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It's all about Valence.

Maybe it's the impending season change that we are [hopefully] about to have around here, but for whatever reason, I have been really feeling the fabric changes lately. Kinda like a new spring wardrobe. First it was the reupholstery tutorial from last week (which, by the way, you might want to take a gander at if you haven't already. It will give you some good ammo to go into this post with), and now it's this valance. Let me tell you about how much I love a good valence: It's a lot. I love a good valence a lot. And I am going to tell you exactly how to make one ALL. BY. YOURSELF.


As I said, last week's post about #reupholstery really lays some ground work for this little diddy. This just goes a couple of steps further. Our kitchen has a giant picture window right over the sink that looks out into the back yard. It brings in a ton of light, and really is beautiful. When we moved in, it had blinds on it, but it didn't take long for me to take those blinds right off. Now it isn't every day that people move into a house and remove the window treatments. In fact, it's usually quite the opposite. But I just couldn't bring myself to cover up this big, beautiful window. So the blinds came down. But then I was left with quite a large window that looked a little naked. So what do I do about it?


Well, I'll tell you exactly what I did about it. In true Miss Lizzy fashion, I decided to build a valence... on the morning of my sons's first birthday party (because I wanted it done for the party, duh). Hi, my name is Liz, and I suffer from severe DIY impulsivity. This was another one of those moments when my husband likely wanted to pull his hair out. This time, I was lucky, and happened to have all the necessary ingredients on hand at my house, so there was little prep involved. But, it ended up being a great little #DIY project, and I lived to tell the tale, so all's well that ends well, am I right?


The Project



Quick and easy valence. I realize that I say that things are "quick and easy" A LOT, but that's because they honest-to-goodness are! There's no way I could do as many projects as I do if I didn't purposefully choose the ones that are quick and easy. This particular window situation made the project super easy because of the way that the walls flanked the window. Literally, all I needed was one piece of wood.


The Details


Supplies:


Long piece of wood (in this case I used a 2x10)

Fabric

Fabric batting

Staple Gun

4 L brackets


As I mentioned, I happened to have all the supplies I needed on hand at my house. We sometimes have some extra wood pieces in our garage, and this was exactly one of those times. I measured the 2x10 and cut it to length with our miter saw. I left about a half inch to work with for the fabric. What I mean by that is that I cut the piece of wood to be one half inch shorter than the actual length I needed, so that there was ample room for the batting and fabric. If you don't happen to have wood on hand, it's pretty reasonable, and a big store like Home Depot or Menard's will cut your piece to the desired length if you don't have access to an electric saw.


After your wood is cut, you are going to want to attach the batting. The easiest way to do this is to lay the batting down on the ground (I worked on the floor because the wood was so long), lay the wood on top of it, wrap the batting around, and staple away. Depending on how thick you want your finished product to be, feel free to do more than one layer. I only did one layer, and it gave the completed valence a nice soft look with rounded corners. Just what I was looking for.


Once your batting is attached, do the same thing with the fabric. I also happened to have enough fabric on hand, and the reason for this likely won't surprise you given my history of impulsivity... remember this little gem? Guys, I'm not sure if I should be embarrassed or proud to tell you this, but the fabric that I actually used to cover this valence was an old shower curtain. Yes, a shower curtain. No shame in my DIY game. Here's the deal: I loved this shower curtain that we had at our old place. I loved it so much that I was even a little bummed that our new shower had a glass door, so I couldn't use it at the new house. I loved it so much that I kept it, even though I wasn't using it anymore. And I just have to say that I am so glad that I did, because when the day came that I wanted to impulsively make a valence, I had JUST the fabric to cover it with!


To cover the fabric, you will want to use the same strategy as the batting, but there are way more detailed directions in my post from last week. The most important part here is to do a lot of double checking on that the fabric is centered the way you want it on the finished side.


Once you have stapled your little heart out, your valence is pretty much finished! All that's left is to hang it. In our case, we (and by "we" I mean my brother and my husband who got swindled into hanging it for me) used 4 L brackets, and screwed directly into the wall, as you can see from the picture. It was super easy to watch them do it too. Only kidding, but it really isn't that difficult. They attached the brackets to the valence with wood screws first, and then attached to the wall. It did take two people to make sure it was level.


The entire project took me a couple of hours. So if you've got a window that you aren't sure what to do with, or a shower curtain that's just sitting around waiting to be used, give a #DIYvalence a whirl! It's a great way to bring pattern to a room, and gives any window a finished look without a hefty price tag!


I was pretty happy with the finished product. I actually think I like the shower curtain more as a valence than a shower curtain. Actually, kind of makes me want to put valences all over my house... Kidding, dear husband of mine. Kidding.

Miss Liz in all her DIY valence glory



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