Interior design for the home DIYer – create your own window valance

Window valances are the bits of fabric or wooden/metal frames that you hang over windows for decoration and sometimes to screen the curtains below, keeping out dust. While there are stock standard types, you can be as creative with them as with anything else in your home, and they can make for great DIY projects. We’ve gathered together eight very funky, classy and distinct valance DIY ideas that we think will inspire you no end!

The wood valance

A wood valance can be a plain, non-descript strip of wood OR it can add some serious character to your window space. From engraved or patterned wood to reclaimed or distressed wood, the valance becomes a real statement, and is best paired with a neutral curtain or minimalist blinds. You could even paint a phrase on the wood, such as “This home is built on love”, “A princess sleeps here” or something more individual and quirky. If however you’re looking for a clean, understated finish, you can simply place a smooth painted wood valance over same-coloured curtains or blinds.

The stagecoach pleated valance

This beribboned valance with its chequered print lends a cosy 50s air to the kitchen window area. It’s both retro and fresh. For this valance hem your length of fabric, attach the ribbon down the middle (sew or even hot glue it on), and only then create your folds and sew them in place.

The old picture frame valance

This DIY valance uses an old picture frame, paired with fabric where the picture would have been. Take an old landscape picture frame, remove the glass, then wrap the backing board in plastic bubble wrap and cover that with fabric (a print or bold texture is best) before inserting it back into the frame and mounting the frame as your new valance!

The washing line valance

This colourful valance is great for a girl’s bedroom or perhaps a sewing or crafts room. It’s funky, sweet, bright and whimsical. If you want you could lessen the sweet and rev up the funky by using a more muted palette (perhaps strips of black, white and grey print, or shades of blue with a silver thread running through) and by keeping the ends more even. All you need for this is scraps of fabric and washing line cord or even string.

The cornice valance

If you have unadorned shutters anywhere, you can ‘finish’ the look by fixing a cornice over the top – nothing could be easier! A gothic arch or ivory style cornice, both of which you can find at DAS, has the élan to make sure the idea speaks of elegant simplicity versus bored afterthought.

The picket fence valance

We couldn’t resist putting in one off-the-wall (excuse the pun) valance for those of you who are more arty or ‘out there’. This highly distinct valance is simplicity itself – find an old picket fence, or distress one, add any adornments that you might like, and then fix it above the window. If nothing else you won’t be stuck for a talking point when the new neighbour pops in for a visit!

The pretty, boarding-school valance

This valance has been made from a piece of plywood that was cut at the bottom to give the desired shape, but you could choose any shape you want or keep it rectangular. Cover the front with fabric (this one has been made with a shower curtain!). Then glue on ribbon trim, perhaps using two rows as in the picture below.

The burlap valance

This valance is made from a burlap coffee bean bag. Ask your local coffee shop if they have any left over. Then find a strong cord or ribbon for the ties. This is like wrapping gifts in newspaper – it’s cheap, but when executed well looks incredibly classy.

For more takes on the above ideas, as well as some other ideas altogether, as well as for more in-depth instructions, take a look at our “DIY valance” board on Pinterest.

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