Making an elaborate wood and fabric cornice board

1/2" scale drawing for Window Treatment

As with all my projects a 1/2" scale drawing was done of the proposed window treatment.

Inspiration was drawn from an interesting antique bed that was to be used in the room.  The panels in the headboard have fabric inserts.  I suggested we repeat the fabric insert idea in the upholstered cornice and echo the dark wood finish of the furniture.  The idea was well received and the project begun.

The main part of the cornice is constructed out of plyboard.

I have shown basic construction on other cornice blogs so I will not here.  The only difference between this basic construction and others is that the top is cut to extend beyond the front and ends about 2 1/2" to accept the small crown molding to be added.

A circle pattern was made on paper.  The paper was folded double, evened out , placed on the  front, traced with a marker and cut out with a sabre saw.

Small crown molding was added to the top, a sash bead molding and 1" square wooden strip to the bottom.  The square strip covered the plyboard edge on the bottom.
Small crown added to top and stained

1" bottom finish strip ans sash bead molding

 Nail holes were filled.  All wood that would show was stained and given a satin finish.

A layer of polyester furniture batting is spot stapled in place.

Relief cut made at corner

The velvet is pre cut to a few inches longer and wider than the surface to be covered.

I mark the center front top and bottom and staple the fabric tight from middle to end both directions.  When going around the corners with moldings it is necessary to cut "relief" cuts.

They are cut from the edge of the fabric up to the corner you are rounding.  They keep the molding from preventing the fabric from fitting snugly.

Turn the cornice face down.  Cut the outline of the  circled part out.  Keep your cut about 3" from the

Nex cut relief cuts about every 2 or 3 "apart.
Start in the top part of the rounded shape, pull each "tab" tight and staple.  As you do this watch how the front is looking.  You want the front to look smooth and even.

On the center strip cut off excess fabric.

The edge will either need a welt cord to finish it or a trim as shown here.  Note:  The ends of cording must be taped before cutting to prevent unraveling.  I also secured the end with a staple.

The white edge "lip" is stapled so that it is concealed in the thickness of the plyboard when the next step is completed.

Cut 2' bias strips of fabric.  Put the face of the bias fabric against the "lip" of the cord and staple it in place.

Now come back with 3/4" cardboard furniture stripping.  Staple the stripping so that it aligns  with the outside edge of the board.  The purpose of the striping is to give you a smooth edge.

Once the stripping is on come back, pull the bias fabric snug around to the back and staple.  You will need to cut relief cuts in it as well.

Now it is time to make double welt cord.  This will be used to cover staples and finish the edges.
making a double welt

Second cord laid next to covered one
First cover one cord. Using the zipper foot stitch close to the cord.  Be sure to keep the fabric tight on the cord. I like to keep the edge the width of the foot.

Second cord is being stitched over stitch of first cord
Next lay the second cord next to the covered one.

Keeping the fabric flat, roll the covered cord to the
right and over top of the uncovered cord.

Using the straight stitch foot stitch on top of the stitch from covering the first cord.
It will look like the picture to the right.

Carefully trim off excess fabric.

Fabric is stripped back before ends of cord are removed                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

White fabric glue is put on the back of welt.
Before starting to attach the double welt I peel back the fabric and pull about an inch of cord and cut it off.  I then fold over the end and staple on the seam for a clean start.

With the end anchored with a staple white fabric glue is used to help attach the double welt.

It is good to staple at corners and every 12" or so to help hold the weld while and after the glue dries.  The double welt covers the staples .  I could have used gimp or trim.  On this design I wanted the emphasis on the open part so that was the obvious place to use the multi color trim.

If you look closely you can see where I put a cautionary staple.
When the project is complete it will hardly be noticeable.

Now that the double welt is in place top and bottom, it is time to work on the fabric insert.

A piece of luan  (1/4") ply board is cut to fit the inside of the cornice front.  It is the inside dimensions except that it is cut 1/2" shorter top to bottom. 

The outline of the circles are traced on the board.  Then another line is drawn parallel to the first 2" farther out.  This margin will assure that no edges show when the panel is put in place.

Check the length from center to the line. cut a piece of fabric the longest length and 3 times the fullness of the bottom width.
Measure the circumference of the half circle.  If for example it is 30" divide by a number you think will give you an answer of somewhere between 2 and 3.  That will be the number of folds you will have.  Thumbtack the center of the fabric to the center of the circle top and bottom.  Start at the center top and tack the fabric at the pre planned points.  At the bottom center you will pull the fabric to create the center pleat.  You will keep adjusting the amount of fabric in the fold until it stands up as shown.  Do the same til the end.  You will have to adjust the folds periodically until it looks good.  Then put some long staples to be sure it is attached.  Repeat the process on the other half.  When the bottom is done, use 1/4" staples and attach the fabric where the thumb tacks are.
There is no professional way to say this, but when all the fabric is stapled and secure, knall of the wad at the bottom with your scissors.

When both fans are finished I attached a strip of fabric that covered the bottom inch of the fans and the laun wrapped it around and attached to the back of the laun.  This way the bottom edge is covered and neat.

The panels are fit inside the cornice, the inside is lined in fabric lining and it is done.