How to Make Easy Window Valances

Valances are window treatments that are hung at the top of a window. Though lengths can vary--even the longest length will only cover about one fourth of the window. Valances can be hung alone as the only curtain, or over drapes or panels to make the window treatment fuller. Valances are easy to make and can even be made without sewing. Since fabric can be purchased in a wide variety of colors, patterns, textures and materials, you can make valances that will match any existing window treatment or home decor.

Window valances lighten up a room by letting in natural light.
  1. Measure the window. Measure straight across the top of the window, beginning where the left curtain rod bracket is, or will be placed. Measure to the right side bracket placement. Measure from the curtain rod placement above the window to where you want the bottom of the valance to be. Write down the total length and width measured.

  2. Figure out how much material you will need for each window. If you want the valance to be pulled taught across the window for a tailored look, add 4 inches to your width measurement. For a shirred valance, multiply the width measurement by 1.5. Add 5 inches to the length measurement. Use your measurements to purchase the correct amount of material.

  3. Choose material for your valance at your local fabric store, craft store or department store with a fabric section. When choosing fabric, consider the room the valances are for. Choose material that matches your decor and complements the room. If valances are for a bedroom, consider a thick, dark material that will help block out light.

  4. Ask the fabric store to cut your material to the required sizes when they are cutting the fabric for your purchase. If they are only able to sell material by the yard, you will need to cut the material to the proper size yourself.

  5. Cut the material to the proper size by spreading it out, face-down, on a large, flat surface. Use the measuring tape and fabric pencil to mark where the material should be cut. Double check your measurements before cutting. Set aside the leftover material.

  6. Place the fabric face-down on a large, flat surface. Fold down the top of the material 3 inches. Using a hot iron, set on the proper setting for your fabric, press down on the fold to create a crease on the top fold. Fold the bottom of the material up 2 inches to create a hem, and use the iron to create a crease on the bottom fold.

  7. Sew the top material fold together to create a pocket for the curtain rod. Do not sew along the bottom edge of the turned-over material. Sew at least 1/2 inch up from the bottom to prevent unraveling. Choose thread that will blend with the material and not show. Sewing can be done by hand, or with a sewing machine. Sew the hem in the same manner, about 1/2 inch from the edge of the turned-over material.

  8. Glue the material instead of sewing by using a glue specifically for fabric. Fabric glue can be found in craft stores and fabric shops. Spread a bead of glue along the same edges where sewing would have been done. Allow the glue to dry thoroughly before ironing or hanging the valances.

  9. Iron your valances and they are ready to hang.