Quick and Easy No Sew Window Valance

Finally after all the hard work I have been doing in my hall bathroom, I have been rewarded – it is all coming together just as I had envisioned.  No snafus or problems.  Yes!  I love it when that happens – which usually is NEVER – as in DIY decorating land there is always a glitch.  I have seen more than my share of them – this room is the exception.

I am so excited to be actually showing you the icing on the cake – no more construction photos. Now I get to show you the fun, pretty, and colorful stuff like the

Easy No Sew Window Valance I made.

It only took me an hour to make. I have made a few of them in the past, so I can get one completed pretty quickly since I know what I am doing.  I made one of these Polystyrene Valances as a project in my book. This is an updated version.  I didn’t use batting, only a liner fabric to soften the edges of the valance.  It is very lightweight not at all heavy like a wood valance.


I made the green valance you see here from cardboard.



All updated!!!  I love it.  I showed you how I added the wood panel and molding above the wimpy window in my last post.  It really made a huge difference in how the window looks now.


To make the valance I used one Polystyrene Insulation  panel that I got at Lowes. They sell the package of them in the Building Supply area. They are wrapped in clear plastic.   You get 6 – 13” x 48” pieces for about $10.  You can make one for every room, your best friend, your mom… it is so easy to make and install you will be wanting to make them for everybody.


materials needed:

Polystyrene Panel
Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
Straight Pins
T-Square or straight edge (yardstick)
Craft Knife
Decorative Fabric
White Fabric or Quilt Batting

1.  Determine the height of your valance. Mine is 12” high.  The width is determined by the width of your window (outside molding to outside molding) measurement.  Add 1- 1/2” to that width measurement.   This will be your front piece.  Cut a board to that size using a T-square or straight edge and a craft knife.

Make sure the blade is sharp and use an up and down motion as you cut instead of one long gliding motion. This will help keep the Polystyrene edge sharper and less little pieces of Polystyrene all over the place.

2. You will need three pieces – front and two sides. My side pieces were 2” deep and 12” high.


3.  Attach the side pieces to the back edge along each side of the front piece. Use hot glue. I know hot glue melts the Polystyrene, but only a little and it really doesn’t matter as you are not going to see it.  If you have a cool melt gun then you can use that.

My motto – What you can’t see can easily be faked!


4. For added support – push a few straight pins in the front along the edge that will go through the side pieces. I used 3 – top, middle, and bottom on each side.


5.  Your valance should look like this now.


6.  Cut your fabric and lining large enough so that you have enough to wrap around to the back of the valance.  Place the decorative fabric right side down and then the lining on top of that.  Then place the valance – front side down onto the fabric. Make sure pattern is straight and then wrap excess fabric to the back of the panel. Pull taut and use straight pins to attach to the valance.  The straight pins need to go in on an angle so they don’t go through the front of the valance.   Work your way around the valance attaching the fabric with pins. Leave the sides alone for now.


They will look like this when pushed all the way in on an angle.


7.  For the sides and corners –pull the side fabric up and around and attach with pins.


Fold and/or tuck the excess in.


8.  Tuck the corner fabric in and then fold over the excess and attach with pins. Pretend you are wrapping a gift.  Pull excess fabric to the back to keep the front and edge smooth.

It will end up looking like this.  Re-pin if necessary to keep the fabric taut around the valance.  I found my pretty beaded pins at the dollar store.


9. If you have a very long window you can brace the back of the valance with another piece of Polystyrene. Use hot glue to attach.  Wait to add this piece after you have the fabric on.  If you put it on before – the side fabric wrapping is harder to do.


I use straight, bank, or T pins for so many projects. They are one of the basic items I used when I worked in display and they are my go-to for easy adhering and attaching.  To attach the valance to the window I used the straight pins you see below.


10. To attach the valance to the wall you will need an extra set of hands.  “Honey, I need you xo” Once you have your helper hands – position the valance where you want it and use a straight pin to attach the valance to the edge of the window molding.  Right into the valance and  side of the window molding.  Repeat on other side.   Bye, honey I don’t need you anymore- xo.”  You can add an extra pin or two to each side to secure.  (No molding around your window?  See instructions at the end of this post.)


All done!  My valance cost me under $10 as I found the fun fabric for $6 a yard.  I had the lining fabric and the Polystyrene from another project.


This bathroom makeover all started when I found the brown and white damask print shower curtain at HomeGoods.   I loved it and it was only $14.99 so I went home with it.  It has been sitting in its package for weeks!  I got it out this morning and had to steam it to get all folded wrinkles out.  – Not a glitch , but ironing is not my idea of a good time.

It is going to be my Fall/Winter shower curtain. I also found a White Nautica one when thrifting – I plan to use that one in Summer/Spring.  I know it is summer now, but I was too excited to see how the brown damask one was going to look that I had to put it up early.

How-to-make-a-no-sew-window treatment

Here is the name of the fabric I used for the valance.


How to Mount the Valance when you don’t have molding around your Window

You will need a 2 – inch  “L” bracket, 2 screws, and 2 brass fasteners for each side.  Note when figuring out the measurement for how wide your valance should be.  Add 4″ inches to the total measurement 2″ inches for each L bracket. you should mount them on the wall first and then figure out the width the valance should be.

