$10 and 10 Minute DIY Window Valance


Because this post has become so popular, I’ve since updated it by showing how to hang the valance with no damage, and no holes to be renter friendly.  Check it out here.

There’s just something about a well dressed window that makes a room feel complete to me.  It’s like a nice statement piece of jewelry…it adds a pop of excitement and “look at me” attitude.  I have had a couple of windows in my house that were giving me a bit of a decorator’s headache by just having plain ol’ wood blinds with none of the pizzazz of curtains or dressings of any kind.  The weekend seemed like the perfect time to take matters into my own hands and tackle that project.  And I just wish that I had known how incredibly fast, cheap and easy it was, because I would have done it so much sooner.  I spent $10 and 10 minutes to make my own DIY window valances and here’s how:

Pick up a package of panel foam like this:

valance-foam-10     valance-foam-9

 I bought a package of this stuff at Lowes for $9 .  It’s already fairly inexpensive, but you can do multiple windows with this package.  I have done four in my home and still have a full sheet and a half left!  Measure your window from the outside casing to the opposite casing.  This will be the length that you will need to cut your foam to, and you’ll need this measurement to help you determine how much fabric you will need.

You’ll need some great fabric (make sure that you get your fabric cut so that is long enough to cover the entire foam board, plus about 8 inches).  And lastly, you’ll need some straight pins and some finish nails.

To get started, cut your foam to the desired length (outside casing to outside casing) using a serrated knife.  Now cut two pieces that are 3 inches wide to serve as the sides of your valance.  Once cut, attach them to your long piece of foam by using a few finish nails per side and just pushing in with your hand.


Now it’s time to cover the valance with your fabric.  *Note: because the foam has small gray specks in it, make sure to either use a colorful or thicker fabric, or to put a white layer underneath. You don’t want to have a pretty white fabric with gray polka dots peeking through at you.*  I choose to do this with straight pins for two reasons.  1, I am a lazy crafter at times and it is super quick and easy to use the pins and 2, you can change out the fabric anytime that you like without damaging your foam valance.  Start in the middle and pull the fabric taut, inserting your pin at an angle to prevent it from poking through your fabric in the front.  Next, pull the opposite side nice and tight in the middle and pin again.  Working back and forth from one side to the other will help keep your fabric straight.  Pin about every 2 inches or so.


Continue pulling tight and pinning along the entire length and sides of the valance, leaving the corners for last.  The corners are a bit tricky, and you may end up just folding the fabric until you can get it to lie flat.  Remember, it doesn’t matter terribly what the inside looks like as no one will be seeing it.  Use as many pins as you need.


Easy enough, right?  Now we are ready to hang the valance on the window.  I used two finish nails and hammered at an angle directly into my window casing.  If I ever decided to remove the valance it would only leave very small holes.

And now my room feels much more finished and complete.  I also did this in my daughter’s room, where the angle of the ceiling made it impossible to hang a curtain rod.  I can’t decide if it is the look or the ease of the project that I love most…


Linked at Savvy Southern Style, Ginger Snap Crafts, DIY by Design, Everyday Home, Seasoned HomemakerCrafty AlliePractically Functional, My Repurposed Life, Design Dining and Diapers and The Turquoise Home


  1. Love this!!! So glad you posted a tutorial, this is a great project for renters too since it’s so easy to attach to the walls!
    Melissa@TheHappierHomemaker recently posted…When you Don’t Have a Craft Room or How to Hide Your Crap, I mean CraftMy Profile

  2. Refunkjunkchic says:

    Love this tutorial! So simple and easy thanks for sharing :-)

  3. Great idea1 Love the fabric you choose!
    Lisa @ Charlie The Cavalier recently posted…Compression Socks for Travel AnnouncementMy Profile

  4. Melissa C. says:

    This would be so perfect in my kitchen. I love all the openness of our windows, and do not want the busy look of curtains in an always busy place. That being said the large main window’s bareness yells at me constantly! Girl, you are going to keep me busy, and I love it!

    • I know what you mean about feeling like it is yelling at you, Melissa…it drives me crazy! :) If your windows are larger than a sheet of the foam, I have heard people have had luck duct taping pieces together and I would probably stabilize somehow on the back. Maybe use glue stir sticks and attach those at the seam.

  5. I love this! I am a little bit confused on how you hung them with the nails though….

  6. LOVE this, Kristen! I’ve seriously wondered how to do this as I’ve had friends say they’ve made their valances with foam core. But I need a tutorial, so this is perfect. Now I’m trying to figure out where I can put on in my house. Thanks so much!! Pinned!
    Laura @ The Turquoise home recently posted…Work It Wednesday No. 40My Profile

  7. This is fabulous! I’ve been wanting to do this over my kitchen window & yours is by far the best (easiest & cheapest!) tutorial I’ve seen! Can’t wait to try it out :)

  8. My windows do not have casings at the top or sides. Any ideas as to how I could hang these with no casing to nail it to?

    • Hi Amy, I’ve heard of people using Command Strips before, but I have not tried it. I use the picture hanging strips all over my house and I think that you could probably make that work. I would super glue (don’t use hot glue – it will melt the foam) a couple of strips onto each side of the foam. Please let me know if you end up doing it, I’d love to hear about it.

  9. Niki jackson says:

    This is SUCH a great tutorial!! Your entire blog is awesome and I just got sucked in for longer than I care to admit. You’re truly doing a wonderful job :). And my next house will have these valances in it. Like 20 of’em.

  10. Can’t wait to make these valances for my bedroom. If you don’t mind me asking, where did you get the adorable fabric?

