Weekend Valances

Go straight to the top when decorating your windows. A decorative valance softens a bare window and adds emphasis to one with plain treatments.


+ enlarge image Substitute knobs, doorknobs, or similar decorative items for your hardware.

Double layers of sheer fabric edged in piping fall in graceful tassel-tipped points. Purchased tie-backs mounted above the window frame hold the valance in place. Look for similar hardware at drapery and home decorating stores.

See instructions below for this project.

What You Need:

  • Sheer polyester or polyester-blend fabric, enough to measure 1 1/2 times the width of the window and at least 1/3 the depth of the window (fabric amount will vary according to window size)
  • Dark-color piping
  • Tassels to match piping
  • Paper for patterns
  • Water-erasable fabric marker
  • 3 tie-back brackets

Instructions:

Note: This valance is made from a double layer of the same fabric. Piping is sandwiched between two layers, and the fold of the fabric forms the upper edge.

1. Fold the fabric in half, right sides facing. Set it aside while making the pattern.

2. To make the pattern, mark the width of the valance 1 1/2 times the width of the window. Mark the desired depth of the points. Leave the top and side edges straight, and draw gently swooping points to shape the lower edge. See the photograph for details.

3. When you are satisfied with the pattern, transfer it to the fabric. Place the top edge of the pattern along the fold, and mark the remaining edges. Baste the piping along the marked lines of one layer of the valance fabric, turning under the raw edges.

4. Using a zipper foot, sew along the marked line and against the piping, leaving an opening for turning. Trim away the excess fabric and turn the valance to the right side. Slip-stitch the opening closed. Tack a tassel to each fabric point.

5. Cut three 1 x 12-inch ties from the fabric scraps. Fold the ties in half lengthwise and sew along all the raw edges, leaving an opening for turning. Turn the ties to the right side and slip-stitch the opening closed. Fold the ties in half crosswise and tack at the outer edges and center of the valance top.

6. Attach the tiebacks to the wall directly over the window trim and at the outer edges and center of the window. Tie the valance to the tie-backs.

It takes only a few minutes to change the linens and rings as the holidays, special occasions, or your moods change.

See instructions below for this project.

What You Need:

+ enlarge image Napkins and napkin rings decorate a window for the season.
  • An odd number of napkins in two coordinating patterns, one light and one dark
  • Two more napkin rings than napkins
  • Narrow curtain rod and mounting brackets

Instructions:

1. Mount the brackets at the top of the window. Slide the rings onto the rod and put the rod in place.

2. Fold the napkins in half diagonally. Starting with the darker napkins for the background, slip the napkin ends through the even-numbered napkin rings.

3. Tuck the ends of the remaining napkins through the odd-numbered rings. Adjust the cloth so that some of the tails extend beyond the rings and swag slightly. If necessary, tack the napkins to the rings on the back side.

A few yards of acrylic beaded trim add little cost but lots of sparkle to an elegant white-on-white valance.

See instructions below for this project.

What You Need:

+ enlarge image Sew a purchased trim to the edge of the valance, or make your own.
  • Fabric deep enough to cover 1/3 to 1/2 of the window and wide enough to swag gently and drape at the ends (fabric amount will vary according to fabric weight and window size)
  • Ring tape and cord for Roman shades
  • Acrylic beaded trim for bottom edge
  • Sewing thread

Instructions:

1. Narrowly hem the bottom and both side edges. Make a rod pocket in the top edge.

2. Hang the valance in the window and mark the inside edge of the window frame. Sew the ring tape to the back of the valance along the marked lines.

3. Tie the center of the cord to the bottom ring. Run one cord through the rings and leave the other cord free.

4. Sew the beaded trim to the bottom edge of the valance, turning under the raw edges at each end.

5. Rehang the valance. Draw up the cords to create the swag and tie the ends to the top curtain ring.

Contrasting prints in the same colors, piped in a second color, add lots of interest to a simple swag.

See instructions below for this project.

What You Need:

+ enlarge image Ring tape used on Roman shades shapes the swag, yet makes laundering and ironing easy.
  • Fabric deep enough to cover 1/3 to 1/2 of the window and wide enough to swag gently and drape at the ends (fabric amount will vary according to fabric weight and window size)
  • Coordinating fabric for the ruffled trim
  • Ring tape and cord for Roman shades
  • Sewing thread

Instructions:

1. Using the main fabric, narrowly hem the bottom and both side edges. Make a rod pocket in the top edge.

2. Hang the valance in the window and mark the inside edge of the window frame. Sew the ring tape to the back of the valance along the marked lines.

3. Tie the center of the cord to the bottom ring. Run one cord through the rings and leave the other cord free.

4. Using the contrasting fabric, cut a ruffle strip three times the measurement of the lower edge of the valance and double the depth of the finished ruffle, adding seam allowances and piecing as necessary.

5. Fold the ruffle strip in half lengthwise, right sides facing. Sew across the short ends. Turn to the right side and press. Baste the raw edges together.

6. Gather the raw edges tightly and sew to the bottom of the valance. Clean-finish the seam at the bottom edge with zigzag stitches, or serge and press the seam allowance toward the window valance.

7. Rehang the valance. Draw up the cords to create the swag and tie the ends to the top ring.

Super Simple Valances

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