coffee paint.

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I had two 4” X 11” in. pieces as well to give the valance good depth. We attached these to the main board using L brackets.

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After everything was attached we had to fill in some gaps in between the molding. We used wood putty for filling. That stuff can work miracles I tell ya. Once that was dry we sanded it down one last time and then I added one more coat of paint to seal the deal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We then attached some more L brackets to the wall, so we could attach the wood cornice. Look how boring that window is. Not for long!

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We also attached these wooden circles, so if I decided later to add curtains I could. These are found by the wooden rods at home depot. To hang curtains, you would buy a long wooden rod, and place it between the circles. Then you could hang your curtains from the rod. I found the awesome idea on All Things Thrifty. I plan to add curtains later… I just need to decide what color and find time to sew them.

 

custom window treatments

 

So what do you think of the window treatment?!

I love how it turned out, and it looks great in our living room.

Let me know if you have any questions.

UPDATE: To see more from the living room makeover click here.

FAQ: 

It was cut at a 45 degree angle.  It is more difficult than cutting normal base boards or chair rails, though.  The trick is that when you are cutting it, you can not just lay it flat and cut it at 45 degrees.  In the cutting box the molding needs to be standing just as it will be standing when you have it on the valance or else the angle will be incorrect when you try to put them together.  Does this make sense? Sorry, it is a little hard to explain.

 As for the trim on the bottom, I cannot remember the exact size but I think it is about a 1 1/2 inch tall.  We got it at Lowes in the molding and base board section.  You can make it taller or shorter, depending on how big the overall cornice is going to be.

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Jamielyn Nye

Lifestyle expert, Pinterest tastemaker and blogger at iheartnaptime.com. Jamielyn aspires to reach women, get their creative juices flowing, and to genuinely inspire. When she’s not creating, Jamielyn loves to chase her two little monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.

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Comments

  1. Life In The Thrifty Lane posted on February 7, 2011 at 11:05 pm (#
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    Looks GREAT!!!!!!

    Reply

  2. Michelle @ Loving Every Second posted on February 7, 2011 at 11:24 pm (#
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    I love it! It's so pretty. And I love the detail on it!

    Reply

  3. Emily posted on February 7, 2011 at 11:29 pm (#
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    The hard work always pays off in the end! It looks really great!

    Reply

  4. sarah posted on February 7, 2011 at 11:32 pm (#
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    Okay this just gave me courage to try! That would look awesome in my bedroom. How much Was the grand total ?

    Reply

  5. Tauni posted on February 7, 2011 at 11:57 pm (#
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    Wow. This looks great. I bet it really transforms the whole room.

    Reply

  6. . posted on February 8, 2011 at 12:57 am (#
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    Thank you so much for the inspiration. I have a couple of windows like that and I think I will try this out too! TFS…. Bug Hugs :D

    Reply

  7. Shahny posted on February 8, 2011 at 1:29 am (#
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    This is gorgeous!! I absolutely love it

    Reply

  8. Mrs.D posted on February 8, 2011 at 3:40 am (#
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    Thanks so much!! Love this! I've been looking for a tutorial like this for a few weeks.

    Reply

  9. Sarah @ The Bird's Papaya posted on February 8, 2011 at 6:10 am (#
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    that's amazing!! it may be a bit of work, but so much reward! good job!

    Reply

  10. Melanna posted on February 8, 2011 at 8:19 am (#
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    I'm showing this to the husband as soon as he gets home from work. Our windows need serious help (one year is nothing, we've been in this house for 4 and some windows don't even have coverings!!). Thanks for the tutorial and the idea!

    Reply

  11. KirkKrew posted on February 8, 2011 at 8:23 am (#
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    Love it! We have a wooden cornice in our living room too after having a bare window for 4 years! Here's a link to ours: http://kirkkrew.blogspot.com/2010/12/stockings-were-hung.html

    Reply

  12. Danielle posted on February 8, 2011 at 10:12 am (#
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    That looks awesome! I so wish I had the patience to do one of my own. Maybe I can get my dad to make me one. He is the more creative one with wood.

    Reply

  13. Erin @ Crafts and Sutch posted on February 8, 2011 at 10:31 am (#
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    YAY, Jamielyn! You did a great job of "linking" me to your blog…which I adore! You did a beautiful job on the valance! :)

    Reply

  14. Rachael posted on February 8, 2011 at 10:39 am (#
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    It looks awesome! So professional…love how you trimmed it out. I hope you'll share at my linky party this weekend :)
    http://www.lovelycraftyhome.com

    Reply

  15. the cape on the corner posted on February 8, 2011 at 1:05 pm (#
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    looks great, and super idea!

