Are you looking for a way to spice up your RV window valances without dropping a ton of cash? Then I have a solution for you and it doesn’t require you to learn how to re-upholster or sew anything. Winning!
When we got our RV we bought it with the intention of becoming a full-time RV family so I knew it had to look and feel like home.
Now I’m no home decorator and I’m not very crafty. I don’t have an eye for design and I hate anything that has to do with spending a ton of money.
Are you catching my drift?
So when I started researching ways to re-cover or decorate the ugly RV window valances I knew it had to be dummy proof and affordable, otherwise, it would never get done.
So off to the races I went or Pinterest that is.
When I couldn’t find what I wanted there I went to Amazon and started searching for valances only to find they wanted $18 a pop and I needed 5. Yikes! Why would I pay that much for cheap fabric that wasn’t even to the specs I needed.
So I texted a girlfriend who is into crafty stuff and asked her how hard it would be.
2 hours later we were in Hobby Lobby shopping for fabric and the rest is history.
So do you want to know how to accomplish this on your own? Let’s dive in.
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Re-Cover RV Window Valances
Just like any of my other to-do posts like this I want to preface this by including a list of items you will need.
- Heat N Bond tape
- Rotary knife
- Large ruler
Measuring For Fabric
Before you head to the store and buy your fabric…
Make sure you measure your valance boxes lengthwise. I added an extra inch on the measurements I took for my own peace of mind.
Then you will measure from the top of the box to where you want the valances to hang. This will vary based on a number of things.
For us, our valances with the sides removed left a hole where you could see the blind mount assembly. To cover the front and sides of the box we measured our width to be 10 inches and I added an extra inch here as well.
Don’t forget to factor in the sides of your valance boxes here! I forgot this part and some of my valances are a tad short. You will also multiply your final length by 1.5 so you can make ruffles.
Don’t worry about the math… I have an example for you.
Getting Started – Picking Your Fabric
This is where the fun part begins. You will need to go fabric shopping. I went to Hobby Lobby and they had more than enough options to choose from. I was like a kid in a candy store.
Let me let you in on a secret… I chose a number of options, put my most liked 2 options on the ends of the row and sent a picture to Nate.
Here is a picture of what I’m referring to. This can ensure you get your choice when you involve a spouse. My friend says it’s something to do with science… so I tried it and it worked.
Overall measurements: Length of box + length of box sides + 1 inch x 1.5 total length
Ex. 63 inches + 6 inches (sides) + 1 inch (extra for ironing) x 1.5 = 105 inches
Preparing Your Fabric
There are a few things you NEED to do with your fabric once you get it home. One thing most pros will tell you to do is to wash and dry it. I don’t do this… I know, rebel… but I don’t plan on washing my valances so I don’t see the point.
The reason to wash and dry your fabric is simple and that’s to pre-shrink it if it’s going to shrink at all.
I skip this step.
I do, however, iron my fabric. When it comes off of the bolt it’s wrapped and folded with all sorts of creases and you need to get rid of that.
Once you’ve got your fabric ironed you’re ready to cut it.
Cutting Your Fabric
Now that you’ve chosen your fabric and ironed it you’re ready to cut. This part is pretty simple. Figure out what direction your pattern goes if there is one; measure to your specs and cut.
I needed 5 panels of various lengths so I folded my fabric in half and cut my first set of panels.
My first cut was to the width I needed and my second and longest cut was to the length.
Once I had my cut pieces I ironed once more and prepped for the Heat N Bond tape.
And no you don’t need to climb on top of your table to cut fabric… unless you’re short like I am and your table comes up to your chin. (Don’t judge me.)
Applying Heat N Bond Tape
Now is when this whole process gets even better and you will truly be closer to re-covering those RV window valances. This is where they start to come to life.
Remember you cut your fabric with a bit of extra length and width. You did this because you need to fold your fabric selvage over and iron it down.
Read the directions on the tap packaging and compare to your type of fabric to know how long you should iron it on for. Mine was 8 seconds of ironing to get it to stick.
Roll your heat n bond tape out on the edge of the fabric. Apply the iron along the length of the tape with paper side up until you have each side done.
Do both of your lengths first, then your widths last.
I did one side at a time from start to finish with the tape.
Installing Your RV Window Valances
As much as I hate cutting and ironing fabric installing these RV valances were the most tedious part for me. I was in a cramped space that got hot quickly so I had to take frequent breaks. In fact, it took me 2 different days to get them all installed.
I used silver push pins with small heads to tack my valances to my valance boxes. Eventually I’d like to make this more permanent so the girls don’t tear them down or the pins don’t work their way out.
I found the middle of my valance and pinned that to the middle of my box. I then worked from the middle out so I could make sure each valance side had the same amount of fabric.
You can see what I’m talking about here plus a view of my ugly valance boxes.
Pinch your fabric and pin it in the direction of the ruffle. Keep doing this until you’ve completed the entire side.
I pinned the very edge of the RV valance straight to the box sans ruffle.
That’s it. You’ve done it! You have now recovered your RV window valances!
That wasn’t so hard now was it? Here are a few more pictures of my ugly boxes and beautiful valances.