Recycled Cardboard Window Valance


I thoroughly enjoy finding new uses for things that would normally end up in the trash. The window valance on my studioffice window in the above photo is made from cardboard from a large appliance box.

Re-cycle, Re-Use, Re-Purpose = Re-Decorate is my favorite equation.

When I think of all the decorating projects I have made for my home, this is by far -

the thriftiest.

This window treatment is not only inexpensive because it only requires the purchase of a 1-2 yards of fabric and quilt batting, but 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 and covered with batting and fabric. It then is simply stapled onto each side of the window molding.In my studioffice the valance is 8” high.

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

This photo is from my book, Instant Decorating.   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.

Cardboard Window Valance and Dalmation blinds

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

Just click on the link below.

Step-by-step instructions:  Cardboard Valance





  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. :)

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