How to create window valances from cardboard boxes

How to Create Window Valances from Cardboard Boxes (with Pictures)

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How to Create Window Valances from Cardboard Boxes

Window valances are a box that fit over the top of a window. They are mainly used to add dimension to the window, but some people like to use them to hide the curtain rod. Store-bought window valances can be expensive and there’s no.

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Updated: 8/17/2019 – How to make a window cornice using cardboard instead of wood. It is a very easy home decorating window treatment to make that requires no power tools. It can be made in under an hour and will last for years!

I thoroughly enjoy finding new uses for things that would normally end up in the trash.

Re-cycle, Re-Use, Re-Purpose is how is a very budget friendly way to decorate a home.

When I think of all the window treatments I have made for my home, this is by far… the thriftiest.

How to Make a Window Cornice Using Cardboard

This window cornice or valance uses cardboard from large appliance boxes that is cut to size, scored and folded and then covered with fabric and then stapled to the window molding. It will not work on a window that does not have wood molding or trim around it.

The cardboard cornice is lightweight and a very inexpensive way of adding color to a window when you don’t want a cleaner more minimal look.

Making the cornice is inexpensive because it only requires the purchase of a 1-2 yards of fabric and quilt batting. It is so easy to make and install, gathering the supplies will probably take longer.

My cornice in this photo is 8” high.

I added decorative brass tacks to attach the cornice instead of staples and used a quilted fabric that adds texture to the monochromatic color scheme of the room.

This photo is from my book, Instant Decorating. It is no longer in print, but I like to post a project from the book on my blog once in awhile. I made this cornice 15” high.

I covered the cardboard in fire-engine-red corduroy. To hide the staples when the cornice was mounted, I painted the top of a row of staples red and let them dry, before loading them into the staple gun.

To learn how I added the Dalmatian spots to the mini blinds head over to this post: How to Make Dalmatian Spotted Window Blinds for Kid’s rooms.

Step-by-step Instructions: Cardboard Cornice Valance

supplies needed:

  • Fabric
  • Cardboard from large appliance boxes or foam board bought at a craft or art supply store
  • Utility knife
  • Yardstick or T-square
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Wide Masking Tape or duct tape
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Optional: Paint to paint staples same color as fabric, decorative tacks instead of staples, and fabric batting if you want a padded look for your cornice.

Time needed: 45 minutes.

How to Make a Window Cornice Using Cardboard
Instructions are for a single window cornice.

    Determine Fabric Yardage

Measure window width from outside edge of trim to outside edge of trim. Measure depth of projection from wall and multiply by 2; add to window width measurement and use this width for cornice. Use 15 inches for height or whatever you would like the height of your cornice to be. Add 4 inches to both width and height measurements so you will be able to wrap fabric around the back of the cornice. ( If there are blinds or curtains, allow enough projection or clearance from wall to clear the existing rod, hardware, or curtains; 4 to 5 inches is usually sufficient).

Cut cardboard with utility knife using these measurements.

With yardstick or t-square, mark the projection measurement on the back of the cardboard cornice on each side. Draw a line from the top to the bottom with pencil. Using the point of a closed pair of scissors, score lines using edge of yardstick as a straight edge guide. Bend cardboard back at each scored line.

Cover with Fabric

Lay fabric right side down. Center cardboard scored side up on fabric. Raw edges of fabric will be covered with masking or duct tape. Wrap the fabric taut around top and bottom. Use masking tape to secure fabric to cardboard. Fold side sections over, making sure fabric on front and side sections are smooth.

Attach to Window

Paint a row of staples the color of your fabric and let dry. Nail polish will work also. 🙂 Load staple gun with staples. Hold covered cornice up to window with one edge against outer edge of window molding. Put two staples into cardboard and molding, one at the top and one at the bottom. Repeat on other side, making sure cornice is level and straight across window.

