This reversible valance is a simple way to dress up plain purchased sheers or draperies. In fact, this valance is simple enough to whip up quickly for the holidays or for something as unique as a special treatment to display on a birthday or anniversary.
- Two coordinating fabrics
- Matching sewing thread
- Trims or tassels (optional)
- Drapery rod to fit window
- Tools to hang drapery rod
- Fabric measuring tape
- Straight edge
- Tissue paper (optional for creating curvilinear hemline)
- Sewing machine
- Iron and ironing board
If your window is wide enough that the drapery rod requires a center support, consider a heavy duty rod to eliminate the need for one. If you decide to stick with a center rod support, you will need to make two toppers separated in the center by the width of the center support. These instructions are for windows less than 54 inches wide.
1. Begin by installing the topper rod over the existing draperies or blinds. At a minimum, the topper should be mounted to the wall 4 inches above the top of the draperies; however at the sides, it should protrude only about an inch or so from the current treatment so as not to look too wide.
2. When the rod is hung, determine the length of the reversible topper. Generally, the center is longer than the sides. We chose a simple “v” shape for ours, but you can consider a soft curve or create your own shape using tissue paper to transfer the design to the fabric. Toppers should be about 1/5 the length of the full drapery. The draperies shown in the photo measure 84”, so our topper started 4” above that, making the total length 88 inches, divided by 5, or 17.6 inches long. Of course we rounded to 18 inches for the back panel, and 15” for the front, which allows 3 inches of the reversible fabric to show from the front.
3. Add the two panel length measurements together and add an additional 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches, depending on the thickness of your drapery rod, to determine cutting length. Don’t forget to add 1 1/4 inches for seam allowances. To determine the cut width of the topper, measure the length of the rod to be covered, making sure the entire drapery or blind will be covered, and add 1 1/4 inches for seam allowances. Cut two panels to these measurements, one from the front fabric and one from the coordinating fabric.
4. Place the two fabrics together, wrong sides facing, to create and cut out the decorative end designs. Again, we used a simple “V” shape with a 3-inch variance from the center to the edges. This was easy to draw with a straight edge and cut out.
5. Pin the two panels together with right sides facing and sew around the outside edges, leaving a 6” opening along the middle of one of the sides for turning. Clip the corners of the selvages, trim the seams and turn the valance right side out.
To make this panel as a no-sew valance, iron the seam allowances all around the outside edges of each piece. Pin the two pieces together with iron on seam adhesive all around the edges and in between the two fabrics. Iron around the edge and remove the pins.
6. Press the valance; pin and hand stitch the opening closed. Add any desired trims or tassels at this time.
7. Fold the topper over the installed rod and adjust until you have just the right amount of the coordinating fabric showing. Now try reversing the fabric—it looks great either way!
If you don’t want to add trims or tassels directly to the valance, you can always attach the tassels to a length of rope trim and drape the trim from one finial to the other or just hang tassels at the ends of the rod for a dressy effect.