Over on ToolGuyd, I reviewed the Woodpeckers X-Mat Deluxe kit 1. One of the projects I used the X-Mat system for was to make some valances for our bedroom. In the summer, it is really hard to sleep past 6 am in the morning because the sun comes out and is very bright in an otherwise dark part of the house. I’ve tried many different ways to try to prevent light from waking us up in the morning — for a while I had thick black contractor bags covering the windows.
While the contractor bags worked well, they made out house look a bit shady from the outside. It was also hard to actually get sunlight into the room when we wanted it or to open the windows. Fed up with the trash bags, my wife made some room darkening curtains, but what the industry calls room darkening material is very misleading. When we hung up the curtains we were very disappointed how little light the material blocked. Yes, there are different grades, but even the best grade doesn’t do a very good job.
The solution was to sew in some black ultra-suede in place of the curtain liner. While this fully blocked the light through the curtains, there still was light leaking in above the curtains. Thus the impetus for this project.
To save some money, I used oak plywood to build the box — I had already paid enough for the crown molding. There’s not much more to explain about how I made the project, the pictures do a pretty good job of telling the story. To finish the valances, I put on two coats of Minwax Natural Oak oil-based stain and then covered that with three coats of Semi-gloss Polycrylic.