No Sew Pelmet

  • Image of a finished no sew padded pelmetPelmets can be made with absolutely no sewing whatsoever and are just as serviceable as the ones using a sewing method. A bonding web is used to join widths of fabric together and then it is glued onto a padded buckram shape.
  • However, plain fabrics and some patterns can be railroaded which will eliminate the need for seams.
  • Decorative edgings such as braid or fringing can be glued along the bottom edge to accentuate the shape of the pelmet.
    No-sew pelmets can be made in all weights of fabric and a wide range of shapes and designs.

Image refers to colour code key for the diagrams


  • Pelmet or box board, approximately 6" (15 cms) deep by 1" (2.5 cms) thick by the required length.
  • Brackets to attach the box or pelmet board to the wall.
  • Adhesive buckram, Pelform or M.D.F. (man made wooden board) to the required length and width. In these instructions we have used buckram.
  • 6oz or 8oz wadding, enough to pad the front of the pelmet.
  • Fabric for the front of the pelmet.
  • Lining for the back of the pelmet.
  • Braid or fringing, if required, enough for the bottom edge of the pelmet.
  • Stick and stick Velcro, enough for the width of the pelmet.
  • Bondaweb, enough to join widths of fabric together, if required.
  • Fabric glue.

Measuring and Estimating Fabric Quantities:

  1. Decide on the width of the pelmet or box board.
  2. Measure the front edge and both sides (returns) and add the seam allowances, divide the overall length by the width of the fabric to be used. Round up to the next whole number for the number of widths required.
  3. Decide on the finished length of the pelmet at its longest point and add the hem allowances. This is the cut length. If patterned fabric is used, extra will be needed for pattern matching.
  4. To calculate the amount of fabric required, multiply the number of widths by the cut length.
  5. If the fabric is to be railroaded like the lining, the amount required will be the measurement of the front edge and the returns plus the seam allowances.

Joining Widths of Fabric Together:

  1. Lay the first cut length on a flat surface, right side up, and place 0.5" (12 mm) strip of bonding web along the selvedge edge that is to be joined.
  2. Turn in 0.5" (12 mm) seam allowance down the selvedge of the second cut length and press.

    Image refers to step 1 of joining widths of fabric together
    Image refers to steps 3 and 4 of joining widths of fabric together
  3. Place the second length on top of the first length, right side up, with the seam allowance over the bonding strip, matching the pattern on the fabric if necessary.
  4. Press with a hot iron over a damp cloth to seal the seam.
  5. Join other cut lengths in the same way, if necessary. Make sure to add any half widths to the outside edge with a full width in the centre.

Making a No-Sew Pelmet:

  1. Fix the pelmet or box board in the required position above the window.
  2. Unless a straight pelmet is to be made, it is essential to make an actual sized paper pattern first (an old roll of wallpaper is ideal for this). The size and shape of the pattern can be adjusted easily until the required effect is achieved.
  3. Cut the paper larger than is necessary, fold it in half width ways, mark the positions of the front corners and draw half the required shape between the mark and the fold. When the pattern is unfolded the shape will be symmetrical. The returns should be left flat at the required length.
  4. Cut out the shape and pin it to the pelmet board. Adjust the length and shape until the desired effect is achieved.
  5. Using the paper pattern, cut the buckram to the same shape and size.
  6. Moisten the buckram lightly and cover 1 side with wadding. When stuck, trim the wadding to the same shape and size.
  7. Join widths of fabric together, if required, following the instructions above. Make sure there is a full width in the centre with equal part widths added at each side.
  8. Lay the fabric on a flat surface, wrong side up, lay the buckram shape centrally on top and mark around the shape. Measure 2" (5 cms) out from the marked line and mark a second line. Cut along the outer line to give a 2" (5 cms) turning allowance.
    Image refers to step 8 of making a no sew pelmet
  9. Cut the lining to the same size and shape as the buckram, railroading it to eliminate the need for seams.
  10. Place the fabric on a flat surface, wrong side up, and place the buckram shape on top, wadding side down.
    Image refers to steps 10 to 13 of making a no sew pelmet
  11. Clip the seam allowance on the fabric every 1" - 2" (2.5 - 5 cms) around the curves to within 0.25" (6 mm) of the edge of the buckram.
  12. Starting at the centre of the bottom edge and working towards each side, turn over the raw edge and glue it to the buckram. Clip the seam allowance more often if required to avoid puckering.
  13. Work in the same way along the top edge, gently pulling the fabric taut.
  14. The side edges are the last to neaten. Fold the fabric over, gently pulling it taut. Mitre the corners by turning under a small triangle of fabric and gluing it in place.
  15. Place the pelmet on a flat surface, right side up, and position the braid or fringing along the bottom edge, taking the ends around to the wrong side. Starting at the centre, glue it in place close to the bottom edge, being careful not to use too much glue.
  16. Turn in a 0.5" (12 mm) hem on all edges of the lining, clipping the seam allowance where necessary, and press.
  17. Place the pelmet on a flat surface, wrong side up, and place the lining centrally on top, right side up.
  18. Glue the lining in place, making sure to cover all the raw edges of the fabric and braid or fringing.
  19. Glue a length of Velcro across the pelmet close to the top edge on the wrong side.
  20. Mark the front corners of the pelmet on the wrong side and fold the buckram vertically at these points to form a 90 degree angle so that the pelmet fits around the sides of the pelmet or box board.
  21. Glue the another side of the Velcro to the front and side edges of the pelmet or box board.

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