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Monday, March 24, 2014

Look What I Built All By Myself!

Valance Collage with Words

I was lying in my bed the other day, staring at my newly Boho’d out wall, and I was hating it. I wasn’t sure if it was too much orange…or purple, or maybe I missed my old room “nook” and the way it was decorated, but something about my new room was driving me nuts. I stared, and stared and stared at it until I went cross-eyed, then I stared some more. Finally, it dawned on me…that I hated my window decor. I know it probably sounds silly, but when you live in 232 sq ft, and not all of that is livable space folks, you need to be happy with everything about it. I was not. There was something “off” about my window’s decor and I decided it was the curtain rod/the way the curtains hung/light coming through the top of the window. When I’m sleeping in, I don’t want a speck of light filtering into the room. The black out curtains are excellent for keeping light out…but they can only do so much. If you have a 1” gap along the top of the window, light will make its way through there. I wondered for a moment how I could put an end to that, while I was simultaneously griping to myself about the lack of storage on my side of the room.


I will build myself a wooden valance! I will upholster it in some kind of fun fabric, and it will not only hide the curtain rod and my curtains on the rod, but it will also prevent anymore light from coming in my room AND it will be a shelf!!!

I love my light bulb moments so much.

I immediately set to work, measuring & moving fabric & taking fabric down. I removed my Moroccan lanterns so they wouldn’t be in my way and I pondered if I had any wood leftover from our recent projects. I ran outside to see if Nic had thrown away the old shelf (directly above this window) when he built me my new one the other day. I didn’t see it anywhere. I started to pout. As I rounded the back of the RV, there it was, in all of its golden glory, begging me to repurpose it and breathe new life into it! I might’ve even let out a squee…but I don’t remember.

I took a few more pics of the original setup before I ripped it all down. Btw, the curtain rod is a 39” utility rod from IKEA. Because I didn’t plan for that, my curtains are just parted on either side of it, and I eventually just pinned the front curtain to the white black-out curtain behind it. I used safety pins to do so so they would no longer fall off. I’m too lazy to sew them by hand onto the rod.


I got the golden board clamped to our picnic table, marked my line & right when I was about to cut it, I realized my line wouldn’t be perfectly straight unless I set up a track to slide it along as I made my cut. So, I grabbed a spare 1x1 we had lying around, lined it up, clamped it to the board, and THEN I was ready to make my 1st cut.


Uh-oh. Don’t cut yet, missy.


That’s better. Proceed.



After my board was cut to the right length, it was time to cut it to the 3” deep that I needed it. I set up my new track with a much longer board so my cut would be straight again.

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Now that I had the top piece of my valance, it was time to cut the front piece. Clamps and tracks in place, I made that 3rd cut.

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The last cuts I needed to make were for the end squares.

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They were perfectly flush with the top and front. Yay me! I used my clamps to hold everything together while I set a couple nails. I didn’t want it falling apart as I screwed it together.


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Because the golden board is just particle board, the nails I were using wouldn’t stay put in it very well. It would fall apart, out of the clamps, every single time I hit a nail with the hammer. One swing of the hammer, and my shelf would explode everywhere! I was getting incredibly frustrated…and I might’ve said a few curse words in the process, but eventually, I got enough of it hammered together to hold long enough to screw it together with L-brackets.




I brought it inside to level it and find out where I would need to mount my L-brackets. Those L-brackets were going on the wall to hold it in place. They were all in studs, too (thank you “Studley” the stud finder) by the time I was through with them. You can see them above the curtain rod in the picture below.


I marked out, on the inside of my shelf, where I needed to drill my preset holes for the L-brackets.



Once that bad boy was in place, and I verified that it was level, I took it back down to upholster it. I dug around in my fabric box for a while before settling on using the midnight blue crushed velvet fabric with the copper foiled stars. It matches the 2 cornices in our room over our doorways anyway.

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IT was ALMOST perfect…but, I realized it was still lacking something…but what?



I stapled the trim up at 4 points to hold it in place. I busted out my needle and thread and sewed it to the valance. I removed the staples, stepped back, and admired my handiwork. Man. I did that ALL. BY. MYSELF. My Grandpa would be so proud of me. :)


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I stapled my orange sari fabric back up above my new valance.


Here’s a view of the inside of the shelf with the curtain rod hidden by it.


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I put the rest of the fabric back in place, re-hung my Moroccan lanterns and decorative tassel pillows and put up a couple knick-knacks to see how my shelf would fare under the weight. That thing is rock solid. I could do a pull-up on it…if I could do a pull-up, that is.


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I stapled up my beaded trim along the underside of the shelf above. That is my most favorite trim of all!!!

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Here’s the under side of the beautiful shelf my Husband built me. He sanded and stained and clear-coated it all for me. It brought the grain out of the wood beautifully. I just LOVE it!!! (It’s black, by the way.)



Annnnnnnnd…I still wasn’t completely content after all of that. I STILL thought it was missing something. Duh. LIGHTS! I strung up my Christmas lights underneath the shelf Nic built me and kinda just draped them from the ceiling past the end of the shelf. I love mood lighting.

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It’s so funny, because Nic and I agreed to each have our own 1/2 of the room. The other person can do whatever they want on their side of the room. The wall above our headboard does have to be agreed upon by both parties, however. My side is all bright and cheery and his side is soooooooooooooo boring. You’re gonna have to wait to see that though. He might hang a pirate flag or two. Oh joy.

I’ll do another post on him hanging my mini-gypsy chandelier that I purchased on Amazon. It’s soooooo pirty. I can’t wait to share it with you all.

Until next time!

Owl Family Signature

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