Ideas for draping scarf fabric as a valance on a window

Updated February 21, 2017

When draping fabric around a curtain rod you can create the simplest type of window treatment: a window valance. Window valances come in all shapes and sizes and offer the window a purely decorative addition and very little in the way of privacy. There's really no reason to go out and spend a lot of money on window valances when sometimes a few pieces of fabric, even if they're from a scarf, are all you need.


Swag is a type of valance and the most basic type of window treatment. You can truly put a swag on your curtain rods in just two minutes or less. In order to create a swag, you need a long loose piece of flowing fabric. This is precisely why a silk scarf that you no longer wear would make a perfect swag. Divide the scarf into thirds. The left third of it should hang off the left end of the curtain rod. The right third of the scarf should hang off the right end of the curtain rod. This should create a palpable droop in the middle third of the scarf as it hangs below the curtain rod, resembling a semicircle.

Flat Valance

This method allows you to create a more traditional looking valance, transforming your scarf into a flat panel that hangs below the curtain rod. Measure the width of your window, find that exact same measurement in the middle of your scarf, and mark each end. Pierce a small hole at the top of each end and insert a small piece of ribbon through each hole. The ribbon wraps around each end of the curtain rod on either side of the window. This causes the width of the scarf to hang down flat from the curtain rod. The remaining material from the scarf drapes delicately on either side.

Bow Tie Valance

This valance creates a softer, more feminine finished look. Start by hanging the scarf off the middle of the curtain rod, so that it hangs down in equal portions. Tie the scarf in a bow. You don't want to make the loops of the bow too big as they will be heavy and flop upside down from the curtain rod. Instead you want to make them small and tight so that they perch upright from the top of the curtain rod. Wind each tail of the bow around either side of the curtain rod, spiralling it out in equal portions. When finished, it should look like a valance with a bow in the middle and two pieces of fabric curling out from the bow.

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About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."