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How to Build a Window Cornice With Planter

Build a cornice with a planter for a unique and functional window treatment with these step-by-step instructions.

Materials and Tools:

1x4 pine lumber
wood glue
scrap paper
MDF (medium-density fiberboard)
palm sander or 220-grit paper
terra-cotta pots
drywall screws
latex primer
6' piano hinge
3 L-brackets


1. A cornice board is a three-sided box with a front cover on it and it's one of the easiest window treatments to create without a sewing machine or an ironing board. Make a box out of the boards cut to the right size for the window. Attach the side pieces with wood glue and nails.

2. Draw and cut a template to size for the front piece in the desired pattern. Trace it onto MDF (it cuts much easier than grained wood) and cut it out using a jigsaw. Soften the cut edges using a palm sander or by hand.

Figure A

3. For the planter, cut holes big enough to accept pots in a 1x4 board (figure A). Find and mark the center of each hole and use a compass to draw the diameter needed. Drill a hole on the inside of the circle near the pencil line, and then cut each out with a jigsaw. Sand the inside of each opening lightly.

Figure B

4. Mount the planter board to the front face of the cornice by adding wood glue along the edge, and then secure it in the back using drywall screws (figure B).

Figure C

5. Prime the box and cornice front, and then paint as desired once dry. Mount the two pieces together using the piano hinge (figure C). This makes it easy to install the cornice and to move it when blinds need to be removed to be cleaned.

Figure D

6. Attach the cornice to the wall with three L-brackets (figure D). Add the pots and fill as desired.

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