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How to make curtain pelmets

Updated April 17, 2017

Pelmets are box-like fittings above windows that are also known as top treatments or cornice boards. They are usually made of plywood, MDF (medium-density fibreboard) or wood and hide the curtain fittings. A lot of heating energy is lost through the windows in a room, and curtain pelmets reduce heat loss by minimising convection currents. Traditionally pelmets were covered in fabric that matched the curtains, but they can be covered in wallpaper or simply painted.

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  1. Measure the length of the curtain rods or tracks above your window. Your pelmet should extend 3-4 cm beyond this at either end. Make your pelmet a height and depth that you feel is right for your room. These instructions are for a pelmet 30 cm high (about 12 inches) and 15 cm deep (about 6 inches).

  2. Cut the timber. Cut the 15 cm board to the same length as your 30 cm board then use the remaining timber to make two end pieces. These will be 15 cm by about 28.2 cm. Make sure the sides will not show below the front piece by carefully laying the pelmet pieces together on a bench.

  3. Join the timber together. Pre drill holes for the screws at the top of the 30 cm board where the 15 cm board will butt against it. Countersink the screws so they can be hidden with filler. Place a screw every 40 to 50 cm. Use one screw in each of the two sides (top and front) for the side pieces. Screw the pelmet together then fill the holes with wood filler and leave overnight. Finish the pelmet by sanding back the filler. Use paint, varnish, wallpaper or fabric covering to give the pelmet your chosen look.

  4. Tip

    Hang your pelmet on L-shaped brackets mounted with wall anchors and screws. Check the top of the pelmet is flush with the wall once it is hung. Close any gaps using silicone sealer.


    Pelmets for wide windows can be heavy so get someone to assist you in mounting it over the window. Use dynabolts to anchor your brackets in masonry walls. Wear ear and eye protection while you do this.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • 30 cm x 18 mm timber sufficient for the length of the window treatment plus 8cm
  • 15 cm x 18 mm timber sufficient for the length of the window treatment plus about 40 cms
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Wood screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood filler
  • Paint, varnish, wallpaper or fabric covering for pelmet finish

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