How to Build a Pergola Style Upholstered Cornice

  My client had a number of oriental style accents and need new window treatments.  I suggested a pergola style cornice, showed her two sketches, she chose the one she liked best and I got started. <br>

She chose the bottom design which featured a stripe fabric in the center and on each end.  The end stripes would then line up with the stripe trim on the standing


A paper pattern was drawn.   Always remember to fold your pattern in half and trim again so both sides are the same.   Sing a felt tipped pen the pattern was traced on to 1/2" plyboard.<br>

Since the window was wider than the 8 foot length

plyboard comes in,  a piece had to be cut and spliced on one end.   It was secured with a 4" piece of plyboard glued and screwed.  The splice was used on the inside of the cornice so that it would not show.

A grid pattern was marked and cut out of the plyboard to lessen the weight but maintain stability.<br>

Side pieces were cut and aligned with the straight part of the cornice front, glued and screwed.  The board forming the top of the cornice was attached to the face and end boards forming the cornice "box." <br>

Two small end pieces were cut to align with the face board and were attached to the end boards of the cornice box.   A piece was attached to brace face board with the shaped end pieces.<br>

Here you see the final wooden frame of the cornice board.<br>

Black out lining is stapled over the geometric cut outs.  This is important to prevent the cut outs from showing through to the face of the cornice.<br>

Next the entire board is covered in heavy flannel inner lining.

Note that the flannel is stretched and stapled to the underneath part of the rounded portion on each end.<br>

Next fiber batting was spot tacked on the entire cornice board.

The Stripe pattern was cut apart and and stitched in place with the white fabric.

The cover was then stretched and stapled over

The cornice board.  *My earlier cornice blogs go into detail as to how to maneuver around corners and shapes.<br>

After the face fabric in stapled in place and trimmed, cut a piece of fabric a couple of inches wider than the depth of the cornice.

Lay it face down on the front of the cornice and staple the edge in place .

Then staple  cardboard stripping over the edge of the fabric just attached.  Be sure to align the top edge of the striping with the hard edge of the face of the cornice board.<br>

After the stripping is in place pull the fabric to the back and staple on the back.

Cut a 3" strip of fabric and repeat the process on the bottom edge of the front of the cornice board.

Line the inside with lining fabric.


Unfortunately the lighting in the house was so bad where it was installed I couldn't get a picture of the finished, installed window treatment.  It looked exactly like the original sketch.

Bill Gantt