I recently bought a sewing machine and one of my first projects I conquered was making my own window valance. I loved being able to pick out my own fabric and create the look I wanted. Curtains and Window Valances can be crazy expensive so I decided to take a stab at it. Creating them yourself is easier than it looks and a great project for sewing beginners. I got my fabric at Manhattan Textiles in Milwaukee. http://www.manhattantextiles.com/
Measure the space you need your valance to fit. When you buy the fabric, make sure you leave yourself at least 2 feet of extra room width wise, and at least a foot length wise.
Once you have your fabric, begin by sewing seams on the side edges and the bottom edge of the fabric so it looks finished. You will not need to do this to the top. To sew the seams, simply turn the fabric over so you are looking at the back. Fold about 1/2 inch of the fabric over on each side and pin to hold. Sew a straight line on each side to secure the seam. Make sure you sew with the back of the fabric facing up. This step can be difficult when you are sewing the longer sides so make sure to pin the fabric to so it holds.
After you have cut off the extra fabric, flip the fabric back over. It should look like this image below.
Next, you will be sewing a space for the curtain rod to fit through. To Do this, place the fabric on the floor again, back side facing up. At the top, flip about 3-4 inches of fabric over and pin where the fabric lands on the back side of the fabric- make sure you pin and sew at the bottom of where the folded fabric hits, where I am pointing to in the picture below. This will ensure you have enough room to slip the rod through the valance. Sew a straight line where you pinned the fabric to span across the width of the valance.
Once you have completed this step, you are done with the sewing! Slip the curtain rod through the curtain or valance by simply pushing it through the top space you sewed for the rod. Because you left at least 2 feet of extra fabric width wise, you can scrunch the fabric together on the rod to create a pleating effect. Put your curtain rod up in its desired location and enjoy!