Ideas for Curtain Valances

Updated April 17, 2017

A curtain valance is a strip of fabric or other material that hangs over the top of drapes for decorative purposes. A cleverly designed valance can add a touch of whimsy, exoticism or elegance to an otherwise nondescript window. And it's easy to create -- if you know how to sew a straight seam, you can make your own custom valance.

Handkerchief Valance

A box of new men's handkerchiefs or well-preserved antique handkerchiefs can be sewn together to form a custom valance. The crisp linen of the men's hankies would work well with most sheers, and old handkerchiefs, particularly lacy ones, form a lovely topper for lace curtains. If your valance is going into the window of your RV, you might use antique souvenir handkerchiefs instead.

Beaded or Fringed Valance

A strip of beaded crystal fringe can be hand-sewn to the bottom of either a handmade, or store-bought valance. Alternatively, you can hand-sew a strand of beads, silk fringe, pearls, pom-poms, pierced coins or shells, or lace onto the finished edge of an existing valance for a custom look.

Flowers, Vines and Branches

Some restaurants use artificial vines, such as grape vines, as valances for tall, narrow windows. You can take a leaf from that book and place artificial flowers, driftwood or branches at the top of your window for a natural accent to floral-print or rough, nubby curtains in neutral colours. If the flowers are on long plastic vines, you can weave them together and simply wrap them around the curtain rod. If you're using driftwood or branches, you can mount heavy brackets on either side of the window and place the branch across them.

Valances for a Child's Bedroom

You can let your imagination run wild when decorating a child's bedroom windows. The Organizing and Decorating Kids Rooms website suggests using a plastic grass skirt as a valance for a room with a Hawaiian theme; making a nautical-themed valance out of an old fishing rod and fish netting; and hot-gluing large and small western bandannas to create a zigzagging valance in a western-themed bedroom.

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About the Author

Mary Strain's first byline appeared in "Scholastic Scope Magazine" in 1978. She has written continually since then and has been a professional editor since 1994. Her work has appeared in "Seventeen Magazine," "The War Cry," "Young Salvationist," "Fireside Companion," "Leaders for Today" and "Creation Illustrated." She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta.