Sunday, November 14, 2010

Make your own Box Pleat Valance

I had my Mom's help doing the math but I'll do my best to give you the formula and then the step by step. 

Ok here is a go...
Finished Valance Width Wanted + Width of board using (usually 4" or 6") x 2"+ Pattern repeat amount for pleat + 4" for seams and mess ups

Example 54"+ 8" (4"+ 4") + 10" + 4"=76" long
Depending on how long (the drop is the fancy word) you want your valance, cut your rectangle to that size plus 4" for the width of the wood and 2 inches for hem.
I did a railroad cut on my fabric because I picked a killer pattern that could go both horizontal and vertical (smart for less headache) 
Here is a list of supplies needed
Measuring tape
Pine board cut to length of completed valance (I used a 54"x4" for this one).
Fabric...pattern of choice and lining if you wish to have it. 
No sew hem tape (I use the stuff from Michael's, the heavy duty stuff).
Staple Gun and staples
L brackets and screws

Step 1
Order fabric! I usually order 20% more for a mess up and because I like to have extra for other projects in the future. I am thinking Mother and Daughter aprons for this pattern.

Step 2
Measure twice...or five times until you are sure you are good to go. Be mindful of where the center of the fabric is and if that is smack in the middle of the pattern so you don't have a pleat off center. Yeah...did that...twice! 

I cut a 76" x 24" piece of fabric of both pattern and some extra white I had handy for the lining for a 54" x 18" finished valance.

Step 3
Iron the heck out of the fabric.
Test to make sure your iron is not to hot so you don't ruin your pretty fabric. Nope...I have never done that...nope...sure not. 

Step 4
Make your hem. 
I like to do a 1" or 1/2" fold then a 1 1/2" to create a nice edge. 
Helpful hint:
Keep in mind that often the edge of fabric has words printed...I cut those out so I didn't see it from the right side. I also found it helpful to have a point in the fabric that I did the final fold on so all the valences in the room are the same.

Step 5
Iron the lining to match up to the top of the inside edge of fabric
That sounds confusing...check out the picture

Step 6
Place no sew tape 1/2 way between the lining and the pattern. 

I know its hard to see...but look for the solid white stripe of paper...yeah that is no sew tape.

Step 7
Apply tape to fabric as directed. Peel off paper, lay fabric on top of exposed tape with lining and pattern fabric lined up. Iron to complete adhesion for the length of the fabric. 

Step 8
Once fabric has cooled, find center of length of fabric (this should be the center of the pattern on the fabric as well) and fold in half to mark the center of the back of the pleat.
With folded fabric laying on table or floor find the end of the pattern repeat and fold to meet up with the center fold on each side. I iron all these folds really well so when I am laying out the valance I don't have to worry about loosing all my hard work on pattern matching.

Helpful hint:
Think about folding a piece of paper to match up the lines, you want to look at your valance and see a uninterrupted flow of the pattern. 
Sorry I don't have pictures of this stage...bad planning on my part.

Step 9
Lay fabric out on your cut board. Confirm that your fabric allows for the coverage of the end of the wood. Measure out the length needed and mark for the hem on the ends of the fabric. Use no sew tape for this part as well.

Step 10
Being mindful of the center of the board in relation to the center of the valance pleat. Use a measuring tape to double check that your valance is 18" or the drop you decided on. Use the staple gun to secure the fabric to the wood. 

Again a picture would be nice...I'll do better next time. I was sure to use plenty to staples on each of the folds of the pleat to avoid future sagging. For the ends of the valance I folded the fabric like you would for a package and stapled it to the under side of the wood. 

Step 11 
Secure L brackets to the wood. I was sure to measure the distance from the center of the board so they are equal on both ends...makes for less math when installing them! Well I did that on the last 3. 

Step 12
Hang above window and enjoy! 

Here are a few more finished pictures. 

Overall I spent 40 or so dollars on all 4 valances. Way cheaper than having them made or even buying some panels. 
Hope you enjoy them and let me know if you use this method for valances in your own home. I would love to see pictures! 

Find the fabric here:

I got it on sale as well as with a 20% off coupon code.

I shared this project at the following places. 

Featured on Centsational Girl


  1. Yeah that was my first no sew project....I usually sew but wanted to try it out. Stay tuned for my sewn for real drapes in the living room. Vaulted ceilings mean 130" panels.

  2. Beautiful! I love the fabric you chose, and the final result is lovely! Thanks so much for sharing with me!

  3. You did an awesome job! They look great! Thanks for the link! Isn't DIY so much fun?!?!

  4. WOW, these turned out amazing! Great tutorial! I love love love how the fabric turned out :)


  5. I can't believe how little this cost. It looks wonderful :)

  6. Thanks for the kudos ladies. I am truly happy with them, I learned many things while making them so similar projects in the future should be easier. :o)

  7. I just love these...that fabric is just my style!!!


    Would you like some extra Christmas cash? Enter my gift card GIVEAWAY!

  8. thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving me some love. thought I would check out yours too! :) this is great because i need to turn a long panel curting into a valance for my kitchen window and you just taught me how. thanks.
    ps im a follower of yours now. :)

  9. Thanks Linda...I'll have to enter that giveaway for sure! Nothing like extra cash.


    I am so glad you found it helpful, let me know how your valance comes out! Thanks for becoming a follower!

  10. I love this ~ and SUCH great fabric! I will now scour the internet trying to find what it is (unless you can help a girl out...) Where you found it &/or the name/maker :)

  11. This is gorgeous, and just the inspiration I needed for my upcoming living room project!!

  12. I just decided I was going to replace my current box pleat valances with a pretty, new fabric and was dreading taking the sewing machine out of the box for the first time since my husband bought it for me three years ago! I already have the boards & brackets, obviously, so this should (with luck) be easy for me. So glad I found your tutorial!!

  13. Hi - Just finding your blog now. This is no sew??? Unbelievable. I am doing (well, the woman who sews for me) is doing a box pleat valance for a client - and I thought she would be able to get a motif centered in the middle of each box - but she says that we can do it becuase of the repeat. The fabirc is pretty expensive - Robert Allen's Radiant Heart in Jade (you can see the fabric and repeat online at their site). Do you think you have any ideas on how we could be this?


    Linda - a new follower

  14. Do you know who the designer of this fabric was?? The link you have posted does not work. Thanks so much!!


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