    Reply

  16. Frugal Home Designs posted on February 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm (#
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    That looks great. I was thinking of making something like this for over my daughter's bed, kind of like a canopy. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

  17. Lyndsey posted on February 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm (#
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    I am in LOVE With this idea!!!!

    Reply

  18. alimoll posted on February 8, 2011 at 3:26 pm (#
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    I love it! Looks FAB!

    Reply

  19. Summers Camp posted on February 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm (#
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    It looks fabulous! I've been planning something similar for our kitchen nook… except I'm wrapping mine in batting and fabric ;) It'll be the finishing touch on my near finished nook! So excited.

    Speaking of kitchens, do you mind telling me how much your counter-tops cost? I'm trying to get a general idea of how much it'd cost to have ours redone… thanks for sharing all your awesomeness! *B

    Reply

  20. Tiffany @ithinkicouldmakethat posted on February 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm (#
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    SOOOOO awesome! I really need to do this. Doesn't seem too hard at all.

    Reply

  21. Jeni posted on February 9, 2011 at 8:20 am (#
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    I would love to make these for my big living room windows. They would fit the style of my home and really add beauty!

    Reply

  22. Inspired by you posted on February 9, 2011 at 8:31 am (#
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    Love it! Thanks for the tutorial. I have been wanting to make one to go above my bed. I will definitely be coming back to follow your steps!

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  23. Angela posted on February 9, 2011 at 11:08 am (#
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    I love it– I've been wanting to make fabric covered ones to add to the decor in the master bedroom… but now I'm thinking wood. Thanks for the tutorial!

    Reply

  24. Rose @ Confessions of a Curbshopaholic posted on February 10, 2011 at 3:40 am (#
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    Love the idea to add the rod brackets on the inside. I made valances a few years ago from old door casing and really had a hard time putting the curtains up, DUH! I should have attached brackets directly to the valance!
    ;) Good thinking on your part.

    Reply

  25. Emily @ LaForce Be With You posted on February 10, 2011 at 12:29 pm (#
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    You made this look so simple and fantastic! Really makes a big difference!

    Reply

  26. Becca posted on February 11, 2011 at 6:44 am (#
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    This is soooo great! Thanks for linking! I'll be featuring this tute on BCD on Feb 17th! thanks!

    Reply

  27. Erin @ The Little Apartment posted on February 11, 2011 at 7:12 pm (#
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    Wow, that looks great AND you make it look so simple (:

    Reply

  28. Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking posted on February 11, 2011 at 10:28 pm (#
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    Great tutorial! I'm putting it in the Spotlight @ the PoPP. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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  29. Creative Escapes posted on February 12, 2011 at 11:38 am (#
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    WOW – beautiful!!!! I can think of so many places in my house I could do this to.

    Reply

  30. Becky@Beyond The Picket Fence posted on February 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm (#
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    Very professional looking! Impressive! Thanks for linking up to Beyond the Picket Fence.

    Reply

  31. Erica posted on February 12, 2011 at 5:30 pm (#
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    This looks really good. I have quite a few windows that need this….
    thanks for sharing :)

    Reply

  32. Knudsen's posted on February 13, 2011 at 12:10 am (#
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    Wow ! That really makes your window pop. Thanks for the inspiration! I think this is something I will try. Camille :)

    Reply

  33. [email protected] posted on February 13, 2011 at 1:11 am (#
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    Those look great! And what a great tute! Thanks for sharing … I'll be linking. And please come join my link party anytime!

    http://childmade.com/index.php?name=Shared%20links

    Reply

  34. Kristen Duke Photography posted on February 13, 2011 at 9:25 am (#
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    LOVE this!!!

    Reply

  35. Heather@The Black's Best posted on February 13, 2011 at 9:50 am (#
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    This is beautiful…thank you for the tutorial!

    Reply

  36. Our Seven Dwarfs posted on February 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm (#
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    This is fantastic. I bookmarked this so I could come back to it in the future. I sure would love to do this to our windows in our living room! Thanks for the tutorial.

    Jill of oursevendwarfs.com

    Reply

  37. Jill @ Blessings of a Lifetime posted on February 16, 2011 at 8:41 am (#
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    Beeeeeautiful! I'm gonna be bustin' out a few of these!

    Thank you so much for sharing, you clever girl!

    Blessings, — Jill

    blessingsofalifetime.blogspot.com

    Reply

  38. Kiera posted on February 17, 2011 at 6:58 am (#
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    I have a really big window in my living that is begging for window treatments, but I don't know how to sew. This just might be the perfect solution, and I love how it looks on you window. I just may add this my honey to do list (I don't know how to use power tools either lol). Thanks!

    Reply

  39. Anna posted on February 17, 2011 at 5:07 pm (#
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    That looks awesome! Now I'm trying to figure out where I could put one in my house. :)

    Anna
    http://www.askannamoseley.com

    Reply

  40. Dana posted on March 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm (#
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    I hate to be a dork…but what brand is your Swiss Coffee paint? I'm always looking for just the right white paint and I thought I'd give this a try.
    Thanks!!

