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How To Make A Shabby Chic Window Valance In Minutes

Shabby chic rag valance

After a particularly stressful day, sometimes I find myself in the mood for a little crafting. Emphasis on the “little” of course. ;-) Because while crafting can be very relaxing and therapeutic, it’s usually the OPPOSITE of those things if a project is too complicated! Luckily I have the perfect craft for such an occasion. It’s low-stress, straight forward, and has a BIG visual pay-off!

Shabby chic rag valance

I call it my Shabby Chic “Rag” Valance. It’s so easy that you don’t even need a pair of scissors to do it! Rather than using actual rags, I used pre-cut fabric strips from a “jelly roll.” I didn’t even know what a jelly roll was before doing this project, but it turns out that it’s simply a roll of 40 coordinated fabric strips in various colors and patterns (most often used in quilting projects.) Each fabric strip measures 2.5″ x 45″, which incidentally makes them ideal for making a valance. You can find jelly rolls at most fabric and craft store. (Ours came from Hobby Lobby.)

There are three simple steps to this project. Try not to get overwhelmed, okay? ;-)

Related: How To Solve A Major Kitchen Annoyance With One Easy DIY

Shabby chic rag valance

Shabby Chic Rag Valance

You’ll need: 

Shabby chic rag valance

Directions:

Step 1 – Lay Out Fabric

The colors and patterns in each jelly roll are designed to coordinate, but you might want to take a moment to lay out the strips in a particular order. The first time I did this project, I started tying the fabric strips on without really thinking about it. When I hung it up I realized I had put about 8 green strips next to each other and it looked a bit silly.

You don’t need to spend a lot of time deciding the order. Just try to make sure they’ll be evenly distributed when you start tying!

Shabby chic rag valance

Step 2 – Start Tying

Tie each fabric strip onto the rod with a single knot, ensuring that the ends hang evenly in the front and back. Repeat until done. (As a point of reference, we used 20 fabric strips, or half a roll, making the valance shown in the photos.)

Shabby chic rag valance

Step 3 – Hang It Up

Hang your valance over the intended window, and step back and admire your handiwork! I love the fresh and airy look of these rag valances. It’s an easy way to add a fun and cheerful splash to any room, especially during springtime!

And even though my “rag” valance isn’t made from actual rags, I’m sure it COULD be! You really could use any sort of fabric scraps you happen to have lying around. (But you could just as easily use this project as an excuse to buy all sorts of cute new jelly rolls. Your secret would be safe with me!) :-)

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • I did this a couple of years ago, and the funny part is, I used the same design & colors of strips that you show! Had a lot of compliments too (from different company/people using our bathroom). Have used a different color/design for the winter also. It was a fun project.

  • Fabulous idea for the little old house I’m renting temporarily as a (grown up) student, thanks! I bought a couple “jelly rolls” at Hobby Lobby yesterday but the edges of the fabric look a tiny bit frayed on each one – did you find that Jillee? And if so, did you trim them first? Ps – I love these colours, they’re perfect for my kitchen! But Hobby Lobby in Orem didn’t have much selection yesterday- I might try other fabric/quilting stores before I commit to using these jelly rolls…

  • I have an impossible pair of windows, one on each side of my front door, that are 6 feet tall and 7 inches wide. I have been looking for a way to cover them while still being able to look out to see who is there, and this may be the solution! Since I want to cover the windows, the fabric strips will have to be longer, so I can’t use a jelly roll. And there aren’t any 7″ curtain rods so specially cut dowels or even pieces of string or rope could work. But you have given me some ideas. Thanks for getting my creative juices going on this!

  • It reminds me of the play skirt I made for my grand daughter to swirl & twirl in-and wear over leggings. I just tied the stripes to elastic that was her waist size and voila a fun skirt!

  • Hi Jillee, I made one of these using stiff yarn rather than a rod. Using the yarn made it possible to unhook it, take it down and pop it in the wash. :)

  • This is so colourful and really would brighten up any room I really like the colours you have used they look fab great for spring and summer I am going to be doing this as I do like alot of light in my home and it sure looks funky Thank you so much for yet another great diy kind regards

  • This looks fabulous can’t wait to try.. I didn’t know what a jelly roll was either and I sew. I make covers out of 3 bath towels and the other side a twin sheet. I’m going to try this in my spare room. Thank you. Have a blessed day.

  • Where do you buy these jelly rolls? I think its a fantastic idea for a quick change out for a holiday season (Christmas, Easter, Halloween) Very fun and whimsical. I love making small changes to a room and this is as easy as buying new pillows for the sofa. Thanks for the idea.

    • Love the seasonal idea! You can get jelly rolls at all quilt shops and I’ve seen them (cheaper) at Wal-Mart too. JoAnns, Hobby Lobby and Michaels probably have them too.

    • About $20 – $30 depending where you get them and the quality of the fabric. Fabric lines change frequently and you can sometimes find last season’s on sale. Try online fabric sites too, and Etsy.com

  • This is absolutely adorable and now you have me thinking about my sewing room. When we moved here, they had the most hideous green drapes that I ripped down right away. I am totally doing this project to brighten up my room! Thank you Jillee! You rock!

  • I’ve seen a similar valance made out of scraps of ribbon and soft fluffy yarn. It was really pretty and eye catching. They used a tension rod in between doorways at this cute shop I visited. I loved it but I haven’t tried it yet.

  • I did a similar project using my big scarves. I hung a row of pretty hooks above the window trim and now have the scarves hanging there. The effect is the same except it’s not colored coordinated. And I can still wear them! Love all the bright colors and they blow gently in the breeze from the nearby a/c vent.

  • how would you clean them. Great idea and simple but washing them could be a problem as they haven’t any finished seams………………………………

  • Omg I can’t believe I haven’t seen this before!! So cute!! I’ve made a tutu out of jelly rolls for my daughters first birthday. Same idea just on a curtain rod!! Love it!!!

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