Perhaps you’ll recall the idiotic dancing that took place recently at Gabriel Brothers when I discovered the store had high-end decorator fabric on sale for less than $2.50 a yard. (If you live near a Gabe’s, run to the store right now to get some if you need it.)
I purchased four yards of fabric (totaling less than $10) with an idea for how to make easy curtains and pillows.
So one evening last week, as I was starting dinner, I thought, “Gee, this seems like a great time to make a valance for above the kitchen sink.” The hubs was at a meeting and the kids had disappeared somewhere temporarily (probably plotting their mutiny).
So between stirring mac and cheese and putting together peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I created a spring-worthy kitchen valance. (I’ve never claimed to be sane, people.)
Of course, because I’m, well, me, this project had to be quick, easy and super cheap. I thought I’d share the details with you so you can whip up one, too (although I wouldn’t recommend doing it during dinner prep ;)).
The fabric at Gabe’s was sold in two-yard segments. I used one set of two yards and didn’t cut the fabric at all. I started by simply folding it in half with the inside facing out.
After I folded it in half perfectly, I used my sewing machine to hem just the bottom all the way across, but not the sides. (I eyeballed about a 3/4-inch hem; I didn’t mark it.)
From there, I decided how wide I wanted my finished valance to be. Then I measured what my current width was.
I figured out how much I needed to reduce each side in order to arrive at my desired width.
I needed to reduce each side by 4.75 inches. So I simply tucked the raw fabric in toward the middle on each side, until each fold was a total of 4.75 inches.
After I had both sides tucked in properly to give me my desired total valance width of 36 inches, I sewed a half-inch hem on both sides, leaving a 2-inch opening at the top for the curtain rod to slide through.
Again, I eyeballed this hem. One trick for keeping a hem straight: I line up the edge of the sewing machine presser foot with the edge of the fabric and use that as a guide as I sew.
After both sides were hemmed (with a 2-inch opening at the top), I ironed the whole “curtain.” I also created 2-inch accordion folds (starting from the bottom) and pressed them down with the iron, too.
Next, I hand-sewed my makeshift accordion folds together using a few quick stitches straight through on both sides, about 5 inches in.
To make sure my accordion folds hung perfectly, I ironed on hem tape between the folds to keep them together.
After that, my valance was done!
Here’s a summary of the project steps:
- Fold fabric in half, with the inside facing out.
- Hem the bottom (not the sides) where the raw edges come together.
- Turn the “curtain” right side out.
- Fold in the raw edges on both sides until the valance reaches your desired width.
- Add a half-inch hem on each side, leaving about a 2-inch opening at the top for the rod pocket.
- Create your desired accordion folds (starting at the bottom) and iron them down.
- Hand-stitch the accordion folds together to your desired valance height.
- Iron on hem tape if necessary to make the folds hang perfectly.
- Install your valance and enjoy!
What do you think of this easy spring curtain? Have you found any great deals on fabric lately?