    Reply

  41. Joy @ Thrifty Parsonage Living posted on March 7, 2011 at 11:37 pm (#
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    Looks great! Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

    Reply

  42. Chris posted on March 8, 2011 at 7:12 am (#
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    Thanks so much for this! I have been searching the web for exactly this idea!!!!

    Reply

  43. Sweet Southern Symphony posted on March 8, 2011 at 10:11 pm (#
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    Looks awesome! I keep staring at the windows in the living room wondering what to do with them – now I know! Thanks :) Thanks for posting it on Thrifty Decor Chick!! :)

    Reply

  44. Noelle @ Mesa AZ Photography posted on March 9, 2011 at 8:58 am (#
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    I love that. You make it sound so easy.

    It adds a serious designer touch to the whole room.

    Reply

  45. [email protected] posted on March 9, 2011 at 10:05 am (#
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    I LOVE this!! I would love for you to share it at my Linky Party!

    *ENTER LINKY PAR-TAY Here! *

    xoxokara

    Reply

  46. C@TheGiacobbeDiaries posted on March 11, 2011 at 11:59 am (#
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    You just inspired me! I think I want to do this in our living room and dining room. In our dining room we have sliders and this would dress them up. do you think if they were wider than the windows then curtains would fit? You did a great job!

    Reply

  47. Blissful Chaos posted on March 11, 2011 at 10:39 pm (#
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    Oh my you just made my day! I'm sitting in my office underneath this woven roman shade that I never covered with a fabric cornice because I'm too lazy and I realized that this would work so much better!
    And it looks soooo easy!
    Thank you for the tutorial! It looks great in your living room!

    Reply

  48. linda @ craftaholics anonymous posted on April 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm (#
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    very nice Jamielyn! Turned out awesome. Gave it a big thumbs up!! :)
    happy crafting!
    Linda

    Reply

  49. Vivienne @ The V Spot posted on April 25, 2011 at 9:27 pm (#
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    It looks fantastic! Love!

    Reply

  50. Janet posted on September 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm (#
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    What a great tutorial! Such a great idea to add the circles for the curtain rod now, even though you don’t have your curtains done yet! You have such a knack for forethought!

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on September 14th, 2011 at 10:08 pm

      Thanks so much Janet! I have yet to make curtains… definitely on my ever growing to-do list! :)

      Reply

  51. Kelley posted on October 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm (#
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    Very nice! What color is your wall paint? it’s a nice contrast?

    Reply

  52. Cherry Cross posted on December 14, 2011 at 12:48 am (#
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    Very nice! Thanks :) Thanks for posting it on Thrifty Decor Chick!!

    Reply

  53. kim posted on January 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm (#
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    thank you for posting this!!! it is extremely helpful.. I think i will attempt to make these cornices?valance.. I want to make the tops solid so I can put knickknacks on top :)

    Reply

  54. Kim posted on April 18, 2012 at 9:30 am (#
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    Love love love! Thank you for this amazing tutorial. Going to look into something like this for our front rooms windows. :)

    Your Blog is amazing! One of my favorites!

    Reply

  55. Sandra Goodick posted on June 17, 2012 at 11:44 am (#
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    Love it!

    Reply

  56. www.fashionsunglassescool.org posted on July 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm (#
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    Hey there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading through your posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics? Thank you!

    Reply

  57. Kitsel posted on July 27, 2012 at 11:34 am (#
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    I love this! I think it is just what my living room windows need. Now to work up the courage to actually *do* it! Thanks!!!

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  58. padlock wig posted on July 31, 2012 at 8:02 am (#
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    would like to make these

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  59. lisa posted on September 20, 2012 at 7:09 am (#
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    Awesome! I am having trouble deciding between rod/sheers or a cornice, and this helps!

    Did you use a hand saw and a miter box to cut the top molding/trim?
    Did you return the small trim piece on the bottom around each corner? It looks like it is only on the front side.

    Reply

  60. Debbie posted on September 20, 2012 at 8:32 am (#
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    When I first seen this I was what a neat place to add shelving to a room. I’m a huge house plant person and I’m always trying to find a way to get more of them near the windows. Thinking these, with a top piece of thick plaxi glass (need to keep the light coming in), would make a nice place to display some of my smaller hanging plants. I already have a custom made window box put up sideways to make a cubby above one of my windows, this will be a nice twist to a look I already have going.

    Reply

  61. Joan posted on September 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm (#
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    I just saw this on Tip Junkie and love it. Do you think you could give me a ballpark figure as to cost to make it? Thanks!