To see another way to make a similar cornice or rigid valance using Styrofoam instead of cardboard, check out this post: How to Make a Window Valance Using Styrofoam

I think I would use styrofoam instead of cardboard. There are several tutorials online outlining a few different methods

Here’s from foam board

and poster board

I would think these would help. Sorry but I couldn’t find cardboard

Easy and Light Cornice Boards From Foam Board
Poster Board Cornice!
Styrofoam Cornice Board Out of Tv Packaging 🙂 #30dayflip

Layers of cardboard would give it strength, support, and thickness for upholstering. Ideas from other Hometalkers.

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Punch a hole about an inch from one end of each folded tissue paper.

9 Place the curtains.

Punch a hole on both corners of the window’s head. Cut yarn or string long enough to span the width of the window. Secure the string onto one of the window holes. String the pair of folded tissue paper through the string.

10 Secure the string in place.

Secure the other end of the string on the opposite window hole, making sure that the string is taut enough. You can also tape the middle section of the string onto the window. This helps prevent the string from sagging from the weight of the curtains.

11 Close the curtains.

Gently unfold and spread each tissue paper curtain to cover the window.

12 Place drawings inside.

Try putting a page of drawing through the window’s top slot. Carefully slide the curtains open to provide a good view of the artwork.

13 Use the art window.

This window is a great way to showcase children’s artworks—let them surprise you with what lies behind those curtains each time! As a learning aid, the art window can be a fun and creative way of tackling themes like the changing weather and seasons, places around the world, and habitats.

More Ideas

Create a seasonal art window.

The window can be redecorated for seasonal themes or occasions like Christmas, Thanksgiving or Valentine’s day. So it’s not just the view that can be creatively changed, but the window frame as well.

Make a window with shutters.

Instead of a window that looks out, make one that is outside looking in. Replace curtains with window shutters that can be opened and closed. Create the shutters by gluing a pair of identical rectangular pieces of construction paper onto the sides of the window.

The window can also be given a more three-dimensional feel. For instance, you can make a flower box by cutting the bottom of a small box and gluing or stapling it onto the bottom of the window. Paint it with acrylic paint to blend it with the rest of the window.

Add a flower box.

Fill the flower box with green paper or art tissue torn into small bits. Add flowers by gluing flower-shaped beads, sequins, foam or fabric flowers. Though not shown in the photo, flower pots can be made out of bottle caps. Fill with clay and place foam or sequin flowers on top of pipe cleaner stems. Use cardboard or heavy construction paper as the window’s back panel to help support the weight of the added materials.

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This homemade theater is a no-glue, no-sew project that only takes minutes to make. Enjoy family time with creative play inspired by a cardboard box theater.

Making a cardboard box theater is a fun hands-on activity for the whole family. Kids will love helping with the construction of the theater, and performing songs and stories with favorite puppet characters.

This tutorial is written for a box that is free standing, and wide enough for a window to be cut out of the front. You can adapt the simple instructions to other box sizes.

We use a tall, narrow box measuring 32 inches (81 cm) high x 9 inches (23 cm) wide x 7 inches (18 cm) deep.

How to make a cardboard box theater

1. Cut out a window
  • Cut a window into the front of the box as shown, allowing the flaps to be opened and closed.

This is a view of the inside of the box with the box lying on its side.

The distance of the window from the bottom of the theater will depend on choosing a comfortable height for your child. Your child can stand or kneel behind the curtain to put on puppet shows.

2. Make a curtain for the theater
  • Cut 2 pieces of cotton fabric, each measuring approximately the width of the window and slightly longer than the window. Trim the sides of each curtain piece with pinking shears to prevent fraying.
  • Lay a fabric piece flat on the floor. Fold over the top edge approximately 2-3 inches (5-8 cm). Tape the edge to the curtain with masking tape to make the casing. Repeat with the other piece of fabric.
3. Make a curtain rod
  • Cut a narrow rectangular strip from sturdy cardboard to a length that fits snugly inside the box above the window.
  • Slip the cardboard strip through the casing of each curtain piece.
  • Place the curtain inside the theater. The cardboard rod will hold the curtain in place but you can add some tape to secure.
4. Decorate the theater
  • Color the front and sides with crayons or markers, or even paint.
  • You might like to make a cardboard sign to hang on the front of the theater to advertise an upcoming show.

