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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.


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.


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.

cornice boards

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.


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.








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!

IMG_1304 IMG_2316-1

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.


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.
Jamielyn Nye is the owner and managing editor of I Heart Nap Time. She aspires to reach women, get their creative juices flowing, and to genuinely inspire. Her unique projects have been featured on many popular websites, including: BHG, Martha Stewart, Fox, ABC, People, Parents and more. 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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87 Responses to “Tutorial: How to make a wood valance window treatment”

  1. sarah

    Okay this just gave me courage to try! That would look awesome in my bedroom. How much Was the grand total ?

  2. .

    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

  3. Mrs.D

    Thanks so much!! Love this! I've been looking for a tutorial like this for a few weeks.

  4. Sarah @ The Bird's Papaya

    that's amazing!! it may be a bit of work, but so much reward! good job!

  5. Melanna

    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!

  6. Danielle

    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.

  7. Erin @ Crafts and Sutch

    YAY, Jamielyn! You did a great job of "linking" me to your blog…which I adore! You did a beautiful job on the valance! :)

  8. Frugal Home Designs

    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.

  9. Summers Camp

    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

  10. Tiffany @ithinkicouldmakethat

    SOOOOO awesome! I really need to do this. Doesn't seem too hard at all.

  11. Jeni

    I would love to make these for my big living room windows. They would fit the style of my home and really add beauty!

  12. Inspired by you

    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!

  13. Angela

    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!

  14. Rose @ Confessions of a Curbshopaholic

    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.

  15. Emily @ LaForce Be With You

    You made this look so simple and fantastic! Really makes a big difference!

  16. Becca

    This is soooo great! Thanks for linking! I'll be featuring this tute on BCD on Feb 17th! thanks!

  17. Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking

    Great tutorial! I'm putting it in the Spotlight @ the PoPP. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  18. Creative Escapes

    WOW – beautiful!!!! I can think of so many places in my house I could do this to.

  19. Becky@Beyond The Picket Fence

    Very professional looking! Impressive! Thanks for linking up to Beyond the Picket Fence.

  20. Knudsen's

    Wow ! That really makes your window pop. Thanks for the inspiration! I think this is something I will try. Camille :)

  21. [email protected]

    Those look great! And what a great tute! Thanks for sharing … I'll be linking. And please come join my link party anytime!


  22. Our Seven Dwarfs

    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

  23. Jill @ Blessings of a Lifetime

    Beeeeeautiful! I'm gonna be bustin' out a few of these!

    Thank you so much for sharing, you clever girl!

    Blessings, — Jill


  24. Kiera

    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!

  25. Dana

    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.

  26. Chris

    Thanks so much for this! I have been searching the web for exactly this idea!!!!

  27. Sweet Southern Symphony

    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!! :)

  28. Noelle @ Mesa AZ Photography

    I love that. You make it sound so easy.

    It adds a serious designer touch to the whole room.

  29. [email protected]

    I LOVE this!! I would love for you to share it at my Linky Party!



  30. C@TheGiacobbeDiaries

    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!

  31. Blissful Chaos

    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!

  32. Janet

    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!

  33. kim

    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 :)

  34. Kim

    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!

  35. www.fashionsunglassescool.org

    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!

  36. Kitsel

    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!!!

  37. lisa

    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.

  38. Debbie

    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.

  39. Joan

    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!

  40. Sondra

    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

  41. Tanya

    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?

  42. teresa

    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!!!

  43. Megs

    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 :)

    • Jamielyn

      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!

  44. Grace

    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.

  45. Lauren

    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 :)

  46. Stacie

    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!!

  47. Debbie

    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?

      • Roxanne

        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

          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! :)

  48. Star

    I really like the valances. I’m now inspired to make two of my own! Thanks for the idea & the tutorial!