Waterfall valances are gathered, exaggerated drapes of fabric slipped over a separate rod in front of the main curtain rod for a window. A single, narrow window usually has one great swoop of fabric that drapes about a quarter or a third of the way down. Side-by-side windows, a picture window or other wide windows may have three "waterfalls." Multiple valances require a double rod, so that there is one centered front valance and two valances just behind and flanking it, across the top of the window.

Make your waterfall valance from a flowy material that drapes easily — silk, a soft synthetic, or velvet for a more formal room. Fabric that is too stiff won't drape well and will look bulky rather than graceful. Start with one simple solid-color waterfall for a standard-size 36-inch wide window.

Step 1

Fold the material in half to make a 45-by 30-inch rectangle with the fold on the left and the open ends on the right.

Step 2

Mark a spot 12 inches from the fold with a pin.

Step 3

Slant the yardstick from the pin to the bottom corner of the fabric, opposite the fold. Mark this line with seamstress chalk and cut from the pin at the top, along the slanted line, to the bottom corner, through both thicknesses of fabric.

Step 4

The shorter top end will be 24 inches, and the bottom will still be 60 inches. Blind-hem the raw fabric all the way around by pressing the fabric in a 1/4-inch fold, front-to-back, then folding and pressing again front-to-back and stitching the folds.

Step 5

Fold the hemmed slanted sides front-to-back 1 1/2 inches and stitch the folded side 1/4 inch from the edge and 1 1/4 inch from the end.

Step 6

Position the rod at least an inch in front of the main curtain rod, depending on the thickness of your valance material.

Step 7

Starting at the corner of the long side, push the material on the rod until the rod emerges at the short side. Push the remaining short side sleeve opening over the rod and gather the second side on the rod until it emerges at the corner of the second long side.

Step 8

Starting at the corner of the long side, push the material on the rod until the rod emerges at the short side. Push the remaining short side sleeve opening over the rod and gather the second side on the rod until it emerges at the corner of the second long side.