How to make your own home valances

A finishing touch for windows

Valances are decorative coverings for the tops of curtains or draperies. There are two types. A soft valance is a short curtain or drapery in the same style as the window treatment and is usually hung on a separate rod. A hard valance, or cornice. is a fabric-covered, painted, or stained box, mounted above the window. Whatever the type, valance length should be 1/8 to 1/6 the length of the window treatment. Fabric can match or contrast with the curtains or draperies.

Make it wide enough to cover the entire window treatment and with a bottom hem half as deep as the ones on the curtains or draperies.

For an upholstered valance, build a four-sided box, wide enough to clear the rods by at least 2 inches on each side and deep enough to clear the draperies when they’re pulled open-us’ laity the depth of rods plus 3 inches. When planning the height, take into account that supporting angle irons will be set above the window frame. Cut four boards, as shown, from pine or fir-I-inch solid or 3/4-inch plywood. Glue the top and sides together. When dry, glue the front in place. Reinforce the joints with finishing nails.

Cut a piece of 1/4-inch polyester batting the same dimensions as the front. (Omit this piece if you want a less padded look. ) Cut a second piece to cover the entire box, plus 3 inches all around. Spread white glue, thinned with water, on the outside of the front. Glue the smaller piece of batting in place: let it dry. Center the box facedown on the larger piece. Wrap the batting around the box, holding it in place with T-pins. Pull the bottom edges to the underside; trim excess batting in the corners. Anchor the edges with a staple gun or upholstery tacks; where side and top boards meet, slash diagonally; trim excess batting, then staple or tack the top panel over the side sections. Staple batting inside the back edges of the box; trim any excess.

Cut fabric to cover the box, plus 4 inches all around. Wrap and pin the fabric the same as the batting. Working from the center out, anchor fabric inside the bottom edges; tuck in excess at the corners. Pull the fabric taut over the top and side boards, folding it envelope style on top. Anchor fabric inside the back edges. Mount 1-inch angle irons above the window, 2 to 3 feet apart; set the valance on them.