Sometimes referred to as scarf curtains or window toppers, scarf valances are simply a type of curtain style in which the material is draped around the window rather than threaded through a curtain rod. Scarf valances give the appearance of curtains but act only as decoration. You can use the valance alone to give the window a framed look or together with curtains, shades or blinds to make it more functional.

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What is a Scarf Valence?

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Typically, a scarf valance is fashioned from a single piece of fabric, cut to length according to your window dimensions, then draped across the top of your window for dramatic effect. They are simple to make yourself, not to mention less expensive than store-bought selections. The best choice when making a valance is a sheer or lightweight fabric. Sheer fabrics are easier because they don't require lining, but if you choose a heavier fabric you'll have to line it, as the underside will show after the valance is looped into place.

How to Hang Your Valance

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Hanging a scarf valance requires an eye for detail and can be accomplished easily with the help of a friend guiding you from below while you're standing on a ladder. Thread your fabric through the corner rings or drapery rod until you're happy with the length of swag in the middle. Arrange the folds of the swag and hanging tails exactly how you'd like them, and secure your creation with a few stitches or hidden safety pins. Make sure to pin the fabric folds together at every point that they come into contact with the drapery hardware, or your handiwork could accidentally come undone when operating your curtains.

Create a No-Sew Valance

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Use those pretty scarfs that have been hiding in your drawers for years and bring them into the light. Screw a drawer pull into the center of your window frame, and secure smaller matching pulls to the left and right at the edge of the window. Place your scarf into the middle drawer pull and secure the tail ends with the smaller pulls. Adjust until you're happy with the swag and the tail lengths. This generally works on a smaller window, such as a bathroom or front door. Multiple windows in a room can coordinate with different scarfs, providing the scarfs are all in the same color family.