DIY No Sew Valance

I’ve stared at my naked kitchen window for the last year and finally had enough! Do you ever get to that point, where you have lived with something for so long, and then finally can’t stand it anymore??

My kitchen renovation has been a work in progress, but I believe these valances will be one of the last finishing touches.  The inspiration for my kitchen is this color combination from Design Seeds.  I had lots of fun looking at the different color pallets over at the Design Seed website, and knew I wanted something fresh and lively in the kitchen.

I wanted some fun colorful fabric to top the window and had my heart set on this Emilio Print in Cosmo:

..but then I hemmed and hawed around, not wanting to pay the shipping fee, and it was discontinued!  No one online was selling this fabric and I had a hard time finding anything else I liked for a reasonable price.  I did finally find some fabric at Jo-Ann’s and got to work constructing the valance.

I wanted to make something similar to what I saw over at Centsational Girl, where she doubled up the fabric and used a skinny piece of wood and L brackets to attach to the wall.  Go read her tutorial too, although it was somewhat confusing, I’m not sure if I did exactly what she did..

  1. I first measured my window width and estimated how long I wanted the valance to be.  I suggest putting your blinds all the way collapsed at the top and making sure your valance covers them.  The I got a pen and paper to make sure I wasn’t screwing up the mental math.
  2. Next, cut your piece of wood to the width of the window + your overhang.  I wanted to make the valance wider than the window frame so it would create the illusion of a bigger window.  I added 3 inches to each side (6 inches total) and cut my wood.  I used a scrap 1 in x 2 in piece of wood, and positioned it so it was like a small shelf, sticking 2 inches out into the room.  This meant there was 2 inches I would need to cover so you couldn’t see the wood from the sides.  If you use a wider piece of wood, you would need to add more fabric in the next step…
  3.  Cut your fabric to hang off of the wood shelf. You’ll want to cut the width of the fabric to be the window width + overhang + width of wood+extra to make a hem, so for me it was 52″ window + 6″ overhang on the sides + 4″ to cover the wood+2″hem = 64″.  Clear as mud? Cut the length of fabric to be double the final length you want + extra 3 inches (or something a little more than the width of your wood) so you have something to wrap around the top of the wood strip.  For me, I wanted it to be 14″ long when finished, so I cut the length (14+14+3) to 31″.
  4. Once you have your piece of fabric cut to the right size, fold it in half “hot-dog style” and iron it to get all the wrinkles out.  I used my ironing board as an assembly table at this point.
  5. Using fusible webbing tape and my iron, I “hemmed” the sides of the fabric, turning the raw half-inch over and ironing for a straight edge.  Keep the fabric folded in half and treat it as one piece, just so happens to be doubled up.  This gave the valance some structure and it hung nice, as opposed to not doubling the fabric and just having one thin fabric piece.
  6. When the two shorter edges are hemmed, attach the fabric to the board with a staple gun.  Center the fabric on the wood, and measure from the front edge of the wood going down to your crease, make sure you have the correct hanging length.  Anything extra, just staple on the back of the wood piece as this won’t been seen when it is on the wall.
  7. Wrap the wood corners with fabric, folding it nicely like a present, or however you can get the fabric to lay down, and secure with a staple.  You’ll want it to make a box shape, with the fabric coming around the side, making the “sides” of the valance.
  8. Lastly, using 2 small L brackets (find at any hardware store) attach the brackets to the wood, then the piece of wood to the wall.  I attached my valance well above my window (all the way to the ceiling) to make it look larger than it really is.  There, you’re done!

Hope you give this a try! It was much easier than all the instructions make it look.  Just be sure to get your measurements right and you’ll figure the rest out!  This project took an hour max, and I hope to add some more valances in my office soon!

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