How to Make a Foam Board Cornice for a Corner Window

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I recently did a DIY overhaul on my master bathroom, and I wanted to create a cornice window treatment for the window. I found lots of great tutorials on creating one out of foam board, but couldn’t find a single tutorial for a corner window.

So, I took on the project anyhow and decided to learn as I went.

Now I’m sharing my steps with you, and I hope you’ll create one too!

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WARNING: Many tutorials say “easy” and “10 minutes” – this was time consuming and thought-intensive. I’d hardly describe it as easy or quick – I think I spent a good 4 hours on this, but it was worth it.

Here’s how you can create a cheap foam board cornice for a corner window:

Determine the size of your cornice board. I decided to make mine 12″ tall, have it extend 3″ beyond each window edge, and sit 2″ off the wall. All measurements in this post reflect this – adjust for your needs ūüôā

Sketch Out Pieces & Take Measurements:

You’ll need to cut the following 5 pieces for a corner window cornice:

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Once pieces together, I’ll refer to these 2 pieces:

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Piece #1:

Since it’s going in a corner, you’ll want to add some extra support where the 2 boards meet.

If both windows are the same length, choose 1 that will have a support piece that goes all the way to the adjacent wall. If one window is wider than the other (in my case, the right one is wider), then be sure to make that piece (piece #1 in my example) long enough to reach the wall.

Measuring Piece 1:¬†Distance from adjacent wall to¬†3″¬†beyond window. (Adjust if you choose a different distance beyond the window). With the width of the board (3/4″) you’ll only see 2.25″ between the window edge and the cornice if you measure 3″ beyond the window edge which looks nice.

If your window is 60″ wide, it’s 8″ from the wall, and you plan to go 3″ beyond the window with your edge, you’d cut this piece 71″ rectangle, then notch out the bottom area…

See how piece #1 is notched ¬†on the left side? I didn’t want the support piece to be visible when looking up at the window, so I cut the bottom of the support area off (2″ x 8″ removed).

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Piece #2:

This will be for your second window.

Measuring Piece 2:¬†Distance from wall to edge of window + 1/4″ (if going 3″ beyond window).

Since it will butt up against piece number 1, which is already 2″ off the wall (plus 3/4″ for thickness of board), you only¬†need to add .25 more inches to include the distance beyond the window¬†that it will reach. (Again, this is an example – adjust if you have different plans).

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Piece #3:

This is a support piece for Piece #2, cut it 2″ x 4″.

Piece #4 & #5:

These are the edges that will attach to the wall. Cut them 12″ x 2″

Supplies Needed

Supplies:

  • Fabric (enough to cover front, sides and wrap around to the back)
  • Batting¬†(enough to cover front, sides and wrap around to the back)
  • Foam Board (aka “Foam Board Insulation” or “Expanded Polystyrene”)
  • Duct tape
  • Nails (16 guage x 1-1/14″ – see image below)
  • Sewing Pins (with balls on end)
  • 3 L Brackets
  • 6 screws for mounting L Brackets to wall
  • Scissors (for cutting fabric)
  • Box Cutter Knife / Rotary Knife (for cutting foam board)

The fabric I used was actually curtain panels I got on clearance at Hobby Lobby.

Lowe’s is my nearest home improvement store, so I went there to pick up some foam board, along with nails, L Brackets & screws.

The foam board is 3/4″ thick and comes in sheets of 4′ x 8′ for only $8.35! Super cheap!

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Make sure your nails have a large enough head that they don’t slip through the boards. Here’s the ones I used:

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Cutting Your Foam Board:

Once you have all your measurements mark your foam board and cut to size.

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I used a rotary blade to cut the board which worked really well. Unfortunately, the blade wasn’t thick enough to cut all the way through, so I had to cut 1 side, then flip it over and cut the other side. Still, I think it was easier than using a box cutter blade, so if you have one of these, use it!

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Assembling Your Cornice Board:

Now, attach pieces #1 & #4 using wire nails. So simple but it works:

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Reinforce both the inside & outside with duct tape:

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Do the same for pieces #2 & #5.

Attaching Batting to Your Foam Board:

Lay piece #2 (along with attached piece #5) on your batting, cut enough to wrap around the edges, and tape into place. You do not need to cover the edge that will butt up against piece #1.

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Here is piece 2 covered with batting:

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Now, add batting to piece #1. You’ll want to leave no batting on the “support piece section” – as well as the last 3/4″ of the full length section of your board where piece #2 will be attached.

