Things You'll Need
Making your own window treatments can save money and let you design a space that is truly you. A great way to start is with a valance -- a short curtain that can be hung over blinds or with other drapes. There are many types of valances and it's fun to play around once you have some practice. This tutorial is for a ruffled top, gathered valance.
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Depending on the size of your window, a valance can be made with as little as one yard of fabric and some basic sewing supplies. Please see the last slide for an itemized list of tools and materials.
The first step is to measure your window plus the overhang you want on each side. For this example, the window is 36 inches with a 3 inch overhang on the left and right side. 36 + 3 + 3 = 42 inches. To create a gathered look, multiply the total window measurement by 2.5.
42 x 2.5 = 105 inches. This is the total length of fabric you'll need.
If you want a seamless valance, you'll need almost 3 yards of fabric for the above measurements. Or you can save money by using 1.5 yards of fabric and cutting it in half.
Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and cut along the fold. This will give you two pieces that need to be sewn together to create one long piece.
Lay the first piece face up, fold in the right side 1/4 inch and press with a hot iron. If you're having trouble making the fold straight, a little trick is to use a metal ruler. You can iron the fabric on top of the ruler to get your line. Remove the ruler and iron the fold again to lay flat.
Lay the second piece face down, fold in the right side 1/4 inch and press with a hot iron.
Now you have two folds that easily interlock with each other. Lay both pieces face up and slide the top fold into the bottom fold. Pin as you go.
Sew the two pieces together, giving you one long piece.
Hem the bottom and sides of the fabric so you have nice clean edges. Starting with the bottom, lay the fabric face down and fold in 1/4 inch and press. Repeat the fold once more and press to enclose the raw edge.
Sew along the inside edge so the folds are secure.
Repeat steps 8 and 9 for the left and right sides.
This leaves you with one raw edge along the top. Fold in 1/4 inch and press. Do not sew this part yet.
Calculate the circumference of your curtain rod and how large of ruffle you want on the top. For this example, the curtain rod is about 1 inch and the ruffle is 3 inches. Add an additional inch to this measurement for seam allowance and gathering ease. Total is 5 inches.
With the fabric laying face down, take a ruler and measure 5 inches down from the top fold. Mark this all the way across the fabric.
Fold in at the mark and press.
Measure 3 inches down from the top for the ruffle. Pin all the way across the fabric.
Stitch along the pin line, taking the pins out as you go.
The final stitch will be 1/8 inch from the inner folded edge. This creates the ruffle and the casing for your curtain rod.
Slide your curtain rod through the middle opening. Gather as you go and adjust the ruffle as needed.
When picking out your fabric, gather it in your hands to make sure the pattern will look good when it's ruffled.