Have you ever hung curtains before and realized there was a big blank space above your windows?  Here’s an easy solution:  install window moldings.  Window moldings are one of the easiest ways to add character to your room and fill up the blank space on the wall.

I think there is a myth about old farmhouses that were built in 1918.  I think it was started in 1922 by a farmer who really wanted to sell his farmhouse.

Somehow the rumor got started that old farmhouses are full of moldings and decorative details and beautiful old trim.

Umm.  Negative.

Now maybe there is a farmhouse built somewhere in a land far far away by an overly exuberant farmer with a fine decorative eye who was light years ahead of his other farmer friends.

But he sure didn’t live here.  I think our farmer was too busy, well….farming.  You know.  He was milking the cows, feeding the horses, cutting the hay, checking on the crops and all that.

He was much too busy for window molding.

But you see, we don’t farm, or milk cows, or cut hay.  So we have plenty of time for molding.

Crown molding and door molding and ceiling molding and floor molding.  And my favorite.  Window molding.

Let’s just say that we never met a piece of molding that we didn’t like.

Creating window moldings

We worked and we toiled and we cut and we shaped and we placed and we put molding everywhere.  Now the house was all “moldinged up.”  I was so happy.  Which made my husband so happy.

Because he thought we were done.


He should have known better.

I was just getting started.

I mean, we hadn’t even begun to address all the empty spaces over the windows.

But before we get started on our window molding tutorial, here are a few questions to get us started.

What is the trim around the molding called?

Window molding can be simple or ornate, but there are several different types of window molding.  For example, you have the stile that are the vertical molding pieces on the window.  There is also the window sash, which is the horizontal piece of window molding at the bottom of the window.  The molding around the window is also typically referred to as the window casing.

Can you just replace part of the window molding?

Yes.  This is often a much more inexpensive option than replacing the entire window.  If you’ve ever priced out you know how expensive it can be.  One option is to simply replace the sash instead of the entire window.  Sash kits are sold individually at local home improvement stores.  You can also add window molding to an existing window, like the project that we tackled in the dining room.

Where are the best places to buy window molding?

For standard window moldings, a local home improvement store is your best choice.  They typically offer a wide variety of moldings in primed and un-primed boards.  If you are looking for more ornate window moldings, there are several options available online to custom order moldings.  In addition, you can also choose to design your own moldings and make them yourself with a router.

How much does it cost to install window molding?

The price of the molding is determined by the molding that you choose for your project.  Simple, plainer moldings bought at the local home improvement store run about $1-$2 per linear foot.  Elaborate decorative moldings can be as high as $5-$6 per linear foot.  You will also need to include the cost of supplies for your project as well, such as paint, caulk and brushes.

If you are thinking about adding window moldings to your window, you know how expensive they can be.  Especially 10″ window moldings.

Really?  We have four children to put through college one day.

In the world of window molding there are two key things to remember are (1) paint is your friend and (2) a little plywood goes a long way.

We did a little planning and created these expensive looking window moldings for ONLY $22.

I know, RIGHT?

Can you even believe it?  Don’t they look high end?  And expensive?  And something a super creative farmer might have put together.

Want to know how we made them?

How To Add Window Molding To Your Windows


  • plywood boards
  • crown molding
  • picture frame molding
  • caulk
  • paint
  • brush

Step 1:  Cut the plywood

If you don’t have resources to cut the boards yourself, no worries.  You can have the home improvement store cut it for you.  We had Home Depot cut down a sheet of 1/4″ plywood to 8″ strips.  Plywood works well for this project because it’s inexpensive and since we will be painting it, you won’t be able to tell that it’s not more expensive wood.

Step 2:  Cut the 8″ plywood to fit

My husband cut down the 8″ strips to 36″ in width.  He cut it to fit our window.  For your own project, you would cut it to whatever the width of your window is.  Next, he nailed each of the plywood pieces above the 5″ piece of pine that was already on the window.

Step 3:  Add crown molding

Next we added 3″ crown molding to the top.  He simply cut the molding piece to 36″ to fit and attached it with finished nails.

And then? We noticed all the gaps.


When you are built in 1918, nothing is ever level and there is always an extra space here and there.


Step 4:  Add picture molding

No worries.  We just added picture molding to cover the gap.  Picture molding is your friend on a project like this because it hides all the imperfections.  He cut the finish molding piece to 36″ to fit and attached it with finished nails.

Step 5:  Caulk

Caulk in all the gaps in the window.  You want to make sure you get paintable caulk for this project.  Let the caulk dry before painting.

Step 6:  Prime

After the caulk was dry, we primed the plywood and the molding with an interior primer.


Step 7:  Paint

We painted the moldings with one coat of glossy white paint over the primer.  Typically, most window projects like this will require a second coat of paint.  Let the paint dry between the coats.