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You can pin this edge of batting into place.

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Attaching Fabric to Your Cornice Boards:

Lay your pieces on your fabric and cut large enough to wrap around the edges of your board. Then, iron your fabric if needed.

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Lay piece #2 out on the back side of the fabric, and cut inward at each end so you can easily fold it over.

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Wrap fabric around board and pin into place, pushing the pins in at an angle.

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Cut out squares at each corner.

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Note: I chose to cover a lot of the back of my boards with fabric for 2 reasons. One, I didn’t want to be laying in my bathtub looking up at the boards and see the ugly backing. Two, I didn’t want it to look ugly from the outside when the shades are up. If you don’t care about the back, there’s no need to cover so much of it.

At this point, you’ll want to attach our mini support piece of foam board (piece #3) to the top back of piece #2.

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Near the base, drive pins down at an angle to attach the two pieces on each side.

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Then, secure with duct tape.

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Cut and trim fabric so that it folds over the edge at the bottom and covers the side of the support piece. Secure with pins or duct tape.

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OK, piece #2 is done for now. Set it aside and get to work on piece #1.

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Add fabric to areas covered with batting on piece #1.

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Assemble Your Cornice Board

At this point, I was getting pretty excited!

Next, set up your 2 pieces as they’ll be assembled and hung.

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Now, it’s time to connect the support pieces to each other.

Line them up.

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You might think of a better way to attach these pieces – perhaps using glue! I just drove nails through the pieces, drove angled pins in along the edges, and added duct tape.

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And ta-da! It’s ready to hang!

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Hanging Your Corner Window Cornice Board

Hanging it was a little bit tricky, and definitely required 2 people, so taking pictures wasn’t really an option.

Here’s the steps we took:

  • We held it up in place at the height we wanted.
  • I positioned¬†the L brackets on the board as my husband held it up to determine where they would go, and marked the screw holes on the wall.
  • We set the cornice¬†aside.
  • I drilled the holes and mounted the 3 L brackets on the walls.
  • We held the cornice up against the brackets, and I used nails through the screw holes to secure the cornice to the brackets.

Here are some pics of 1 of the L-brackets once hung:

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You can see how I really angled the nails to keep it secure:

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Now a sigh of relief – it’s done and it looks great!

When I told my husband I was going to build a cornice out of foam board (we’ve built them before out of wood) he was very skeptical, but he was very impressed with how these came out!

This has been up for several months now and hasn’t budged.

I’ll definitely make some more again soon with my leftover foam board!

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Would you try this project? If you do, I hope you’ll share pics!

Mermaid Costume & Accessories (for less!)

I’m so excited October is here and I’ve just finished up this year’s costume. I’m dressing up as a Mermaid and have had so much fun creating my own mermaid bra and costume accessories.

I haven’t been this eager for Halloween¬†since I created my flaming circus ring for my Circus Ring Master costume.

Here’s how I created a custom mermaid costume for Halloween & saved money!

Mermaid Skirt

There are so many amazing mermaid tail skirts on Etsy but they’re more than I wanted to spend.

I found one on Amazon that was reasonable priced ($40) and had good reviews but it didn’t qualify for Amazon Prime free 2-Day shipping. So it was really $47. Boo!

Here’s how I got the same skirt for only $29.30 (including shipping).

It’s gorgeous!

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Mermaid Bra

I got this amazing bra on sale at Victoria’s Secret (The Date Pushup Bra). I was so excited to get started I didn’t get a picture of the plain bra. Here it is half embellished:

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Then, I got these embellishments at Michaels and Hobby Lobby and hot glued them on:

  • Shells (Michaels)
  • Pearl Border Stickers (Michaels)
  • Strung Bead Shells (Michaels) I used a total of 8 strands.
  • Dimensional Shell Stickers (Hobby Lobby)
  • Starfish Bracelet (Hobby Lobby)
  • Rhinestones (I already had those)

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Here’s how it came out:

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Mermaid Hair Accessories

For hair accessories, I used:

  • 6 bobby pins (had on hand)
  • 6 shells (Michaels – extra ones from bra)
  • 1 Rhinestone Starfish¬†(Hobby Lobby)
  • 1 Alligator Hair Clip (Hobby Lobby)

I glued some leftover shells to some bobby pins Рan idea I got from Pinterest.

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I also hot glued a starfish to a hair clip.

