A valance brings color into a room to accent the furniture, carpet or bedding. It is a window treatment equally suitable to rooms with single windows or rooms with multiple windows. It is useful in hiding the curtain rods and mechanics of curtains, mini-blinds and other window treatments. A number of simple valances can be made easily to dress up the home at relatively little cost and labor.
Make a simple valance by sewing a wide casing at the top of a sheet of lace. Hem the bottom of the lace and leave it plain, or accent the bottom seam of the valance by sewing on a piece of 1 1/2- or 2-inch-wide ribbon of a color that complements the room. To hang the valance without a curtain rod, add ribbon loops along the top of the valance, and use them to tack the valance to the wall above the window. Use large tacks which add to the decorative appeal of the treatment.
Make a flip valance from a long rectangle of cloth. Use the width of the window as a measurement for the width of the cloth used. Cut the cloth to a length of about 36 inches. Sew the casing for the curtain rod into the middle of the rectangle's length and hem both ends. When hung by the casing in the cloth's center, half of the valance hangs in front of the curtain rod, and the other half hangs behind it. The valance should hang so that it is longer in the back than in the front. This gives the window treatment depth.
Tack a long rectangle to the ceiling just in front of the window using basic thumb tacks. To avoid sewing, use a piece of fabric with selvage edges. When material has cut edges which are apt to fray, sew a basic hem around the cut sides. Fold for pleats horizontally, across the fabric, and safety pin them in place on the back side of the cloth. This simple valance, which requires little or no sewing, looks somewhat like a Roman shade.
A puff valance is very feminine, and easy to make. Sew a rectangle of cloth into a loop, and fold it in half. Sew a channel into one of the folded seams of the loop for the curtain rod. This forms a casing with a loop of material below it. Machine sew one end of the loop closed. Stuff a section of the loop, about 4 inches wide, with wadded up newspaper, scrap material or pillow stuffing. Tie ribbon around the cloth to gather the 4-inch section of the loop closed. Repeat the stuff-and-tie process to create puffed sections across the loop. When you reach the other end of the valance, sew it closed.
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