After you finish the project, add burlap curtains, count your pennies and buy a milking cow with the money you saved.  I think it’s a lot of window drama for only $22.00.

I wonder what that farmer would think of his front parlor windows now?

Probably not too much.

He’d probably just shrug his shoulders and tell me the plywood should have been used to patch up the barn.



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  1. Image for Kathy :) Kathy :)

    Well Hello, I used to follow you sooo long ago and lost touch........saw your name over at at Kim's, so nice to re-connect.....can't wait to poke around on your site, always loved your style..... And LOL to above comment about Lisa's lips........ All the best, Kathy :)

  2. Image for Penny @ The Comforts of Home & Flea Market Makeovers Penny @ The Comforts of Home & Flea Market Makeovers

    Oh How Wonderful! I love that look and I will store that away in case one day I am lucky enough to find an old farmhouse and live happily ever after in....love it!

  3. Image for Kelly @ DTTDidc Kelly @ DTTDidc

    Wow, what a great transformation! Once it's all covered with paint, nobody would guess what the moulding is made from. Well, unless they read your blog, of course ;-) I love projects like this that don't cost a lot of money but look like they do :-) Have a great weekend!

  4. Image for Linda Adams Linda Adams

    Karianne, Beautiful up grade. You are turning it into a grand ole farm. Mrs. Farmer would have been more impressed I think. Have a wonderful weekend. Joyous Wishes, Linda

  5. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Karianne, So when are you coming to Indiana? Because you KNOW you are just dying to make a trip!! ha ha!! And your mouldings....oh darling I am practically swooning, okay let's be honest I am swooning, no practically about it! :) OH the flutterings... sorry I've been reading Jane Austin at night since no one wants to watch any of the movies with me. What is wrong with boys these days? ;) I know my husband isn't going to thank you but I do believe we are going to have to try this out somewhere.... only they will be tiny because when you have shorter than standard ceilings (I mean really whose bright idea was that!) you have to get creative. Once again splendid job! I just love, love, love what you have done to the old girl! (and mr farmer well he probably wouldn't have even noticed as mrs farmer would have done the work herself while he was out in the fields... it would have been winter and by then he would have been so used to it that he would still be scratching his head trying to figure out where that sheet of plywood went...) Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. Image for Tammie Tammie

    Beautiful! I have lots of space in my family room above my windows. I will be sharing your post with my husband very soon........ Love it! Tammie

  7. Image for Anne Anne

    Looks awesome! Caulking is my best friend. I'm working with trim installed by a do-it-yourselfer biologist who never did it himself prior to this trim job and it shows, blatantly! I have high hopes of achieving a look that is at least half as awesome as yours before the summer is up! xox

  8. Image for carol d carol d

    I hear ya loud and clear. The farmer who built our farmhouse almost 100 years ago was quite literally a "thrifty scotsman" I know because he was my thrifty grandfather. No bells, no whistles, not even a root cellar which most old farmhouses are known for. However, the house is built with real 2" by 12" oak planks that will be here long after me. Trying to put details in an old house can be very frustrating!!

  9. Image for Michele Michele

    Oh my WORD - that is an absolutely amazing transformation and tutorial. WOW. Quite impressive and omg does it ever make a difference! You two stun me! VERY VERY WELL DONE!!!!!

  10. Image for Jen Jen

    Thank you for the PS, that is so sweet...was wondering where all the extra comments came from. The scenery on the Coquahalla is spectacular, all I did was click the camera. Love your molding, sigh...oh for big ceilings, and more molding. What an amazing idea, and it looks so wonderful. All for only $22.00 I am blown away. Guess who is dragging her husband over to the computer to see some wonderful transformations, and how easy they are to do.....hello hubs? Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  11. Image for Aramelle {One Wheeler's World} Aramelle {One Wheeler's World}

    Yet another simply STUNNING project. You constantly amaze me with the things you've put together. Love this so much!

  12. Image for Revi Revi

    Hi Karianne, Another home run! Your molding looks amazing! Thanks for the tips and tutorial. I'm pinning this. :) Nice way to spend $22 bucks! You got a lotta bang. -Revi

  13. Image for Lisa@budgetdesigngirl.blogspot.com Lisa@budgetdesigngirl.blogspot.com

    I can't believe that you guys did that moulding for $22 yourselves!!! I thought for sure that you had purchased that old farmhouse complete with gorgeous afore mentioned mouldings in place! Gah! SO jealous that you can get your hubs to cooperate with your visions. I have to call Billy, my handyman for such tasks. It looks truly gorgeous, K. You know I love your style! So don't be surprised if I steal this idea to implement in my family room! I will of course, link back to you! It could take me years at the rate I am going though, so don't hold your breath! ;-) I have to get though my kitchen repair/reno that starts next week, thanks to my nasty leak upstairs. As for Ms. Rina...I think judging by the size of the lips, I'm not sure wise choices come naturally. Although, I hear she may regret making them as big as they are... Living out here in LA - LA Land, really provides an interesting perspective on these things. I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. To that end, thanks for showing us what's behind the curtain! ;-) Your windows look like a million bucks! xo -Lisa

