How To Make A Box Pleat Valance

July 9, 2013


Make a box pleat valance on a rod...not a board! Here's the easy DIY!

 Box Pleat Valance pattern

Last week I updated my master bathroom with a few small accessories, this box pleat valance being one of them.  

Today I am sharing how I made it. 

I am careful to warn you though, I am not any kind of expert sewer. All of my stitching prowess can be attributed to one semester of middle school home economics, one super crafty aunt, one seamstress grandmother and a very generous and patient friend.

I never use a pattern and I can assure you that there are going to be some experienced seamstresses out there cringing at my methods, but they work and my bathroom looks great! Ok, enough of my disclaimer, you have been warned, on to how I did it. 

Obviously the first step was measuring my window.  

It was 30 inches wide, so I grabbed one yard of fabric. Of course there are many exceptions to this rule, but generally I have found that if I have at least one and a half times my window width, I'm good.  

Next I decided on my style. For this style I had to have enough width for the window itself, the rod projection and 5 inches for each pleat. I also had to leave 1 inch for seam allowance. I cut my fabric to 44 inches wide. I wanted it to be about 14 inches long, so I cut it to 15 inches leaving room again for the seam  and the rod.  

I also took into account that my fringe would add about two inches.

Box pleat valance

I am not a huge fan of white liner.  There are places in the house where I have used it, but generally, I like seeing the fabric from the outside. I just folded my fabric in half and sewed the open three sides, leaving a 1 and 1/2 inch opening at the top.

Box Pleat Valance

Then I turned the fabric back to the right side, by pulling it through the opening I left. 

Box pleat valance

Next, I laid my fabric out to mark the pleat placement. I wanted two pleats. I found the middle of my fabric and then centered the pleats in the space from the end of the fabric to the middle mark.  

Each pleat was made by folding the fabric over and then back. I ironed the pleats to mark their positions.

Pleated valance pattern

I sewed the fringe on next. 

Adding trim to valance

Now, most box pleat curtains are mounted on a board, but I am not a fan of boards. They are way too permanent for my fickle nature. So I made a loose rod pocket. I anchored my pleat with a few stitches across the top, so it wouldn't slip. 

Easy rod pocket box pleat valance

Then I folded the entire top of the curtain over about 1 and 1/2 inches and sewed it almost all the way across. I stopped my stitches about 2 inches from both sides of the pleats. This allowed them to hang more naturally. If I sewed all the way across it would be tight.  I did not want it to look shirred on the rod. I still wanted the illusion of a board.

DIY Box Pleat Valance

Here's my finished product! 

What do you think? 

Easy Box Pleat Valance

I'm certainly no perfectionist, but I like it. 

Does winging it pay off or do you think I need lessons? 

If you liked this tutorial, check out these other easy curtain posts:






















   

33 comments:

  1. It looks so lovely. You did a great job.

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    1. Thanks Betty, I am learning! :)

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    1. Thanks so much! That pattern does pop!

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  3. Love the valance and I love the helpful tips... visiting from Debbie Do's

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    1. Thanks Cathy! Like I said, I'm kind of a rogue seamstress, so don't look too close! :)

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  4. Lovely! Where did you get your fabric? I'm looking for some valances for the kitchen and these look great.

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    1. Hi Lindsey,
      I got my fabric at a small local shop, but I did Google it and it came up online. Just keep in mind that it is not upholstery fabric, it is actually quilting fabric, but it looks great on my windows. It is Swirly Girls Designs for Michael Miller Clubhouse Pattern # sg5214 Pristine Paisley. It also came in red, beige and white paisley on a blue background.

      So glad you liked it, hope that information helps you track it down!
      Have a great weekend and if you do make curtains with it, please let me know~ or post them on my FB page! I would love to see them!

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  5. You did a beautiful job and you could have fooled me. Looks professional! Love the detail!

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    1. Thanks Roeshel~ Just don't look too close! :)

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  6. You did a fantastic job...I sold my sewing machine years ago due to personality conflicts....we hated each other! lol Now I pay people to do it because I stink at it.

    I wish we were neighbors! your valance is beautiful. Great job....

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    1. Hahaha Christine, you made me laugh out loud! I have the same relationship with my machine~ it is very temperamental and when it misbehaves, I put it away for months at a time! :)

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  7. Love your valance, the color is wonderful and the fringe is such a lovely finishing touch. Thank so much for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, marty

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    1. Thank you, Marty! I am usually not a blue girl, but the color really caught my eye!

