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Quick and Easy No Sew Box Style Window Valance

How to make a no sew box style window valance using foam and fabric. No power tools needed

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, I even got an easy no sew window valance made for the window in the room.  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

My Quick and Easy No Sew Window Valance

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.

Before

I made the green valance you see here from cardboard.

Girls-Bathroom-Before

After

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.

Easy-No-Sew-Window-Valance

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-to-make-

supplies needed:

  • 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
  • Hammer 

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.

How-to-cut-Styrofoam-insulaCut-styrofoam-insulation-fo

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!

3-sections-of-styrofoam-neeHow-to-construct-an-easy-no

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.

How-to-make-a-no-sew-valancNo-Sew-Valance-How-to-Make

5.  Your valance should look like this now.

How-to-make-a-styrofoam-win

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.

Pin-placement

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

How-to-attach-fabric-to-win

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

How-to-fold-the-corners-on-

Fold and/or tuck the excess in.

Steps-to-fold-corners-on-no

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.

How-to-pin-corners-of-no-se

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.

Brace-back-of-no-sew-valanc

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.

Straight-pins-I-use-when-DI
T-Pins sizes I use: 1-1/2″ and 2″ long pins

 

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.)

How-to-attach-the-now-sew-v

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.

No-Sew-Wiindow-Treament-mad

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.

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

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

Waverly-Fabric-Sweet-Spot-f

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 in this bathroom makeover – 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.

How-to-make-a-no-sew-window-treatment-window-valance-that-uses-Styrofoam-insulation

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147 Comments

  1. Thanks! I love this idea! Your instructions are very clear & concise. Do you think this would work with vinyl wall paper?

    1. Hi Vicki –
      Yes, you can make the valance with vinyl wallpaper. I have made a few of them using it over the years. Since it is a little stiffer than fabric, when you wrap it around the edges to the back to secure, crease the paper so it will lay around the edge of the cardboard better and look nice and crisp. :-)

  2. Question: How can you use styrofoam for 3 adjacent windows to look like one valance? Sent picture via email.
    Mary

  3. I plan on trying your idea but have a question: I have 3 large windows across with molding around each window. Is there a way to use styrofoam and support it in the middle or is there a way to use 3 different valances butted together to give the appearance of one long valance?

  4. I plan on trying your idea but have a question: I have 3 large windows across. Is there a way to use styrofoam and support it in the middle or should I use 3 valences butted together to appear as on large valance?
    I’d appreciate your suggestions.

  5. Hi Diane,
    I’m thinking of a fabric valance to fit over the existing (standard plastic) valance on vertical blinds in front of a set of sliders, 123″ wide. I’d like it to cover and extend a few inches up on top. Since it’s so wide do you think it could be made in a couple of pieces using two box pleat pieces?

    Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Hi Carol –

      The valance can be make longer as you mentioned. I have made a few very long valances for a friend doing this. What I did was butt two pieces of the foam together to get the length I needed. Then glued another piece of foam behind over the seam to create a brace to secure the pieces into one long one.

      For this to work over the vertical blind valance you may need to use something thinner than foam for the brace piece. Maybe hot glue a few popsicle sticks to keep the two pieces together.

      This way the fabric can still be flat across the valance, no box pleats needed, but you could add them to create a softer look.

  6. Love your ideas, but I’m looking for a way to cover the dated scalloped wood cornice above my kitchen sink window. The cornice goes from cupboard to cupboard and hides a florescent tube light. Do you know a way?

  7. Hi, I wanted your opinion! Do you think the styrofoam will work in place of cork board to make a kids bulletin board?

    1. Hi T –
      Yes, the Styrofoam sheets will work for a kids bulletin board. I made one using it. Here is a link to the post about it: https://t.ly/3lKb.

      It is a softer surface than cork so I use push pins that have a long pin or what works the best is from the Dollar Store. Buy straight pins with beaded ends. These pins work perfectly to hold up kids art and other stuff.

  8. Love the easy / affordable way to dress up a window on a budget. Thank you for sharing you ideas.

  9. I love these window valances. As I did not have any moldings to which I could attach the valances, I used velco which I attached to the valance with hot glue and then just stapled the other part of the velco to the wall. The valances were so light that the velco holds very well.

    1. Hi Maria –

      I love reading decorating project success stories like your valances and your resourcefulness using Velcro. Thanks for sharing the idea.