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Mermaid Necklace

All I had to do was add a chain to this coral reef charm (both from Hobby Lobby) to create the perfect necklace:

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Now I just have to wait a couple more weeks and I can get all dolled up with my mermaid Bellami hair extensions & I’ll be ready to go!

UPDATE:

Here I am on Halloween:

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Mermaid Braid with Shells:

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Pin me!

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How to Get Amazon Items Cheaper [Sometimes]

I’m an Amazon Prime member and I just love the free 2-Day shipping. It’s easy to get caught up in the convenience of Amazon shopping and not even realize that sometimes I’m spending more for items I could get cheaper somewhere else.

Here is 1 simple step that can save you money when shopping on Amazon:

Be sure Amazon has the best price before you place an order.

Many¬†Amazon sellers also have their own website where you can purchase the same item for less. Depending on what they charge for shipping, I’ve found that sometimes items can be cheaper¬†if purchased directly from the seller, rather than through Amazon.

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Here’s an example of how I saved $15 on the skirt for my mermaid costume:

I simply looked at who was selling it on Amazon – TVStoreOnline. They had it listed at $39.95 + $7 for shipping = $47).

Next, I googled TVStoreOnline to find their website, searched “mermaid skirt” on their site, and there it was – listed for only $25.95 – a whole $15 less than Amazon!).

The next 2 steps will save you even more money!

  1. See if the website has an email newsletter you can sign up for – you can often get 10% off your first purchase when you sign up.
  2. Another tactic is to¬†linger a little during the checkout process. (It’s worth a try!) On TVSToreOnline.com I didn’t check enter my credit card info immediately after typing in my address¬†and a chat box popped up with an offer code for 10% off.

Total for skirt with shipping: $29.30.

Wahoo! By doing a little research, I saved myself nearly $20!

 

Staircase Makeover – What to Stain; What to Paint

After months of admiring this amazing gel stain makeover over at Remodelaholic, I finally had a stretch of time off work long enough to dive right in and tackle this project in my home.¬†(My office closes from Christmas to New Years – how awesome is that? I actually started this nearly a year ago but as you read on, you’ll see my project hit an 8 month snag.)

See theirs here:

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The BIG difference between the above stair banister and mine – that I failed to notice in advance – was that theirs had white trim along the bottom and as you can see below, mine was all the same wood finish on the bottom:

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So when I used General Finishes Java Gel Stain to refinish all the Oak portions of my staircase, I ended up with wayyy too much dark brown, and I hated it!

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I’d just spent an entire week off of work (basically my Christmas-New Years break) rubbing several coats of gel stain and topcoat over my entire staircase only to feel totally disappointed when I pulled the tape back for my “Big Reveal”. ūüė¶

What had I done wrong? Why did everyone else’s come out so much better than mine?!?

A frantic trip back to Pinterest made it all very clear – I needed some white along the bottom to even out the look.

*Sigh*

It took 8 months before I could work up the energy to sand off the gel stain and paint it white. I was more than jealous when I returned to work and heard about the other girls’ awesome time off relaxing and wine tasting and not messing up their homes.

I was honestly terrified that somehow I’d manage to ruin it even more. But, one day I finally worked up the courage and started on the top section just in case I messed it up.

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And turns out, it looked sooo much better!

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Tips for Protecting Your Carpet:

I noticed a lot of bloggers end up ripping out their carpet¬†altogether or don’t stain the bottom wood along their carpet because it’s already white. Here’s how I protected my carpet, as well as the white balusters that I left untouched:

blog-tip¬†Use foil to large portions of balusters that you don’t want to get gel stain on. Secure with tape and push the tape up into the gap between the banister rain and the baluster.

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blog-tip¬†Only cover the entire baluster with foil if it’s directly next to a rail that’s being painted or stained.

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blog-tip¬†Use¬†a putty knife to press and tuck painter’s tape deep down between the tread and the carpet.

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blog-tip¬†Tape a rim of paper along the edge to extend coverage beyond the depth of the painter’s tape.

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blog-tip Easily tape a drop cloth to the border of paper that lines the edges.

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blog-tip¬†Remember after the first coat it won’t look good – keep going until you reach your¬†desired look. I did 4 coats before I was happy with the results because I kept finding little spots that weren’t dark enough and I learned that just trying to patch a little portion didn’t work out.

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Before & After – Revealing My White Paint & Java Gel Stain Staircase Makeover

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