If you’ve been searching for the perfect valance for your windows, but just can’t find one that matches your décor, it might be time to make your own. It’s not as difficult as you might suspect, and even the novice can do it. The hardest part of this home decorating project will be to choose the fabric you like the best for your valances.
Choosing the Fabric
When choosing a fabric, keep in mind that the thicker the material is, the harder it will be to manipulate. You also might not want to choose the thinnest fabric because it could lead to having a valance that is flat and unattractive. Stick with one that will hang well when you hold it up, but is easily folded in your hands.
Figuring Out the Valance Width and Length
To figure out how wide to make your valance, measure your window’s width. Multiply the width by two to figure out how much fabric you need for your valance.
The length is completely up to you. Some people like valances that are short, but others want them to come down half way down the window. Hold a piece of your fabric to the window, fold it, and then hold it up again. This is a good way to determine what length you like best. Before you start cutting and wash it. That way if it shrinks, it won’t be too small for your window.
Making Valance Hems
The first part of making valances is pressing the edges with an iron to know where you need to sew it. Always make sure when you press it, you are folding it towards the inside, and so you don’t have the hem sewn on the outside.
For some guidelines on your valance hems:
- The hem must be at least 1.5” longer than the scallops of your valance.
- The sides of the valance must be between 1.25 to 1.5 inches.
- The raw edges should be only .25 to .50 inches.
Creating a Valance Design
You can make a beautiful design by using a plate. Place the plate at the end of the valance, and use a fabric marker to trace the bottom edge. This will be where you’ll cut to make scallops in the curtain. Press the cut edges about .25 to .50 inches.
Now, you have all of the presses you need to follow for sewing. Slowly start to sew in the middle of the crease and edge. This will make a clean edge for your valance. Once all of the edges are sewed, it’s time to hang them up.
Hanging the Valances
Take a rod and place it through the top looped hem. You can then hang it up, and start to fan out the material. If you would like the scallops to fold around in the front, simply take down the valance and use your iron. Place the curtain on a curved edge and press it. You’ll notice that it will make a nice contour that will help your valance pop when it’s hanging in the window.
Now, stand back and feast your eyes on your creation. You couldn’t buy them anyway and you can tell everyone that they are a one of a kind designed especially for you by you.
Marcelina Hardy wrote this guest post after making her own valances for her new condo located in the Austin downtown condos district.
- Special Thanks to Ricardo Marquez for the lovely photo!