I am not a natural seamstress, (and my relationship with my sewing machine is actually a bit tense), so when I stumbled across an excellent DIY tutorial by Little Green Notebook I was curious to see if I too could attempt a window dressing in a no-sew, no wood, no drilling way. I had been quoted £200 per pelmet/valance to have it made by an upholsterer/curtain company, so this seemed worth a try at least.
My kitchen has recently been redecorated from greens to greys, and the two white windows were looking a bit stark against all the grey walls. I needed to bring in some colour, but did not want curtains as they would block light and be too fussy. So pelmets were the way to go. I had an spare single curtain that was perfect for the colour scheme.
It is SO easy to do! I recommend it to everyone who has a couple of hours free and some basic ingredients. I used A1 Foam Board, an old curtain, fabric spray glue, a staple gun and wadding. Plus the magical ingredient of Gaffer Tape. My outlay was £10 for 4 huge A1 pieces of foam board, (and I have more than half leftover), old fabric, plus tape and glue I already owned so this is a highly effective budget creation.
Measure your window/windows and choose the depth of pelmet you want, I added 5 cms to each side length so it went past the window recess, plus a 6cm side return for each pelmet. Cut the foam board with a craft knife to the lengths you think best. You could scallop and shape the lower edge as it cuts like butter, but I left mine straight as the kitchen is quite simple in style.
I had two long windows so I had to join two pieces of foam board with tape to make a long enough front piece for each window:
I then reinforced the back of each pelmet across the join with a spare length of foam board just to make sure it was really rigid.
Then the sides are added on:
I then measured and cut out the wadding and fabric, I sprayed the wadding with fabric spray to stick it onto the board (although this is a step that could be skipped I think). I then started to staple the two layers straight onto the back of the board, pulling tightly as I went so the fabric was smooth and tense. Do the two long front pieces first, and then the two side ends. I folded the fabric like I would when wrapping a parcel for the corners which I did last. The basically staple gun it to heaven to make it all fixed and tight!
When the fabric was attached it looked quite messy from the back, and I did not want this to be seen from the outside as it is a ground floor window. So I used hemming iron tape and knocked up two long neat strips of spare fabric to attach to the back to cover my edges and staples. I used more staples to attach it, and hid them in the pattern so they are not evident. It is not a perfect match, but not as ugly as it was! When I went outside to look at the insides once they were up I could not see them anyhow, so it is probably just my OCD tendencies coming to light and you can ignore this step….
Hanging them up was next. I had to get each side return to attach to a solid wall, (and I am quite impatient usually), so rather than using L shaped brackets and screws etc, I hammered in long brass nails at an angle at the back of the side returns straight through the pelmet and into the wall. As these pelmets are so light due to the foamboard, I only needed one per side, and they seem pretty secure.
Here are the finished pelmets. I think they look great and were so easy to make. I am now going to use my leftover foam board to make some more around the house, and start doing some more interesting shapes.