The word pelmet comes from England and describes an architectural curtain feature used to hide curtain fittings and to help retain heat inside a room. Pelmets are frequently called top treatments, cornices or valances. However, they differ from other top treatments in that the pelmet is generally a hardened valance or a treatment built over a structure.

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Preparing to install the finished pelmet.
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Installing the liner over the wood base.

Your pelmet will extend beyond the width of your curtain rod or window with an allowance of approximately one and one-half inches on each side. The pelmet box (made of wood) is one foot high on the front and sides and six inches deep. It has a face, a top and two sides. Measure your window or rods and cut your stock to size. Join your stock with carpenter's glue and finish nails and let it dry.

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Finishing the edges cleanly.

Apply your foam in three sections using a spray-mount type of adhesive. Cut the sections for your sides first and then your face. The foam on the face will overlap the end pieces in the finished piece. In this design, two inches up from the bottom edge we have cut the foam, creating a channel of about three-quarters of an inch wide. It is easiest to cut your foam before applying it to the wood. The electric knife makes it easy to cut the foam; just use a piece of wood as a guide as necessary. Trim off any extra foam.

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Wrapping and fitting finish fabric.

If you need to line your pelmet, then apply your liner fabric first. Find the center of your length. With the face away from you, insert the liner into the pelmet box so that it covers the inside of the face board. Staple this along the edge right against the corner. Space your staples every 3 to 6 inches. Wrap up along what will be the bottom of your facing edge, and across the face of the foam. Work the fabric down into the indentation and then staple at the bottom of the channel starting in the center and working your way toward the sides, smoothing the fabric as you go. Don't pull the fabric so tight that the edge isn't crisp.

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Installing trim fabric in channel.

Follow the fabric around on the sides, wrapping the pelmet as if it were a present. All of your staples go on the inside of the pelmet except for those few in the channel where they will be hidden.

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Installed bracket that holds pelmet above curtains or blinds.

Do this complete process a second time with your finish fabric. Tuck and fold fabrics under to keep your inside pelmet neat. This is particularly important at doorways or where persons from the outside can see into the back of your pelmet through the window.

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Finished pelmet.

Sew your accent fabric around the cotton cording leaving an additional three inches on each end. Trim the seam to approximately one-quarter inch. Starting in the center of your channel, insert your decorative cording. It should wrap to the back of your side panels on each side and the tail should wrap into the inside of the pelmet box. Pull snug and staple one end. Run a bead of fabric glue at the base of the channel and press the cording into place. When you reach the other side after having wrapped the entire front, continue to the back of the second side keeping the cord taut. Finish by stapling the cording tail inside the pelmet box. Now you are ready to hang it.