How To Reupholster Window Valances

The original window curtains matched the RV interior in color, pattern and ugliness.

 
 

After we renovated the inside I had these great plans of making beautiful curtains for all the windows. So fabric shopping I went - back to Foam and Fabric (where I got the fabric for the dinette seats and the couch). I wasn't sure what I was looking for but I figured out pretty quickly what I didn't want. 

 
 

This section of fabrics confused me while browsing in Foam and Fabric. Who considers these iridescent and tinsel-shiny fabrics to be bridal material?  

My initial plan was that I would make cool rods and sew curtains for all the windows. But after trying to figure out what my "cool" curtain rods were going to be I realized that I didn't have the time to figure it out, to find the material I wanted and actually make them. So Jerud and I decided that we would reuse the original window valances and blinds in the main room, after reupholstering the valances, and I would make curtains for the bedroom.

I ended up going to 4 other fabric stores in town and learned three things about myself - I really like chevron patterns, things out of my price range and Nate Berkus' designs.

 

Nate Berkus' Warham Black/Bone fabric.

 

After a lot of browsing I found a pattern that I love - Nate Berkus' Warham Black/Bone. Figured out that I would need 3 yards of fabric to make curtains for the bedroom and then realized it would cost over $75 for fabric (and this is 50% off the original price!). Um, yeah, no. 

So bedroom curtains are on hold for now. But I got the valances done. Below is a quick recap of how I reupholstered them.

Initially I was a bit worried about how difficult it might be to reupholster the valances, but they ended up being easier than trying to learn how to sew and make curtains. Best part is that I found a roll of fabric in a color I liked for $2.99 a yard! And lucky for me there was just enough fabric left on the roll for the project. The fabric ended up costing a total of $6 including tax!

Tools Used

  • Two staplers and staples: to staple the fabric to the valances.
  • Fencing pliers (the black and yellow handle tool): to remove staples that got jacked up during the stapling process.
  • Hammer: to hammer in brads (and staples that didn't go in flush to the wood).
  • Screwdrivers: to remove the blinds from the valances.
  • Needlenose pliers: to pull out whatever the fencing pliers couldn't. 
  • Scissors: to cut the fabric.
  • Chalk pen: to draw on the fabric. Binder clips: to hold the fabric in place. 
  • Measuring tape: to measure.
  • Carpenter square: used to connect the dots to make a straight line. 
 
 

HOW-TO STEPS

Step 1: I decided that it wasn't worth my trouble to remove the original blue cover on the valances. It wasn't going to be seen after I reupholstered it anyways. But I did remove the patterned fabric (see first photo in this post) that was stapled to the front of the valances because if left, it would have caused the new fabric to not lay smoothly on the valance. 

 

What the valance looked like after the extra fabric was removed.

 

Step 2: With some of the valances I had to re-brad the blue face of the valances to the base because they were separated from the base when I uninstalled the valances from the walls.

 
 

Step 3: After measuring and remeasuring I cut enough fabric for one valance at a time. 

 

The first cut was hard since I wasn't able to purchase extra fabric in case I messed up.

 

Step 4: I used large sized binder clips to hold the fabric on the side I was going to staple in.

 

I binder clipped one side at a time.

 

Step 5: Then I stapled the new fabric to the valance. I used a staple gun for the side that the fabric folded onto wood.

 
 
 

I removed a binder clip at a time to keep the unstapled portion of the fabric from moving around.

 

I ended up removing the blinds from the valance since it had to be removed to re-install the valance inside the RV and it made stapling the fabric to the valance a lot easier. On the other edge of the valance, I used a regular sized stapler because the other staples were too long and would go through the wood and fabric on the other side, and I didn't want to go buy a whole pack of shorter staplers just for this one project. 

 

Once one side was stapled, I binder clipped the other side.

 

Step 6: This step is essentially like wrapping a present. First I cut a slit in the fabric.

 
 

Then I took the cut fabric and folded it underneath itself.

Using the small stapler I stapled the fabric to the valance.

 
 

Initially, I was worried about the creases in the fabric in the corners, but it looks fine and is barely noticeable when the valance is re-installed.

 
 

Step 7: Repeat steps on the remaining sides and valances.

All wrapped and done.

 
Finished valances.
 

The new reupholstered valances look great back inside the RV!

 
 

Updated 8.14.16

UPDATE & TIP:

  • The valances still look great and are holding up fine after having them up for a year and half.
  • But I do I wish I had sprayed the valances in the kitchen with Scotchguard. See why here.

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