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Smart Window Covering Tips and Ideas for Curtains, Blinds and Much More . . .  




Valances are decorative finishes for the tops of drapes. For rooms with low ceilings, start valance at ceiling. A simple valance has already been described. Circular, pleated and gathered flounces can be used for attractive valances. A casing is made at the top for the outer rod on which the valance is placed. Valances are usually lined. They may even be sewn onto the top of the curtain or drape for an informal room. 

Other valances are sewn onto stiff boards or wood. Sometimes these are called cornices to distinguish them from soft valances with no stiffening in the back. The boards are cut straight or are shaped (some hardware stores or timber yards will cut out wood pieces to your measurements), and are attached to the window frame with brackets. The depth is usually from six to twelve inches (15 to 30 cm).


ValancesThe fabric, either matching or contrasting, is cut to fit the board, plus one inch seam allowance all around. Cut lining piece and stiffening to size without seam allowance. Fold back seam all around on valance piece and press, creasing sharply. Insert stiffening under turned-back edges and baste. Turn in edges of lining ½ inch and place over valance, wrong sides together (lining will be a little smaller than valance), and baste edges together. Whip a piece of twilled tape to top and tack tape over the top of the wood board, using ordinary tacks.


The valance should go straight across the board and around back to the wall. These two short side sections are called the returns. Allow fabric for this when cutting.


Valances may be quilted, decorated with appliqué, ball fringe, or braid. They may be scalloped at the bottom, using a pattern made out of paper to shape the scallops. Read directions for making scalloped flounce on our Home Sewing Projects.


For swag effect, use a width of fabric with ends cut diagonally. Hem edges and drape over tie-back pins or through rings. Experiment before cutting to get proper effect.

Valances give that warm feeling. It is like the icing on the cake on your window treatment.

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