Valances with rings

Valances with rings DEFAULT

How to make simple ring clip - or no sew - easy. I promise.

How to make ring clip rooster curtains

I have basic sewing skills, very basic, but I do like custom items and I refuse to pay a lot for them, so I make my elementary skills work. I would say that aside from my costuming gig, most of my stitching knowledge has been used to make curtains.

Granted, there are many ways to fashion curtains without sewing at all and I am all for that, but sometimes I want a look or a fabric that I cannot readily find.

The curtains that hang over my kitchen table are a perfect example.

I fell in love with the rooster fabric and I knew I wanted a very finished, custom-looking window treatment, but I didn't want the labor and hassle of a big sewing job. So I constructed a very simple rectangular valance with a coordinating fabric border and plain backing and I hung it up with clips.

My finished valance hangs on a six foot window so I needed it to have some scale. It is 16" long ~ 12" of rooster fabric, 2" top and 2" bottom of checked trim.

My white liner fabric is a 16" long. I am a sloppy seamstress, so I cut each of my fabrics with almost an inch extra all the way around for seam allowance. The width of the fabric should be about one and a half times the width of the window.

How to make ring clip valances

I cheat all the time when I create and curtain making is no different. I do not have fancy cutting machines or straight edges. I make sure that my floor is really clean and then I lay out the fabric, measure where I need to cut and line it up with a groove in my wood floor.

I run the scissors along the groove and I get a perfectly straight edge.

When all the pieces were ready, I sewed the trim onto the rooster fabric, wrong sides facing out. I ironed the seams down before I pinned the roosters to the liner, pretty sides facing in.

Then I sewed them together, creating a large rectangle, leaving a small opening to turn it inside out.  When complete, I ironed the panel and clipped it up to the rod.

How to line a valance

I played around with the clips a bit until everything hung precisely the way I wanted.

easy ring clip valance

No rod pockets to create, no fringe or trim to deal with, just a very simple rectangle to sew and yet the look is high end and the price was budget friendly.

They add a nice touch no matter the season!

They add a little drama and frame the space.

Of course, you can alter the measurements to suit your own window size or style. Perhaps you crave mid or floor length panels or cafe curtains, this technique lends itself to so many variations!

For more super creative curtain cheats and fabric decor inspiration, check out my sewing tab in the top menu for projects including these:

Box Pleat Valance On A Rod

Easy Skirted Table

Add Fabric To Glass Doors

Add Fabric To Glass Doors

By all means let me know if you try this! Do you make your own curtains?


How to Measure the Length of Drapes When Using Clip-on Rings

By taking accurate measurements before hanging drapes in your home, you can save yourself the trouble of taking them down again to hem or lengthen them. Clip-on rings are closed rings that slide onto a curtain rod, attached to dangling clips that grip the top of the drapes. When you use clip-on rings, the drapes don't hang directly from the rod; as a result, you must take the diameter of the rings and length of the clips into account when you measure. Measuring drapes is simple, whether you're measuring the place you plan to hang them or the fabric itself.

Measuring the Space

Determine how long you want the drapes to be. They can hang to just below the window trim, to just above the baseboard, or all the way to the floor.

Slide one of the rings onto the rod. This allows you to see how far below the rod the curtains themselves will hang.

Measure from the clip hanging from the ring down to the desired bottom of the drapes. This gives you the length for the drape fabric.

Measuring the Fabric

Lay the drapes flat on the floor. Pull the fabric straight to stretch it to its full length.

Clip one of the rings onto the top of the fabric. Pull it along the floor away from the drapes until the clip and ring are fully extended.

Measure from the inside top of the ring down to the bottom of the drapes. This tells you how far down the drapes will hang from the top of the curtain rod.




  • Most clip-on rings add approximately 1, 1 1/2 or 2 inches to the length of the drapes, depending on the size of the rings.

