Easy Rod Pocket Lace Valance

June 17, 2016


White lace valance in kitchen

There's a new lace valance in my kitchen! Come take a peek. I have always been a big fan of lace fabric, but I had never worked with it. Honestly, I was a little fearful of its delicate nature. When I dug in, I was surprised at how resilient it was and how easy it was to end up with a professional looking curtain in no time flat.

Today, I am excited to show you how to make one just like it or at least inspire you to add a little lace to your decor ~  even if you don't sew.

It all started with a desire to lighten up the look of my kitchen for spring and summer. I had an old lace curtain that I used to hang in my kitchen each year, but it wasn't optimal. For starters, I have a gold tension rod that I did not want to replace and that valance showed the rod. It was also very short and seemed a little anemic on the window.

So in true Exquisitely Unremarkable style, I decided to make my own.

I found a pretty lace fabric for less than ten bucks a yard and got to work on my valance.

Now, sew or no sew, this is an easy one. I promise. It's a simple rod pocket style with a trim. I stitched mine, but if you cannot use a machine, you can grab some fusible web tape and iron yourself a curtain made to order.

The trim can be added with the tape as well, or fabric glue, both of which are supposedly washable, although truth be told, I've never tried it.

For either method, you will need a rod, fabric, scissors, a pencil, pins and a yardstick.

Making a rod pocket valance supplies

First, I measured my space. My window is 48" wide, but I used a tension rod mounted from cabinet to cabinet. That space is 56" wide. I based all my measurements on that figure. I also measured the height of the window plus frame to determine an appropriate length.

I settled on a 15" valance.

How to measure for curtains

Next, I measured my fabric, drew a few pencil lines on it to ensure a (relatively) straight edge and cut. My panels were 84"wide ~ about one and half times my 56" width to allow for a full gather.

The length of each panel was 18". I needed 15" for the finished valance and 3" to construct a rod pocket to hold a 1" rod. I like a full pocket, otherwise it tends to grip the rod and look taut. I was going for a looser, more freeform appearance.

You may be asking why I didn't leave extra fabric at the bottom for a hem and that is a valid question.

The simple answer is that I am lazy and I did not hem the bottom of this curtain. I was also a little hesitant to hem it, as I had never worked with lace before. Remember, I added a trim to cover that edge anyway.

However, if you want a finished edge, just add an extra inch, fold it over twice and give yourself a hem.

How to cut lace for curtain panels

Most fabric comes 54" wide, so to get to 86", I had to cut two panels and seam them together. I pinned them first.

Pinning lace fabric to seam it

When I sat down at my machine to stitch them, I realized that I had a lot of bobbins ready to go, but none with white thread.

And no empty ones.

Unfortunately, these types of scenarios also seem to be the Exquisitely Unremarkable way.

Fabulous.

Sewing machine bobbins loaded

After unraveling a full bobbin ~ that was fun ~ and making a new one in white, I sewed my panels up and then sewed the pocket. I did this by folding the top over 1 1/2" and running the material through the machine. I should have pinned or ironed the fabric to make sewing easier and keep me on track, but I just folded and used the guides on my machine.

Let's just say it's straight enough.

Lazy. Remember?

Adding trim to lace fabric

I did pin my trim before I started sewing that. I wanted it to be attached at the very bottom of the fabric, so precision was important here. 

Sewing lace curtains

That's all it took to create an easy lace valance and lighten up my kitchen!

I have to say that I expected working with lace to be difficult, but it was no different that sewing any other material I have worked with in the past. Perhaps if I had a more open pattern, it would've been trickier, but this was not a problem at all.

How to make a lace valance for your kitchen

Keep in mind, that I do a lot of my creative work in the dark, hence the black out window... 

Making a kitchen valance


...which is actually a great background to show you the details of this curtain.

Without the red roosters, it felt a little bland, so I turned that blank sign around, moved the picture hangers, and poof!

Kitchen curtain style

Even in the dark, it was instantly obvious that it was summer in the kitchen!

Cottage kitchen style

In the morning, I was just as happy with my new lace addition.


It let so much light in the room, showed off the outdoor greenery and just made me smile! 

Cottage Kitchen Style For Summer


Summer kitchen style

I still have a tutorial coming your way for those valances. It was the first time I had worked with linen. That was actually trickier. 

