Recycled Cardboard Window Valance


I thoroughly enjoy finding new uses for things that would normally end up in the trash. This window valance used to be on the windows in my studioffice. I made it using the cardboard from a large appliance box.

Re-cycle, Re-Use, Re-Purpose = Re-Decorate is my house.

When I think of all the decorating projects I have made for my home, this is by far… the thriftiest.  I no longer have it hanging since the room got a makeover. You can see that, here.

This window treatment is inexpensive to make because it only requires the purchase of a 1-2 yards of fabric and quilt batting. It is so easy to make and install, gathering the supplies will probably take longer.

The cardboard is cut to the desired width and scored and folded, then covered with batting and fabric. It  simply stapled onto each side of the window molding. This valance is 8” high.

Easy to make window valance using a cardboard box

I added decorative brass tacks to attach the valance instead of staples and used a quilted fabric that adds texture to the monochromatic color scheme of the room.

Cardboard Window Valance and Dalmation blinds

This photo is from my book, Instant Decorating.  It is no longer in print, but I like to post a project from here on my blog once in awhile. The valance is 15” high.  I covered the cardboard in fire-engine-red corduroy.  To hide the staples when the valance was mounted, I painted the top of a row of staples red and let them dry, before loading them into the staple gun.

I have attached a pdf. with full instructions for you to download.

Just click on the link below.

Step-by-step instructions:  Cardboard Valance


To see another way to make a similar valance using Styrofoam, check out this post: How to Make a Window Valance Using Styrofoam

How to make a window valance using the cardboard from boxes. Budget friendly window treatments for your decor


  1. linda says

    hi diane , what fantastic ideas you have amazing, i am not very good at sewing, and you have so many no sew ideas FANTASTIC ,you are also very real, the things you think off are for a beautiful home and not a palace , things the ordinary person can do . keep up the brilliat work. i live in england so i dont know your currancy but it all seems so affordable thank you once again x lin

  2. Lori says

    Hi, What do you think about using 3m command products for attaching to the wall? I wonder if they work with fabric so that you can press them onto the wall and put the tabs on the inside of the cornice. They would have to be short ones.

    • says

      Hi Lori – They would work fine. Depending on the depth of the molding around your window, you may need to cut the 3M Command Strip vertically to the same width. When I first made this window treatment -it was a project in my book, Instant Decorating back in the early 90’s. 3M Command Strips were not around then :) They are a wonderful invention and good for so many things. It is funny that you brought them up as I will be working with 3M over the next few months creating projects for them. I will be posting one a month. Happy New Year.

  3. Margaret Blair says

    What a great idea ! . I have just discovered your page. For a long time I have been looking for a simple way to attach a pelmet above my curtains to keep out the cold. Thankyou ,you have solved my problem.

  4. Betty H. says

    I have 2 sets of triple windows in my sun room that I would love to add valances like this. Any ideas on what to use to span 108 inches? Absolutely love the look.

  5. Tina says

    Love this idea. I have a couple questions. If I use foam board, can it be bent like the cardboard? Will this work on a double window that is about 70″ wide?

    • says

      If you want to wash the valance, it is quite easy to take it down to clean. It is only up with staples or small nails. Once you clean it, just pop it back up. No harder then removing drapes from a rod, washing them, and having to press them before hanging. :)

      • suzie dunson says

        I always love your ideas…I am going to make these tomorrow..i change my fabrics often… this is perfect for me… rather than buying new curtains… when I’m board I just change my Cornish boards to something trendy… make a few pillows for the sofa and done… instant remodle..

  6. JoAnn says

    After you screw the L bracKet to wall attach a piece of Velcro to top of bracket the the other piece to cornice then put cornice on L bracket connecting the two pieces of velcro

  7. says

    I would LOVE to do this but I have a double window and no idea where to get the cardboard…any ideas?
    Please leave reply, if one, on my blog…
    as I may not be this way again. :)

    • says

      Hi Bj- Head to your local appliance store and ask them to save the boxes from big appliances like refrigerator boxes. They are big enough to cut to fit any window to make the valance.


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