Have fun creating songs, plays or stories for your favorite puppets to perform.

Apart from improving your health, sunlight from an open window offers a great deal of ambiance to your living space. But when the light that comes in becomes excess, this could make you feel uncomfortable.

Let’s say you work at night and rest in the morning; you will have to reduce the brightness in your room. After all, excess light disturbs sound sleep. For this reason, you should know how to blackout a window.

But how can you perform this task? Luckily, you can use various window treatments that can keep the light from your home. Besides, they do a great job of offering complete darkness.

Different Ways on How to Blackout A Window

1. Install an Awning

Many people do not know how to blackout a window. Well, if you fall into this category, consider getting an awning. But first, let’s talk about this tool.

An awning consists of sheets made from canvas that you hang outside your exterior window. This prevents natural light from reaching the doorway and window space of the building. This way, it promises complete darkness, especially in rooms.

Does your building face the direction of a sunrise? If yes, a well-placed awning should control the brightness levels in the building. But the spot at which the rays touch the window shows how great the canopy should work.

Imagine your window stays above a hill or another building, and the sunlight come from a higher angle. Instead of slapping on window tint, a lengthy overhanging awning will reduce the brightness in the building.

2. Get a Mesh Liner

Even if this item does not keep your room dark completely, it offers a reasonable amount of airflow. Besides, it does not cost much, and you can install it without any professional help.

When you use mesh fabric, it works as a semi-blackout material, especially between two blackout window covers. In this position, the mesh provides healthy air to your room and offers some protection from annoying sunlight.

Do want to know how to blackout a window with this item? Start by fixing blackout curtains and cut the mesh liner into the right pieces. You should also ensure that the mesh liner fits the height of the window.

As for the width, go for a size that best suits your needs. For instance, if you want more airflow, a full mesh should do. But this also means extra light in the space. To get the right fit, you will have to balance both elements.

After cutting out the fabric, fix the pieces to a curtain rod. But if you want to use this item for a short period, secure the mesh with pieces of tape. For permanent use, swap the adhesive for hooks and install as an additional curtain.

3. Cover Your Window in Aluminum Foil

If you want an option that keeps the light out and cuts your energy bills, try covering the window glass with aluminum foil. To apply this material, use painter’s tape to stick it to the window, particularly if you want to avoid any damage on the glass. Since it is cheap and easy to use, aluminum foil comes as one of the best window blackout solutions.

4. Place Privacy Film on the Windows

Another perfect example of how to block out light from bedroom window or any other room involves the use of privacy film.

Companies build this material with plastic so that you can cut and attach to your window. This product does not plunge your space into total darkness, but it reduces the natural lighting to an acceptable level.

5. Treat Your Window with Film

Do you need the best way to blackout windows for sleeping? Some window tint or film serves as the ideal choice. Compared to other ideas, it is easy to use.

Window film also has a thin profile that can cover an entire window pane. Thanks to this quality, it can darken any space without any fuss. Overall, such rooms you use it will enjoy privacy, protection from UV rays, and extreme temperatures.

6. Blackout Shades

Unlike regular curtains, roller and roman shades can completely block out any light that disturbs your sleep. Since most stores stock these products, you can get this item with ease.

If you want to save cash, you get a DIY blackout curtains. For this project, you will need a fabric that keeps out light. However, the retail variants look better than the homemade ones.

7. Install Cordless Blackout Window Shades

These types of blackout window cover consist of two colors – silver one end and black on the outer part. The silver part faces the window and offers shelter from UV rays while the cordless look keeps your room clutter-free.

