Horizontal Pleat (Hobbled) Valance Tutorial

Did you have a nice weekend?  I hope it was wonderful!

I spent time out on the porch, fluffing freshly washed cushions for my newly painted metal chairs.  I’ll be sharing more porch decor projects soon, so stay tuned.

I promised you this tutorial a couple of weeks ago when I posted about the New Bedroom Draperies – Phase Three, so here is the how-to for making a horizontal pleat valance.  This small, simple valance took only about an hour to sew.

The "Hobbled" Horizontal Pleat Tutorial @ CurtainQueenCreates.com

The first step in any sewing project is the measuring and cutting.

The cut width is the finished width of your treatment (board width plus board depth added twice) plus 6″ for side hems.  The finished length of this treatment is 18″.  The cut length is 33″.

Door Valance

Cut a piece of lining 21″ long and the same width as the front fabric.

To sew the top fabric portion, begin by pressing a double 1.5″ side hem along each edge.  Sew the side seams by top-stitching or hem-stitching by hand or by machine.

Press the lining side hems at a double 1-3/4″ measurement and stitch each hem.  This will make the lining 1/2″ shorter at each side edge of the treatment.  There is no bottom hem needed for the lining.  (My lining was a room darkening type that does not ravel, so no side hems were necessary.)

Press a double 3″ hem along the bottom edge of your valance fabric.

Bottom Hem

Fold each corner into a diagonal to the under side of the hem and press.

Corner Fold

Before sewing the hem, lift the hem and place the lining along the hem line.  Sew the bottom hem.  Notice that the sides are left loose.  You’ll soon see why.

Attaching Lining at Hem Line

Since the lining is secured to the front fabric only at the bottom hem, we will sew across the valance for each section of hobbles.  The first stitch line is sewn 7.5″ from the bottom edge and will be hidden under the flop-over (my fancy term for hobble).  Pin to mark the locations along that horizontal line.

Measuring Valance

Place a yard stick over the pins and mark a line onto the lining with a washable sewing pencil.

Marking Stitch Line

Sew along the marked line across the valance.

First Stitch Row in Place

When you pull the lining away from the front fabric, this is what it looks like – with the first seam stitched.

Demonstrating Lining Underneath

The next horizontal section is actually “hobbled”, meaning it will have the droop or flop-over.

Measure 9″ up the valance from the stitch line on the front fabric and pin to mark the location.  Reverse the treatment and measure the lining 7.5″ from the stitch line and mark along that line.  Pin the front fabric 9″ marked line to the lining’s 7.5″ marked line.

Marking Lining Side of Valance

This is what it looks like from the front side.  (Please ignore the measurement on the tape shown in this picture.)

Second Horizontal Section

For the third section, measure 7.5″ from the stitch line on the valance fabric and mark with pins.  On the lining side, measure and mark a line that is 6″ from the stitch line below it.  You will pin the front fabric and lining together at these markings, but don’t sew them together.  This will actually be your board line for mounting.

Marking Board Line

Center your treatment on your board and staple one end of the treatment.

Stapling Valance to Board

Fold the corner neatly and continue stapling along the top of board across to the opposite end.  See how the pins are your guide for the board’s front edge?

Stapling Treatment

To finish everything nicely, press the raw edge under at the back edge of the board and staple across treatment every 5-6″.

Finishing Staples

To mount your board, flip to the under side and attach an L-bracket at each end.


You’re ready to hang your treatment.

Hanging Valance

When hanging a light-weight valance onto a metal door, I only attach it with one screw.  I detest holes in metal doors because it’s nearly impossible to seamlessly patch them later.

Hobbled Valance

I love to mount valances to boards because they are super-easy to hang.  Also, you can vacuum them easily without messing up the treatment (usually).

Do you like hanging valances on boards, or do you prefer rods?  How do you prefer to clean your window treatments?

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Metamorphosis Monday

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