    Reply

  62. Sondra posted on October 9, 2012 at 7:27 am (#
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    Are the wall brackets a standard item that I can pick up at Home Depot or Lowes? I will be making one of these as soon as I get the brackets. Looks great. Thanks, Sondra

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  63. Shannon posted on October 27, 2012 at 7:01 am (#
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    I am so trying this!!! I love it!!

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  64. Jo Ann posted on November 9, 2012 at 11:59 am (#
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    On the top of it , isthat one piece of trim also ? How did you make that ?

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  65. Erika posted on November 20, 2012 at 5:35 am (#
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    Just what my living room windows need, I’m excited to use your fab idea to turn them from blah to beautiful!

    Reply

  66. Tanya posted on December 21, 2012 at 3:04 am (#
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    Beautiful! Good job job! Just a question, the small trim you put at the base of the wood, did you only put it on the front, or did you do angled cuts and extend it around the sides as well, like the crown moulding? I’m worried it might look a little off if I don’t wrap it around the sides?

    Reply

  67. teresa posted on December 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm (#
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    Love this!!! I also did one like this but put foam and a material on it love. Could also put fringe or other things on . Teresa I love your pins soooo creative keep it up!!!

    Reply

  68. Megs posted on December 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm (#
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    May i ask how long this took to make you? I’m being overly ambitious… we’re have a get together tomorrow night at our house and I’d love to have this complete by then but my husband is pulling out his hair :)

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on December 30th, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      Hmm… it probably took us about 6 hours total with the building, sanding and painting. Way to be ambitious! YA! Good luck! You’ll love the difference it makes!

      Reply

  69. Grace posted on January 14, 2013 at 11:06 am (#
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    Beautiful job on the valance! Yours is dressier than the original. Do you think a 12-foot valance would be too heavy made from MDF? My windows go to the ceiling so it might be tricky to add an extra support.

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on January 14th, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      It should be fine as long as the support brackets are nailed into studs. Hope that helps!

      Reply

  70. susan posted on March 16, 2013 at 8:06 am (#
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    Where did u get the wall brackets from?

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    • Jamielyn replied on March 17th, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      Hi Susan! We got them at Lowes in the hardware isle. Hope that helps!

      Reply

  71. Shani posted on March 27, 2013 at 11:12 am (#
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    Oh I am absolutely doing this in my dining room!

    Reply

  72. Lauren posted on April 17, 2013 at 8:08 am (#
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    Looks great. I too have been looking at my window and now have an idea :), only difference is I am going to do my curtains with velcro on the inside of the valance :)

    Reply

  73. Stacie posted on May 12, 2013 at 10:48 am (#
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    I love this idea! I’ve been trying to find something to put over my windows in my living and dining room, and cannot find anything I like. I just showed my husband this, and I can’t wait to tackle this project!! Thanks for sharing!!

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on May 12th, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      You’ll love it! It makes a huge difference! Thanks for commenting! :D

      Reply

  74. Kay Long posted on August 27, 2013 at 10:54 am (#
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    Omg! I really want to give this a try. Thank you so much for sharing….

    Reply

  75. Debbie posted on October 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm (#
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    Hi I she where you put the dodo/trim but there is no instructions for the top? os that just wood moulding you would use for walls?

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on November 4th, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      Hi Debbie! Yes, the top is just crown molding that you would use on walls! :)

      Reply

      • Roxanne replied on January 4th, 2014 at 9:16 pm

        Found this on pinterest and love it! I have three windows that are separated by about 6 inches of wall space. The total would be about 13 feet. Do you think this would work as one long piece? Also, which crown molding did you use? I followed the link to your kitchen makeover, which looks great, but I didn’t see which crown molding you used. Thanks!

        • Jamielyn replied on January 9th, 2014 at 2:35 pm

          Hi Roxanne! Yes, I think it could work as one long piece. I would just make sure to add extra support in the middle! I’m sorry, I don’t remember the name of the crown molding…but I bought it at Lowe’s! Good luck with your project! :)

  76. John Gimpel posted on March 19, 2014 at 10:51 am (#
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    I really like this and am going to pursue this to make for our house.

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on March 20th, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      We loved having this wood valence window in our house! Let us know how it goes! :)

      Reply

  77. Star posted on April 28, 2014 at 4:29 am (#
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    I really like the valances. I’m now inspired to make two of my own! Thanks for the idea & the tutorial!

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on April 29th, 2014 at 12:27 am

      You are very welcome! Thanks for stopping by, good luck with your valances!

      Reply

  78. Carolynn Horby posted on August 2, 2014 at 8:19 pm (#
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    I love your wood valence!  I wonder if you could elaborate on the L bracket that you used to hang it- I’m having trouble seeing it. It looks like it is more than one if that makes sense. 

    Thanks

    Carolynn

    Reply