Window Valance Ideas

Window Valance Ideas

If you’ve every been disappointed at the quality and selections in the stores when looking for window covering ideas, you’re not alone.

It’s next to impossible to find good looking drapes, let alone valance designs that fit your windows, so unless you happen to like one of maybe 5 shades available, custom is the way to go.

Think of Valance window treatments like icing on a cake. If you iced and decorated the sides, but left the top plain, your cake would look lopsided.

Valances can balance the weight and color of the furniture below and give the room a more polished look.

They’re great when you don’t want to cover up a fantastic view, and can be layered with draperies, roman shades, or blinds, for more privacy.

These window valance ideas (photos left and below) are easy to duplicate and you don’t even have to know how to sew a valance.

Use match stick shades combined with table runners cut in half and hung vertically. Then attach to a board and secure to the wall with L brackets. Drapes hung below the valance frame the window by day and pull shut for evening privacy.

Another fabulously frugal window valance using table runners

Hung horizontally with tabs attached across the top, this black and white table runner was super cheap but you’d never know it. (Photo courtesy of Sheila Reilly Design)

plaid window valances hung from a rod with drapes underneath
In this photo, valance window treatments were hung on a rod instead of a board. The drapes could be attached to a traverse rod, which the valance would hide, for easy opening and closing at night, or they could be mounted stationary if privacy is not a concern.

Notice how the solid color fabric of the drapes coordinates with the plaid valance and the dark rod? And see how close to the ceiling the rod is hung?

By using these valance ideas, your windows will look balanced top to bottom and the ceiling will appear higher too.

Sewing Window Valances

When searching for window valance ideas, try your local fabric store where you can find valance patterns as well as home decorating fabrics. Also check drapery specialty shops for custom valance designs, more upscale fabrics and staff who can sew window valances for you.

I bought McCall’s Home Dec pattern # M5286 for instructions on how to make a valance, and then modified it to hang from drapery pegs. (see photo below)

Although I was originally going for valance design #4 in the pattern , (scallop trumpet valance) it didn’t work because my tapestry fabric was too heavy and wouldn’t form pretty little trumpets. The fact that it turned out quite well was only through sheer perseverance and many trips back to the sewing table, and here’s what I learned from that experience.

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This is the most time consuming of the four window walance ideas on this page, because of the combination of pleats and scallops. Don’t let the fringe and trim fool you, it was actually quite easy to attach with fabric glue.


  • Heavy fabrics like tapestry don’t “pouf” so forget trumpet designs unless you use a lighter weight, but stiff fabric. (Yeah, yeah, I know, an interior designer or experienced seamstress could have told me that, but frugal fannie over here was trying to do it herself)
  • Loops need to be at each pleat for it to hang properly on the drapery pegs. Hanging it from a board gives it a more formal/tailored look.
  • Install drapery pegs after valances are made to ensure proper placement, otherwise you’ll be moving them like I did.
  • Expect that they’ll be “do-overs” to help keep your cool when things get frustrating.
  • Adding embellishments like fringe and trim is easy with fabric glue!

Since I bought the drapery pegs first, (couldn’t resist a good sale) I modified my valance pattern to hang from them, but attaching the valances to a board would have been much easier (less sewing) and cheaper.

Drapery Pegs at half price cost $10 x 10 = $100. versus buying the boards and L brackets to hange them at $15. Originally I bought too many pegs, but they also make great hooks for drapery tiebacks.

The top was finished by sewing a braided cord across, then folding and hand basting the excess fabric that would have been stapled to the board, to the back of the valance instead. Then loops for hanging were sewn at each pleat.

Hire A Pro For Window Valance Ideas
If you don’t have the time or desire to do it yourself, don’t be afraid to hire a pro to sew window valances for you. Professionals can steer you towards the best fabrics for the look you want, help you coordinate valance designs with draperies, and hang everything for you.

If you don’t have the cash to spend hiring someone, and you’re not the artsy, crafty type, don’t forget about bartering. Trade something you do well or an item you no longer need for someone else’s sewing skills.

Thanks for visiting my website and exploring window valance ideas. Please share this site with your friends and come back soon for more home decorating ideas.

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