  10. Hi! Thanks for the info. I am trying to make this today. I am wondering how tall your bathroom window was. I have a window that is 27″ wide and 39″ tall. I was thinking that a 10″ cornice would be right and that 12″ would be too much. Any advice you have would be appreciated!

    1. Hi Cheryl –

      I don’t live in this house anymore and can’t remember exactly how tall the window was, but it was shorter than 39″. You can see it at the end of this post: https://inmyownstyle.com/2011/07/bathroom-remodel-update.html

      I have made a few of these cornices for friends and family over the years and have found the less tall looks better and always end up making them shorter with one that will not be as deep. 15″ is the norm for a standard window, but I think 10″ will work and be in proportion to your 39″ tall window.

      Test it out, you can cut the foam to 12″ hold it up to the window with painter’s tape and see. If it looks too long, you can cut it down to 10″

      I hope this helps.

  11. I have looking to make my own cornices and you just made it so easy for me,I am trying it this weekend,will post pictures later.Thanks for detailed instructions.

  12. How long will this last? I am afraid the Styrofoam will give out too soon! I am eager to try it….How long has yours lasted? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jolene – Mine and ones that my friends and family have made have all lasted for years. The styrofoam is made to insulate a house and will stand the test of time. The only thing you will need to do is dust it from time to time. :-)

  13. I would like to make a cornice board to put atop my shower curtain, ideally hanging from or near the ceiling, and extending just below and covering the curtain rod. Have you ever done that?

  14. I hung mine directly on the curtain rods. I put another piece of foam board across the top. Sort of an open back box. Make them so they just fit over the existing rods. They just sit on top of rod. Very light weight.

  15. can you use krazy glue from lowes to hold rather than a glue gun just curious.Thanks

    1. Hi Cherri – Yes you can, but it does take longer to dry. Once to put the glue on, I would used painter’s tape to hold it in place until the glue dries. With hot glue, it dries in less than a minute.

  16. Hi Diane,
    Great tutorial however can you tell me more about the angle irons? Can you describe what they look like or better yet, provide a photo, perhaps? (I’m a visual person and sometimes verbally describing things make my head spin). Where do I buy them?
    I have sliding doors between two windows (bay window shaped) in my kitchen and I’d like to create a bay window cornice. I’m thinking I’ll need the angle irons to help support. Any advice would greatly help as I’m stumped.
    Many thanks,
    Elaine

    1. Hi Elaine – There is a photo of the “angle iron” or “L-bracket” (they are the same thing, just two different names, sorry for any confusion) in the first photo under how to mount the valance. They are very inexpensive and can be bought at any home improvement or hardware store. For your cornice, I would place two angle irons/L bracket under each cornice, You would need to make 3 cornices. One long one to go over the sliding doors, and one for each window in the bay.

      You will have to figure out placement so that the outer corners of the window cornices closet to the door match up with the cornice corners over the door. It is totally doable.

      1. Thank you so much for clarifying the angle iron/L brackets. I appreciate your advice and feel better prepared to tackle this project.

      2. Hi Diane! I’m so inspired by your post…thank you for sharing. I do have a few questions though. I have a large living room window. It’s 123′ wide and 65′ long. I’m wondering how long to make the valance on average and also what’s the recommended amount it should come out from the wall? Overall how much fabric would you say I need? Thanks in advance…can’t wait to get started. :)

  17. I have two large windows, 110″. I notice that the panels are only 8′ long. Do you think I could join two panels together to form the front? I’m afraid that you would be able to tell. Maybe I could glue a thin piece up plywood to the back to add stability? What do you think?

    1. Hi Carol – Yes you can join two pieces together. I cut an extra piece of foam panel to do it. If you go back Step #9 in my post you will see a photo showing how to join the pieces.

  18. The back of these valances will be visible from outside. What do you recommend to make them look good inside and out?

    1. Hi Lillian – When I know that the back of the valance will seen from the outside, I line it with white fabric and use white ribbon as a way to neatly transition the fabric to the foam. You can use tacky glue to attach it and straight pins. Wish I had a photo of one to show you. Just view it if you were lining the inside of a box, but without the fabric going over the edges of the valance. Glue ribbon over the raw edge of the fabric to hide the transition where the fabric meets the foam.

    1. Hi Danielle – Thanks for taking the time to share what glue not to use when making a valance. It will help readers know what not to do now. :-) Spray paint eats right through Styrofoam, too. The best thing to use if you have it is cool melt hot glue.