Figure out where on the wall your valance is going to go.  Place the L bracket where the center of the valance will be.  Screw the L bracket into the wall as shown below with 2 screws.  Once the L bracket is in place hold up the valance against it and push a brass fastener through the holes and then spread them open. Repeat on the other side.  You can paint the heads of the brass fasteners the color of your fabric to hide them.

Note: This photo shows the L bracket  at the bottom of the valance but that is just to show you how to mount it.  It should be centered in the valance.

How to make a no sew window valance using foam insulation

If you would like to know how to:

Make a No-sew window valance using cardboard – click – here.

Make a wimpy window look bigger –click – here.

I have lots more to show you – accessories, floor, and a few more details.  So much to do – so little time.  :)

I am working on the floor – it is coming out better than I expected. I will post about that next time.




  1. Dreama says

    I use upholstery pins, they are u shaped with little wiggle on both sides near the flat top. These work better than straight pins and the little “s” wiggle prevent pins from backing out of the fabric and Styrofoam. I have used 2 regular curtain brackets turned 90 degrees above the window casing for supports. I used Velcro strips (on balance and bracket) vs screw brads. . This means it’s easy to mount them. I didn’t want to try and screw finished product into the wall while having someone hold it up. Easy 2 step process, mount brackets then add valance by laying on top. This will also eliminate the need for a exact measurement/placement of brackets, drilling and re-drilling. You can have a wide strip of velcro that will catch easily to the bracket. This also allows for easy removal for cleaning.

    • says

      Hi Dreama – Thanks for sharing these tips. I have used the upholstery pins for my slipcovers, but not on the valences. Velcro is a great alternative to the screws and perfect for getting them down to clean. I will be doing this the next time I make a valance. :-)

  2. Laura says

    Hi Diane, I was wondering could you cut and make a design on the bottom of the board, so that it isn’t so boxy looking? I just wondering, maybe a scallop shape. Your project is wonderful, I have used wood boards before and the can get heavy, this is awesome.

    • says

      Hi Laura – Yes you could scallop the bottom or cut it in a geometric pattern. The only thing would be that the foam can easily crumble if you don’t use a sharp knife. I would have a few fresh blades on hand. The other work around would be a bit more detail required when cutting the fabric along the scallop edge so the fabric could be wrapped around.

    • says

      Hi Jordan – The brass fastener is attached by pushing the closed tips through the foam and then through holes in the L bracket. Once it is pushed through, you open up the ends to splay them out to hold the L-bracket to inside of the valance.

  3. Laurie says

    My window is 70 in long. Probably can’t use this foam board right? Or is there a way to attach two pieces together to fit my window? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Laurie – You can still make the valance for your 70″ long window by butting two pieces of the foam together side by side. Use hot glue to attach. Next, cut two pieces of foam and place/glue over the back seam where the two boards meet to act as braces. The rest of the valance will be made the same way as in the tutorial.

  4. Lori says

    Love it! I’m thinking of doing this over my bright builders grade Hollywood mirror vanity in my bathroom to cover the bulbs. I ve been researching and your site came up with this simple instructions-just may need to construct differently than yours because of the bright lights–any suggestions?? Thanks so much!

    • says

      Hi Lori – I just saw this comment after replying to the one you sent via my contact page. I understand what it is you are asking now. The only thing I think would work is to make the valance deep enough so the bulbs are not near it. It really would be fire hazard near the bulbs and if too far away would not block the glare of the bulbs. You may be able to put some metal flashing inside, but that would make it too heavy. I am not sure there is a way to make it work to cover the bulbs.

  5. Kim Sturman says

    Girl you rock! I am not easily impressed but you are awesome and have great ideas! I saw your bathroom project on pinterest. Beautiful work!

  6. Brandi says

    Thanks A TON for your ideas and for explaining things in simple terms. I am not creative, but reading about your projects has given me the confidence to make curtains for my home… A huge step! I am considering making either the valance made of cardboard or the valance made of foam. Other than the materials, is there a difference in the “look” of these valances? Or, are there any other differences that would make someone prefer one over the other? Thank you, again, for your work!!

    • says

      Hi Brandi –

      The cardboard valance is easier to make since it is one piece that you score to fold to make the valance shape. The only downside to this is using it in a bathroom that has a lot of moisture or even if you live in a humid climate. The cardboard may warp. If this is the case, you are better off making the foam valance. It has a more professional look to it also.

    • says

      Hi Erin – For an average 32 inch wide window a little over a yard of fabric will be enough. The amount of fabric needed depends on the size of the valance you want to make is: Measure the width of your window and add the depth of the sides to that. For instance. Say your window is 32″ wide and you want it to come out 5 inches from the window. Add: 32 + 5 + 5. You would need 42 inches to cover the valance. You then need to add in enough fabric to wrap around to secure on the back of the valance. I usually add 5 inches for this. So I would get fabric that was 47″ long. A yard and a half would be plenty.


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