Many unique designs of window treatments exist, but lace valances for windows are one of the most delicate and sophisticated. These can be found in many variations at retailers and online stores, but it is also possible to turn them into a do it yourself project.
First, decide on the type of lace you wish to use. You can purchase a piece of material or perhaps you have an heirloom piece that can be transformed into a window covering. Measure the length and width of the window, keeping in mind that if you desire a gathered look you will need to double or triple the length of the piece. Lace is extremely easy to snag, so be sure you are using sharp scissors when you are cutting. Cut a rectangle out of the material.
At this point, the side edges of the lace valance need to be finished to prevent fraying. This can be accomplished by using a serger, or with seam or hem tape. Sew a small hem on each side and top. Turn down the top of the material to create a wider hem, but only wide enough for your chosen curtain rod to pass. Hem the bottom edge to the length desired.
This method may seem a bit complicated, especially for novice sewers. There is also a more simple method to creating lace valances. Start by sewing a wide casing at the top of a chosen piece of lace. Simply, hem the bottom and leave plain or attach a ribbon for additional accent. Attach loops made of ribbon along the top and slide over a decorative rod. If you do not wish to use a curtain rod, simply tack the ribbon loops to the wall above your window.
Whether they are purchased pieces or sentimental family items, the care of lace curtain valances are of the upmost importance. Due to their delicacy, cleaning must be a gentle process. If you are trusting of your washing machine, you can use it to freshen up the pieces. Always use cold to lukewarm water, a mild detergent and the gentle cycle of the washer. Stretch the lace back into its desired shape and lay flat to dry.
You can also hand wash the window valances using mild detergent and warm water in a basin or tub. A popular tip is to include a couple of spoonfuls of borax to brighten up the material. Leave soaking overnight, remove and rinse thoroughly. The drying process should be the same, lay flat and dry naturally.
Lace valances for windows can be rewarding to create, even with the bit of extra care required for cleaning. They add a sophistication and delicacy to your windows that visitors will admire and you will enjoy.