Saturday, June 19, 2010

Crib Bumper to Valence: A Tutorial

"God is something so simple: always to live for others, never to seek one’s own advantage." (Dag Hammarskjöld, Markings)

I'm pretty excited about the valences I just finished for our kids' room. I'm really trying to do this room on a budget, so I didn't want to spend anything on window treatments. But the dirty old off-white curtains left by the old owners were heavy and ugly. One night while lying in bed trying to get Sam to sleep, the idea came to me: to turn his old crib bumper into valences. (I also write some of my articles in my head while waiting for him to fall asleep!)

I already knew the fabric would match, since we were using the same paint color as his old nursery. The next day I measured the windows and the bumper and realized they would fix EXACTLY. Wow, meant to be! It was pretty simple. Here's how I did it:

First I removed the ties from the bottom of the bumper, using a seam ripper. (This is the other side of the bumper, a green gingham. The flip side is a green and white toile.)

Then I resewed those ties at the top, equidistant from the existing ties. 

It took me awhile to figure out how to fix the rough edges where I had cut the bumper to make it into two valences. Then I remembered that the crib set had come with a matching comforter, which we had never used. 

I got out the seam ripper again and removed some of the solid terrycloth binding from the comforter. Then I stitched it on the rough edges of the two valences. I did all this by hand. The stitches were easily hidden in the terrycloth fabric.

Voila! I tied the valences on to the curtain rods from our old bedroom in the condo. The windows now look great--with a new coat of white paint (Vaspar's glossy latex, which I have to say is better than my beloved Benjamin Moore, just as the paint store guy said) and new vinyl shades. I considered getting nice, insulating cellular blinds, but they were just too expensive--and we have five individual windows in this bedroom (a group of three, and a group of two--hence, to valences). Plus I'm assuming one of the kids will probably ruin these, and at $10 a pop, I won't be so mad. 

We're almost done with this room--just have to get the crown molding and baseboard, paint and install it, and strip and stain the doors. I'm finishing the radiator cover tomorrow. 

**Hopefully no one notices that on the smaller valence, the toile pattern is upside down. I could remove all those ties and put them on the right side, but I'm too lazy!


Di said...

What a great idea! I can't wait to see the finished room!

Sarah and Jack said...

This is quite clever Heidi!

And, FWIW, Jack regularly ruins his window blinds, so I wouldn't spend any $$ on fancy ones yet either.

Heidi said...

SO clever! And I would never have notice that the one is upside down until you pointed it out. :)

roseylittlethings said...

very clever!!

Rebecca said...

Heidi, I love this idea! A clever way to reuse! Would you mind if I featured it as a "Trash to Treasure" idea in my Examiner column? Let me know!