Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The No-Sew Project: Window Coverings

My "No-Sew" project is finally done - Yay! I wanted to share the steps I followed to create these frugal but fabulous window valances for our living room and hallway...

I started out with a king size cottage-y quilt with scalloped edges (on sale for $19.99) in fabric that coordinated with our living room furniture and colors....

(click any photo to enlarge)

...but I didn't just want to hang them on a curtain rod...I wanted something more substantial...something that would hold coordinating what-nots above the valance...I needed a shelf/valance combo...so I turned to a pile of scrap wood and found my shelves...

I took two long 1" x 6" scrap boards and measured/marked them, then sweet hubby cut them into four pieces the appropriate length to fit the four windows that I needed to cover...(yes, even my tape measure was thrifted for 50 cents as you can see by the sticker)

Hubby also spray painted the top and sides of the wooden shelves with heirloom white/satin finish...took a couple of coats...

Meanwhile I cut panels from the two shorter ends of the king quilt...as *luck* would have it, each end, cut in half, was exactly the right length to cover the sides and front of one shelf with a touch extra for "seams"...so the two ends provided four perfectly sized panels with neat, finished scallops on the bottoms and straight tops to attach to the shelves...

I "hemmed" the ends of the panels with iron on tape...no sewing whatsoever...

I wanted to provide a bit of interest along the top of the valance, plus I needed a way to attach the panels to the shelves, so I used inexpensive seam binding in a coordinating sage green, ordinary thumb tacks, a hammer, small pink ribbon rosettes, and E-6000 glue to accomplish the task. I folded the top of the quilt panel down to hide the raw edge, held it on the edge of the shelf, then laid the seam binding on top and held it in place with the tacks. Once attached, I glued the rosettes onto the tacks to cover them...

Maddie was doing her best to assist me with the seam binding...

...then proceeded to pout when I finally had to fire her from that task...

Once the valance panels were attached to the shelf boards, we attached simple metal corner brackets on either side of the window, held the shelf in place to mark where the screws would go on the shelf underside, drilled a pilot hole in each spot, then screwed them in place with a screwdriver...

And *Voila!* - no-sew window valances with shelves...

I've put a few items on the shelves for the moment, but rest assured I will be changing those around as I pick up thrifted coordinating pieces here and there...Oh, and I am going to paint the brown metal clock above in heirloom white to lighten/soften it up... I used bits of silk flowers and vases/pitchers that I had hanging around to create coordinating little arrangements...and as usual, I threw in a few china pieces for instant cottage charm...

This is the third window in the living room - it is right next to the "shabby little corner" that I posted about last week... BTW, I had to use a flash to get this side of the room light enough...so that's why it looks like cooler/lighter colors than the other photos...

The final valance/shelf went up in the hallway that leads out of the living room...I have yet to decorate the top of the shelf on this one...

So, here are the overall before and after photos of this portion of the living room...it has certainly come a long way...

(view into the living room/kitchen from the front door)

Freshly painted walls, new carpet, and my dream couch make this a much nicer space...but the windows were crying out for coverings....
(nice new paint, carpet, and my dream couch, but no accessories...)

And I don't know if you've priced retail window coverings lately, but they are ridiculously expensive in my opinion...so in keeping with my new frugal lifestyle (and marked lack of sewing skills), this easy, cheap, no-sew valance/shelf project was just what I needed to dress up the space and add some height and visual interest...

(the valance/shelves turned out great!)
(...a wider view, including the kitchen...)

Thanks as always for stopping by to see what I'm up to at Just Bee 'n Me...I can tell you this...I am having the time of my life!! Please stop by often because there are many more fun, easy projects coming up as part of our ongoing Extreme Makeover: Mobile Home Edition! I hope you'll join me for the journey..


PS - there is enough of the king sized quilt left over for a number of projects...one of which will be a no-sew roll-up cover for the glass panes in our new cottage-style front door...stay tuned!!


  1. Oh Becky! These turned out BEAUTIFUL!!!! I love the fact that you used the quilt as your fabric too....just gorgeous! xxoo, Dawn

  2. Perfect! Couldn't have done it better with a machine~ love the detail :)

  3. Oh, your living room looks gorgeous! The window treatments came out great!

  4. Those window valances came out wonderful! Great job... and love the pics of Maddie too!

  5. Anonymous10:48 AM

    My My, what wonderful ideas you have! Those window treatments are adorable. And the pics of Maddie are precious and I am missing her.

  6. Wow, what a great project -- it looks so wonderful! I would never have thought of the little pink rosettes, but they are the perfect touch. :) Thanks for visiting my blog, and for your kind comment!

  7. Hi Becky, Oh wow, I love the window shelf valances. Your before and after pics are terrific. I adore how it all looks and so cottage cozy. Just beautiful!! I love that you used a quilt.
    Once again your super talent shows through. You so inspire me. Let's see, what window needs a shelf valance in my house. LOL!!

    Have a great weekend sweetie.
    Hugs, Celestina Marie

  8. Of course you are a blogger! Love it. Lot's of great sites to look at. I love your Big Easy alphabet! Way too cute.

  9. I just love what you did with your little home! You are an inspiration. And your little Maddie is so cute! I just want to kiss her button nose! ~Luv~Betty G~

  10. Becky... love the look and I can tell you had fun... so creative!! Hugs and blessings to you my friend!

  11. Becky, your valances turned out great and i adore your new sofa. Very pretty. The flower bed looks nice also. Only people who actually plant flowers have any idea how much hard work goes into it all to make it beautiful. Its all coming together nicely.

  12. Absolutely gorgeous! I love everything about your decorating style and colors. We are still in the trenches with remodeling...but I see a small little light at the end of the tunnel. I love your ideas and talent. Also that is the sweetest little face on a pooch I have ever seen! I could eat that little one up. My daughter would try to take her and run with her. LOL
    Have a great week,

  13. Reminds me of my doings. Drop over and check out some of my posts. I'm fixing up the basement and hopefully a craft room some where down there.I can't keep on task, there are so many things I want to do down there, but the more I fix up the more I want to fix up. Love,love,love the roses. That's definitely me, me, me!

  14. I am in love .For years my friends have laughed cause all I would say all I wanted was a cute mobile home(paid for in cash) No monthly mortgage just insurance and lot rent if I dont own the land. debt free easy living Alas my partner is not going for it but its sure exciting reading about yours.

  15. Love your ideas, i was thinking the same thing as far as the shelf, just trying to figure out which fabric to get, and i have to say that i love your couch..i was shocked when i saw it, since i just bought the same exact couch and love seat off of craigslist...


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