If you have any questions about the lace valance, please ask! 

If you have any lace tips for us, please feel free to leave those, as well. 

Making an easy lace valance

I am always open to advice and looking for shortcuts and tricks. 

So I can be even more Exquisitely Unremarkable! 

Well, you know, the good kind. 

Have you worked with lace? 


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68 comments:

  1. I am a big fan of lace and I love your valance, Kim!

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    1. Thank you, Cecilia! I am smitten!! :)

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  2. Hi Kim, Love your valance and the soft summer look it gives to your kitchen. The added trim is so pretty. I love lace too and the light airy style seems to blend with lots of looks. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks so much Celestina Marie! I think the trim really makes the whole valance!! :)

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  3. It's been some time since I sewed at all. Too much arthritis in my hands now. That is quite beautiful! I just love seeing sunshine coming through lace.
    Brenda

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    1. I love the sunshine, too, Brenda! Thanks so much!! :)

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  4. Looking pretty Kim . . .
    I like the openess it gives to your kitchen . . .
    No expert here sewing with lace though . . . but I'd say the valence turned out beautifully.
    It has been years since I have made rod pocket valences/curtains . . .
    Each of the 35-40 windows in our first purchase, three story 100 year + home back in the early 70's had some variety of a rod pocket curtain or valence . Plus my mother, who was quite the seamstress made fancy LR, DR window treatments in more of a drape style. In my home today I have nothing on the windows, except in the MB where I have Roman Shades. I am sure that sounds somewhat stark, but it really isn't. The windows are set back in their own casement so leaving them free of fabric, lace or whatever seems to work out just fine. Sorry I am going on and on here . . . You stirred memories of "window treatments" from days past. I will find some pictures and send them to you in a separate mail.

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    1. Oh Lynne, you just stirred memories of my grandmother sewing in my room when she would come to visit. My mom would buy fabric and she would make beautiful draperies for our living room or kitchen. I am sure your curtain-less windows are lovely. I bet your have beautiful, unencumbered views!! Looking forward to those pictures! :)

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  5. Your valance turned out great. I love that lace and the trim is perfect for it.

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    1. Thanks Lorri. Can you believe that trim was only .69 a yard?? I should probably add that to my post! ;)

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  6. I love your kitchen and your new valance is beautiful...the perfect accent!!!

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    1. Thank you, Brandi! It was easy to make, too!! :)

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  7. Love your valance. Looks so light and summery!!

    Judy

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    1. Thank you, Judy. I am enjoying the feel!

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  8. I love the light and airy feel of your valence Kim. It is the perfect additon to yor less is more kitchen. I think the addition of the sign on top is the perfect balance to the valance. It makes it stand out more instead of getting lost in the white. Another great project. Hope you are doing well and have recovered from May madness.

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    1. Thank you, Mary!! I am enjoying the light and airy feel!!

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  9. I always loved lace and your valance is gorgeous! Your kitchen looks so pretty! Have a wonderful weekend! Maria

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    1. Thanks Maria Elena! I am getting a little more adventurous with my sewing! :)

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  10. Hi Kim! Your sweet valance definitely says summer - love the little trim detail, it's just the perfect touch. You always come up with the best window treatments! Jane

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    1. Thank you, Jane! You are super sweet!!

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  11. Your lace valance looks exquisitely remarkable!! The bobbin thing struck me funny because I have had to unload a few to get an empty one for my color! Your directions are exactly how I would make a valance, and although I have been sewing for 35 years, I always have mishaps! They never show to others though! The lace you used is gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you for the vote of confidence AnnMarie! I'm glad to know that I am not alone is my mishaps!! :)

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  12. That is a beautiful lace and trim. I love lace. It is so light and pretty for summer. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Lynn...they were both a bargain!! :)

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  13. That's a great look for summer, Kim! The roosters really pop against the lace, but I like the lighter side of the sign, too....so clever of you to make the sign reversible. Just a little FYI: next time you have that bobbin dilemma, you can simply wind the different color right on top of a not-so-full bobbin....especially when your project is going to require just a small amount of sewing. I really like that sweet trim you added to the valance.

    Cool hugs,
    Carol

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    1. Carol, your bobbin tip is genius!! I know that is not the last time that is going to happen to me!! :)

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  14. Gorgeous!! I love lace curtains and have them in many places in my house. They always make me smile!

