Building a Window Cornice Box

A cornice box adds style to your windows and can help make a room feel taller.
HDSWT505_cornice_boards_after2

HDSWT505_cornice_boards_after2

Customize your cornice to match your decor by adding molding or cutting a decorative edge into the box.

Materials and Tools:

air compressor and hoses
circular saw
finish nailer
jig saw
measuring tape
pencil
screw gun
table saw
2 sheets 1/2-inch medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
4 pieces of 1x3x8 clear pine for ledger
molding

Steps:

1. Draw a box the length and height of your cornice on a piece of the MDF. If you want a decorative edge on your cornice (such as a scalloped border), draw the design you want within these lines. For a symmetrical pattern, draw a section of your design on cardboard and cut it out to make a template. Trace the pattern multiple times onto the MDF.

2. The length of the returns (sides) on the cornice boards depends on the width of the drapes. Wider drapes need more room. Keep in mind the thickness of the drapes when they are open, since the bunched drapes may take up more room. Make the sides a bit larger than the thickness of the drapes.

3. Use a circular saw or table saw to cut out the box. Use a jigsaw to cut the design. Fasten the box together with a finish nailer.

HDSWT505_cornice_boards_glueing_and_nailing_on_crown_molding

HDSWT505_cornice_boards_glueing_and_nailing_on_crown_molding

4. Trim the cornice box with molding.

5. Screw a 1x3 ledger to the wall to attach the cornice. If it is a load-bearing wall, you should be able to screw the ledger into a header. If not, find the studs and attach to the studs.

6. Hang the cornice by screwing it to the studs.

7. Prime and paint the cornice as desired.

Next Up

Getting Started on Window Treatments

From setting a budget to the finishing touches, follow these seven steps from decorating pros to create the perfect window treatments for your home.

Six Tips for Great Window Treatments

Spruce up those windows to make your kitchen more attractive with six easy-to-do ideas.

Fun, Frugal Perk-Ups for Bathroom Windows

Get expert advice on brightening up your bathroom with colorful, economical window treatments.

Make Ombre Ruffled Curtains Using Bed Sheets

These full, ruffled curtains are fit for a princess. This DIY sewing project is made simpler with a few tricks involving an iron, but will leave people thinking you're a master seamstress.

Add a Hand-Painted Design to Linen Cafe Curtains

Reusing vintage linens for sewing projects is seen all over the decorating world, but there is no need to scour flea markets and attics. A painted detail can be added to simple linen cafe curtains to give them vintage appeal.

How to Sew Lined Drapery Panels

Finding just the right curtains can be tough and having them custom-made is expensive — but with basic sewing skills, you can make these beautiful, lined and pleated drapes in any fabric and get the custom look for less.

How to Assemble and Upholster a Cornice Box

Transform your windows for the season with these simple upholstered cornices.

Make Draperies and a Wooden Cornice for a Shower

Tired of a ho-hum, store-bought shower curtain? Try dressing your shower with custom draperies and a wood cornice fit for a picture window.

Stationary Toppers and Fabric-Covered Cornices

Create the illusion of added height with this window treatment project.

Copycat Window Treatments

Learn how to make a window treatment with fabric, a carpet tube, toilet floats, and a dryer vent.

On TV

Flea Market Flip

7:30am | 6:30c

Flea Market Flip

8:30am | 7:30c

Flea Market Flip

9:30am | 8:30c

Flea Market Flip

10:30am | 9:30c

Rehab Addict

11am | 10c

Rehab Addict

11:30am | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
Tonight
Tonight

Beachfront Bargain Hunt

8pm | 7c

Mexico Life

9pm | 8c

Mexico Life

9:30pm | 8:30c

Island Hunters

10:30pm | 9:30c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Mexico Life

12am | 11c

Mexico Life

12:30am | 11:30c

Island Hunters

1:30am | 12:30c

Stories We're Following

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.