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Frame For An Extra Wide Awning Valance

The Awning Valance is a charming valance to bring a casual, outdoor feel into a family room or kitchen. Traditionally, awning valances are mounted on two standard white rods. The upper rod has a shallow projection, the lower rod a larger projection. The valance is cut and tailored to follow the projections of the rods. A problem presents itself, though, when the window is over 40" wide. The standard rods are not able to hold their shape without sagging. The lower rod is often below the window line and there is no place to mount a support for it.

In A SewWhat? News article, Susan Day designed an awning frame which was sturdy up to 72" wide. She used plywood to cut the shaped sides and 1x2 board for the top line. These pieces were glued and nailed together like a cornice. A rod was set in the front of the projection to support the lower half of the valance across the width of the window.

My problem was a window that was 125" wide. I needed to take Susan Day's valance frame and re-engineer it to be sturdy over a ten foot span.

I cut the shaped side from 1/2" plywood. One for each side.

I used a 1x2 across the top and turned a 1x4 on its side for a back brace 1/2 way down. This design served two purposes:

1. There was space for the angle irons. They could be mounted first, then the entire frame lifted and set on them for stability while screwing them in.

2. The middle brace sat on the top of the window casing, adding extra support to the entire frame.

Three support colums braced the top board and kept it firm.

The pieces were put together with wood glue and nails - the same method as for building a cornice box.

I spray painted the frame after it was assembled. That was a time-consuming process. You could brush paint your frame either white or the same color as the lining. When standing at the window under the frame, you want it to blend into the back of the treatment.

You could also cover all of the pieces with lining fabric before assembling.


The finished frame was sturdy enough for me to handle by myself. It was raining that day, so it had to be wrapped in plastic because it hung outside the van window.

I put the angle irons in place fist. Then carefully lifted the frame up and rested it on the angle irons. The lower board in the back sat on top of the window casing. The frame was relatively stabilized while I screwed in the first screw.

The valance was fabricated with velcro along the top edge. Once the frame was mounted in place, it was simple to hang the valance on the frame.

My one mistake? The valance should have been lined in blackout. The shadows from the framing were distracting to me.

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