Valances have more uses than simply decorating windows or sitting, un-used, on closet shelves! Think lamps and pillows, too.
The lampshade on my bedroom reading lamp was stained and a little too contemporary for the Cottage-style look I wanted in that room.
Before valance addition, this lampshade had a visible water stain and the style is okay, but rather uninteresting.
I used this valance to add interest to a plain window for a few weeks after I moved in but as I decorated my new digs it was replaced and ended up un-used on a closet shelf.
Hmm...a stained, uninteresting shade and an unused valance...What to do?
The answer was to put them together to create something new and stylish!
Problem solved! The stain is covered up and the lampshade is now a more fitting addition to the sitting area of my bedroom. An unused valance too pretty to be stored in the closet is used in this cost-free decorating project.
I like the effect at night, too.
I cut away the thick cotton rod pocket at the top of the valance to reduce visible bulk on the lampshade. Then, I simply draped the valance around the shade, tucking, cutting, and pinning at the back, as needed for a good fit.
I also cut into the valance at the top of the shade to accommodate the Spider Fitter (the "spoked" metal part at the top of a lampshade) so that draped fabric wouldn't be in close contact with the light bulb. Snipping the fabric allowed it to lay neatly along the inside of the shade.
By snipping the fabric it now lays along the inside of the shade, not on top of the spider fitter. Safer and tidier.
Another use of unused valances are as dust covers for bed pillows, especially if you prefer a comforter on your bed rather than a bedspread that folds over the pillows.
The valance-dust covers keep pillowcases free of dust and lint between laundering. Valances will need to be at least 20-inches long (top to bottom) and 58-inches from side to side for a full-size bed, longer for queen and king. Two valances may be sewn together for bigger beds. Or, simply sew fabric to the needed dimensions to cover pillows, keeping the pillowcases dust- and pet hair-free.
For Spring and Summer a lace valance even over bedspread-covered pillows still adds a bit of light styling.
I usually prefer an informal style of bed covers for a "Cottage" or "Shabby Chic" look.
In Autumn or Winter I use a valance that adds a warmer, cozier look while still keeping my pillowcases clean so I can "lay me down to sleep" dust and sneeze-free.
It's fun and creative to come up with ideas to decorate your house and use something you already have in a new, frugal, and re-purposed manner.