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  8. So pretty! I love the fabric. Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays. x

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  9. For somebody that hasn't sewn much you did one heck of a great job. Whatever works is my way. You used your common sense and to me that works. It looks like somebody that has sewn for long time, you did such a great job. Good for you for trying and see what you accomplished.
    I'm going to print this out so I'll remember. I've sewn for many years and I still do things sort of kittywompis as it makes sense to me. Have figured out how to do all kinds of things and it wasn't as I'd seen or read how to. So what? Many times I get a wild hair to make something so I go into my sewing room to see what I have and go from there. We live out a few miles from a town where I could get fabric if I had the money to buy it, so I usually raid my stash of fabric and trims first. Sometimes things don't turn out how I'd hoped but I learn from it and hopefully do it better next time. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Wow! Thanks for the ringing endorsement~ you've made me feel so great about my curtains! I have to confess that I actually accomplish most of my DIY projects in this manner. Trial and error, like you said! I have to say that I'm so jealous to hear of your sewing room! When I sew, I have to do it on my kitchen table and have it cleaned up by mealtime! Thanks for stopping by to read my post and taking the time to comment! :)

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  10. Kim this is a great fabric choice, it looks like it lightens up the window and gives it some love, awesome!! Thank you so much for linking up to our Get Your DIY On Challenge this week. next week is Fall Themed Wreaths, I hope you'll make it back and share with us! Have a great week!

    Mandy @ The Hankful House Blog

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    1. Hey Mandy, thanks so much for coming by to check out my valance! I'm so excited I actually had something blue to link up! What a cute idea for a party, love it and I think I do have a good wreath post for next week!

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  11. What a great job in the valance, and you solved a question I had...how to make a rod valance look like it's on a board. I have a few questions if I may:
    -Your photo shows the lining about half the width of fabric. Is that correct?
    -What exactly are you folding in half and sewing?
    - I'm confused about your sewing three sides together and turning through the small opening left. Don't you have the entire fourth side left open to flip it through? Or are you sewing three sides of fabric to liner and sewing 4th side (the top side) to within a few inches of the corner and then flipping through that opeing? So all four sides are sewn except for that small opeing left to flip it to right side. Do I have that right?

    Sorry for so many questions. I want to make a valance just like your gorgeous work and want to do it right. Many thanks for your help and congratulation on being so creative.
    Carol in Chicago

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    1. Hi Carol. I am glad that you like my valance, Thanks for the sweet words! I am sorry if my instructions were not clear. I think that all of your questions basically revolve around the liner...and there isn't one. I folded my blue paisley fabric in half, inside out and lengthwise, and sewed the three sides together, leaving a small opening to flip it right-side out. The fourth side was the fold.

      You could make the curtain with a liner or a coordinating fabric, but I am lazy! ;) Also, I liked that pretty blue and thought it would be nice to see from outside. So I just folded it to cheat my way to a pleasing liner...and one less seam!

      I hope that helps! Of course if you have any other questions, feel free to post them here or email me. My contact info is listed in the tab above.

      Thanks for popping by!

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    2. Thanks so much. I thought I saw a liner in the 2nd photo of fabric laying on the counter, but now I understand. It is basically self lined. Very clever. Many thanks for clarifying.
      Carol

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    3. So glad my answer was helpful, Carol. If you make the curtain, please let me know! I have a Facebook page and I would love you to post a pic there for me to see! Good luck and again, thanks for taking a peek! :)

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  12. You did a great job, Kim! The valance looks fabulous and I love your method instead of using the lining!

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    1. Thanks Cher-Ann! I am a lazy seamstress, doubling the fabric is the easy way out! ;) Thanks for popping by to check it out!

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  13. Thank you for posting this! I made this valance for my daughter's room and they came out quite nice! I could not find anything in the stores that suited the space/ my needs so I decided to try to make them myself and came upon your site. Very well thought out, concise and easy to follow. I also appreciated that you were so encouraging and made things seem so simple. I tweaked things to fit my needs and design but am very happy with the results! :)

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    1. Thank you so much for leaving such a nice comment. I am so happy that you were able to use the pattern and make something you love for your daughter's room. I am also thrilled that you were able to follow it easily. Sometimes, things get lost in written translation! If you feel like sharing, please send a picture to my email. I would love to see your handiwork!! :)

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    1. I am certainly no pro like you, Deb, but I can get the job done! Just don't look too close....

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  15. I am definitely trying this in the upstairs bathroom.

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    1. Let me know how it goes! It was super easy. :)

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  16. Hi Kim, I cannot tell from the photo if you have a stitched line across the top where you created the pocket for the rod.
    How do you get the flat, unstitched look for the pocket?

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    1. Hi! What I did was fold the material over to create the rod pocket, then I stitched a broken line across. I started at the end and went towards the middle. I stopped stitching about two inches from the pleat. Then I continued sewing two inches after the pleat...then stopped again two inches before the next pleat and continues two inches after the it and continued to the end. I also used a wider stitch there and made the pocket about two full inches deep so it doesn't hug the rod. I think that is what gives it that flat look. It's enough of a stitch to hold it on the rod, but not tight enough to give a pocket look. I just took a new photo to detail that I will load it shortly. I hope that helps. :)

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