How to Make Beaded Window Valances

What You'll Need
Tape measure
Beads, prestrung or loose
Glue gun and glue sticks
Nylon or fiberglass bead string
Grosgrain ribbon, 1/2 -inch or 1 inch wide
Pattern for fabric draped valance
Needle and thread
Straight pins with bulb heads
Sewing machine

Of the many ways to trim window valances, beading is among the most elegant and creative. You can use long strands of prestrung beads or make your own beaded edging from a variety of bead shapes and colors. Matched small shank buttons also create a unique beaded effect. On a rigid or draped fabric valance, follow the guidelines below to make a beaded window valance for your home.

Step 1: Beaded Rigid Window Valance Preparation

Measure the bottom edge of your existing rectangular window valance. Purchase ½-inch wide grosgrain ribbon matched to the fabric cover of your valance, 6 inches longer than this length. You will glue the unbeaded ends to the inside the valance nearest the window.

Step 2: Make the Beaded Trim and Attach to Rigid Valance

Hand-sew the beads, shank buttons or strand of beads onto the grosgrain ribbon, leaving 3 inches at each end unbeaded. Heat up the glue gun and apply glue to both the valance and the beaded trim. Press the beaded trim onto the valance, keeping it parallel to the bottom edge, and slip the unbeaded ends inside. Let the glued trim dry for 12 hours.

Step 3: Beaded Fabric Drape Valance Preparation

Patterns for sewing fabric drape valances are available at dressmakers' supply stores. Sew your fabric drape valance in fabric that matches your drapes. You can also add beaded trim to a purchased drape and valance set. Measure the bottom edge of your fabric drape valance laid out flat on a table.

You can attach the beaded trim in 3 different ways: Sew the beads onto matching or contrast grosgrain ribbon and then sew this strip onto the draped valance. You can also sew the beads individually in a repeating pattern, ½-inch apart, directly onto the valance. A third option is to use prestrung beads, or string all the beads together onto nylon bead cord. You then sew the cord between beads directly onto the edge of the valance. Each of these methods is outlined below.

Step 4: Beaded Ribbon Trim for Draped Valance

Purchase matching or contrast 1-inch wide grosgrain ribbon 6 inches longer than the measured edge of the draped valance. Sew the string of beads or individual beads 1/8 inch up from the bottom edge of the grosgrain ribbon, so they dangle over the valance hem. Carefully machine-sew the grosgrain ribbon onto the bottom of the draped valance, folding the ends to the back.

Step 5: Sew Beading Directly onto the Valance

Hand-sew the individual beads onto the bottom of the valance so they hang below the edge. Use a loose tacking stitch to avoid puckering the valance hem.

Step 6: Sew Beads by their String onto the Valance

Lay the draped valance out flat on a tabletop and pin the bead string every 2 inches onto the hem of the valance. Sew the bead string onto the valance between every large bead, or between every 3 small beads.