Because Every Nursery Should Include A Project Made Almost Exclusively With Duct Tape…

… or at least one that requires an ENTIRE roll of duct tape…

Our apartment in the city is a rental and we have neither the desire nor the ability to go all out decorating or making a lot of changes to the room.  If we owned it, I’d have my butt on a ladder already slapping paint on every last surface in that room and installing a lot of shelves, curtain rods, and other items on the walls that require an electric drill.  But as our building requires us to leave the apartment ‘as-is’ upon departure, we didn’t want to go too crazy with holes in the walls and painting.  Hence, the DIY window valance that is hanging onto the wall by barely a thread.  But its hanging, so mission accomplished.

Here’s a quick run thru of this simple window valance.  Its neither fancy nor expensive and in fact, a DIY project that involves both an exact-o knife AND a staple gun is RIGHT up my alley!  Although, I think the hubs feared coming home to a wife with a few less digits on her hands.  Admittedly, I can be a bit clumsy with all things sharp, hot or sticky.  And it usually doesn’t end well for me.  But as this DIY project warranted no trips to the emergency room, I’m considering it a success!

Our second bedroom is basically a storage/closet/computer room currently.  Its not that big and won’t fit all that much baby gear, but I’ve been anxious to get cracking.  So, I figured the ghetto-ugly window was a good place to start in this nursery-to-be.

I followed a few different tutorials online to create a faux pellet box using all materials I got at Michael’s (a package of foam core board, duct tape, a staple gun, 6oz batting) and 2 yards of fabric that I got when making this quilt.

Here’s basically what I did:

Step 1 – Measure your window:  Mine was 48” long and I wanted the valance to come down 12” and out ~3” from the wall.

Step 2 – Cut the pieces:  Get out your foam core board.  And cut it to size with a box cutter.  Just make sure to put something UNDER the board so you don’t damage your crafter table.  I ended up with 4 boards: two 24”x12” main boards (which I taped together in the middle to create one LONG board for the front piece) and two 12” x 3” side pieces.

Step 3 – Get out your duct tape and go to town: I duct taped the two main boards together and then butted up the two side pieces at right angles and taped the crap out of them.  In hindsight, I should have used white duct tape (as my material was light and you can sort of see the duct tape thru it) but oh well, whatcha gonna do now…  By the time I realized this snafu, I was already one entire roll of duct tape into the project and convinced my lazy self that a trip to the hardware store to get white duct tape wasn’t necessary because it probably wouldn’t show thru anyway.  Note to self, I was wrong.

Step 4 – Wrap it all up with batting:  Now that you’ve got the basic shape of the valance, you simply roll out the batting and wrap it around the box as if you’re wrapping a present.  I found that the 3/8” staples I had for my staple gun went right thru the foam core board (and directly into my craft table) – this snafu actually required a trip to the hardware store (which, have I mentioned is approximately a three minute walk from my apartment.)  So one trip to the hardware store in my PJs later, I had 1/4” staples.  First I taped the batting to the board, then I stapled it all down.

Step 5 – Cover all that duct tape & batting ugliness with purdy fabric:  When it came to attaching the fabric to my new foam core pellet box, I just couldn’t stomach the idea of stapling (and thereby ruining) this fabric to the box.  I mean, what if it looks like crap and I want to reuse the fabric for something else.  Or what if I get tired of pink dots and want to redecorate… staples just weren’t gonna do it.  So I pinned.  And pinned.  And pinned til this sukker was STUCK onto the foam core.

Step 6 – Scratch your head for about 20 minutes noodling over how this valance is actually going to hang (and stay put) on the wall with as few holes as possible:  I ended up attaching two D hooks with screws onto the back of the side pieces of the pellet box.  And I hammered two TEENY-TINY nails into the wall above the window and somehow got my pregnant self hoisted up onto the radiator and fit the valance over those two little nails.  Its not perfectly even but it was the best I could do while trying to balance on the radiator with a tape measure, hammer, nails, etc… you get the idea… it wasn’t a pretty image.

Now I just have to pick up some white curtain sheers and hang them up under the valance.  All this window-love should appropriately cover up the ghetto nursery window.  Well, the window-love, plus a deep clean with some industrial style disinfectant to remove all the NYC dirt and grime should do the trick.

But thats a job for another day…

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