  19. My first DIY project & it came out great!! I used more pins than shown but I was trying to ensure the fabric was secure. I used a glue gun too. Make sure you measure the window right, I was an inch short and had to mount it above my wide window, it still makes the kitchen pop with color. Wish I could share a picture. I had to use the L brackets to mount it too.

    It was a fun project & I was proud to make it!

    1. Loved how you made this out to be so simple-made me sure I could handle it, and I did! Simple. Yes, measure 3 times, cut once, that’s my motto. Now, I need a bolder fabric and I’m also trying the shades

      1. Hi Julie – I makes me so happy to know that my post helped you have success. Thanks for taking the time to tell me. I hope you find the bold fabric you envision to make more shades.

    1. 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.

  20. 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!!

    1. 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.

      1. Hi Diane!

        Thanks for the great idea! My question is; what would you suggest to do when you want to cover a window box/valance that’s already covered with fabric?? I’m renting a furnished apartment, and I would really like to make a change without changing the actual ones (not allowed to take them off).

        Thanks in advance!
        Isa

        1. Hi Isa – I would make the new cover right over the existing fabric. When it is time to move, you can simply remove your fabric without disturbing the original.

  21. 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!
    Kim

  22. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. I am thinking of doing the same thing, thought of folding aluminum foil maybe fold about three or four layers and attach to the inside it would also reflect the light and possibly the heat too.

  23. 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!

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  24. 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.

    1. 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.

  25. 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.

    1. 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. :-)

  26. Hi, I wanted to try this for my bedroom windows, but one window is 90 feet wide! Any thoughts? Should I just made three separate ones? Or would that look weird?

    1. Hi Angie – You could make a very long one and brace it in the middle (on back side of valance to wall) with another angle iron. I made one like this over a triple door. I made the actual valance higher in height so that I could place the angle iron on the wall above the molding. If you do decide to make 3 – just butt them up or space them evenly. If it is done on purpose or intentionally- it will look fine. The hardest part would be matching the fabric up on each valance so the pattern flows across all three.

      1. WOW! Thank you soo much for the quick reply! I’ve never asked questions on any site before, because I figured it would go into outer space! :p

        My concern with the long one, is that I didn’t think you said the foam boards come that long. Do they?

        1. Hi Angie – The boards do not come that long, but you can glue two together side-by-side. To keep the valance strong, cut a small piece of foam (about 12′ wide and a little shorter then the height of you valance)and glue it to the back of the boards over the joint where they meet to act as a brace. It is what I did to create a valance to go over 3 sliding doors. Make sure the cut piece of foam for the brace is big enough to cover most of the joint, or cut 2-3 smaller pieces of the foam and place across the joint – top, middle, and slightly up a bit from the bottom. You don’t want the brace to show along the bottom edge, so place it higher along the back bottom.

  27. I just wondered why you would bother with the white lining fabric when the polystyrene foam is white and you can’t see through the fabric anyway? seems like extra weight…..

    1. Hi Susan – The reason you use white fabric or quilt batting is to add a layer that will pad or soften the edges of the valance one the fabric is wrapped around it. You can make it without it, but the extra layer gives it a more professional look.

  28. What a great idea. My living room window consists of three-36″ windows that abut. Could I make a valence as wide as that? I guess I would need to find a way to secure the valence a few times. Any ideas for doing this?

  29. I love you!!! I’ve just made the most beautiful valenances… Thanks to you!! I would of spent five times as much having someone. Make them for me. I can’t thank you enough

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  32. I found your site and was so happy. I am a sewer but my machine is broken so this was so so easy for me to make. I did add a bit of beaded trim along the bottom of the valance with a hot glue gun. Looks great and gave it a little sparkle. No more sewing for me anymore, this is easier, quicker and looks just as nice.

  33. Great idea!!

    Just wondering……if my window is 52inches…will I need to install support brackets? I will be using cotton Mat’l.

    1. Hi Suzie – You may, but probably not. The foam boards are 48″ and still rigid at that length. You only have to add a few inches to it and it should not need the extra support. As long as you glue a piece of cut foam board behind the seam where the two piece join, it should be OK. If you were adding more than 4 – 5 inches, then I would suggest you add an extra support.

