If you can wrap a gift, you can hack designer window treatments. Here's everything required to outfit one standard-size, 34- by 50-inch window.
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4- x 8-foot sheet of 1/4-inch plywood
20 (#8) machine screws
10 (1-inch) L brackets
3 (6-inch) L brackets (screws included)
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Buy a 1⁄4-inch-thick, 4- by 8-foot sheet of plywood. Have four pieces cut: one front (48 by 22 inches), one top (48 by 6 inches), and two sides (22 by 6 inches). With these dimensions, you’ll end up with a suitably scaled valance that extends 6 inches from the wall and 5 inches on either side of the window to accommodate curtain hardware.
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Lay out all four pieces, machine screws, and L brackets on a flat surface. First, connect the sides and front piece by screwing in three equally spaced L brackets on each side using a drill. Follow the same process along the top of the box using four equally spaced L brackets (instead of three) to accommodate the lengthier top.
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Cover with high-loft batting ($15.99; hancockfabrics.com). Lay the box facedown on a 72- by 30-inch piece of batting. Beginning with the top and bottom, use a staple gun to secure batting to back of the box. Then, neatly fold in the sides and corners (like wrapping a gift), and staple. Repeat these steps with fabric, placing it carefully.
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Screw three evenly spaced 6-inch L brackets into the studs directly below the crown molding above your window. Place the valance on the brackets, and screw into place using a drill. (If you have shades or curtains, install those before the valance.)