I’m really passionate about decorating our rental windows, since curtains, valances, cornices, shades, and other window treatments are one of the best ways to transform and personalize a bland space. For my sons’ shared bedroom, I wanted something sleek, modern, simple, and colorful on the windows; and boy, does today’s project deliver on all counts. This easy DIY wood valance project works with a variety of styles and can be easily assembled in an afternoon. Let me show you exactly how it comes together!

Blue and white child room with blue wooden valance on the window

Our Windows | Before & After

Below is one of the windows in my sons’ shared bedroom. With the furniture layout, long drapes on a curtain rod weren’t really an option. But thanks to the presence of vertical blinds (which I’ve choses not to remove for the time being) and nice chunky trim around the entire window, I knew I could get away with some sort of valance or cornice board just along the top.

Brown dresser with black writable vinyl dresser drawer labels made with a Cricut in a blue and white bedroom

I’ve made valances out of all sorts of things across our various rental homes (i.e., construction foam, foam core board, fabric), and I’ve had this simple slat version in my head for quite some time!

Blue and white child room with blue wood valance on the window

When we had just enough 1x4s leftover from the renter-friendly Board & Batten accent wall, I knew this was the perfect project to use it all up!

Blue and white child room with blue wooden valance on the window

Sure enough…with just three 8′ 1x4s, about 2 hours, and a little help from a friend…these wood valances were ready for hanging in no time!

Blue and white Super Hero bedroom with a blue wooden valance on the window

From the get go, I decided not to paint this room (mostly because of its size and the eye-popping mural on the opposite wall). But the room always felt a little off balance to me, especially with the saturated blue rug on the floor.

By putting bright blue valances on top of the windows, the room now feels so much more balanced and cohesive!

Blue and white child room with blue wooden valance on the window

One thing I can’t over-stress is how truly easy these wood valances are to make. Even if you have limited DIY skills, I promise this is one you can tackle!

Supplies Needed

If you’re ready to make a DIY wood window valance, here is what you’ll need.

Do You Have to Use a Kreg Jig?

As you’ll soon see, this specific wood valance design will use a Kreg Jig in order to create pocket holes, which allow the wood boards to be joined together, tightly, without any visible screws from the outside. Not only does the Kreg Jig make assembly really, truly easy. But it also means you won’t have to fill, plug, or patch any nail holes (saving even more time).

If you don’t have access to a Kreg Jig, you CAN still make this project by joining your boards with regular screws (from the outside) or small L-brackets (from the inside). If you use these alternative methods, I highly recommend still pre-drilling your holes to prevent the wood from splitting.

Video Tutorial

You can watch the DIY wood valance come together in this (very) short video tutorial! (Video not loading for you? Watch it HERE!)

How to Assemble a Wood Valance | Step-By-Step

Step 1 – Measure Your Window(s)

Before you shop for supplies, first measure your window(s) to figure out the dimensions of your wood valance (as this will dictate how much wood you need). The nice thing about this particular wood valance design is that you can easily customize it to your aesthetic preferences: 1 tall main board across the front, 3 skinnier boards (like mine), 4 even-skinnier boards, etc.

How wide and how tall of a valance you make is completely up to you. Our windows measure 40″ wide; and because of the art hanging above the beds, I didn’t want the side of the valance to extend too far past the thick window trim. You can refer to my specific measurements in my hand-drawn “plans” below.

Hand-drawn "plans" for wood valance window treatment

When you’re determining your dimensions, keep in mind that the valance returns (the boards that sit perpendicular to the valance and connect to the wall) should sit behind the front facing boards (as shown below) for a cleaner appearance. This means that your long front-facing board dimension will be your preferred finished dimension. (In my example: I wanted 42″ wide finished valances, so my front facing boards are 42″ wide).

White wood boards on a garage floor

Step 2 – Measure & Cut Valance Boards

Once you have your design and dimensions determined, you’ll need to cut down the long 1×4 wood boards.

Use a measuring tape and a carpenter square to identify the initial length of your first cut.

Megan measuring wood boards with a tape measure

Then use a miter saw (preferred), table saw, or circular saw to cut the board down to size.

(Whoa – didn’t see a miter saw on my personal DIY Tools list? Nope, we don’t have one. My friend does and agreed to help me with this project!)

Hands using a miter saw to cut down a long wooden board

To save time AND ensure that all your front-facing boards end up the exact same length, here is a trick: instead of measuring each board fresh, use that initial cut to mark your placement on each of the follow-on boards.

Using one cut board to measure the rest

Cut enough long boards for each of your valances. We were able to cut all six 42″ boards from three 8′ 1x4s.

(Wondering why some of my boards are grey and some are white? The grey ones are left over from our Board and Batten wall!)

3 trimmed down pieces of 1x4 wood boards

Next, cut down the needed length for your side pieces using the same methodology (cut one board, use it to measure the rest).