  34. Diane,

    I read your response to Armida. The supports will not be covered with fabric then, is that correct? Also, when the supports over the seams are attached, the valance will just “rest” on the angle irons that are mounted at the top? Do I have that correct? My hubby will have a fit when asked to add 2 to 3 angle irons at the top besides the side ones. He hates making holes in newly painted walls. Ugh! But I am thrilled to have found the perfect decor for my windows. Thanks so much Diane!!!!!!

  35. Hi Diane,

    My window is 62 wide so how would I piece together for the valance? I love your idea and want to try it myself. I am going to the store today to get the materials needed. Thank you!!

  36. Brilliant!!!!
    I made these for my kitchen and bathroom and now my friends are all making me do them in their houses! So easy and look really expensive!!! I bought curtains at home goods for $30 and hung the panels flanking my sliding doors and then used the other panels for 3 of these valances….I had leftover to cover a bench cushion and a cork board in the same fabric in my kitchen….love it! thanks!!!

  37. Hi Diane,
    Thank you so much for your wondeful blog. It’s the best DIY home decor blog in my opinion. I’ve learned tons from you. Finally found some affordable fabric and I’m ready to make my two valances. Both will be 17″ long by 124″ wide. Huge! I read your response to Armida above and wondered if I might be able to get away without a top to my valance by doing the following: using 1 inch thick foam, using two L brackets at each end piece, and adding two more vertical support pieces with brackets near where the foam “seams” will be. I wouldn’t have thought of having two seams instead of one so thank you for that.
    In appreciation,
    Elizabeth

    1. Hi Elizabeth – I have hung the valances I have made in many different ways with and without tops depending on size and wall space. I think oyur way will work fine. Adding the vertical supports will help the valance stay rigid and you can get away without a top.

  38. Love your blog!! I’m so thankful I stumbled across it today. You inspired me to go ahead and try making this box valance. It was so easy!! Well, I’m not exactly done, still have to put the fabric on. Thanks for the inspiration.

  39. What size are the brass fasteners that you used? And where did you get them? I have searched all over and the biggest ones that I have found are 1/2″ and these aren’t long enough. Please help!! :) Thanks!

    1. Hi Stacey – I used 2″ long brass fasteners. I got them at either Staples or Office Max. If you don’t have an office supply store in your area, you can order them online at staples.com They have up to 3″ long ones.

  40. I am so glad that I found your page! I was recently laid off, and now am starting to pay attention to the little projects in my home, trying to become a DIY’er! This is exactly what I was looking for! Thanks so much cant wait to try it.

  41. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I created one yesterday for the nursery for our son, who will be born in July, and it turned out wonderfully! I used duct tape to reinforce the joints, and attached it to the wall with two small nails. Thank you again!

  42. Diane- you’re my hero! This is a fabulous idea and perfect for my daughters room which I am in the process of re-decorating! I’ll try to post a pic when I’m finished…..yay!!

  43. Hi Diane.

    I’m inspired to do this for my living room! My question is the same as Allison’s above. Once the valance is already covered with batting and fabric, what is the best way to get those brass fasteners into the side of the window treatment without ruining it? Thanks!

    1. HI Lara –

      The best way is to use an awl or something pointy to make a small hole in the fabric where the brass fastener is going to go. Once that is made the fastener will go right through the foam easily. It is getting the tips through the fabric that is hard.

  44. I was saving to get a valance professional done. They can be so expensive. I am sooooooo excited about this project. It will be completed this month for sure. I will send pictures.

  45. Hi Diane,

    LOVE your blog!!! I was wondering about the measurements for the no molding option … would I add the 1 1/2″ as mentioned in the original instructions, as well as 4″ to make room for the L-brackets? It would seem to make the most sense, but I want to make sure before I start cutting! Thanks!

  46. Hi Diane,
    Just wanted to check back in and let everyone know that this is the best and easiest idea ever! I made one for my son’s nursery, and then after that my bedroom, and then the kitchen! It is so easy and looks so professional if you use the right fabric! Everyone who comes over comments on how nice my window treatments are. Thank you SO much for such a brilliant and afforable idea!
    PS – I’ve discovered that if you hot glue a strong piece of cardboard to the back edges of the fabric where it would meet the wall you can use strong command strips or something of that nature to hang them! :)

  47. I’m just starting to redecorate my living room (really, decorate it for the first time) within a VERY small budget, and I am SO excited to try this out! Thanks for sharing :)

  48. I am in the process of making 2 of these right now, but I have a question- your side pieces were 2″ x 12″? That seems so small and in the photos, they look wider than 2″, even just compared to the markings on the cutting mat. Maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me, but I thought I would ask to double check!

