Ceramic Medallions on the face of a cornice board

The bolt is pushed through the back side of the board and fastened with a nut and lock washer on the face side of the boardThere is a nut and lock washer on the face side of the board under the batting holding the bolt securely in placeApply Milennium double sided tape to the bottom edge of the cornice board by pressing down on the attached paperPull the paper backing off and expose the sticky tapePress the welt cord onto the Millennium tape with your fingers and smooth it outStaple the welt fabric to the inside of the boxCut off all but two inches of excess weltOpen up the welt fabric to expose the cordCut off the excess cordAfter cutting the cord pull back the inside return fabric and wrap the welt fabric underFold the welt cord fabric and staple it under the fabric for the inside of the returnFold the fabric in and pull downStaple the inside return fabric down tightFold the corner of the welt cord fabric over the fabric on the inside of the return and staple in placeStaple the ultrasuede lining  to the inside of the board using a cardboard tack stripFold the fabric over the tack strip to fit the inside widthStretch the lining taut from side to side and stapleThe fabric supplied was just barely enough to wrap around the backside of the top boardBolt extender attaches to both the medallion bolt and the bolt coming through the boardBolt extender attached to the double ended bolt in the medallionWith the bolt extenders we have up to an inch and a half space behind the medallionsThe finished cornice with medallions attached

   Today we are building an upholstered cornice board that would be placed in the Elaborate Treatments of the Quality Cornices Website because we will be bolting ceramic medallions on the face of the board to support swags.  After our board is built and the location of the medallions is marked we drill holes through the plywood and insert bolts through the back side of the board that will screw into the back side of the medallions.  The bolts have nuts and washers on the front side of the cornice board to hold them securely in place. Batting is stapled to the board and finally the batting is covered with muslin because the finish fabric is a shiny polyester that would show the irregularities of the batting if we didn’t first cover in muslin.  Now we apply the finish fabric and cut slits for the bolts to poke through.  Since I don’t know how much swag fabric must be placed behind the medallions I’m going to use what I call ‘bolt extenders’.  They are female/female threaded couplers that will have one end screwed onto the protruding bolt.  Another bolt will have its head cut off so it can be screwed into both the medallion and the other end of the bolt extender.  This fabric is ideal for using Millennium Tape to make the welt and to fasten the welt to the bottom edge of the cornice board because the tape sticks tightly and won’t show any goofs that might show  if we used hot glue or fringe adhesive. If you put your cursor over a photo you will see an explanation pop up.

Finishing the upholstered headboard

Use a cardboard tack strip to hold the bottom of the lining fabric in placePull the lining toward the top and pin in placeMark a line to the shape about 3/4″ in from the edgeCut off the excessStaple every couple of inchesUse fringe adhesive to glue on the scroll gimpFinished back sideThe completed headboard

   Now that we have built the frame, glued on the 2″ foam, covered the foam with batting and upholstered the headboard with muslin we can apply the finish fabric.  The fabric is first pinned in place and stretched tight so we can take a look to see if it is positioned properly before we begin stapling to the back side.  After the fabric is stapled in place we cover the legs with pieces that match the pattern.  Then with the face completely finished we flip the headboard over and apply lining fabric to the back.  I like to use an ultrasuede lining because you can’t see any of the knots in the plywood through it.  We start at the bottom of the back side and use a cardboard tack strip to hold the lining in place.  Then we pull the lining toward the top of the headboard, use pins to stretch it tight and then fasten it in place with staples every two inches or so.  The shape of the top is marked on the lining fabric by running a finger along the edge while holding a pen or pencil to make a mark about 3/4″ in from the shaped edge.  After the excess has been cut off we staple the top shaped edge of the lining fabric in place and then glue a piece of scroll gimp over the raw edge.  I like to use ‘Fringe Adhesive’ from R.W. Rowley because it has a nice, thick consistency and holds the gimp in place very well.  So that’s it.  Our headboard is done and someone can enjoy a good night’s sleep in a beautiful bed.

Building the frame for an upholstered headboard

Edge joining a piece of 5/8″ plywood to the bottom of the face boardAdding a bottom piece of doubled 15/32″ plywood to the bottom of the back sideFiller piece for the front of the legsCutting the shape of the topThe finished back side of the frameUse 3M Super 77 spray adhesive to attach 2″ foam to the plywoodUse an electric carving knife to cut the foam to shapeBatting over foam and muslin over battingmuslin-drawn-tight-with-pins.jpg

  We have a work order to build an upholstered headboard that is 70″ high and 62″ wide.  Normally we will ask the customer to give us the height of the top of the box spring off the floor (the bottom of the headboard will be an inch higher than the top of the box spring) and the height of the top of the mattress off the floor ( so we can center the pattern between the top of the headboard and the top of the box spring).  First we go to the lumber yard and find a nice, straight sheet of 5/8″ cdx plywood for the face and cut it to a dimension of 48″x62″.  Then we make four pieces of 15/32″ cdx plywood that are  8″x70″ for the legs.  We will fasten two of these pieces together for each leg which will be stronger than using a piece of 1″x8″ pine board.  The legs are now screwed to back of the 5/8″ face board.  Between the two legs at the top of the board we will attach another two pieces of 15/32″ plywood that are fastened together like the legs.  If the top of the headboard was straight we would make this top board about 4″ high but since we will be cutting an arch that is 12″ high this top board needs to be about 16″ high.  In an attempt to keep the weight of the finished frame as low as possible we will cut off all but 4″ of the upper part of the arch.  Since the top of the box spring is 14″ off the floor the bottom of the face board needs to be 15″ off the floor which requires a face board 55″ high and 62″ wide.  The 5/8″ sheet we used for the face is only 48″ wide so we have to edge join another piece 7″ wide to the bottom of the face board.  When we made the original 62″ cut in the 5/8″ plywood it left us with a piece 48″x34″.  From this we now cut a piece 48″x7″ and two pieces 8″ wide to be used as filler (not for strength) on the face of the legs.  After the 48″x7″ piece is edge joined to the bottom of the face board we fit another doubled piece of 15/32″ about 4″ wide between the legs at the bottom back side of the face board.  Now we have a face board 62″ wide and 55″ high with legs 15″ long.  At this point we draw the shape of the top and cut through all three pieces of plywood at once (the 5/8″ face board and the doubled 15/32″ boards.  We do the cutting with a long blade in a jig saw.  After the shape is cut we use 3M Super 77 spray adhesive to attach a 2″ thick piece of foam to the face of the frame.  Then using an electric carving knife we can cut the foam to the shape of the top of the frame and trim off any excess foam on the sides.   A piece of lightweight batting is laid over the foam then the headboard is covered with muslin before we apply the finish fabric.  The muslin is an extra step but produces a better surface for the final covering.

