DIY Valance No Sew window treatment ~ SO EASY!! {2.23.13}

Chic, Stylish, Vintage, Fun!

Some of you may already know this about me, but I’ll reiterate my love for crafting and making/creating things for all sorts of occasions.  Recently I’ve been really in to making fun, crafty things for my new home.  I’ve been trying to upgrade the looks of things around here since the day we moved in (2011).  In some aspects, within the last year or so, I have surprised myself with the things that I have made or created just by getting lucky.  Lots of trial and error for sure.  Lots of Pinterest too!  Check out my Pinterest page for some of my favorite “home” ideas; there’s some pretty great projects that I’ve pinned…too many!  I’m happy to say however, this particular project was all me and yes, I will soon be pinning my DIY valance no sew project because I’d like to think that there are some people out there that would take this approach on a window valance.  Maybe not.  But maybe so.  Guess we’ll see how many “likes” or “re-pins” it gets, huh?

I bought a rod for my master bathroom window and have been wanting to have a valance made for it because it most definitely needs one.  This is just something that I’ve put off because it didn’t need immediate attention, just something that needed to happen at some point.  Glad it finally happened because it made a world of a difference!!  Anyway, I was thinking of the easy way out and just buying curtains but I can’t hang curtains on the window because it’s directly above the bathtub where my crazy kids (sometimes) bathe and will demolish the curtains without a doubt… PLUS, curtains just wouldn’t look right.  That type of window needs a valance.  So, I went to my Mom and asked her if she could make a particular valance I had in mind for that window because she has made/sewn all of my other valances and she does a really nice job.  She’s crafty too :)  Well, after I showed her the picture of the type of valance I wanted she told me she wasn’t sure she knew how to make those kinds, as it’s not typical, it would be a much bigger job.  She asked around and even went to Joann’s fabric store and Calico Corners to see if they had any advice on how to create such a thing.  Both were of no help.

So, this is a picture of a picture of a movie clip.  I was watching a movie with Jake and I saw these curtains and rewound to pause and take a picture…haha!  So this may not be clear, but you get the point.  Do you know any information on how to make a valance like this one pictured??  I absolutely LOVE it!

The look I was going for…

Well, after I realized that I wasn’t able to get this exact look, at least not that I knew of, I decided to go for it and replicate something “similar.”  Sometimes I get impatient and just want the darn thing made already!  I bought the fabric, which is muslin, from Hobby Lobby.  If you’re unfamiliar with muslin, it’s similar to linen but a lot thinner and lighter.  I bought 3 yards for a window that’s about a yard and a half long.  So buy twice the amount of fabric for the reason that you’ll need it for the scrunch at the top and drooping look as well.  Also, buy whatever fabric you want, I just liked the way the fabric looked against the wall I was using it on.  Thicker fabrics won’t be as easily manipulative but will totally still work just fine.

Muslin fabric

So the only materials I needed for this project were:

~ Fabric (twice the amount as needed)

~ Sharp scissors

~ Small spool of ribbon

~ Curtain rod (mount the rings)

~ Ruler

As simple as that!  No sewing machines, no needles or thread, just simple.  If I knew how to sew, I’m sure I would’ve gone about this differently but I don’t know how to sew.

So, I laid the fabric out on the floor and folded it in half and spread it out (the fold at the top and the opening at the bottom towards me).  I knew that I wanted it to have sort of a scrunched look so I decided that cutting on two different sections would probably give me that look.  So I measured in about 6 inches from the edge and 6 inches down from the top.  I cut a small hole though the fabric.  Then about 3 inches down from that, I cut another hole.  This is where it comes together.  Take a piece of your ribbon (about 12 inches long) and poke it through the bottom hole towards the back of the fabric, up the back of the fabric and through the top hole, coming in towards you.  Take both ends and tie a bow.  It will “scrunch” the fabric naturally once you make your bow because the holes are 3 inches (or so) away from each other.  Now you have made your first section.

Directly below that first bow, measure about 4 inches down form that.  Cut a hole.  For this next bow, you will only need to make one cut because you are looping the next 12 inch piece of ribbon from the very bottom of the fabric.  Stick your piece of ribbon through the hole you just made and loop it all the way down to the bottom and up the back of the fabric to the hole and tie another bow.  So this will pull the fabric up from the bottom after the bow is made.

Notice the synch from the bottom on all 3 sections

You repeat this pattern of cutting and tying bows until you have made double the length.  Once you have done so, just slide your curtain rod through the top opening of the fabric (the fold) all the way through to the other side.  Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch!!  This part is the sort of sketchy part, but it’s my first attempt at this whole valance making thing, so pardon me if it’s not perfect, cause it definitely isn’t!  So once my rod came through to the other side, I just laid the whole valance on the two rings that the rod lays on.  I suppose I could have cut a hole in the back of the fabric so that just the rod lays on the ring, but this works so I went with it :)  I can make it more professional next time.  When I HAVE time.  Haha!

Top/side view

The end result

You can puff out the bottom of the fabric as much as you’d like, or flatten it too.  I kind of just scrunched and puffed until it all looked uniform.  I hope this semi-tutorial was helpful and informative!  If anything, I suppose it could spark an idea of your own.  You can probably come up with a much better way that cutting fabric and tying bows, but this was quick, easy and looks great!  I think it’s a good look for bathrooms especially.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  PLEASE!  Especially if you know how to make the valance in the first picture!!!  Also, if you have any questions about executing any part of this “tutorial”, just comment!  I know I’m not the best at explaining things, but I didn’t realize that it would turn out the way it did and I didn’t plan on blogging about it in the first place.  So my explanation and instructions might sound a little haggard.  Maybe the pictures will help.

Thanks for stopping by!


5 Responses to DIY Valance No Sew window treatment ~ SO EASY!! {2.23.13}

  • I just found this on Pinterest. Did you leave the bottom and edges raw? I am using a bed sheet and the edges are really fraying so I’m thinking I may need to hem it or something. I love how these look!

    • Also, how far apart are the ribbons width-wise?

      • Shoot, I must have left that part out of the tutorial. Oops! The ribbons are all about 6 inches apart (width-wise). It’s entirely up to your liking. If you want more ruffles, you can do them about 4 inches apart. I think 6 inches is a good distance between ruffled sections :) If you have a smaller window however, then maybe shorter distance ruffles are better so you can get at least 3 ruffled sections in…

    • Hi Becky,
      I did leave the bottom edges raw, but I think for next time, I would add a hem if you would like it to look a little more professional. This was literally my first one! This valance curves under after you finish tying the first section because the material is scrunching up from the ties (bows), so in some cases you might not even see the bottom edges because they fold under naturally.
      I think if you’re using a “fitted” bed sheet there won’t be a need for a hem, but if it’s a top sheet them maybe so.
      I truly don’t know how to sew, so in “my case” instead of sewing a hem at the bottom, I might add a strip of ribbon (same ribbon as the bows) along the bottom so it hides any fray.
      Hope this helps!
      Let me know how it works out!! I’d love to see your finished product!


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