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Re-Imagine Leftovers From Other Projects


Use the orginals as a template and stylize them.

I had two brocade valances over my double living room window. They were something I bought quickly and inexpensively several years ago. They were okay but not really what I wanted to go with the rest of my western-styled decor in my living room. I didn’t want to spend the price that western-styled valances cost so I put up with the ones I had. One day last week I got inspired. I looked in my drawers of leftovers from other projects. I pulled out two lengths of burlap from a wedding decoration, some four-inch-wide left-over turquoise burlap ribbon from my fireplace mantle décor, some two-inch tan burlap and lace ribbon left from another project, some leather string and conchos saved from an old western belt.


I took the original valances, laid the burlap on top pinning the tops together. I ran a line of pins on the burlap that followed the scalloped bottom edge of the valance. I pinned a second scalloped line one and one-quarter inches below that and cut the burlap on that line and on both ends to match the length of the original valances. I stitched a zig-zag edge on both ends of the burlap in a matching thread so it wouldn’t ravel then did a straight stitch line along my first pin line of the scalloped edge so I could fringe the bottom inch and a quarter and have a place where the fringe stopped and wouldn’t ravel more. Now I stitched the top of the burlap to the top of the valance using the top seam of the rod pocket as my guide. I fringed and trimmed the bottom of the burlap. My valances were complete so I hung them in the two windows.


Next, I measured the three scallops made by the combined valances across the two windows. I cut the turquoise burlap ribbon in three banners that could hang down the depth of the scallops plus one inch to fold over the top. I made the bottom tip of each banner into a point using a hot iron and iron-on hemming tape. They looked a little bit like a man’s dress tie. I cut the tan burlap and lace ribbon to a length that gave it an even turquoise border all the way around plus an inch to fold over the top of the valance and iron hemmed its bottom edge into a point as well. I centered the smaller ribbon onto the turquoise one and fastened them together with iron-on hemming tape. Now, I centered each combined banner so it hung down the middle of the three scallops, and folded them over the top and pinned them in place. I didn’t want to fasten them solidly so I could take them apart and wash them more easily in the future. The middle banner covered the gap between the two valances, making it look like one solid valance all the way across the two windows.


My last step was to cut my leather strings and slip them into the conchos. I didn’t have enough of one color so I used two strings in each concho, one deep tan, and one light tan. The combination was pretty. I ran the strings into the conchos so that I had a large four-inch loop sticking out the back of the concho. I slipped the banner into the loop and slid the concho up to the half-way point then tightened the loop by pulling the strings tailing down so as to slightly indent the sides of the turquoise banner and keep the concho from sliding back down. I knotted the tailing strings and I was finished! My valances are very rustic and western and fit well with my fireplace décor. I just love them and they didn’t cost me one penny.


Do you have a project that has been bothering you? Look around, maybe you can re-invent leftovers too!

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