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.
curtain with piping and tassels
Enlarge Image
Substitute knobs, doorknobs, or
similar decorative items for your

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


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.

Continued on page 2:  Napkin Topper