  11. McKenna J says:

    I had a hard time finding this stuff at Lowes or Home Depot. The closest thing I found was a foam insulation board, but I’m nervous that it won’t hold the nails and pins, or stay in place after I hang it. Its similar to the type of foam used for shipping, etc and its 1″ thick. What department did your find yours? Is what I found like yours?

    • McKenna J, you could probably use insulation board, but it would end up being costlier. I would suggest taking the picture that I posted of the foam board and asking an employee about it. I am currently fighting a flu, but when I am feeling better I will head to my local Lowes and track down the exact aisle that I found it on and update.

  12. I live in Puerto Rico and our houses are all made out of concrete… and there is no molding or window casing. The windows are actually metal. Anyways… Any thoughts on how to attach these? Command strips tend to not stick on cement, especially when it is damp (which is all the time on a tropical island). I absolutely love this idea and it seems cheap enough to satisfy my missionary family budget!

    • Hi Dana, that’s a tough one. I would think that because the valance is so light that you would be able to glue it to the wall using some masonry glue. Of course that would be a bit more permanent. Maybe using small pieces of wood (think paint stir sticks) and use hot glue to attach those to the wall, then attaching the valance to the wood with super glue (cannot use hot glue on the foam – it will melt through). That way you can remove the wood pieces when needed. Please let me know if you try or if you come up with another solution. I love Puerto Rico, we had a fantastic vacation there! :)

  13. How would “seam” fabric for a window that is wider than your fabric?

    • Allison, are you talking about seaming together two pieces of fabric? I think that if you were to do that you would want a patterned fabric that you could “hide” the seam in a bit. Otherwise it might stick out like a sore thumb.

  14. I love this idea! I am going to do it this week. Could you possibly email me a picture of how nailed the valance into the window casing?
    Thank you!

  15. Love this valance! But I’m confused on the hanging of it with the finishing nails..: I hammer the nails into the wall or window casing and then push the foam into them? Please email me if you can / thanks !

  16. My windows are 69-1/2″. Do the panels come in longer lengths or is there a way to put two pieces together?

    • Katie, I have not seen the foam in longer pieces. You could connect two pieces of foam, but you would certainly need to reinforce it somehow. If I were going to do it I would duct tape the two pieces of foam together and use paint stir sticks to reinforce. Make sure to have the stir sticks in the middle of the joint.

      • Thanks for the great idea! I wondered if maybe I could just cut two pieces evenly to make up for the total length then hot glue another piece on the back to reinforce it? I did look at Lowe’s today for the panels but I wasn’t able to find them.

        • Do NOT use hot glue. It will eat the foam. You could use super glue though. It seems as though each Lowes keeps them in different areas. I would show them the picture (if you have a smartphone) and they should be able to direct you.

  17. Hello!
    I love the look of these but I had a lot of trouble finding them at Lowes, where in the store do you get them from. .. I took a picture with me but the employees could only direct me to the 8 x 4 boards. Any help would be wonderful, Thanks!

  18. Thanks for the awesome tutorial! I am thinking of making a valance for a 12 foot long window. Do you have ideas for connecting to the wall in the middle for more stability?

  19. Brittany J says:

    Did you use a 100% cotton fabric? Thanks.

  20. Great tutorial! I found yours from the pinterest. So I will try this at home with my husband. He will help me to do this :) Anyway, I pinned yours in my pinterest. Thanks so much for sharing.
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  21. Brittany J says:

    I would also love for a picture of how you nailed the valance into the window casing if you don’t mind. Thanks.

  22. Hi, love this idea. My concern is being able to see where fabric ends and all pins from outside the window? ?

    • Hi Shelley, I have blinds on all of my windows as well, so that has never been a concern for me. However, because I like to have as much natural light as possible in my home, I put the valance up as high as I can (while still covering the top of the blinds) so that it doesn’t cover much window. I think that if you were to hang the valance that way, you wouldn’t be able to see much from the outside. You could just leave more fabric along the bottom so that you could pin it up higher, if that makes sense.

  23. Noncrafter says:

    A million thanks for sharing this. I have now made 8 of them for my home. I also have all my friends making them. So super easy! Your instructions are perfect!

  24. I am dying to do this in my kitchen!!! Approximately how thick is the foam panel? The only thing I can find comes in 1″, 2″ or 3″ thickness. Thanks :)

  25. Love love this tutorial! Picked up everything I needed today although I cannot find the panel foam for the life of me! I’ve even searched online and although I can find the exact brand you used, it is unavailable in my location and can’t be shipped. Very strange! I’m wondering, for an alternative foam board…what might you recommend? Excited to give this a try for our nursery! Making a matching crib skirt. :)

    • Hi Christie, what a fun idea for your nursery! I would have a hard time recommending another product since I have only used the one type of foam, but my suggestion would be to go to your home improvement store and show them the picture of the foam and ask for their recommendation on a similar product. I wish I knew more about other types of foam panels, but I am totally lacking in that department. :) I hope that you find a substitute, and please let me know about it if you do.

  26. Hello, can you provide more information on how you hung it to the wall?

    Thanks so much! Great Blog!

  27. So glad I found this tutorial! I just bought the foam at Lowe’s yesterday. It was about $9. The window I’m wanting to do this for is wider than the foam board, but I’m going to try the suggestion of duct tape and some kind of sticks for reinforcement. For anyone having trouble locating these at their local Lowe’s, if you go on their website to the product information page for the foam boards and select your local store using the zip code, it will tell you the aisle and bin numbers. Pretty awesome! I found these with no issues. I am going to use canvas drop cloth (from the paint aisle at Lowe’s), to cover mine.


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