A cornice board is the easiest way to give your room something 'extra'. These treatments are also known as valance boxes, cornice boxes, pelmets, or just plain cornices.
There are many ways of making a cornice, but the most effective is to upholster the fabric onto a support. The support can be either buckram, which is a stiffened fabric, or wood such as hardboard. (Because buckram isn't as rigid as hardboard, cornices made using it are often classed as valances - incorrectly, in my opinion!)
Buckram is easier to cut out and attach to the mounting board. It gives reasonable results, but my preference is for an upholstered hardboard cornice. Buckram tends to warp, and looks lightweight. It's ok for smaller treatments, but for larger windows you can't beat a hardboard cornice.
I've always used hardboard even on small windows. When clients have questioned my advice, I've suggested that I install the hardboard version, and if they don't like it I'll replace it with buckram.
Guess what? No one has every asked me to change a hardboard cornice.
The advantages are both practical and visual.
Here are some more things you can do with cornices.
What shapes can you use?
Just about anything you can imagine. But there are certain shapes which over the years have become favorites.
You'll find some examples of shape and other information on the designs page.
What do you need to make them?
Hardboard (or buckram if you prefer), interlining, lining, fabric (usually the same as the drapes), and any accessories you want to add. Oh, and the usual bits and pieces - needles, thread and fabric adhesive.
Making a cornice using buckram is the easiest, as you can cut the buckram with scissors.
If you're going to use hardboard or plywood, then a power jigsaw is very useful. And preferably somewhere else other than your workroom to do the cutting. The dust goes everywhere!
The actual making just needs your time and application.
How are they supported?
The best method is using a mounting board. It will be secure enough to support the weight of the cornice and the drapes.
Cornice window treatments are much easier to make than most people imagine.