DIY: No Sew Fabric Valance

March 23, 2009

Many window treatment companies offer fabric valances for hundreds of dollars.  A (plain basic) valance from Smith and Noble similar to my final product was featured for $260. 

I am transitioning our bonus room from a toddler playroom into a media/game/art room.  I have chosen spice colors in burnt orange, green, espresso, and cream as the base colors to blend with the rest of our home.  I found a plaid lined 84” curtain at our local Bed, Bath and Beyond store on clearance for $15.  I liked the fabric for its color scheme, its lining, and its price!  (This fabric would cost twice as much by the yard without any lining at a fabric store.)

Supplies: 

  1. 3/4 inch x 3 inch strip of birch wood from local hardware store cut to valance width.
  2. 84” or 96” lined curtain, depending on your window’s width.
  3. Three 2 1/2 inch “L” brackets with screws
  4. ‘Stitch Witchery’ fusible bonding web for no sew hems, available at all fabric and sewing supplies merchants.
  5. Staple gun
  6. Iron

First Step:  Have your wood strip trimmed to the width of your valance.  It is recommended to go 2” beyond the actual width of your window on both sides.  In my case, my window is 72”, so I had the wood cut to 76.5” inches. 

Cheese Festival 105

Next, cut your lined curtain to the width of your wood strip, plus a) an extra inch for the hem on cut fabric side, and b) extra 5 inches for wraparound sides of valance.  In my case, this was 76.5 + 1 + 5 = 82.5 inches total.

cut fabric

Second Step:  To avoid any sewing, follow directions on ‘Stitch Witchery’ style fusible bonding to secure hem with iron and moist washcloth. 

stitch witchery stitch inside  iron

You’ll find you can achieve a very clean hem for purposes of a valance without a sewing machine with this product.  (The threading you see is just the leftover seam from the original curtain’s rod pocket hem.) You’ll also find that this project works really well with a striped or a plaid fabric as the pattern provides a built in grid to guide you for both the hemming and the stapling. 

clean hem

Once you have your clean hem, iron your fabric if necessary.

Next, you will align and center your fabric on top of your wood strip, allowing for 2 1/2 inches on either side for your wraparound edge.  Secure fabric with staples on top side of wood strip (where fabric and staples will not be visible).  Pinch and fold the edges around the side of the wood strip and secure with a clean staple. 

staple sides

 staple

Next, find your studs in the wall above your window.  It is recommended that you hang your valance 3 to 5 inches above the top of your window frame, depending on the drop length of your valance.  In my case, the drop in the valance is 19 inches from the top, so I hung mine 5 inches above the window sill. 

After locating the studs, align the “L” brackets on the wood strip, and fasten with screws into the valance.  Then fasten valance to wall studs. 

bracket

This picture shows me lifting up the fabric with a view of the underside of the valance with attached L bracket being fastened to the wall.  

So here is the window before the valance:

window before

And after the valance

valance after

Cost:  $15 for lined curtain; $6 for wood; $4 for fusing; $3 for brackets.  Total = $28

To see this valance in the new game room, see this post.

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2 Responses to “DIY: No Sew Fabric Valance”

  1. Erin says:

    How refreshing. I made my first valance a few months ago. I got a pattern (because I’m freakishly over-prepared, like the Girl Scout I never was) and when it got to the part about wood I didn’t know what the hell they were talking about. However, I successfully figured it out, and did it without the pattern after all.

  2. Laura says:

    The pictures are missing :( I really wanted to use this no sew fabric valance but without the pictures it is a lil confusing. Do you have this posted somewhere else where the pics are still attached?

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