How to Add Pleats to a Valance

Go for the tailored look with these step-by-step instructions.

Edge a favorite fabric with a coordinating print and add pleats for a custom-designed valance. Here's how to do it:

Materials and Tools:

fabric (two complementary patterns)
lining
measuring guide
scrap paper
1x4-inch mounting board
iron
staple gun
drill
L-brackets
sewing machine
thread

Steps:

1. Make a sketch to figure out the desired size of the valance before it's pleated. Add all the side seams, corner pleats, face pleats and panels. If necessary, sew pieces together to get the needed width (be sure the seams will be hidden within the pleats).
2. For the front, contrast edging and lining, sew 16 inches of the main fabric to seven inches of contrast edging and add another 16 inches of lining fabric below that.
3. Fold the entire panel in half with right sides facing, and sew in both side seams. Turn it right side out and iron the valance flat. Pin the pleats in place, making sure to measure at both the top and the bottom of the valance so they hang perfectly straight. Steam the pleats in place, and then stitch along the top edge and again not quite four inches down from there in an area that will be stapled on top of the mounting board (these stitch lines will help to hold the pleats in place and will be concealed).
4. Cut the mounting board to the desired width and drill the holes for the L-brackets. Cover the board with the main fabric using a staple gun (keep track of where the pilot holes are for the brackets). Staple the valance to the board with the pins still in place. Remove the pins and attach the L-brackets to the board. Secure it to the wall.

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