    1. HI Laura – I just went up to the room to measure to make sure – yes the sides pieces are 2″ in depth. You can make them deeper if needed and the front board will add about an inch to the final depth of the valance when it is put together. An example – If you were going to place the valance over a rod with curtains on a window – you would need to make the valance sides much deeper to accommodate the depth of the curtains. There is nothing on the window I made my valance for so the side depth needed was minimal. The side section measurement can be whatever you need it to be. It will not change how the valance is mounted at all – It will just bring the front section of the valance further from the window. I have made them up to 5″ deep.

  49. I have a window that is 89 inches wide. Do you think the Polysterene board method will be supportive enough. The fabric I intend to use is cotton.
    Thanks
    I love your idea.

    1. Hi Armida –
      When my book Instant Decorating came out back in the mid 90’s I made two long ones for a client -Over a bank of windows and sliding doors. It worked fine, but you need to add a top to the valance. The top is just a piece of foam that will lay right over the front and side pieces after they are constructed. Use the pins and glue to attach it to the top edges of the valance.

      To create a long valance you will need to butt two or more pieces of Polystrene together so they are flush. To hold them together I used 2″ wide pieces of cut foam and glued them to the back across the seams. (Where the two pieces of board meet is what I call a seam) and let them dry before moving them. It is always better for support to have two seams instead of one in the center. I used one piece of foam for the center and added two other pieces to each side.

      Attach it to the wall the same way as I describe in the post, but add two or three angle irons across the top wall to place the valance top on. Use the pins and glue to attach the top to the angle irons. This will give it the support it needs. You can also attach the top across the top of the window molding, but this may not offer enough support if it is a deep valance. It will also place the valance lower on the window.

  50. Thank you so much for your reply. I followed your directions and it worked!! I am not the least bit “crafty” and so I am amazed that I actually made 3 of these! Because I already had a rod above the window I just propped them up on them. Thanks so much for such great instructions and idea!!!

  51. I want to do this in my bonus room where there are 3 dormer windows. The molding butts right up into the wall on each side so I can’t attach it to the side. What can you suggest? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Carol –
      Is there anything at the top of each window?
      I am thinking you could skip the side pieces of foam and just have a piece of “front” foam cut to fit snuggly in between the two walls on either side of the dormer window. You could add a foam piece to the top of the front foam board and use that to attach the valance to the wall above the window. Does that make sense? The foam pieces would be joined in a “L” shape. The long part of the “L” would be the front of the valance – the short side of the “L” would be the top that could be attached by stapling on the top of the window molding or if you want to place the valance higher on each window – use angle brackets to attach the valance to the wall above the window. The sides of the valance would be just butted against the wall.

  52. Hi Diane!

    Thanks so much for such a brilliant idea! I am currently in the process of making this across a triple set of windows in our new nursery. I have a quick question regarding hanging when you don’t have moulding around your window. Now that I’ve already covered it with my batting and fabric, what is the best way to get those brass fasteners into the side of the window treatment without ruining it? Or did I do this all wrong? Help!!

    Thanks Again,
    Allison

    1. Getting ready to do this project myself, and had the same thought! Did you ever figure out what to do so as not to ruin your end product?

      Best,
      Alyson

  53. This is a great tutorial and I just finished my first “sewing” attempt! :) It went perfectly. Thanks for your help!

  54. This is a great idea! I am totally going to use this in our new house- we need window treatments everywhere. Thanks for the great idea!

  55. Hi Diane, I featured your bathroom make over on my blog today! I love it- you did such a beautiful job! And with a husband who’s getting ready to start law school and a budget that is tightening like crazy, it’s so inspiring to me to see projects like yours that are done so well and so affordably. It gives me hope that I can always have a pretty house no matter what our financial situation is. thanks for inspiring!

    http://inside-outdesign.blogspot.com/2011/08/before-after-thursday_11.html

  56. What a beautiful transformation!! You did such a lovely job. Thank you so much for your sweet comments on my blog! xoxo

    1. Hi Michael –

      I wish I could twinkle my nose and appear – that would be so much fun to be able to connect with you and other readers right in their own homes.

