Home and Garden: Easy, Inexpensive Pelmet Boxes

by Lori on November 17, 2010

When I started my son’s bedroom makeover, I knew the window treatment would have to be tailored with a modern vibe so that it would go along with the feel of the room.  I had a few obstacles to consider which made drapes out of the question.  I could sew up a valance, but I wasn’t sure that’s what I really wanted for the window.  After weighing my options, I went with a pelmet box.   I had long since bookmarked a blog post from Little Green Notebook and thought the look could be modified to fit into my son’s bedroom.

Let me begin by saying that this project was relatively easy as far as most projects go, but I did enlist the help of J at certain points where an extra set of hands made things move along a little bit quicker.  But it wasn’t really a necessity; you could do this one on your own.

The supplies I purchased based on LGN’s tutorial were 2 sheets of foam core, batting, fabric, and duct tape.  But things changed as I really got into the project and once J got involved.  We needed some additional supplies that will be shown in the steps below.

Based on my dimensions, we cut the foam core accordingly.  I knew ahead of time that we would have to piece the foam core together to make the pelmet box long enough to fit the window.  The razor knife I would normally use for cutting this was dull and there were no replacement blades on hand, so J said he would do the cuts for me with a razor. Chivalry isn’t dead!

The cut was made on one side, we bent the foam core and then cut the back side to give us one portion.  You will need to do this for both pieces of foam core unless you’re making a pelmet for a small window.

To make the corners, I measured 2 inches from the edge, made one narrow cut along the foam core and bent it to create the corner.  I intended to cut pieces of foam core and attach them with duct tape as shown in LGN’s tutorial, but J thought this would be easier.

Now it’s time to join the two pieces of cut-to-size foam core.  I planned to use duct tape to attach them, but J pointed out that the center would more than likely bow and be unstable without a reinforcement.  Good point.  The window is wide and tall, so we needed something to keep the pelmet box from flexing.

 We opted to use a scrap piece of foam core and hot glue it to the back side of the pelmet box.

Looking down at the joined foam core.  I didn’t put a reinforcement on the front side because I didn’t want the bump to show.  This isn’t the perfect arrangement, but it works.  Care needed to be taken to not sit the pelmet box down without a support because the non-reinforced side could easily bow.

I had a bit of a problem with the somewhat flimsy sides of the pelmet box.  Had I cut them and duct taped them on as I had initially intended, I assumed I wouldn’t be dealing with this now.  But J had a plan all along.

He had these angled brackets (or L brackets) and some epoxy to use to reinforce the sides.  While this may seem like a big ordeal it is not.

No mixing is involved, but you do need to move fairly quickly and this is where the second set of hands was helpful.  If you don’t have a helper, put something next to the foam core to provide support for the side, and squeeze out some of the instant epoxy.

Apply the angled bracket and hold in place just until the epoxy sets, about a minute or two.  Do this to both sides of the pelmet box.  Allow the epoxy to fully set up which should only take a few minutes.  Refer to the package instructions for specific times.

Lay out your fabric with the right side facing the floor.  Place batting on top of the fabric and the pelmet box on top of the batting as shown.  I only needed one yard of fabric and batting to cover the pelmet box.

Begin stapling by setting one staple in the center of the foam core then set one on the right end and then the left end.  Work your way toward the center trying to avoid puckered fabric.  It’s hard to pull the fabric and batting taut while stapling this side because the other side is loose.

Trim the other side of the batting and fabric.  And staple in the center, the left end and the right end, just like the other side, working your way to the center gently pulling the fabric and batting taut as you go.  It is a good idea to flip the pelmet box on end to see if the fabric is smooth on the showy side.

Time to deal with the corners.  In my opinion, this was the hardest part.  I didn’t have a plan of how I was going to deal with the corners ahead of time.   So I started trimming out some of the batting (my staple gun handled better with less batting), and made my way.

I decided notching the corners was the best way to go.  I essentially cut a square out of the corner of the denim and batting.  Do not cut the fabric all the way to the foam core otherwise you may have an exposed area which may be seen in the finish product.  To compensate for this I did some tucking to give the ends a clean look.  You will have to do this 4 times (2 twice on the left and right end).

The sides were stapled after a little tug on the fabric and batting to eliminate any ripples on the finished side.  Repeat this step for the other end.  The pelmet box needs to be help up on end with the small side flush with a hard surface so you can staple.  Use a wall to support the pelmet box to it doesn’t bend down the center.

Two additional angled brackets were attached with epoxy on the back side of the finished pelmet box to hang it.  J added the screw and nut so the pelmet box would easily attach to part of our existing blinds.  That’s what worked for us.  You could easily attach a standard curtain rod (you know those white ones made of metal that mimic the shape of the pelmet box and slide in and out to give you the right length?) with hot glue or epoxy to the back side of the pelmet box.  You would have to mount the brackets on the wall if you went that route.

I put the pelmet box up and stared at it for a day or two.  I wasn’t sure if I really liked it.  It needed something.

So I went to my neighbor and raided her vast supply of ribbon and I came across this striped one.  I pulled the pelmet box down, tucked a stuffed animal underneath for support and grabbed my hot glue gun.  I set the bottom strip of ribbon one inch from the bottom and the top strip was set 2 inches from the top.  I held the ribbons in place with painters tape and ran a couple strips of hot glue under each making sure to lightly pull as I went so I would have a crisp look.

Much better.  And the addition of another framed poster doesn’t hurt the symmetry  This window is not set directly in the center of this wall, which made this pelmet box more of a requirement rather than an option.  This is an inexpensive way to provide a window treatment to a window that has issues.

All of the supplies used for this project were purchased from Michael’s, Joann Fabrics and Home Depot.

I may use this window treatment again.  If I do, I would use a thicker batting or double the layers.  I purchased 1/2-inch batting for this project and felt a thicker layer would have been better.

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