To clean the surface does not require much work. Just soak a rag in water and wipe gently. As for ease of use, the spring system helps the shade open and close quickly.

8. Black Out the Light with Curtain Liners

Rather than install a blackout curtain, you should use a liner to reduce the light in your space. You might even fix the blackout liner to your current curtain, especially if you want to enhance the darkness in the room.

Liner does not necessarily use dark-colored surfaces. Instead, they use their thick fabrics to block any excess outdoor natural and artificial lighting.

Choosing a thermal liner has several benefits. For one, it helps cut down power bills to a reasonable rate. Besides, this incredible product cools the room in the summer and makes it warms in the winter. Also, it keeps out almost all of the outdoor light from entering the building.

9. Cover the Glass with Cardboard

In the stores, you might not find some blackout paper for windows. But some sheets of cardboard or corrugated board stands as the best alternatives. You can use these options by placing them with painter’s tape on your window.

Like most window blackout solutions, these materials shield your eyes from UV rays and keep out the cold from your home. If you already have a window film for day and night privacy, create a blackout room by taping bits of velcro or cardboard to the edges of the glass.

Wrap Up

Sunlight makes our rooms look bright and makes you healthy. But when it becomes too much, the light can disturb your sleep pattern and make you feel uncomfortable. Apart from using window blinds, you can try different items to solve this problem.

These options include awnings, aluminum foil, privacy film, window tint, and blackout shades. Are you thinking of how to how to blackout windows temporary? Then, tape some mesh wire to your curtain rods. But if you prefer other methods, try cardboard or curtain liners.

Most of these materials offer insulation, which means less utility bills. Besides, you can get them at your local store and install them without any help.

I popped into the liquor store in the town where I work and grabbed these great cardboard wine boxes… for free. And no, they didn’t come with the wine in them. Too bad I know.

But they did come with these fabulous cardboard dividers, which are so great for organizing and storing all kinds of things.

And the nice thing about them is that because they’re made to carry bottles they’re very strong.

Well he may be cute, but I didn’t want to be looking at him all the time… and I was afraid he might scare my cats when they come visit me in my craft room.

So he had to go.

I cut off the top flaps to give me easy access to the items I’ll be storing. They can certainly be kept if you like.

Then I grabbed some of the left over self adhesive vinyl contact paper, which I also used on my craft desk and the shelves of my built in bookcase, and lay the box down on top of it.

I rolled the box across the contact paper, smoothing each side before moving to the next… until I had all 4 sides covered.

I removed the cardboard dividers from inside the box, cut the corners of the contact paper, and folded them inside.

I did the same thing to the bottom.

And here’s my finished box.

Here’s a box that I covered with some dollar store pink polka dot wrapping paper. I secured the paper with regular clear packing tape, and trimmed the top with pink duct tape to protect the edges.

It’s filled with some wooden craft items that I thrifted a while back. I can totally see storing rolled up fabrics in these as well.

And here’s one that I use to store some Christmas decorations. I haven’t covered this one with anything yet, but I just wanted to show you the great storage options of these boxes.

They’re also great to use when moving (which we did quite a few times before this house) for packing glassware, knick knacks etc. I’ve always loved using them because there’s no need to wrap things, saving a ton of time and hassle.

I definitely wouldn’t recommend letting movers handle these boxes though, but we always moved ourselves so it’s never been an issue.

Have a fabulous day, and thanks so much for reading.

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  • storehouse
  • industrial warehouse
  • storage room
  • warehouse
  • +32
  • warehouse management
  • warehouse worker
  • storage
  • warehouse logistics
  • warehouse building
  • factory
  • distribution
  • factory building
  • industrial factory
  • manufacturing plant
  • workplace safety
  • industrial building
  • industrial
  • factory worker
  • storage box
  • logistics
  • manufacturing industry
  • industrial worker
  • building management
  • shipment
  • manufacturing
  • worker
  • seguridad industrial
  • worker silhouette
  • industrial safety
  • industrial plant
  • carton
  • worker man
  • man box
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Download our What Goes Where guide for a convenient poster that will summarize what you can recycle, what goes into your garbage and what you can take to Eco Stations.