  14. Image for Vanessa Vanessa

    Oh Lordy, now I have another thing added to the list of things I want to do in my home! Thanks a lot Karianne! ;-) Truly, though, it looks just incredible and makes such a huge impact for so little money. So, have you gotten your milking cow yet? Vanessa

  15. Image for Gwen Gwen

    Oh, I do wish you hadn't found my to do list... I forgot all the things that were on it, and then I remember them when I see you actually do them... So when I post my smocked curtains with my super awesome window moldings, not only will our hearts look alike, but our family rooms as well...

  16. Image for Maury @ Life on Mars Maury @ Life on Mars

    Holy cow! This is seriously amazing. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! Such a HUGE upgrade. I think my husband may cry when I tell him about this, because he's going to know that I'm gonna want it.. I'm a new follower!

  17. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    Now, back in the day of 1918, they were not paying much attention to the molding...with chickens running back and forth through the house, they thought it was a good thing that they had feathers sprinkled here and there for that soft, fluffily, freshy texture in their decor...who needs moldings when you have chicken feathers!!! Now, you know...WE MATCH!!....most of my doors and doorways have the same trim over them!!!...but YOU PAID $22...now I really need to have a "conversation" with my trim carpenter.... The windows look fantastic.....So glad you have enough money left for that cow...Please don't tell me that you will be milking and making butter!!

  18. Image for Keeping it Cozy Keeping it Cozy

    Oh, your windows look BEAUTIFUL! And I love that it was such an affordable fix! Great inspiration! P.S. Unfortunately, I know EXACTLY what you mean about un-level old houses. It's so frustrating, isn't it?! :-) Thank goodness for caulk. And wood filler. And paint. Have a great weekend!

  19. Image for Judy Judy

    Old Farmer Brown (I just named your farmer!) could buy lots of cows with all the money he saved if he'd put molding up....seriously, ya'll did a fabulous job and I'm so jealous. Now I'm gonna walk around the house and see where I can add some of that molding.. xoxo, Judy

  20. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    Wow I like what you have done such a big difference and to have done it so cheaply is great, I have a habit of adding photos to the space above the windows..............

  21. Image for Bliss Bliss

    Ok.... I don't show just anything to Brawn, but I showed him your $22 crown mold. Excellent! Running over to see your sisters pillows, those Thistlewood ladies are talented. Bliss

  22. Image for Sherry Woolever Sherry Woolever

    Love ALL of it! Sorry if this has already been answered and I missed is, but can you tell me more about the burlap curtains, did you purchase them already smocked or did you do that yourself and do you have directions or blog!! Repinning now!!!

  23. Image for Serendiipity Designs Serendiipity Designs

    I did the very same thing at my new "old" house once I learned that paint and caulk can make everything look good. Yours is GORGEOUS and the scale of the room is FAB! Congrats!

  24. Image for Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage

    Kari, I hear you - when we bought our 100+ year old house, it had no architectural interest whatsoever! The bookshelves looked like someone that plowed a field all day found 4 minutes of time to build them! So I hear you on adding interest whenever possible! Love this!! Kelly

  25. Image for Melody of One Chatty Chic Melody of One Chatty Chic

    Okay, when I saw her commercial last night, I too was like "really? Isn't she a little young for that?!" :) So I'm glad I'm not the only one questioning her advertising sponsors these days. Jeez. Must be slow in Hollywood. But more importantly, the moldings are beautiful. Well done girl!

  26. Image for Kim Kim

    Kari, that trim is fabulous. I wish we could add more here. It makes such a world of difference. Yes, hard working farmers didn't care much about mouldings.

  27. Image for Victoria @ DTTD blog & Edin's House blog Victoria @ DTTD blog & Edin's House blog

    Your moldings are fabulous Karianne; love them!! I also enjoyed how you told your molding tale, especially because I can soooo relate. Not because I have a wonderful farm house like you but because I have what I call a working man's cottage. Just like those hard-working farmers, working men - and women - were just too darned busy! In our wee and lovely cottage the only room with embellishments (coved ceiling, inlaid walnut in oak floors and a quaint fireplace [which we remodeled to make fab!]) is the living room ~ originally with a door to close it off from the rest of the house. All the other rooms are practical and that's it. As we've remodeled each room we've made a point adding special touches... like great moldings around the windows. A perfect way to make a room... and a house/cottage... special!! Victoria

  28. Image for Angie @ Beneath the Magnolias Angie @ Beneath the Magnolias

    I love this Karianne! There is something that drives me crazy and that's the large space between the window and the ceiling. It seriously makes me nuts! I have often thought of trying something like this. I'm so glad you did it and posted all these great pics for us! Thank you! I LOVE your dining room! Angie

  29. Image for Sharon Sharon

    Saw your link on addicted2decorating and loved it! I've been trying to think of something for my two windows in the family room, and I think this could be the perfect solution! Great idea!

