$10 and 10 Minute DIY Window Valance

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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:

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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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

Comments

  1. 7

    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!

    • 8

      says

      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.

  2. 11

    says

    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

  3. 13

    says

    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 :)

  4. 15

    Amy says

    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?

    • 16

      says

      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.

  5. 17

    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.

  6. 19

    kandace says

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

  7. 22

    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?

    • 23

      says

      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.

  8. 24

    Dana says

    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!

    • 25

      says

      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! :)

    • 27

      says

      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.

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