Wednesday, March 30, 2011

DIY: For Better or Worse Valances

In the midst of finishing Natalia's valance I was also working on decorating our front windows.
Remember that box from my sister? 
 She had picked up this lush fabric on clearance at Joann's and never found an occasion to use it.  
Once again, a beautiful freebie to work with!
I loved the contrast of the black, flocked flowers on a creamy background.  

I decided my sad bare windows could this bold pattern.
They were suspiciously tall and blank, like WIDE-eyed exclamation points.  
THOUGH, I can't show you just how bare because I didn't think ahead
 to take a Before picture.

Just take my word for it.

Back to the fabric.
We (my sister and I) decided I'd have JUST enough
 to cover the four windows in that room.  So I stalled for a few days until she could come over and hold my hand.  MAN, I was so scared to cut this beloved fabric!
But once we got going I got tunnel vision.  And that's what I'm blaming for my novice mistake. 
It wasn't until I cut the LAST piece of fabric that I realized the pattern should be running vertically.
Oops, I had mistaken those large tulips for Leaves.  
But when your Interior Designer sister tells you no one will notice,
you just believe her.

So stop noticing ;)

As for my methods....I stuck to what I was familiar with.  Only, this time I didn't even bother with the staple gun, I just I bust out my trusty glue gun.
 I wrapped the fabric around the 2x4 and then tried to tuck and glue the sides. 
However, there was an unfortunate pucker toward the middle. 
(sorry no picture of that either)
Then my sister suggested I make the valance in three parts.  Genius!
So I cut and glue-'hemmed' the front large piece of each valance
 and created two smaller pieces for the sides.  Here's a side view of the fabric covered wood.
Next, the backside.  
You can see how each piece has 'seams'....all glued not sewn.
Oh yeah baby ;)
If I can do it, you can do it.
We measured the length and marked it with a pencil, then I just folded the fabric along that line as I ran a bead of glue in between.  
The key was to measure and remeasure to make sure the hem stayed straight.
Aaaaand, even then you MAY goof.  I know I did.
But the cool part about these valances is how high up they would be.  
I'll also recommend you keep a matching Sharpie handy.  
I used a black one to camouflage any visible glue.  
Sssshhh, that's our little secret.
I highly doubt my work will be inspected.

Other than that, if I messed up I just pulled apart the two pieces of fabric and re-glued them.
All those glued seams perfected the stiff box shape I was looking for.  
The end result holds up well.
By the way, I'm sure it's obvious that I cut corners anywhere I can.  
Thus the one valance over the two windows. 
I was afraid that if I split them up,
the chance of them being uneven or mismatched
 would increase beyond my desire to even WANT to create.
And that's HUGE!
Thus, the unibrow.
I know, I know....the cords on my topiaries are ridonculously obvious.  
Just lift your eyes up kids....don't look down.
I'll work on those later.
Until then...enjoy the view.
PS- this little bookshelf is a favorite of mine. 
Our amazing Papi fashioned that bookshelf from a Pottery Barn ad I showed him.
The design is similar to this Martha Stewart one, only he backed ours with white bead board.
It's so simple and special, and perfect for our 'schoolroom.'
And that is all I have to share for today.

Stay tuned folks, there are plenty of spaces left to decorate around here!
And our next project involves this colorful fabric:


Gina said...

Looks great! I didn't even notice the "unibrow" until you mentioned it. :-)

Stef said...

you are so crafty! I love it.

The Ballard Family said...

I love them! They look great! I only have one constructive criticism, and it isn't about the valances. The pink background on the page makes it very hard to read the words. I had to highlight the words with my mouse to read it. :( Don't be mad at me...please!!