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    1. Me too, Debbie!! I'm smiling right now! ;-)

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  15. Smart girl! I love everything about your kitchen. The end.

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    1. Thank you Stacey!! Big hugs...

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  16. I love the lace valance! It blends so well with your summer look :)

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  17. Love it, Kim. The whole kitchen is lovely (and tidy!), with the pops of red.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Tidy sometimes, Amalia...but always in pictures! ;)

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  18. Nice job!! It looks wonderful ; well done :)

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  19. You are so good at these tutorials! You explain everything perfectly and it's always easy to follow what you're doing. I've never worked with lace, but I love how yours turned out. It looks so pretty and fresh in the kitchen, especially with the summer greenery and fresh lemons. I love how clean and tidy your kitchen is. :)

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    1. I like doing the tutorials, Lisa. I think it's the teacher in me. I miss the classroom!

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  20. Love this sweet valance, Kim. You have a way of making everything look so easy.
    I love the beautiful, green view from your window.

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    1. I love the green view, too, Susan. It was a long winter!

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  21. Hi, Kim
    I love the lace you purchased. It really doesn't look like lace and the trim is perfect. Your valance looks beautiful and doesn't look like you made it. Your kitchen is beautiful.

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    1. Best compliment ever, Vanessa!!!

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  22. Well Done! You did another great job explaining how you did it, great tutorial. :-)
    I really like the look.
    Carla

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    1. Thank you, Carla! I really do try to map out the steps so that even beginners can follow along. I am glad you think that I am accomplishing that! :)

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  23. I'm not a girly girl and had never been found of lace...well that changed about a year ago. Love the lace valances and the open feel they provide. The trim added a perfect edge. Great job!

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    1. We used to have lace on every window in the old house. I abandoned it here...until this little number. Now I am in love all over again, too!!

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  24. Lace curtains are so pretty! Airy and feminine and as you discovered, lace is easy to work with. Some lace fabrics can be a bit trickier, but yours looks fairly sturdy.

    I can't count the number of times I've had to unravel a bobbin!

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    1. The unraveling was the pits, Doreen. AND I had a house full of teenage boys asking questions and timing me. Even more fun! ;)

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  25. I have never worked with lace or a sewing machine for that matter! (We broke up the sewing machine and I - long story) So I definitely admire your courage! I could always do a bobbin real good, but it was the actual sewing I always screwed up. LOL Loving your new curtain, it really adds that decorative touch to your beautiful kitchen.

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    1. Thank you, Christine...and trust me. This relationship is long past its prime. I am a glutton for punishment!! :)

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  26. I love lace curtains and your lace topper looks very pretty in the kitchen. I also love the roosters you put above it.

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    1. Thanks so much, Shannon. It was worth the work!! :)

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  27. Great job!

    I love the last few photos with the sun shining through your lovely lace curtains.

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    1. Thanks Carol. I love that too...

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  28. Your curtains are so beautiful Kim! You did such a job making them! Your kitchen looks so bright and cheerful! :)

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    1. Thanks Julie. I am always happy when the sewing is done. The actual doing…eh…maybe not so much! ;- )

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  29. The lace curtain is so pretty. I really like the trim on the bottom. That is a nice custom touch.

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    1. Thank you Debra! That trim was .69 a yard. Ridiculous!! ;)

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  30. So pretty and perfect for summer. Great tutorial!

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    1. Thanks Kristi!! I really like this one! :)

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    1. Thank you so much Desteny!! :))

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  32. Your valance is wonderful for Summer. So light, airy and you made it look as though I could do this!
    Hmm...just maybe !
    Happy Summer, Kim

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    1. Oh!! I am sure that you could!! If you can drive a car...you can sew!

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  33. Very nice! I love the softness is gives to your kitchen - which is beautiful!

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    1. Thank you, Melanie. It really is a nice swap for summer!

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  34. Perfectly exquisite Ms. Kim!!! I love lace, and yes it is easier to work with than most people expect! I have lace curtains and cafe's in my sewing room, and I love the light that they allow in!
    Blessings and have a great weekend,
    J

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    1. I have to say, that I do prefer the lace over working with linen. Yikes. Now that was hard!! Thanks for the comment, J!!

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