Lina and Vi: Make It: Kitchen Rod Valence

Monday, November 16, 2015

Make It: Kitchen Rod Valence

I'm excited to share a new post for our Make It series today! I can't believe that the last post featuring the DIY burlap monogram flag was already back in July. Where is the time going?

Some of you may know that my husband and I are doing a bit of sprucing up in our kitchen right now. My husband is a woodworker hobbyist, and he just wrapped up making a new dining table for us. As part of that new item, I was feeling motivated to update some of the other decor related items in the kitchen, including the valence that hangs above our kitchen sink. The existing valence was the same black and yellow plaid Waverly print that was used throughout the house before I came along. This was the last one hanging, and I knew that I wanted to update the fabric to something not so dark. 

I'm here to share my DIY on making a new kitchen valence to fit a 3 inch flat rod. One of the difficulties in purchasing window treatments in our house is trying to find curtains that can fit this wide of a rod. As a result, this isn't the first time I sewed a valence for our home. A little over a year ago, I shared this valence that I created for our smaller bathroom using two contrasting fabrics. It still is in great shape today!

I would describe the skill level on this project as intermediate but I do feel that someone who has had some experience sewing and is looking to further learn would find this project fairly easy to work through. This is a rewarding project as the final product is visible every time you walk into your room!


One long strip of fabric of your choosing
One narrower strip of scrap fabric for the rod hole
Sewing Gauge, Yardstick, or Measuring Tape
Tailor's chalk
Coordinating thread


1. Begin by cutting the main fabric to the desired length. Again, this will depend upon how wide your window is and how long you want the valence to drape down the top of the window. Leave at least a half inch seam allowance on all sides.

2. Next cut the scrap fabric to the same length as your main fabric. The width of the fabric should be 6 inches. This will leave enough give for a 3 inch rod to be inserted.

3. Hem the two short sides of the main fabric piece as shown above. I used varying seam allowance in my case as I just wanted to conceal the manufacturing information on the selvedge. Your hem can be as thick or thin as desired.

4. Next, hem one long side of the main fabric piece. I used a half inch seam allowance for the bottom as I was running low on the striped fabric. Use the gauge as a guide like I have done in the photo above and pin as you go to secure a straight hem.  Iron flat to crease the fold. Only hem one side – not both. We'll get to the other side in a moment.

5. Once the hem is set, we will start making the rod pocket. On the right side of the large fabric piece, pin the smaller scrap fabric strip to the top un-hemmed long edge like I have done above. The main fabric piece should have its right side facing you. Match the raw edges and pin them together. Sew along the edge to secure the two fabrics.

6. Here's the key step to finishing the second long side of the valence! Flip the scrap fabric piece up and behind the main fabric. You should have the right side of the main fabric facing you and the scrap fabric completely hidden under the main fabric. Top stitch just below the fold along the long side of the main fabric piece to secure the scrap fabric to the back of the valence. The photo above shows the back view of the valence at this point.

7. Now flip the main fabric piece right side down so that you are looking at the scrap fabric. Using a yard stick (or your rod as I have done above), measure 2 inches from the top of the valence or smaller/larger, depending how much of the valence you want above the rod. Draw a straight line the length of the valence on the scrap fabric using the tailor's chalk. Pin to secure the layers together.

8. Now measure 5 and a half inches from the top of the valence and draw a line using the chalk.  Pin to secure the layers. This will create the 3 inch pocket to slide the rod through with an extra half inch for give. Sew a straight stitch on both lines now drawn on the scrap fabric.

9. Iron to remove any creases. Trim threads. Slowly and carefully thread the window rod into the pocket valence.

I was able to use some leftover fabric I had purchased for a custom order of our burlap flatware holders. I wish I had more fabric because now I want to sew a few placements for the new table using the same fabric. Unfortunately, it doesn't measure out correctly but I'm hoping to find something that will match this striped fabric. With a new rug and some shelf organizing, our same old kitchen will have a bit of a facelift while still displaying our love of DIY in our home.

The best gifts are always handmade. I love how this brightens our kitchen and I hope you find this tutorial useful when considering sewing something similar for your home.



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