DIY Tutorials, House / Nursery

The Nursery: Building Lightweight Window Cornice Boxes

When it came to window treatments in the nursery, I knew I wanted to skip the floor-length curtains and instead just have cornice boxes or fabric valances at the top. I thought that valances would bring some color and structure to the windows without taking up too much space in the room. Since we have blinds installed, we didn’t need curtains for light blocking, either.

Nursery Window Cornice Box Wide

I used this tutorial from the DIY Network and was pleased with how the cornice boxes turned out.

The main frame of the box is built from foam insulation board, which is available at any home repair store and is very cheap – I think the total cost of foam board for two window boxes was $8.

Supplies I used to create the box:

Nursery Foam Board Valance Supplies

Supplies for finishing the box with fabric:

Once the box itself is built, you wrap it quilt batting to soften the corners and cover any imperfections, and to cover the color of the foam board (in this case, purple). Don’t skip this part!

Since the tutorial is good, I won’t bother recreating it here. However, I will share some things I learned along the way:

The tutorial says to use hot glue to attach the different foam board pieces together. My cheap glue gun was not working well when I did the project, so I went over the seams with Liquid Nails just for extra stability. Once the box was assembled, I speared the seams with toothpicks to keep it together while the glue dried.

Nursey Window Cornice Box Asembly

Make sure you have lots of pins! The tutorial says to use pins to attach the batting and the fabric to the box. I didn’t believe that would work, so at first I tried to glue it on. I quickly learned that pins were, in fact, the best way to go. Also, it could be helpful to use spray adhesive when attaching the batting.

Nursery Window Cornice Box Pin Detail

Use moderate-size L Brackets to install the cornice on the wall above the window. Try to find studs so that you can inset small screws rather than having to set anchors. Fortunately the window treatment is not very heavy, so even if you need to use anchors you can stick with the small plastic ones.

Nursery Window Valance Box Hanging

My dad helped me hang the boxes – probably good since klutzy pregnant women shouldn’t be on step stools 🙂

At the end of the day, this project only took about 2 hours and was fairly easy. I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for an alternative to traditional curtains.

Nursery Window Cornice Box

PS: You can check out my other nursery projects here.

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  • Reply Jen at 4:17 pm

    Ooooh! It turned out so great! Thank you so much for sharing Jane, I love the fabric you selected!

  • Reply Christy at 1:47 pm

    Those cornice boxes look great! This is going to sound crazy, but I stumbled across your blog while scouring the net for Ikea Janette green curtains, which have been discontinued. I bought some a few years ago and am looking for another pair. Any chance you hung onto the pair you took out of your office when you transformed it to your lovely nursery and might be willing to part with them? 🙂

    • Reply Jane at 10:09 am

      Christy- What a coincidence! I have two pairs, but one is in use by my best friend. The other pair is clean and folded in my closet, because I love the design and know it’s discontinued, and didn’t want it to go to any old place where it may not be appreciated. I’d be happy to pass it on to you, though! Shoot me an email with your shipping address – shopjanery at and we can work it out!

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