You can personalize the look of a room with decorative accents like hanging wall vases, tin wall crosses and wine and grapes wall hangings, but how you dress the windows adds yet another layer of style. One of the most beautiful looks for any window is achieved with a box valance or valance box. No matter whether you like the look of a simple valance or want to go for a more formally-styled valance, you can really dress up your window with minimal effort. Valance is a term that is used to describe both a style of curtain topper and a box that is made from wood that you install atop the window. Letís look at how to achieve both of these looks.
Building a wooden valance box requires a bit of skill as a handyman, or handy-woman, whichever the case may be. This fun DIY project should be fairly simple for most folks, even if you have limited woodworking skills. The best wood for this project is simple white pine, due to the fact that it is easy to work with and lightweight to handle. Start by measuring the width of your drapes or curtains and then adding six inches to that measurement. The extra width will provide you with three inches of additional clearance for your drapes on either side. You will also need to determine the length that you wish the valance to be. In most instances, this will be fifteen inches or so. The valance depth will be dependent on the fullness of your drapes or curtains, and on the depth of your curtain rod. When you measure depth, be certain that you allow some clearance for your curtains.
Begin by measuring and cutting out the two pieces for the sides. Next, measure the long piece for the front of the valance. Prior to cutting the front piece, you may wish to draw a decorative curved or scalloped edge for the valance. You might also opt to leave this edge straight. You will need to cut out a piece that is sized correctly for the valanceís top. After all pieces have been cut, you may start assembling the valance. Begin by nailing the front piece to the valanceís top piece. Use finishing nails for this. You can also add wood glue to the edge of the valance for more strength. Do the same process for both pieces on the end. Attach the end pieces to the face and top piece. Give time for the glue to dry. Be sure to fill in any nail holes using putty, and allow time for drying. Use sandpaper to sand until a smooth surface is attained. Install the valance prior to painting it; of course, you should remove the curtains before painting!. You will need a buddy to help you hold the valance while you bolt it to your wall. After the valance is installed, add your primer coat and then your finish coat. You can also add a pattern to the valance with a stencil or free-hand.
For those non-carpenters out there who donít possess minimal woodworking skills, you can sew a valance of fabric easily. Begin by measuring the width of your window. Typically, fifteen inches is a great length for your valance, but you may choose to go longer or shorter, depending on what you prefer. When you measure for your valance, be certain to begin at the curtain rod. Cut your fabric to about 2.5 times the width of the window where it will be hung, and around six inches more in length than your measurements. This allows for a properly full valance and also gives sufficient length for hemming and stitching a rod pocket. Hem your valance. Fold the top of the valance over to make the pocket for your rod; sew in two seam lines around an inch from the top edge for the first, leaving enough space for the second on to accommodate your curtain rod.