How to Make a No-Sew Window Valance

Happy Earth Day!  If you follow us on social media, you may be aware that we’ve got some really exciting things in the works!  We can’t share too many details just yet, but feel free to follow us on fb/Instagram/Twitter for sneak peeks.  😉

Today I’m going to show you how you can make your own curtain valance using a regular curtain, and this is a no-sew method!  Speaking of that… I have a confession.  I don’t know how to sew.  It’s not that I don’t want to learn, but I’m at this weird stage where I try to find alternative solutions when the project calls for a sewing machine.   There’s always another way, right?!

Enter a model home staging gig.  We were hired in conjunction with Ashley Furniture to deck out this gorgeous model home, by local builder Landon Homes.  We’re talking open concept from the kitchen all the way to the living room.  They wanted the curtain fabric to match on all the windows in the kitchen, dining, and living areas.  Okay cool, we got this.

But here’s the kicker.  The kitchen window is only about 12 inches away from the kitchen cabinets.  A rod and panel would look too tight in that space.

Most window treatments don’t come in a panel and valance option.  It’s typically one or the other.   But I needed both.  The panels are West Elm, and I love these.  Let’s be honest, I adore pretty much everything West Elm.  Right now all WE curtains are on sale AND have free shipping!

Not only that, but the “Retreat” room had a window that was only about 6 inches off the wall.  Definitely not enough room for a rod and panel, without blocking a lot of that natural light.  This panel is theKendra panel by Pottery Barn and it’s also on sale right now.

So Johnny Ray and I got out our power tools and by golly, we made a valance.  You ready for this?  It’s soooo easy, you guys.  I promise.

To measure for the width of the valance, add 6″ to the window width.  Use 3 pieces of 1×6 pine, and create a “U” shape.   To make the valance pop off the wall about 6″,  cut the two end pieces at 5″ long.  Use the ol’ glue-and-shoot method to nail your “U” together.

Then use a 1×4 and cut it to length so that it fits nicely inside your “U”.  Put a little wood glue on the ends and use a brad nailer to hold it in place.  This is the top of the valance.

Pre-drill your holes so that the installation will be quick and easy.

Use a 2×2 for the valance to rest on when it’s mounted on the wall.  Cut down the 2×2 to the width of the valance.  Give yourself about an inch on each side to play with.

The 2×2 is going to get screwed into the wall first, then the valance will get screwed into that.  But before we get to the installation, you’ve got to attach the curtain to the valance box.

First comes chair padding.  This works perfectly to soften the corners of the wood.  Simply used a staple gun to attach the padding.

Now it’s ready for its clothes. ;)

The cool thing is that the width of most curtain panel are 54″, which should be enough to cover your valance, unless you have a really wide window.  For us, it worked out perfectly so there was no sewing needed.  We needed at least 50″ in width of fabric and our West Elm curtains were 54″ wide.  Drape the curtain over your wood valance frame and center it to make sure the pattern is straight.  Staple it to the frame, folding the excess fabric underneath, sort of like wrapping a present.

Then cut off the excess fabric.

Ours hangs about 13″, which I think is a good length for most average windows.  Just a tip, wait until after you’ve completed the valance to iron the fabric.  I ironed them before installation, and they got wrinkly during the process, so I’d wait until you are done to dewrinkle.

We are super happy with the outcome, and the builder was pumped about the final look! Everything ties together for a cohesive look. :)

Happy Hump (and Earth) Day, friends!   Do something that makes you smile today. :)

Whitney

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