Make Your Own Roman Shade Valance

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Tape measure and pencil
Fabric and thread
Sharp dressmaking scissors
Sewing machine
Steam iron and ironing board
Adjustable drapery rod one inch in diameter, with finials

Valances on your roman shades are both practical and decorative. While they are concealing the velcro attachment of the shade to the top header rail, they dress up a plain, flat roman shade, and neatly define the top of a more bouffant roman shade style like the balloon or cloud. Make roman shade valances easily in an all-fabric style using the directions provided below.

Step 1 - Measure the Window Width

Determine how wide to make your valance by measuring the window width. For a sleek, shallow valance, use a fabric piece 1-1/2 times the width of the window. For a wide valance with many pleats, cut your fabric 2 to 3 times the window width and gather in the top edge. Provide side seam allowances of 1 inch per side.

Step 2 - Decide on the Depth of Your Valance

The valance should be deep enough to cover the top rail header, about 12 inches deep. For very tall windows, 1/4 of the window height is a good gauge for the valance's finished depth. For a wide window, 1/6 of the window height is best. Add 1 inch for the bottom hem and 3 inches for the top to make a rod sleeve.

Step 3 - Cut the Valance Fabric

Measure twice the depth of the fabric adding the hem and seam allowances noted. It will be folded to make the valance. Cut out the valance fabric.

Step 4 - Hem the Edges and Fold the Valance

Working on the wrong side of the fabric, pin the long edges down 1/2 inch, press them with a steam iron and sew these hems in by machine. Turn the fabric right side up and fold the narrow edge up from the bottom to the top, so the wrong side of the fabric is exposed again. Press the bottom fold in to hold the top edges together neatly.

Step 5 - Make the Rod Sleeve for the Top

Measure down and pin in a 1-inch hem from the unfinished top edges, sew in this hem. and press it out flat. Turn the valance right-side out again, so that all hemmed edges face inside. Measure down 1-1/2 inches from the top seam, the one just sewn. Pin this stitch line in across the width of the valance, and sew. Press the bottom of the valance to give it a sharp edge.

Step 6 - Finish the Valance

To make a bouffant valance, stuff tissue paper inside and sew up the two remaining open sides. To make a sleek, flat valance, press the entire fabric surface flat with the steam iron and sew the two open sides closed with a narrow seam allowance, no more than 1/4 inch. Add trim as desired by hand or with a hot glue gun.

Step 7 - Hang the Valance

Attach the hardware for the adjustable drapery rod, insert the rod into the rod sleeve, and hang the valance up above the roman shades.