Learning how to hang a window scarf in a bay window area is not difficult, requiring more imagination than effort. The best part is that you won’t have to know how to build a mounting board for a bay window as the scarf will just be draped over the rod. Scarf valances for bay windows are a simple and elegant method of expressing personality, because there are so many different ways to create just the right look. They can be used alone or with sheers, blinds or other lightweight draperies. A decorative curtain rod is an integral part of these window valances and it must be long enough to extend at least three inches past the frame to allow room to drape material and should be affixed two to three inches above the window casing for the best effect. For a large window, the rod may also need a center support bracket. To determine the amount of fabric needed, use a flexible tape measure along the length of the rod, draping the tape in the approximate style desired, and then adding the desired amount to the total for the side draping. A good rule of thumb is to allow at least three times the length of the rod being used.
When opting for a scarf treatment as your bay window valances, it is best to use a lightweight material to achieve the graceful draping necessary. The width of the valance is usually 25 inches, but wider ones are possible if the cloth drapes well and a fuller valance is desired. Always experiment with the width before finishing the raw edges of the material, which can be done by hemming with a sewing machine or the use of iron-on, no-sew tapes. If you prefer, there are also ready-made scarves available in various styles and colors.
Once the decorative rod is in place and the perfect scarf has been chosen, it is time to learn how to hang a valance on a bay window. Use a safety pin or tie a scrap piece of material to mark the center of the fabric and locate the center of the rod, marking with chalk or a piece of removable tape. Hold the material to the front of the rod, matching the centers of the scarf and rod and draping the remaining material over the ends of the rod, from front to back. Gently pull the center down until it resembles a smile, checking to see that the ends are equal on both sides of the window. This is the traditional method of scarf valance window treatment, but any effect can be achieved with imagination.
Try looping the scarf over the rod two or more times and loosely tying the ends to the edges of the rod to create a rosette effect, or pleat the fabric lengthwise before draping to create a more formal look. Another different look can be obtained by cutting the bottoms of the scarf diagonally, to create tapered ends. Your bay window valance ideas are endless when deciding how to decorate with scarf valances, if creativity and imagination are given free reign, but one thing you don’t want to do is decorate the windows separately. Keep the window flowing by having the scarf carry across the whole bay area.