This easy-to-make window valance covers the top of blinds. Hang inside window frame using two spring loaded tension rods - no drilling necessary! Great for apartment or dorm room where permanent changes to structure are not allowed.
Or, if you prefer, hang from bars that are installed outside of window frame (see photo at bottom of page).
MEASURE YOUR WINDOW
The first thing to do is to decide whether your curtain is to be hung from rods installed above the window on the wall, or inside
the recessed area (in the photo above, the window is recessed). This will determine the width of the curtain.
Then, measure your window. In the example above, the window is recessed, so the curtain must cover the distance between the "walls" on each side of the window opening. I measured from one wall to the other. My
window opening was 60 inches. If your window topper is to be installed on the wall above your window, measure the window
and add a few inches to each end. For example, if your window is 45" wide, you will want the topper to extend beyond the window
on each side by about 2 inches. The width you will using then would be about 49-50 inches.
The next step is to decide how far down on the window you want your topper to hang. In the above photo, our topper
hangs to a length of 15 inches.
CUT CURTAIN FABRIC
For the proper amount of fullness, the curtain
width must be at least 3 times the width of your window. In the above photo, our window was 60", so our curtain must be
made to be 180" wide. The length is doubled. Our curtain length is 15", so we cut our fabric to be 30" long.
180 inches is 5 yards of fabric (by piecing your fabric, you can get by with 3.5 yards - see next paragraph).
NOTE: You can piece your fabric. If you have a print or texture that must be vertical,
and it runs the length of your fabric, you must piece the fabric so that the pattern runs the correct direction on your
curtains. If your fabric comes as 45" width, you will need to sew 4 pieces side by side,
each cut to a length of 30 inches (you will lose a little when seaming, but don't worry about that). You will need about 3.5 yards.
See diagram below.
SEW WINDOW TOPPER (or use no-sew tape or fabric glue)
Fold your fabric lengthwise, right sides together. Stitch, or use no-sew tape or permanent fabric glue, using a seam
width of 1/4". You don't need to hem under the two ends, because they can be tucked under when the curtain is hung.
HANG YOUR NEW WINDOW TOPPER
Turn your curtain "tube" right side out. Run two curtain rods through your curtain (if your window is recessed you will
need the tension rods). One rod should be at the top of your curtain, and the other will run along the bottom of the curtain.
Install the rods according to package directions. Adjust the folds of the curtain (they should be evenly spaced).
The photo on the left, below shows tension rods holding the valance inside a recessed window frame. The photo on the right, below, shows the valance on rods outside the window frame. The top rod is held by brackets installed in the wall; the bottom rod hangs loose inside the valance sleeve.