29 June 2010

Coolest, Easiest Project Ever -- Pelmet Box

When I first read about making a pelmet box in this post by the talented Jenny at Little Green Notebook my eyes opened wide and I was amazed with what can be done with some foam core and duct tape. I took it another step further and eliminated the upholstery part by using a stiff table runner and gluing it directly to my foam core, with 1/4" hemmed edge sticking out beyond the foam core, hiding it from view.

This project is for a bathroom window that is rarely ever open and the glass is not clear. If I was doing this for a window that could be seen from the outside I would cover the inside and edges, but that wasn't necessary with this particular window set up and angle. As I write this, the final edge is drying, weighted down by jars of shells and sea glass and my metal box full of craft tools. I will hang it tomorrow and get a finished product photo soon.

Here's a little about my process. I started with two pieces of 1/2" thick foam core. I first measured my window width and added two inches on each side to get the measurement for the width of my finished box. I figured out how far I wanted it to stick out from the wall, this gave me the measurement for my two sides.

Then I measured my table runner. It was 13 1/2" wide so I made my foam core measure 13" to give me a quarter inch of overhang on the top and bottom. I wanted my box to be 37" wide, so I cut two pieces of foam core, one was 30" the full length of one sheet, then I needed to add 7" to that. This gave me two pieces that I taped together to get the face of my pelmet box, 13" x 37".

I cut my sides, 3 1/2 wide by 13 long. The next step was taping it all together. I have to say I don't use duct tape often and I had forgotten what a wonder it is! Wow! I started with the two biggest pieces to get the face of my pelmet box. Then I taped on each side piece. I also taped up the raw edges on the sides, top and bottom just to clean up the cut, slightly rough edges. Here's are views of the duct-taped frame from three sides. This may seem a little repetitive, but when I'm reading about a project online, I alway want to know what it looks like from all sides.

The face.

Looking down from the top.

From the inside.

Then I pressed my table runner and starched it a bit. It had a heavy interfacing in it, so this was basically a touch up -- and to get the hard pressed line out from where it had been folded and hung in the middle.

I debated about two options at this point. I originally thought I would use self-adhesive hook and loop fastener to attach the fabric to the frame, but since that required a trip to JoAnn Fabric which, during evening rush hour, sounded a bit ominous. I think this would work really well and allow you to get the fabric pulled really nice and tight onto the frame. It would also make it really easy to change fabrics easily if you change your mind of want to even go seasonal with your fabrics. You could just unfastened one and stick something else on.

Instead I opted to go with a heavy fabric & all-purpose glue which I just bought on Saturday. First I lined up the runner to my frame and created a slight crease with my fingertips where it would wrap to the sides. I removed it from the frame and then put a very liberal amount of glue in a rectangle shape about 3/4" in from the outer edge. Then I placed the runner on top and pressed it down well all around the edges and let that dry for about an hour.

Next using a similar glue pattern I glued one edge, then placed it on it's side and weighted down the inside of the frame. The front side didn't need to be weighted down, but the sides definitely did. See the jars and red box weighting down the edge and supporting the frame.

And that, friends was it! I have to say that I often dread starting a new project because they so often are way more of a headache than you hoped they would be...things like redoing seams, resizing things a bit, not having enough of some supply or ingredient, and other time-eating screw ups that cause frustration. But I've also found that the more projects I've done over the years, the better I am at thinking through things and keeping them simple, avoiding problems and getting frustrated.

This was amazingly easy. You should try it! And it's cheap enough that you can change it as often as you like. If you're tired of it after a year, try something new. It's not like you spent several hundred dollars on a custom treatment that you feel obligated to keep for 25 years!

Here's my total cost for this project:

Table Runner -- $9.99 + tax
Foam Core -- 2 sheets at $9.98 + tax (4.98 each)
Glue -- about $4 worth.

Total with tax: About $26. And see my next post for a bonus feature on this project, stretching my dollars even further!

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