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There is nothing more elegant than putting a finishing touch on your windows by adding a valance. A valance is a decorative covering for the tops of curtains or drapes. A valance can be soft, such as a short curtain or drapery in the same style as the window treatments that is hung on a separate rod, or hard, which is usually a fabric covered, painted or stained box that is mounted over the window. When making a valance the fabrics can be matching or contrasting with the curtains or draperies to give your room a more decorative color scheme.

No matter which type of valance you choose to make, it will always need to be between 1\8 to 1\16 the length of the window treatment. You can even make a short valance to top curtains but it should be made wide enough to cover the entire window treatment and have a bottom hem 1\2 as deep as the one on your curtains or drapes. To make an upholstered valance you will need to build a four sided box that is wide enough to clear the rods by 2 inches on each side and deep enough to clear the drapes when they are open. In most cases this would be the depth of the rods plus three inches. When you are planning the height of the valance be sure to consider that the supporting angle irons will be set above the window frame. The best woods to use for your valance are fir, pine or plywood that is 1 inch solid or 3\4 inch when using plywood. To make your valance cut the four boards to the lengths you have measured. Using a good wood glue, glue the top and sides together then allow this to thoroughly dry. When this is dry glue the front piece into place and reinforce the joints with finishing nails.

If you are painting or staining your valance simply finish by applying the medium you have chosen. When you are upholstering the valance and you want it to appear padded you will need to begin by cutting a piece of 1\4 inch polyester batting the exact dimensions as the front. Then cut a second piece of batting to cover the entire box adding an additional 3 inches all the way around. Using a good white glue mixed with water, coat the outside of the front and glue the smaller piece of batting in place. Allow this to dry completely and then center the box face down on the larger piece of batting. Wrap the box with the batting holding it into place with T pins and pulling the bottom edges to the underside of the box. When this is finished, trim away any excess batting in the corners and anchor the edges with a staple gun. Where the side and top boards meet slash diagonally and trim away any excess batting. Staple the top panel over the sections and the batting inside the back edges of the box. Trim away any excess. When cutting your fabric for the box valance you will need to add 4 inches all the way around. The fabric should be wrapped and pinned in the same manner as the batting and then working from the center out, anchor the fabric inside the bottom edges. Carefully tuck away any excess at the corners. Next pull the fabric tight over the top and side boards then fold it envelope style on top. Then anchor the fabric inside the back edges. To hang your valance you will need to mount 1 inch angle irons above the window that are 2 to 3 feet apart, depending on the width of your window. Then simply set the valance on the angle irons.