  30. Image for Kirby Carespodi Kirby Carespodi

    I always feel stupid being the seventy-fifth commenter, but you are right about old farmhouses. When I was in graduate school (which my family still refers to as 'antique camp', I learned all about it, most of which I have forgotten. Anyway, I grew up in an 1876 farmhouse and there was no crown molding in sight. But the main house on the property (the village grew and filled in the empty lots between ours and the main house) had beautiful moldings. Generally, farmers weren't formal.

  31. Image for emily@thefrenchhutch emily@thefrenchhutch

    Wow, Wow, Wow, just beautiful! I would love to have this look, y'all did a fabulous job with the molding. This should be in a magazine, seriously! I'm bookmarking this for my husband to read and maybe down the road maybe I'll do something like this. I have to say I Love the smocked curtains. I want them somewhere in my house, gorgeous!!!! Great post…….. ~Emily The French Hutch

  32. Image for Becca Becca

    Yet ANOTHER amazing transformation, Karianne! I'm looking at my windows as I type this to see if I can give them the "Karianne" treatment! I can't believe how much of a custom, expensive look it gave your windows, which are in one of my favorite rooms in your house! Thanks for the idea!

  33. Image for Betty Betty

    It is beautiful! I love molding...and luckily, married a trim carpenter! They use all kinds of good eye-tricks like this. It adds so much to a house. Once you have it and become aware of it, you can't help but notice it everywhere you go. Now our adult children, after having a carpenter dad, when they go into a house or consider buying a house etc...they look around........seriously? no crown molding, cheap baseboards? ha! It does add so much! And yes, don't ever underestimate the power of caulk.......so many leave out that important step. Great job! I do still sooo love those curtains too :)

  34. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    Karianne, this looks fabulous! Wow, what a transformation! My grandmother had a seven bedroom farmhouse, from 1848. You're right, it didn't have moldings like a plantation home would have had. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing it! You always amaze me with your creativity! You're sooooo- talented!

  35. Image for Karena Karena

    Wow KariAnne, This project turned out beautifully!! The deep molding makes such a difference! Great savings. Excited about the cow purchase to start your herd! Ha! I am having a $100 Gift Card Giveaway from Soft Surroundings If you would like to enter. xoxo Karena Art by Karen

  36. Image for Angela Recker Angela Recker

    The molding idea is awesome! If you hadnt told us it wasn't original I'd never have guessed! Thank you for sharing your ideas & this blog!

  37. Image for Cindy Cindy

    I have admired those gorgeous windows and molding ever since I first saw your beautiful dining room. And you accomplished it for $22? You are amazing, that was a fabulous idea. I wish I could do something like that with my windows, but I can't paint the wood moldings, so it probably wouldn't work. Oh well, I shall be content, then. But I sure do love yours!!! Hugs, Cindy

  38. Image for Mary Mary

    WHAT!?! sometimes life just isn't fair! you.are.a.genius!. SO.NOT.FAIR. and how did i miss this amazing post yesterday anyway!? well done, girlfriend! {and i love your toe pics, BTW} i gotta find you on IG!

  39. Image for Lin Lin

    Now ya'll did an excellent job making that molding look like it has always been there! It is so beautiful and gosh the price just can't be beat! As far as Lisa and the commercial...I too was surprised to see her selling Depends. On the one hand, I guess it is good to bring it out into the open because it is a problem for so many, but on the other I know she is gonna take some flack and I agree with another poster.....things much be slow out there in Hollywood Land!

  40. Image for NanaDoll NanaDoll

    I have a seriously genuine question about your molding idea. We do not have high ceilings--standard 8'. Our windows are tiny--35" wide in the living room and dining room...one along the front of the house and two along the side. Would the inverse of your treatment work? Adding the molding to the bottom of the windows to make them appear taller? Leaving the crown off, but finishing with the undersill molding? I dream of taking the windows off of the "carport" wall and adding them to the front of the living room, but just don't see that happening. Would love some ideas?

  41. Image for Jilly Jilly

    Oh, I really love the mouldings! Thanks so much for the great tutorial! I would also LOVE to know where you got those smocked burlap drapes! I adore them and would love to get my hands on some! xo, Jilly

  42. Image for Cait Cait

    Awesome.... and for $22 bucks... I can't believe it. I'll be doing this in my new place fore sure. P.S. Saw your post on BetterAfter.blogspot.ca

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