how to make fabric valance pelmets

How to make upholstered valance pelmets

Dear Diary,

In my quest to revamp a Victorian/ country styled cottage, it was necessary to address the bare windows.  In Victorian times however, the drapes were very ornate, opulent and over the top.  Not something modern homes with working moms can always cope with.  Not to leave it totally bare, some treatment was necessary to make this cosy cottage more inviting and finishing the look by framing the windows in simple but elegant pelmet valances.  I will show you how to make upholstered valance pelmets in a few easy steps.

Measure your windows, and make a wooden box to fit neatly over the window.  If no curtains are going up, then 5cm overlap each side is more than enough.  I used 6mm mdf wood and 9ox19mm pine for the tops and sides.   Cut the shape you want out the bottom and screw the lot together.

Cover the pelmets with thin foam or as I have done with thousands of pelmets in my 20 years of decorating, just ordinary wadding.

Now that the wadding is on, your fabric of choice can be put on.

Measure the pelmet, cut fabric at least 15cm bigger to go around top , bottom and sides. Join strips of the cut lengths if the pelmets are bigger than the fabric width, and remember to make sure the pattern matches if there is any.  Staple on the sides first, and tension the fabric so that is nicely taught over the distance of the pelmet.  Corners are folded inwards to make a 45′ fold.  Keep an eye on joins and pattern as not to pull unevenly, making pattern or joins scew.  (The fabric is Robert Allan – spring toss colour zest from

When you staple the fabric on the back, remember to make small incisions around bends to help the fabric around, as there would not be enough stretch to go around concave bends.

If you are going to put any trim on, this is the time to do it.  I wanted to bring in the deep golds that was an accent colour in the rest of the room and opted for lip-cord.  Staple it all around as well as on the very lip/edge of the pelmets to make the cording shape beautifully with the pelmets.  Be careful to not let the staples come through to the front or catch you on a finger!  This is tricky and fidley, but be patient, you will master this step quickly!

Now, the backing is simple cotton or spunbond as I used here.  Simply a piece cut a little bigger than the pelmet and edges stapled neatly inward.  Aim the staple in the corner and tack the lining down.

The sides are also just simply turned inward and tacked down.

Bottom edge are also cut into the concave bends to make the folding easier.

Top of the pelmet…

Top corners of the pelmet..

All done….see, this was so easy!

What a difference this makes to a room!!  I will share more of this room as soon as I have shown you have shown you how to cover wingback chairs…..up on the blog next and then the room reveal!

Till next time



Article by Teresa

Australian Interior Designer / Decorator & Photographer. I share my style, my creativity and love for all things decor.

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