  57. Oh my goodness! That’s brillant!!!

    ps…I just noticed I never added you to my blog roll:(
    You’re on there now!!!!

    and you asked about my camera….I just got a fancy one that i’ve just started practicing with! A Nikon D90….I have a lot to learn but I figured I could just grow with it as I learn:):)

    1. Hi Heather –
      Thanks for the blogroll listing. I would love a D90. The price is going down too, maybe soon. The Pioneer Woman was giving one away yesterday – I always enter when she has camera giveaways, but I will never win something that great.. It is fun to wish though. I can tell you had a new camera as your photos look so sharp.

  58. I just came over from the stories of a to z and wanted to say thanks for sharing! No sew is perfect for me and this is adorable!

    darlingdoodles.blogspot.com

  59. This is an answer to prayer!!!!!
    My livingroom window has been “bald” for 6 months.
    This will be the remedy.
    Again, that you for your design solutions, for my dilemmas.

  60. This post comes along at a great time for me; I’ve been thinking lately about doing something, *anything,* to improve the window treatments in my house. By the way, where’d you find the brown-and-white damask? Is it a Waverly fabric just like that on the valance? Is it machine washable? Inquiring minds want to know. :-)

    1. Hi Miss Kitty-

      The brown damask fabric is a shower curtain I found at HomeGoods. It was made by a company called Splash-ol-ogy. It was a great deal at $14.99.

  61. You have done such a great job in this bathroom. What a huge difference. I especially loved how you extended the window with molding. I even loved it just like that! But the fabric is cute and a nice bit of color. Can’t wait to see what you do with the floor!

    1. Hi Heather-

      Great question. It can be done. I just added the directions at the end of the post on how to attach the valance to a window with no molding. If you need any clarification, just leave me a comment.

  62. I love these no-sew projects! This is great! Have you ever made one with trim on the bottom (ex: pompoms or tassels or whatever)?

    1. Hi Vicki-

      No, I haven’t made one with trim, but the one in my book I wrapped with fabric and then put a coordinating wall paper on the center of the valance. (Borders were very popular in the early 90’s) If you want to add trim, I would use hot glue to attach it to the valance.

  63. I love your new cornice board..looks really nice.
    I am thinking now about doing one for MY bath. :))
    I was trying to see if, with all your remodeling, you kept that amazing floor…?
    xo bj

    1. Hi Bj – Thanks – The floor is in great shape, but those little squares are green and don’t go with the new colors. I am working on a fix and will post it in my next post.

  64. Diane…..I am all for the no sew projects! I too made a beautiful cornice board for my dining room but used pink core insulation board from Home Depot ($8). It worked perfectly and looks just gorgeous!

    1. Hi Susan –
      Thanks for sharing. any of the foam insulation boards will work. It is all basically the same stuff . A plus for the pink or blue foam boards is less pebbleing and little pieces of foam getting everywhere. A plus for the white foam boards is they are white and are better to use if you have a light colored fabric.

  65. This is great! I cannot sew at all so it’s right up my alley. Thanks for the tutorial! And your fabric choice is great!

    1. Hi Colleen-

      Thanks – The found the fabric at my fav dollar a yard fabric store .I only bought one yard – wish I had gotten more. I have a scrap leftover and will probably end up using it for some detail in the room.

  66. absolutely brilliant!!!
    love this – thanks so much for sharing online.
    (love your blog and all your hints as well!)
    cheryl xox.

    1. Hi Cheryl-
      Thanks so much. I love easy, quick, and inexpensive decorating ideas and projects. Why spend tons of time and money on some things when you can make them yourself at a fraction of the cost. I was the kid who always picked up things in stores and would say – “that is so easy to make” and then I would go home and try. I enjoy the challenge of asking “What If ?”

    1. I’m inspired to make a video myself about making an easily removable cornice, if the buyers don’t like the ones I made. I figured out how to sew the cornice to the existing top trim of the vertical blinds there. I drilled holes every two feet and then when my styrofoam was covered with batting and material, it was still light weight to hang from the existing top frame that was just a plain piece of plastic, or whatever it is. If somebody wants to change the material, or get rid of it, all they have to do is cut the thick thread attaching it to the trim strip up there. I bougjht 3 more of those clips that held that on, to be stronger for the extra weight. A total of 10 inches wide with the batting and twisted chord is big enough so not to look so overbearing above the huge sliding glass doors. It accomplished covering the top metal part of the sliding glass doors, which I hated. Dot Flanigan

      1. Hi Dot – Thanks for sharing what you did to make your removable cornice fit over top of the vertical blinds. I love to see ingenuity in DIY. :-)