DIY No Sew Elegant Window Valance
by Leona Gaita
Today we are joined by Leona Gaita, HomeWorkshop.com Interior Design Expert and Contributor. Leona shares with us her inspiring ideas and advice to help us enrich our homes and lives with beauty and elegance.
If you get the urge for a fresh little warming up for your windows, but you don’t know your way around a sewing machine, here’s a very simple but elegant Do-It-Yourself
This style is very versatile, and really takes on the look and feel of the fabric you use. In this case, I’m using a rich autumnal floral, so I’m going to call mine an Elegant Country Valance. If you used a silk, it would look formal. If you used a white canvas with a navy blue ribbon, it would look nautical, and so on….
- A 1″x 3″ piece of lumber from any lumber yard, cut to the outside length of your window, frame included. I like mine just the size of the frame, but you can make yours a little wider, if you prefer.
- A heavy duty hand stapler
- (2) 1 1/4 yard lengths of grosgrain ribbon. I bought mine at Michael’s
- No-sew fabric tape (Michael’s)
- 2 1/2 yards of fabric, 54″ wide
- 2 angle irons and screws for installation (any hardware store)
I let my lumber yard cut the 1″ x 3″ to the exact length I needed.
Then fold the fabric in half, selvage to selvage, right side in. Measure out the width you need, plus the two returns (the distance the fabric returns to the wall to cover the end of the lumber). Mine is 43″. plus (2) 2 1/2″ returns, plus 1/2″ on each side for “seam” allowance.
Trim the width down to the desired width, adding 1/2″ for seam allowance. So in my case, 43″ plus 5″ (for both returns) plus 1″ (for seam allowance) = 49″.
Then, using no-sew fabric tape, make a three sided “pillowcase”, enclosing the two ends, leaving the top open.
Press the taped edges firmly (I did that with the handle of my scissors). Then carefully turn it right-side-out, and iron seams lightly with a cool iron.
Choose (and mark) two spots on the 1″ x 3″ and staple one end of one piece of ribbon to each spot. For mine, I placed the ribbon about 9″ away from each end.
Then mark the center of your lumber, and the center of your “pillowcase.” Start by stapling the center of the fabric case to the center of the wide side of the 1″ x 3″.
Then gradually staple your fabric out from the center on both sides, until you’re a few inches from each end.
Then fold the return around, and staple that to the top, and a few extra staples to keep the corners flat.
Then bring the other end of each ribbon around to the front and staple the ends to the top.
Install two small angle irons. Make sure they’re level. For a 43″ valance, I would spread them about 30″ apart. Then sit the valance onto the angle irons, and screw up into the lumber. I like my valances kind of high, hanging just a couple if inches below the window frame, so that it gives a feeling of height, and doesn’t block light from the window.
Spend a little time fussing over the folds and the ribbon placement, and you’re done!
Now repeat…ALL OVER THE HOUSE!
With a lifelong involvement in the fine arts and design, Leona designs for Gaita Interiors, a staple of the local community for over 40 years, serving Larchmont, Westchester County and the New York metropolitan area.