Writer Bio

Stephanie Mitchell is a professional writer who has authored websites and articles for real estate agents, self-help coaches and casting directors. Mitchell also regularly edits websites, business correspondence, resumes and full-length manuscripts. She graduated from Syracuse University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theater.

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Differences Between Valances, Swags, and Cornices

Swags or Scarves

Swags are pieces of fabric loosely slung and draped over a decorative rod or wound over a tieback at each corner of a window frame to add a little style and romance to your room. There are many different ways to hang swags, but one of the most common is a simple swag. In this look, the swag drapes in the middle like a valance; the ends, either cut into diagonals or simply hemmed, softly hang down on each side of the window.

Designer Tip: Swags are great for a glamorous cottage or country-style bedroom because of the sheer, romantic softness of the window treatment. A swag by itself cannot provide much privacy, so it needs to be combined with other window treatments—such as curtains, blinds, shutters, or shades.

Swags are also a wonderful alternative to drapes for a canopy bed. Just wind the fabric over the bed’s posts, and let it drape gracefully around the corners of the canopy frame.

30 Latest Curtains Designs ideas

I know you guys have been seeing a lot of my bathroom lately!

After I framed the bathroom mirror, it really gave me the motivation to do more.

Today, I’m showing you how to make cafe curtains! And don’t worry, you don’t need a sewing machine – I’ll also show you how to make this no sew.

I remember my mom having these curtains in her house growing up.

And you know what!? I didn’t like them! Sorry, Mom.

I thought they looked old school and dated.

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But lately, I’ve seen interior designers use them more and it’s really changed my perspective on them.

I think these DIY cafe curtains can be pretty darn cute!

how to make cafe curtains with rings
how to make cafe curtains for bathroom

The window in our bathroom is not very pretty. It has frosted glass and it’s a slider, which for some reason just looks weird and throws me off.

This is not the first time I’ve tried to “dress” this window. A while ago I had made a faux roman shade with tension rods to give it some softness. And I loved it but I really wanted to try a cafe curtain too.

Alright guys – let’s dive in this project!

Things You’ll Need

How to Make Cafe Curtains

Before doing anything – it’s best to wash and dry your fabric before sewing to account for any shrinkage.

Step 1: Measure and Cut Fabric

With cafe curtains, you want them to be bunchy looking all the way across – not stretched.

Here’s what I did to measure and cut my fabric. I hung up a tension rod across my window and pinned my fabric over it.

I used my window as a guide to cut the length. I cut them slightly lower than the window to account for seams.

For the fabric width, I measured double the size of my window then cut this piece in half to account for two curtains.

For instance, if your window is 24″ wide – you want at least 48 inches wide of fabric. Don’t be afraid to use more – go big or go home I like to say in sewing.

how to measure and cut for DIY cafe curtains
Tension rod cafe curtains
how to cut cafe curtains
how to measure for cafe curtains

Step 2: Sew Cafe Curtain seams

Now that we have our curtains cut, we need to sew in some seams to make it neat and pretty!

Sew a double hem all the way around on each curtain.

I don’t like to measure when I sew (in case you can’t tell), so feel free to make your seam as big or small as you want. Don’t forget to account for the window size.

*Notes: If you prefer to hang your curtains directly from the tension rod (without clip rings), you will need to sew a pocket hem on the top of each curtain. Then just slide each curtain through the rod and hang it up. I did both ways with this project but prefer the look of the clip rings. Totally your choice!

If you are not using a sewing machine, use a simple fabric adhesive tape to bond your seams.

how to sew simple DIY cafe curtains

Step 3: Hang and Enjoy!

Our curtain is pretty much finished!

Simply attach your clip rings to each curtain and hang it up on your rod. Ideally, you should use a rod that’s the same color as your clip rings. I have a black matte one on order so I’ll update this post soon.

black clip rings with a white linen cafe curtain
how to make easy cafe curtains for tension rod
DIY kitchen curtains

These cafe curtains were so simple to make and the white linen gives just the right amount of softness to that window.

