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How To Make Custom Valances For Your Windows

Having a living room decorated the same way for a long time can get boring. Yet most people see decorating or renovating rooms as an expensive task. A lot of homeowners think that they need professional help to get a very well-designed living room together. But the reality is enhancing your living room is vital for feeling comfortable as, in general, it is the most used part of the house. Indeed, this is where most families spend their time and in that regard it is important that this space should be attractive and pleasing to the eyes. There’s no doubt that creating the perfect design can get mind-boggling at times, but there are simple ways to dress the family room without creating a headache in the process. One of the simplest ways is to make your own custom valances.

The problem with making custom window valances is that many people who venture on these projects are faced with having to sew. While it helps to have a sewing machine handy, not many people do. Hopefully, if you are here to make your own valances you are in the “have” camp. Otherwise, you will have to hand sew your window treatments or have them sewn for you, which can be expensive. To keep this as easy as possible, but still maintaining style, we will focus on shirred custom made valances for your windows.

For supplies you will need: a sewing machine, thread, needle, scissors, straight pins, pencil, measuring tape or yard stick, iron, screwdriver, fabric and curtain rod with hardware.

The first step is to find a curtain rod that is somewhat plain and simple with the bare essentials for hardware. Elaborate rods or fancy finials can detract from your valances. A basic rod with brackets that attach at the wall will work best. You want your rod to extend past the window frame about two inches so that if you decide to incorporate them, swags will cover the sides of the window frame. Measure and mark your brackets positions with your pencil then attach with a screwdriver. Set the rod into the brackets.

Step two: Measuring for fabric. Measure the width of your window and multiply it by 3. This gives you the width of your valance and allows for pleats or gathers. As for length, most valances fall about a third of the way down from the top of the window frame. Measure the length of the window frame and divide that by 3. That will be your length.

Step three: Measuring panels. Panels are the fronts and backs of the window valances. You will want panels if you are hanging valances as the only window treatment. Valances with curtains will require lined valances so that the fabrics don’t create static and stick together.

Keep in mind that when buying fabric, most are sold by the yard in bolts. Bolts are the rolls of material you find at all fabric stores. They come in various widths, but are typically 36″, 45″, 60″ and even 72″. You must buy your fabric in yards of length as widths are predetermined with finished edges called selvage edges.

To measure for the panels, take your measured width and divide it by the width of the bolt you selected to get the number of panels you will need. For example, if your window width was 36″, your fabric width will be 36″ x 3 = 108″. Your bolt might be 60″ wide, so 108″ divided by 60″ = 1.8 panels. Round up, of course, for 2 panels.

Step four: Cut your panels. Cut your fabric using your measurements into the number of panels you need and sew the panels together at the sides with a ½” seam. Fold the new ends of your long fabric 2″ and sew the hems. Fold the bottom up 3″ and sew. Fold the top down 1″ and press with the iron then fold it down again 2″ for the top hem. This will be for the curtain rod pocket.

Step five: Hang your valance. Feed the curtain rod through your rod pocket until the fabric is spread evenly over the rod. Repeat for as many valances as you want to hang.

There you have it. Your newly created custom valances.

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