How To Sew A Ruffled Valance Curtain


Sometimes you’re just looking for a simple valance to top off your window. You want it to be beautiful (of course) and you want it to be relatively easy and quick.

A Ruffled Valance may be exactly what you’re looking for.

This is also known as a balloon curtain. A rod pocket curtain, gathered on a rod with a ruffle along the bottom edge. Then evenly across the curtain are shade rings that you hook together to form the poufs.

Lined Ruffle Balloon Valance

Lined Ruffle Balloon Valance

You will need:

  • Fabric
  • Matching Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Shirring Tape (one cord or 2 cord)
  • Standard Curtain Rod
  • Shade Rings


Where do I put the rings?

Based on the width of your window treatment, you will decide how many poufs you would like. Maybe you want 4… Maybe you have wide window and want 8 poufs. There’s no wrong answer. So decide on how many poufs you want.


# of ring columns = # of poufs + 1

Cut Your Fabric

Cut width of fabric = Width of the installed curtain rod x 3
Cut length of fabric = Desired length of the valance + 18″ + (height of ruffle on top x 2) + 6″ + 1 1/2″
Cut width of ruffle = cut width of fabric x 1.5
Cut length of ruffle = (desired length of ruffle x 2) + 1″


You will likely need to piece your fabric to achieve the cut width dimension. Try to plan the seams where you are going to place your rings.

For best results for the ruffle, cut the fabric for the ruffle on the bias. If you don’t want to or don’t know how, then just cut strips like you normally would and piece to get to the desired cut width.

Ok… now that you have all of that cut, it’s time to sew it all together!

  1. Lay your valance fabric face down.
  2. Fold the side edges in 1″ and press. Fold the side edges in again and press. Sew the side edges with a straight stitch or blind hem stitch.
  3. Fold the bottom edge up 3″ and press. Fold it up again 3″ and press. Sew the bottom hem with a straight stitch or blind hem stitch.
  4. Overlock stitch the top raw edge or sew a zig-zag stitch over the raw edge.
  5. Measure up from the bottom hemmed edge the final valance length and mark with a pin. Measure up the desired height of the top ruffle + 1/4″ and mark. If you don’t want a top ruffle, then simply don’t measure past the pin.
  6. Fold the top edge down from the last pin place in the last step.
  7. If you planned on a ruffle, then measure down from the top folded edge the desired length of the ruffle and mark. Mark across the entire valance. Then sew a straight stitch along this marked line across your valance. This stitching line will rest on top of your curtain rod.
  8. To sew the rod pocket, sew about a 1/4″ up from the overlocked edge… across the valance.


Sew on the shade rings

  1. Measure up from the bottom edge 3″ and mark… 1″ in from each side edge. Measure across your fabric between the marks. Divide this measurement by the # of poufs you want. This will be how far apart the rings will be sewn.
  2. So, if my measurement between the 2 marks is 120″. And I want 4 poufs on my valance. Then I would divide 120 by 4. My rings will be 30″ apart.
  3. Now measure across your fabric the spacing measurement you came up with and mark… 3″ up from the bottom edge. Once you have your first of ring markings, you will then measure up from the marks 6″ and mark. Then another 6″ and mark. And then one more time. You will have a total of 4 rings in each ring column.
  4. Hand stitch a shade ring to each of these marks.


Sew the ruffle

  1. Press your seams flat on your pieced ruffle strip.
  2. Fold the side edges in 1/2″ and press. Fold them in again and press. Sew the side hems with a straight stitch.
  3. Fold the strip in half lengthwise and press.
  4. Lay your shirring tape along the top edge of the strip. Sew the shirring tape to the strip.
  5. Pull the cords on the tape to gather the fabric into a ruffle. Gather evenly until the ruffle is as wide as the fabric panel you have sewn for the valance.
  6. With the valance fabric laying right side up, lay ruffle on top of the fabric with the raw edge of the ruffle aligned with the bottom edge of the valance panel. Pin in several places. Sew the ruffle to the fabric with a 1/2″ seam.


Use some cord to tie the rings together in each ring column. This will create the poufs.

Slide the valance onto the curtain rod.

Doesn’t it look fantastic! You probably spent more time cutting your fabric than sewing. But the effort is worth it.

I love this window treatment because you can make a dozen mistakes and never see them once it’s up.

So, if you want a ruffled valance for your window, try this pattern.

Happy Sewing!

Jenny T.

1 Comment on How To Sew A Ruffled Valance Curtain

  1. Teresa Samson
    May 13, 2015 at 11:43 am (3 years ago)

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