DIY Home: Simple Window Valance

When my family and I recently moved into our new home, we quickly realized two things: many of our windows are not a common size and we have a LOT of windows.

Unable to purchase pre-made valances, I decided to take things into my own hands and sew my own (the sample is one of the 4 valances in my office). I’d recently learned to sew and had even more recently received a beautiful new sewing machine for Christmas…and so began my adventure. Slowly at first, but once I developed a process, things moved quickly. I was able to make 20 valances in under a week, sewing only in the evening.

Below are my instructions, including one amazing time-saving tip (I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with that one!). You can also download the template and instructions HERE.

In this example, let’s assume you want your finished valance to be 24” wide and 12” tall and that you are using a 1” curtain rod. These initial measurements will vary based on your window and rod size.

  1. I recommend hanging your curtain rods first. Once they’re up, measure the distance between the brackets so you know exactly how wide you need your valance to be. This is especially important because we’re making a flat, tailored valance, not one that’s oversized and bunches up, allowing more room for error. In our example, we want the finished width to be 24”.
  2. Cut your fabric (I used medium-weight home decór fabric) 2” wider and 3” taller than what you want your finished valance to be. In our example, we’d cut a piece of fabric that’s 26” wide by 15” tall.
  3. Flip the fabric over so you’re looking at the wrong side. We need to create a 1” hem on the left, bottom, and right sides, and a 2” hem across the top, which will become the pocket for the rod.
  4. I use tailor’s chalk, but you could even use pen or pencil if you’d like, provided the mark won’t show through to the front of your fabric. Here’s the tip that will save you a lot of time: Draw a line 2” in on the left, bottom, and right of your fabric. Draw a line 4” down from the top. Then, fold your fabric to meet your chalk lines rather than pinning and measuring over and over again. Do the left, bottom, and right hems first. Fold your fabric in to your chalk lines. The chalk lines are 2” in from the edge, so when you fold in, you’re creating a 1” hem. Pin in place and iron creases.
  5. Sew left, right, and bottom hems in one pass.
  6. Remove from sewing machine and fold top down to meet the appropriate chalk line. Pin in place but do NOT iron to crease. Stitch across the bottom edge of the fabric you just folded down, close to the 4” chalk line. You’ve just formed the rod pocket!
  7. If necessary, feel free to line your curtains. I didn’t in my house because a) I didn’t have time and b) I didn’t think it was necessary. I was only going for looks, not actually trying to block out light.

If you try this out, please email a photo of your finished valance to I’d love to see!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s