Time spent making it: 1 hour
Cost of materials: About $35 (I got solid outdoor fabric because it matched my bedspread, you could probably go cheaper on the fabric)
Difficulty of project: Easy
Special Tools Needed: None
I found these great step-by-step directions for a valance on Down Home Inspiration while searching Pinterest. And thought, that could be fun one day. And then I moved apartments and got a real window, and again thought, a valance would be really cute. Then I went to buy curtains. Didn’t want floor-length curtains so I got the next smallest size. And of course, they were about 6-inches too short. They looked ridiculous. And so that’s when I thought, a valance will fix this problem! Cover up the gap by hanging the curtain rod a little lower. (I’m in a rental, so I was using a tension rod to hang the curtains, easily moved.)
Well, of course, nothing is simple. The foam board doesn’t come in the size I need for my window, which is very wide. So for those who also need a wider valance, here is how I did it. The directions linked above offered directions for creating side pieces like a traditional valance. My window doesn’t have the traditional setting, it’s set into the wall. So I gave up on that and attached it directly to the wall.
So here goes.
First thing I encountered was that my local Home Depot didn’t carry the foam board used in this tutorial. I found this in the insulation section. It’s very thin and very light weight. But that’s helpful in connecting pieces to be wide enough.
I used a tape measure to figure out the size I needed to cut of one piece to add to the other piece. Used an L tool to draw a straight line. The pencil isn’t really needed. I just cut it with the utility knife and popped the extra piece I needed off.
So in this picture you see super glue. Let me be very, very clear. DON’T PUT THE SUPER GLUE ON THE FOAM BOARD. The glue dissolved the foam board. I tried to use the glue to attach the two pieces and quickly realized it was dissolving the board.
I’ll repeat, don’t try to put the glue on the board. See, I tried to glue some support to the board and it melted. Luckily, the $8 pack of foam board came with many extras.
I did use the nails to connect the two pieces of foam board. I used finishing nails and just used my hands to push the ends blunt end into one side of the board. Then I pushed the other piece of foam board into the nails to hold them together.
The boards are still going to need to be reinforced. I had some painters tape laying around. (I would warn here, if the material you’re going to use is very thin, think about using a light masking tape. Otherwise, it will show through.) Also, I used popsicle sticks I had laying around as reinforcement. You could use anything that size or bigger. Because the foam board is so light, you don’t need a great deal of reinforcement. But you will need a stabilizer.
I attached them with some more tape, cause again, don’t use glue.
When it was all done I had a valance that was the needed length. But longer than my coffee table.
Next comes the material to wrap it in. I used a stripe material, so it was necessary to make sure the stripes lined up. But if you’re using a solid material, unless you have creepy neighbors, not as important to get it lined up.
I used small sewing pins to attach the material all along one side. Just inserted the pins every 3 inches or so. After I finished one side, I trimmed the other side to be the correct width and then pinned that side.
Then I folded over the ends. A little like wrapping a present and attached the remainder of the material with straight pins.
This is what it looked like when I flipped it over.
A close up of the material I went with.
Attaching is likely to be specific to your own apartment. I used Command wall mounting strips. Now, here is where I did use the super glue. I put a little bit of glue on the back of the strip that I attached to the valance. Just to make sure it is secure. And then I used the adhesive that is on the Command strip to attach it to the wall. It’s so light-weight, it’s pretty easy to get it stuck onto the wall. You could probably use a little nail if you’re not worried about the hole.
And now my failure at buying curtains is covered up!
Foam Board (seen here at Home Depot)
Finishing nails (I went with a 1″ nail)
Super glue (again, don’t put it on the board)
Enough fabric to cover the length of your board. (Here’s mine)
Straight pins (I used one that were about an inch long)