This can take some
time, but if done properly with attention to detail,
the results are rewarding.
We will assume that
you have gathered together all the necessary parts as
detailed on the materials
Start by screwing the
timber to the ceiling to form a rectangle whose outside
dimensions are 243cms x 150cms. See diagram 1. Note
that one short side of the rectangle (marked "A"
in the diagram) should be fixed against the wall.
Screw the curtain rails
to the underside of the timber, on sides B, C and D. Ensure
that the running slots are on the INSIDE of the enclosure,
and the plain face of the rail is to the OUTSIDE. Put
the plastic runners in place ready to accept the curtain
Cut the fabric to length
- each length should be the height of the room from
ceiling to floor plus 10 cms. At the ends of each length
of fabric, turn up a hem of 5 cms, and sew up
on a sewing machine, ensuring that the finished height
of each curtain is enough to reach from ceiling to floor
without dragging on the floor. Sew the curtain
tape into position so that when the curtain is hung,
the bottom does not drag on the floor. This sounds difficult,
but after the first one you will find the rest easy!
Without wishing to sound patronising or sexist, the
lady of the house will probably know exactly what to
Fit the curtain hooks
into the tape and hang each curtain in place. You will
see that the curtains appear to be inside out, i.e.
the curtain tape and hooks are on the outside. This
is intentional - it stops the curtain fittings showing
up in the dim light inside the manteum, therefore
avoiding a visual distraction.
Inside the manteum you
now have a bare wall - cover it with a piece of the
fabric (just nail the top of the fabric to side A of
the timber frame) so that none of the wall is visible,
it is all black.
Fix the mirror in place
on the wall - for this the best way is a brass eye screw
in each of the top two corners of the mirror's frame,
and a piece of strong string tied between the two. A
hook can then be fixed to the wall, and the mirror hung
there by the string. A couple of small brackets can
support the bottom of the mirror. Two dimensions here
are important - firstly the bottom of the mirror should
be 82 cms from the floor when hung in place. Secondly
the top of the mirror should lean away from the wall
by about 8 cms. (This latter measurement will be adjusted
later on, so it doesn't have to be too accurate at this
You have a piece of
fabric left over - nail it to the front and rear timbers
on the ceiling so as to cover the ceiling inside the
manteum. Allow it to drape down a little.
Place the chair with
no legs (!) on the ground facing the wall in front
of the mirror, with its front edge 82 cms from
Put the cardboard box
on its side,
long-side down, on the floor immediately behind the
chair, with the bottom of the box next to the chair
and the open end facing the rear of the manteum. Use the bottom flap to raise the edge of the
box up a little, and place the light inside the box.
Connect the power to the light. Adjust the other
three flaps of the box so as to direct the light on
to the rear curtain of the manteum, but shielding light
from the sides.
That's all there is
to it. Once the manteum is set up as above, it can be
left like that for future use.