DIY Kitchen Upgrade: Simple Sew-Easy Valance
April 13, 2009
You know how you look at some design element in your home over and over, and it just doesn’t look right, and you just can’t put your finger on why? (Enter blogger helpers…) That’s the story behind my kitchen window valance. It’s a large picture window that looks out into my garden in the backyard, so I didn’t want to obstruct the view, I only wanted to add some soft fabric detail. The wall paint is a dijon color, the wall cabinets are white, and the center island cabinets are this complimentary butternut color:
The original fabric I chose to create the first valance last year was a Waverly rooster toile. The problem with the original valance was that the fabric’s yellow background was the color of American mustard, while the wall color was more Dijon mustard, and with the clashing of these two yellows, the walls finally exclaimed, “Excusez-moi”.
Here’s my before:
I was aiming for an imitation of this look from one of House Beautiful’s Kitchens of the Month from last year:
I LOVE the look of this kitchen. It’s so elegant, and has that French Country look I adore without having too much country influence. I really wanted to copy the toile fabric. So I tried to recreate it with Waverly’s rooster toile, but the yellows just would not jive. I stared at it for months in frustration, until I settled on another Waverly fabric called “Pretty Paisley” which toned down the jarring yellows, while still softening the large kitchen window.
Here’s my helpful brother Nate removing the old valance, and hamming it up for the camera. Isn’t he darling? Ladies, he’s single!
How to Make an Easy Simple Sew Valance:
- Fabric of choice
- Liner fabric
- 1” x 2” birch wood trimmed to width of window
- Set of three 1.5 inch “L” Brackets
- Staple gun and staples
- Sewing machine and thread
Step One: Cut your fabric to size, allowing for at least an extra inch all around for your simple hem. Cut your liner fabric to the same size. Sew a simple hem all around on four sides, while attaching the liner to your fabric. Your final length should be the width of the window, plus the extra 2 inches on both sides to wrap around the wood. In my case, I wanted a 103” wide valance, but I hemmed the fabric to a width of 107” to allow for the 2” wrap around.
Step Two: Align your hemmed fabric on top of your birch wood, and staple gun it to the top. Allow for the 2” wrap around on both sides. Iron the fabric to create a crisp crease for the wraparound corner. Staple your fabric to the side of the wood to finish the sides of the valance. Trim excess fabric on the back so that the wood will be flush with the wall when attached.
Step Three: Attach your “L” brackets to the valance. Check for the placement of studs in your wall, and line up the brackets on your valance so that they will be mounted into studs.
Step Four (optional): Hem two fabric ties with your extra fabric in order to swag the valance.
Step Five: Attach valance to wall studs above window.
Here’s the new valance:
Here’s the before and after comparison:
Now this window valance is a bit softer, and much more balanced with the colors in my kitchen. What say you?