Setting up shop: vertical blind window valance update

Have you been looking for an update to your boring old vertical blinds? Me too!

More importantly, it needed to be inexpensive. I was able to think of a $free$ (for me) solution. This 
is a temporary fix, but it could be just what you need to brighten up a space.

Part of designing a learning environment is having both static pieces and elements that change. An easy way to introduce change is to do simple changes that occur naturally with the season. Having traditions - whether cultural, personal,  or spiritual - that occur rhythmically during the year help to teach time and seasons. I used this add my motivation to update to our boring, dusty vertical blind valances that didn't match our tastes.

We have homemade double sided valances that were made by the previous homeowner. They are wonderfully made with hidden stitches and carefully finished seams. Our home is decorated with a little more of a modern flare, so after 2 years out they go!

My beautiful sister, so excited about free valances!

I have considered building balance boxes out of foam core board, but that isn't in the budget at the moment. So, I removed the dusty curtains to think out the problem and noticed that the hardware was already shaped like a valance box. It is much thinner than what I would plan for a permanent installation, but for a holiday decoration it works just fine. Plus, it requires no sewing.

Staples & stapler
1 yards of fabric
4-5 yards of ribbon (or fabric cut into strips)

First, I found material that was leftover from other sewing projects. I cut fabric lengthwise (usually either 45" or 60") into 8" wide strips. Make sure you have enough to cover the length of the window AND allow for 1-2" folded over on each end to hide the cut edge.

Second, I wrapped the fabric over the balance bracket hard taco style. The folded side was resting on top with the open end running along the bottom edge of the bracket.

Third, I stapled the open edge every 6-8 inches so that it made a tight tube around the bracket.

Last, I turned the fabric so that the seam was on the backside of the valance, hidden from view.

If you have ribbon, this part is a little simpler than what I did. I had to cut strips of the complementary fabric into 2" strips. The ribbon needs to be a little longer than the width of the valance.

Begin by attaching it to the inside seam of the base fabric. I did this by pulling the inside corner down and stapling the end to the seam (very high tech, I know).

Then, I wrapped the strips around the bracket so that it resembled a candy cane. If you wanted to get super fancy, you could do different widths of ribbon and do a more complex design. I have visions of rhombus, braids, and plaid dancing in my head at the moment.

I finished it off by stapling the end into the opposite end and pulling the fabric to make sure it was taught and the seam was hidden.


This could also be a cheap and easy solution if you live somewhere that restricts decoration. It could be the perfect solution in a dorm or apartment.