14 Sep 2012

Kitchen Valance

After we hung the curtains in the dining area and the mudroom, we still desperately needed a window covering over the sink.  I had some of the vintage cars fabric left over from the curtains, so one afternoon we whipped up a quick box window valance.  I am not a fan at all of fluffy or frilly valances.  I like crisp clean lines.  If you have never made a window valance, then this is the one to start with.  

I started by measuring the window from one side to the other on the outside of the casing.  To allow for the plywood plus a little wiggle room, I then added 2 inches onto the window measurement.  Then I measured from the ceiling to where I wanted the valance to end - which was about 4 inches into the window.

Then we cut one piece of 3/4" plywood to the exact measurements that I had noted. We used our radial arm saw, but if you don't have a radial arm or table saw, you can always have the guys at your local lumber store cut it for you (The Home Depot, Totem and Rona all cut plywood if you buy it there).

Once the big piece was cut, then we cut 2 more smaller pieces for the sides.  The side pieces are the height of the valance and 4" wide. 

For this valance we used screws and the Kreg Jig to attach the sides to the front, then 1 corner bracket to add extra support.  Before we were lucky enough to have the Kreg Jig we used to just use corner brackets - usually about 3 on each side.

Once your base is assembled then you are ready to staple on the fabric.  I know some people like to add padding at this point, but I prefer just putting the fabric right on the plywood.  I like the sharp corners rather than the rounded corners that come from adding batting.

I usually just lay my fabric out on a hard surface, pull it as tight as I can and start stapling.  Since I totally love using the staple gun, I tend to go a little staple crazy.  At the corners I just fold one side over flat, staple it and then bring the other side up and staple.  

It's not the prettiest on the inside, but since you will never see that, it doesn't really matter.

Here's how the back looks when I'm done stapling.

All you have to make sure is that you pull enough fabric up the bottom so that when you look at the window from the outside, you see fabric instead of plywood.

To hang the valance on the wall, first measure your finished valance again - just to make sure nothing has changed. Then screw 2 L brackets into the wall.  If you aren't screwing into a stud, you'll need to use drywall anchors.

This is where it can get a bit tricky and will require 2 people.  Place the valance on the wall and screw into the valance side, from the inside of the valance.  Since the valance is only about 4 inches out from the wall, our drill never fits and we always have to screw the screws in by hand. By this time your arms are ready to fall off from holding the valance above your head.  Hang in there. 

Here's a shot to show you what it will look like from the inside.

And voila, a window valance in about an hour (that's if you don't have to go to the lumber store).

As you can see, ours didn't end up going quite to the ceiling.  In other rooms I love the look of it touching the ceiling, but once I put this one against the ceiling I wasn't loving it.  I think it was because of the open shelving beside it....it just needed some extra space.  Easy fix, I just moved the valance down the window a bit to leave some space at the top. 

I am loving our kitchen so much better now that the yellow half wall is gone.  I was really leery of adding more of the car fabric, but now that all of the walls are grey, the cars seems much more subdued.  

Any big plans for the weekend?  All 3 of us are in various stages of colds around here, so we are laying pretty low.  Hopefully you are doing something exciting so that I can live vicariously through you.....

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