DIY Box Valances

Written by Michelle Fortin

Written By:  Michelle Fortin @ Our Dream Foreclosure

Does your view from home need an upgrade? If you’ve ever stared blankly at your naked window and wondered, what the heck do I do with you? Know you are not alone, my friend.

I asked myself that very question when we first moved into our house three years ago. My husband and I came up with a way to make window treatments ourselves for a bit of time and not a lot of money.

Today, I’ll share our guide to DIY Box Valances. I think this treatment works so well, I have box valances all over my house.

In my kitchen…

In the family room…

In our baby’s nursery….

My husband and I even made one for his parent’s condo…

Okay, so here’s how you get started… your “ingredient list,” if you will:

  • Plywood for front of box frames
  • 4″ strapping for framing the box
  • Batting material
  • Liquid adhesive
  • Fabric of your choice
  • Muslin – for backing
  • Staple gun with both short and long staples
  • Patience 


The first step, which should be obvious, is to measure your windows.

Our valances extend three inches beyond our windows on either side.


Purchase wood for the “box” part of the BV’s.  We got some generic plywood for the front surface and generic 4″ strapping for the frame.

here’s the wood we picked up before…

…and after we had it custom cut

Essential info: Our BV’s are 16″ tall, 4″ away from the wall on three sides and a total of 6″ wider than our window. Home Depot will cut your plywood and strapping to measure for free. That will save you some time – and a lot of expense if you don’t have the proper tools to do that yourself.


Put together your wooden frame. This step is as unique as the size of your box valance. Just take the plywood section you’ve already had custom cut and outline it with the strapping boards.

Strapping boards provide the frame…

Screw together strapping and attach to plywood with sheetrock screws.


Spray the liquid adhesive (preferably outside) to all four sides of the wood that will face out — and pat on the batting material.  Let dry for 24 hours.


While that’s drying, you can get your fabric ready.  Home fabric is typically 54″ wide.  So, if your windows are smaller than that, you can skip this step.  If they’re wider, you’ll need to match the fabric’s pattern on either side.  This just takes a careful eye and precise pinning.

It’s also handy to iron in the seam where you’ll be sewing, then trace that line with a pencil (on the underside of the fabric)…

…that helps provide a line to follow.

Hopefully, the end result is hard to spot!


Line the back of your fabric with inexpensive muslin.

That will provide a finished look and help prevent the cellulite-like bumps of the batting material from showing through.


Once your fabric is sewn and your valance frames are dry – it’s time for fun with staples!

Line the fabric/muslin seam up to the inside top of your frame.


Make sure the fabric’s pattern falls correctly and staple away!


We wanted our sides to not show a fold…


…so we put the fold on top and stapled accordingly

Use the long staples when stapling through the batting and strapping boards


Use the short staples when stapling the back of the front panel

 STEP 8:

This is it!  Time to hang your box valances!  We used L-brackets, measured, and leveled to make sure they were just right…

…put them in place… and…

You’re done!

Here’s how two of our finished box valances look in our kitchen.

 What do you think? Is this a doable DIY for your home?

About the author

Michelle Fortin

Michelle Fortin and her husband, Jason blog about their DIY home improvement adventures on their site, Making Our Dream. That’s where you’ll also hear more about her life as a part-time SAHM to Kenton (born 5/2011) and baby #2 – due to arrive in October 2012. In addition to being a wife and mom, Michelle also teaches broadcast journalism at Arizona State University, is actively involved in her local MOPS group, dabbles in photography, and is a self-confessed social media addict. Currently, she lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she and Jason bought their first home in 2009. It was a foreclosure that’s needed quite a bit of work!
If Michelle looks familiar, that may be because you remember her as Michelle Frey – when she anchored the weekend newscasts on NTV a few years ago. She also taught a few classes at UNK. The years she spent in central Nebraska produced some of the best memories and dearest friends a girl could ask for – which is why she’s thrilled to be a part of the Her View From Home team.

  • Austin

    What did you hang them on?

    • Austin

      Oops. I see where you said L-brackets. Do you think you could show a pic of them and how you used them?

  • Jackie

    I love the easiness. Before I attempt this project I have just 2 questions…1. The thickness of the plywood and 2. did you “attach” the box valance to the l brackets?

  • https://www.musingmomma.com Ellie C (Musing Momma)

    I can’t wait to give this a try! I don’t have a lot of experience with home DIY projects, but I definitely want to take a stab at this. I think a box valance will look great on our kitchen window and DIY is of cours going to much cheaper than buying one!

  • Kina

    We have wood pieces covered in fabric almost as a shelf on the wall. Would we build the valance to attach to this? I’m guessing the previous owner had valances, but left this mount on the wall. Just not sure what to do with it.