How to make curtain valances

Updated February 21, 2017

A valance is a short curtain that only hangs down your window about one-third of the way. You can use a valance by itself, especially in a room where you do not necessarily need privacy. You can also use a valance along with regular panel curtains or cafe-style curtains. A valance is a simple curtain to make, since it uses only straight stitches and no bulky fabric that can confuse a beginning seamstress. If you do have experience sewing, you can make your valance a little fancier by adding ribbon or other decorative items.

Measure the width of your window and double it. Measure the length of the window down about one-third of the way. Double that measurement and add 4 inches to get the necessary length for your valance.

Cut your fabric to the measurements you took in Step 1. Cut two pieces of fabric if necessary, and then sew the two pieces together at what will be the bottom edge of your valance.

Fold your fabric in half lengthwise with the right sides together. Pin along the side edges and sew.

Turn the valance right side out and press the side seams. Fold under just the raw edges at the top of the valance and use pins to hold the fabric in place. Sew straight across, removing the pins as you sew.

Lay the valance with the front side down so you can work on the back. Fold down the top edge 4 inches and pin it in place. Sew straight across.

Measure down from the folded edge 2 inches and make marks with the chalk. Sew along the chalk lines to create a rod pocket for your valance.


Always wash and iron your fabric before you do any cutting. This helps to get rid of any excess dye in the fabric and will also prevent the fabric from shrinking after you make your valance. You can make your valance a little more decorative without a whole lot of fuss. Instead of cutting one large piece for your valance, cut two pieces of coordinating fabrics. Sew the two pieces at the bottom and the sides and then proceed with the rest of the instructions to complete your valance.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Iron
  • Chalk
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