After framing the mirror, hanging some simple DIY art, and sewing up some cafe curtains – I’m pretty pleased with how this bathroom is looking lately!

how to make cafe curtains with rings
how to make cafe curtains with rings
what fabric is best for cafe curtains

I would definitely give this project a try if your bathroom is missing something – a simple set of cafe curtains may be all you need.

And you don’t even need to sew.

Thanks so much for visiting me today!

xo Karen


With rings valances

Homemade Valance for Spring

Since I love to throw open the windows to feel fresh spring breezes, I think spring is the perfect time to change out heavy curtains and draperies for simple window toppers. Over the years I've discovered many toppers that, while simple to create, can add color and interest to your decor.

Some of the easiest toppers require no sewing at all. A shelf mounted above a window is not only an interesting way to display favorite collectibles, but it is also a unique window dressing.

A piece of greenery or floral swag can be used as a stand-alone topper or can be combined with a soft sheer.

Do you own a colorful vintage tablecloth? Try folding it on the diagonal and draping it over a curtain rod. Instant window topper!

A tablecloth can also be used as a swag valance. Install two small cup hooks in the upper corner of your window frame. Fold the tablecloth in half diagonally and place it over the cup hooks to make a graceful swag. After adjusting so that both side pieces are equal in length, you might want to add raffia or ribbon ties to hide the cup hooks.

Fabric napkins can also be used to create a window dressing for the kitchen. First, slide decorative napkin rings onto a curtain rod and mount the rod on the window. Then fold the napkins in half diagonally and slip the ends through the rings. This treatment is perfect for seasonal changes because it only takes a few minutes to create.

Many interesting valances can be made with minimal sewing. A window scarf, for instance, is easy enough for even a novice seamstress.

To create a window scarf, first measure the length and width of your window. Add the measurements of one width and two lengths plus 10 inches. Using this measurement, cut a piece of sheer fabric to length and narrowly hem the raw edges. Simply swag the fabric over the curtain rod. Adjust the sides and center swag until you have achieved the desired effect.

Can you sew two rectangular pieces of fabric together? If so, there are several other valances you'll find easy to make.

To make a plain valance, first measure the width of your window. Multiply this width by 1-1/2. The length of the valance should be 1/4 the window height plus one inch.

Using these measurements, cut a rectangle from your fabric and lining. Place the fabric and lining right sides together. Using a 1/2-inch seam, stitch the fabric and lining together, leaving an opening for turning.

Clip the corners and turn the fabrics right side out. Press the seams so they are crisp and slip-stitch the opening closed. To mount the valance, attach decorative clip rings to the top edge of the valance and hang the valance on the rod.

Another interesting spiral valance can be created from two pieces of coordinating fabrics. To determine the cut width of your valance, measure the width of your window and multiply by 2-1/2.

Cut two rectangles measuring eight inches by this width. Again, place the right sides together, leaving a two-inch opening for the rod pockets on both short edges and a slightly larger opening for turning on one of the longer edges. After you have clipped the corners and turned the rectangle right side out, slip-stitch the opening closed.

To create the rod pocket, measure from the top of the valance down three inches and mark along the width of the valance with a fabric pencil. Pin the fabric pieces along the marked area to keep it from slipping. Sew all along the top marks to create the top ruffle, and then sew the bottom of the rod pocket in.

Iron the topper and insert the rod. To create the spiral effect, twist the fabric one-half turn around the rod, which will expose the coordinating lining fabric. Repeat this at regular intervals until you achieve a look you like and mount the rod on the window.

Why not try one of these valances to freshen up your windows for spring? They're fun to make, pretty to look at and, most of all, they're sew simple!

(Matt Fox and Shari Hiller alternate writing this column. They also are authors of Real Decorating for Real People and co-hosts of the Home & Garden Television show Room By Room.)

DIY HIDDEN TAB DRAPES - 2017 Spring One Room Challenge Week 3

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