September 12, 2013

Nursery? Check.

This post is actually about how I created a wooden window valance for the nursery. But first, a little background on the nursery...

We are about T-minus 8 weeks and counting to the arrival of this:

The nursery is pretty much done, which I personally consider a modern-day miracle - an accomplishment on par with the advent of the internet or Penicillin.

Looking back on our preparation for Campbell's room...I can't help but think it seemingly took us forever to get the nursery together. Paint colors, bedding patterns, dresser, glider and crib? Oh God, the crib...

Questions kept swirling, with us hoping if we just delayed a decision long enough, hopefully things would take care of themselves. For Courtney, those questions were earth-shattering things like "Is this blue too boy-ish for a girl's room?" For me, they were "How long is this going to take me to put together?" or "That cost how much?!"

But in preparing our second nursery, I was amazed that we got it knocked out in just about no time at all. I don't know why, but I guess when you drill down to it, preparing for a first-born princess was just a lot more time-intensive than preparing for what will eventually, undoubtedly become this at some point:

Not our son being Asian...the watermelon warrior costume. At least I'm hoping that happens, because it Would. Be. Awesome.

First things first, we went with a buttery yellow for the walls. Why? I don't ask questions when it comes to women's logic, and it's probably best that you don't either. Something about "not clashing with the bedding, blah blah blah."

Campbell helped:

To add some masculinity to the room, I made a window valance out of 1" x 6" rough-cut cedar. Here's what that window looked like before and after the new paint and the addition of the valance. Scroll down to the bottom for additional photos of the evolution of that valance.

There are a few other projects I did for the nursery, but I want to save them for new posts. I mean, they took me a combined two months worth of work, so it seems a bit of a waste to throw them all into one blog post.

But the nursery is indeed done, and until I get pics of the other projects up, this is the best I can do for a reveal:

You might notice a theme if you look closely AND keep up with my blog. I've made and/or refinished several items that are now fixtures in the new nursery: school desk, vintage tool box masquerading as a diaper caddy and the twine picture frame.

More Photos of the Wood Valance:

Step 1: Mounting Brace
Determine how much distance from the wall you'll need for your valance to clear the curtain rod. For me, that was 3.75 inches, the same thickness as two 2"x4" boards and a 1"x4" board. Cut them to a length that'll allow them to hide behind the 12" valance. Screw the first 2x4 into a wall stud, then the next 2x4 to that one, and so on.

Step 2: Valance construction
Figure out what you want the size to be. Mine consists of two 1x6 cedar boards (so, one foot tall) long enough to cover the curtain rod plus about 6-8 inches on each side, but you could make it as big or as small as the space and your taste allows. I joined the two boards together with a Kreg pocket hole jig and pocket screws (again, instructions here).

Step 3: Prep and Painting
After sanding the whole thing down thoroughly, I covered it in Vaseline. What?! Yeah, Vaseline...It'll create resistance so the paint won't stick evenly, which will make it MUCH easier to distress.

Once the paint was dry, I went to town on it with 120-grit sandpaper discs on my orbital palm sander. The more random, the better.

To give it a little more age, I used brown antiquing furniture wax (Miss Mustard Seed) as a topcoat and buffed it with a clean rag.

Step 4: Installing
Making sure the board was level and centered on the window, I drilled 3" screws straight through the front of the board into the mounting braces I prepared. Done and done.


  1. Sad the monogram is not in the picture!

  2. Gaines, another amazing project. Well done! And please, for the love of humanity, at some point put the boy in a watermelon costume.