All the materials listed below can be recycled in blue bags, apartment blue bins and recycling depots. Please do not recycle anything that is not listed. Improper items can jam machinery, damage equipment and increase the risk of staff injuries.


  • Newspaper and inserts, magazines, catalogues
  • White writing and computer paper
  • Christmas cards, non-foil gift wrap
  • Junk mail, paper bags, envelopes, paper egg cartons, paperback and hardcover books (remove hard cover), phone books

Please do not put shredded paper in your blue bag or bin, please take it to a Recycling Depot (in the low-grade paper bin) or put it in your garbage.


  • Flattened corrugated cardboard boxes
  • Flattened cereal and food boxes (remove and discard liner)
  • Juice boxes
  • Milk cartons (rinse with cold water and flatten)
  • Flattened shoe boxes and brown paper bags
  • Pizza boxes are recyclable, but please remove the greasy layer

Metals (no loose lids, trap inside can or discard)

  • Clean tin cans (soup, juice and so on)
  • Aluminum containers (pie plates)
  • Aluminum cans (beverages)
  • Empty non-hazardous aerosol cans

Glass (empty and clean, remove lids and put in garbage)

  • Jars (for example, pickle, jam)
  • Bottles (for example, all beverages, ketchup)

Note: Jars and bottles only. No ceramics, plate glass or mirror.

We can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon than building this colorful cardboard castle with your kids.

Our Amazon delivery boxes are piling up like crazy these days, so here’s a great way to put them to use.

  1. Tools & Materials
  2. Step 1 – Collect your materials
  3. Step 2 – Design Cardboard Castle
  4. Step 3 – Use Fabric
  5. Step 4 – Cut Out Windows
  6. Step 5 – Clean Up Edges
  7. Step 6 – Start Decorating
  8. Step 7 – Mail Slot
  9. Step 8 – Tape It Together
  10. Step 9 – Have Fun

Christiane Lemieux, the founder of The Inside, has shared this inspiring cardboard castle that was designed and built by her two young children.

The castle strikes a great balance between Christiane’s fondness for luminous colors which she is famous for and the unstructured design and patterns that have flowed from her children’s imagination.

Who better to exemplify the essence of color than children, whose design choices are not limited by boundaries or expectations but rather motivated by joy and creativity.

We live in New York which poses some interesting challenges with kids. We don’t have a backyard so we improvise a lot.

The cardboard castle has become a great go-to indoor project for bad weather – in fact this castle was built in the middle of hurricane Irene! My kids love to plan and build the castle and then play in it for hours. This one is still standing and we have since added a jail and dungeon.

I love the cardboard castle project because the necessary tools are always readily available and it’s a great recycling story. Whether the box is small enough for animals or dinosaurs or big enough to crawl around in – the concept is the same and always very creative.

Here is what you need:

Tools & Materials

Household supplies and materials include
1. Scissors
2. Glue stick
3. Colored tape
4. Colored pens and markers
5. Large cardboard boxes

Step 1 – Collect your materials

For this particular castle – we used tape as the décor. My kids love decorating with tape. You can use stickers, paint, fabric or even leftover wallpaper and anything really. Grab some boxes and go.

Step 2 – Design Cardboard Castle

We usually start with the front door. Isabelle and Will discussed it and decided to make it arched.

Step 3 – Use Fabric

For this castle Isabelle decided that we should use some scrap fabric (luckily we have a lot!) from the office for curtains.

Step 4 – Cut Out Windows

With some help from the parents – cut out windows.

Step 5 – Clean Up Edges

Clean up the edges

Step 6 – Start Decorating

Step 7 – Mail Slot

The hole in box makes a perfect mail slot!

Step 8 – Tape It Together

Put all the pieces together make your castle as big as you like. Hang your window treatments too.