Bendable materials for an arched top cornice board

arch-top-shaped-bottom0001.jpgimgp1809.jpgimgp1810.jpgWhen a shaped dust cover is required for a cornice board there are several alternatives.  We could use bendable plywood (wiggle board) which is about 1/4″ thick and not suitable for today’s application.  Another choice might be FirmaFlex, a bendable fibre board which can be ordered in six foot lengths and edge joined for longer pieces.  If you are building your own cornice and cost of materials is not a big issue this could be a good choice but for the average workroom it would be a little too pricy.  Next you could buy dimensional lumber such as a 1″ x 4″ board and cut hundreds of slots (kerfs) across the width of the board until it can be bent to the shape you want.  Once again for the average workroom time is money so the time involved would rule this out.  My choice of material for today is Homasote, a recycled newspaper material.   They put the old newspapers in a huge vat, add water or other liquids and stir until the mixture becomes a mess of sludge.   Then the sludge has most of the liquid removed, it is poured onto a flat surface and highly compressed to get the remaining liquids out.  The finished product is cut into 4′ x 8′ sheets that are 1/2″ thick and similar to plywood although the cost is about twice as much.  Homasote is easy to cut with a circular saw but very, very dusty so it is best to use a dust mask while cutting.  For our arched top cornice we need 3 1/2″ returns so we cut strips of homasote 3″ wide.  Since the cornice board will have a finished width of 111″ and the homasote comes in 96″ long sheets we will need to cut two strips and join them end to end with aluminum or steel edge joiners (sometimes called ‘dog ears’ because of their shape).  Once the ends are joined we cut the strip about six inches longer than needed, stand it up on one edge, and lay the cutout plywood on top of the other edge.  Then we start the process of stapling and bending, stapling and bending with the staples about three inches apart all along the top edge of the cornice.  With a little extra beyond each end we can now cut down through the homasote at an angle to match where the curved top meets the straight top of the returns.  You can either staple through the top board (homasote) into the top of the return board or staple through the top of the return board into the edge of the top board.  The first way seems to be the most simple.

No sew welt cord part two

9n-millennium-tape-for-welt0001.jpg9p-pull-paper-off-tape0001.jpg9q-stick-fabric-to-tape0001.jpg 

   On most fabrics a better solution than glue for making welt cord is Millennium Tape from Sacks Industries.  They claim that the bond gets stronger over time but you must test the tape on your fabrics first to make sure the initial bond is a good one.  It won’t work on chenile, faux suede, rubberized upholstery fabric backing, and teflon coated fabrics to name a few.  In the photos I show two rows of  3/8″ Millennium tape, one at the edge and the second about an inch and a quarter below the edge for  1/4″ cord.  Now I find that a single piece of  1/2″ tape placed an inch and a quarter to an inch an a half below the edge is quite sufficient.  In this application pin the ends of your fabric to stretch it somewhat taut.   Apply the tape but leave the paper coating on.  Pin your cord taut and just above the tape.  Since I am right handed it is easier for me to start at the right end of the fabric where I pull off a foot or two of the backing paper and wrap the fabric over the cord.  Then just keep working your way toward the left- pull off more backing paper, wrap more fabric, pull off more backing paper, wrap more fabric until you have reached the other end.  Then go over the whole strip a couple more times pressing the fabric down on to the tape to make sure everything is smooth and bonded well.  With the  lighter weight fabrics such as silk and most polished cottons you can attach the finished cord to the edge of the cornice board with the same Millennium tape and feel confident it will hold forever.

No sew welt cord

imgp1797.jpgimgp1798.jpgimgp1799.jpg  

      If you are not fond of sewing there are several ways  of making welt cord using glue and tape.  The glue I use comes from R.W. Rowley and is called fringe adhesive.  It can best be used on an upholstery weight fabric that has a rubberized type of backing to prevent the glue from bleeding through but can also be used if applied sparingly to fabrics with teflon coatings that double sided tape won’t stick to.  In the photo showing the glue technique I’m using 1/4″ cord and run two glue lines with the cord in between.  The first glue line is at the edge of the fabric and the second is about an inch an a quarter to an inch and a half below the edge.  Place pins at the ends of your piece of fabric to make the fabric taut,  spread the glue out with your finger and then pin the ends of the cord taut.  Wrap the fabric over the cord and run your fingers along the overlap.  Initally the glue may let loose but as it starts drying eventually it will bond.  A quicker way to make it set is to press the overlap with a warm iron but be careful to remove all the glue residue from your iron before using it to press other fabric.

Estimating your fabric requirements

The pages for estimating your fabric requirements are currently under construction.  Check the Fabric Estimating Guides on our Quality Cornices website for updates.