How to Make and Hang Scarf Window Valances


By Jan E White

A scarf window valance will accentuate a window and finish it with a flourish. It is not generally made with a scarf but with a long length of voile or other fine soft material which drapes well.

When thinking about valance styles, remember that a scarf valance is only a suitable window treatment where blinds or fine curtains being used as window coverings or where the windows are otherwise bare. A scarf valance would look too light and insubstantial above heavy drapes and it would give an unbalanced look there.
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Smith+Noble Pole Swag Fabric Valances           Smith+Noble Traditonal Swag Fabric Valances
Left: Pole Swag Fabric Valances       Right: Traditional Swag Fabric Valances

Different types of valances
Click on any picture for more information

Smith+Noble Box Pleat Fabric Valances           Smith+Noble Dakota Fabric Valances
Left: Box Pleat Fabric Valances           Right: Dakota Fabric Valances

1. Create the Scarf Valance
To create the “scarf” take a long length of fine material about three times the width of your window and hem it neatly on all sides. (If you want the exact length before you begin experiment with a piece of string or long strip of spare fabric, pinning it until you get the right length of swag looping over the top of the window and the right tail length on each side.)

2. Choose your Drapery Hardware
The usual way to hang a scarf window valance is to drape it over a decorative drapery rod or pole however you can also create the effect as required by attaching rings (scarf holders) where you want the top corners to be and draping the scarf valance through these. Similarly you can use small loops of coordinating fabric or ribbon bows attached to hooks or decorative sconces. Really, anything goes – you can be quite creative with this and are only limited by your imagination!

3. Hang Your Scarf Valance
Hanging your scarf valance requires a bit of patience and an eye for detail. First of all thread your valance through the rings or fabric loops or drape it over the drapery rod – whatever you are using to hold it in place – and then adjust it until you have the right depth of swag in the center and the right length of tails at the side. Once you are happy arrange the fabric folds in the swag and tails how you want them, then stand back and check your handiwork from a distance.

Once everything looks good pin the fabric folds gently together where they come into contact with the drapery hardware and if you can, add a couple of stitches to secure the fabric as you want it. (It would be a shame to get things just right and then to find yourself catching the scarf in the curtains or something at some point destroying your careful arrangement).

Jan E White has a passion for interior design especially the little details that make all the difference to a home. She has a site all about window valances which covers everything from how to choose a window valance style to how to save money when buying valances. See for all the details.

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