Provide Privacy and Style with a Stenciled Window Treatment(page 1 of 2)

Save a fortune by creating your own graphic, modern window cornice.


One of the most shocking aspects about buying a home can be exploring the crazy cost of custom window treatments. I stepped in to help my newlyweds, Chelsea and Scott, with their first home's kitchen window. They wanted to keep the light, but lose the nosy neighbor next door. Our solution: a modern, custom window cornice. On a budget of $200, we designed and built a simple frame in half a day.

What You'll Need

  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Stencil paint color
  • One box of 1 1/4" wood screws
  • One sheet of 1/4" thick 4'x8' plywood
  • Spackle or wood putty
  • Graphic stencil
  • Repositionable spray mount
  • Two 1"x 3" boards at 8' long
  • Two 3-hole L-Brackets


  • Power drill
  • Paint tray and roller
  • Tape measure and pencil

Get Started: Build, Stencil and Mount

Measure the window opening you want to cover. Your façade will be slightly wider than the window. Add at least 2" in width to make it larger than your window frame.

Build the Frame

Cut List

  • Two 54" pieces of 1 x 3" board
  • Two 24" pieces of 1 x 3" board
  • One sheet of plywood cut to 54" x 25.5"

Measurements will vary depending on your window width. The window we're working with was 52" wide, so we cut each of our long horizontal pieces 54" to span the window molding. Because we wanted to leave plenty of light in the space, we measured and cut two vertical frame pieces each at 24". We chose not to cover the entire window to allow for more light in the kitchen. The area we covered blocks the neighbor's sight line.

Place the 54" pieces outside the 24" pieces, forming a rectangle. Before screwing the two boards together, apply wood glue to the joint. This helps all wood working projects stay together longer.

With a power drill, screw the frame pieces together into a rectangle using 1 ¼” wood screws. Two screws for each of the four corners, held our project together nicely.

Pro Tip: Did you know that a 1 x 3" board isn't actually 1" x 3" in dimension? When boards are first rough sawn, they're 1 x 3" but by the time we get them, they're 3/4" x 2-1/2".

Apply a thin coat of primer to the rectangular frame, and the front and edges of the plywood piece you'll be attaching. This is so the primer and wood glue can dry before moving on.

An insider secret I use on smaller projects is to have wood cuts made at a big box home improvement store. We had our plywood cut to size at 54" by 25.5".

After applying wood glue to the face of the frame, carefully place the plywood on top of your rectangle. Drill pilot holes, if desired. Then fasten the plywood to the frame with screws and apply spackle to fill in the holes.

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