How to make a no sew box style window valance using foam and fabric. No power tools needed.
Quick and Easy No Sew Window Valance
It only took me an hour to make this valance. 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, Instant Decorating.
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.
How to Make an Easy No Sew Window Cornice or Valance Using Panel Foam
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.
- Polystyrene Panels – home improvement store
- Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
- Straight Pins or T-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 window 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.
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.
More Window Treatment Ideas
- Make a Cardboard Window Valance
- How to Make Dalmatian Spotted Window Blinds
- One Yard, No Sew Window Treatment –3 Ways