NOTE: Although my original plan was to make 11.5″ tall valances, we realized we were left with perfect 12″ cuts after cutting the two 42″ boards from the 96″ 1×4, so we just left the 12″ tall returns in tact and had slightly-larger gaps between each slat.

3 trimmed down pieces of 1x4 wood boards on a wooden work bench

In the end, you should have two vertical returns (short pieces) and 3 long front-facing boards for each window valance you are making.

Layout of cut down wood valance boards on a garage floor
Layout of cut down wood valance boards on a garage floor

Step 3 – Identify Pocket Hole Placement

The next step is to identify where to pre-drill the (6) pocket holes down the length of each return board. These locations mark where each of the long front-facing boards will attach to the return. I chose to place 2 holes/board, but you can choose differently based on your overall valance size and design.

Measurements drawn onto a 12" 1x4 wood board with a tape measure

In the photograph below, the white rectangles indicate where the 42″ front-facing boards will intersect the return board (top, bottom, and middle). I then measured 1/2″ in from each board’s edge.

Measurements drawn onto a 12" 1x4 wood board with a tape measure

Once you have the measurements identified, translate them to the rest of the return boards before proceeding, so you don’t have to re-measure every single time.

Pencil lines on 12" 1x4s to denote drill hole placement

Step 4 – Pre-Drill Pocket Holes

Next, use a Kreg Jig to pre-drill pocket holes at each interval you identified in the previous step.

Hands using a Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes in 1x4

Nope, I don’t own a Kreg Jig either, but my friend does; and now having seen how easy it is to use, it’s definitely going on my Christmas list!

Pocket holes in a white 1x4

Admittedly, pre-drilling 6 pocket holes down the length of each return can feel a bit tedious. But the holes make the final assembly step so quick-and-easy that they are definitely worth it!

Pocket holes in a white 1x4

Once the pocket holes are pre-drilled, they should perfectly line up with where you want the front-facing boards to attach.

Pocket holes in a white 1x4 next to three long boards
2 sets of wood window valances on a garage floor ready to be assembled

Step 5 – Screw Valance(s) Together

Most of the hard work (cutting, measuring, drilling) is now done and assembling the wood valance is just about screwing it all together.

If you used 1x4s, 1″ pocket hole screws will be long enough to join the boards without poking through the front. If you used different dimensions, pre-test your screws so you don’t accidentally puncture the front side of the valance.

Hands testing screw length on wood valance boards

To assemble the wood valance, simply line up the front-facing boards down the length of the return board, matching up the outside edges.

We found it easiest to secure the top and bottom boards to the return first…

Hands holding wood valance boards together

…then finish by positioning and securing the middle board.

Drilling in Kreg Jig screws into pocket holes on wooden valance

With all 12 screws in place (6/return), the wood valance is fully assembled into one large piece and will feel super sturdy!

Assembled wood valance on a garage floor

Step 6 – Paint Valance(s)

Even if you used pre-painted white 1x4s, you will likely still need to give them a coat of paint thanks to the raw edges along the sides.

So no matter what color you’re using, start by giving them a good wipe down with a wet microfiber rag in order to remove all the sawdust and debris.

Hands wiping down wood slats on wood valance

Because these window valances will hang up high, you will be able to see the undersides and edges from floor level. So start by painting the interior seams with an angled paint brush

Blue paint along seems between slats on wooden valance

…as well as the insides of the vertical returns.

Blue paint on the inside returns of wood valance

Then switch to a small foam roller (if desired) to finish the remaining fronts, sides, and edges until the valance is completely painted. Repeat with a second coat, as needed, for deeper, better coverage.

Hand using small roller to paint wood valance

Step 7 – Add Hanging Hardware

Last but not least, add some hanging hardware to the back edge of the vertical returns (once the valance is dry and you can flip it over).

I chose to use large D-rings because I had some on-hand; but these keyhole hangers are likely a better, sleeker solution.

D-ring on the back of wood valance

Step 8 – Hang Valance On Wall Around Window

To hang the wooden valance, identify the correct hole placements above/on top of the window, ensuring those placements match the hardware locations on the valance itself. Install screws with drywall anchors (unless you find studs) into the wall/window frame, then hook the valance hardware onto the protruding screws (just like you would a picture frame).

Wood valance hung on screws around window

And that’s it! Step back and check out your new and (hopefully) improved view!

Blue and white child room with blue wooden valance on the window

No doubt, I absolutely love the way these sleek, modern wood cornices look. But I’ve found, especially lately, that my overall satisfaction with a project is heavily influenced by how hard it was to achieve the final result.

Blue and white child room with modern blue wood valance on the window

From the initial design conception to stepping back and taking in the finished product, this wood valance project was absolutely seamless. The sizing, the assembly, the paint color, the installation…everything worked exactly as expected and without hiccups!

Blue and white child room with blue DIY wood valance on the window

This is the kind of project that makes you want to DIY! And since this one resulted in a great visual payoff without hardly any investment, I’d say it was a few hours very well spent indeed!

Blue and white child room with blue wooden valance on the window
Blue and white child room with blue wooden valances on the windows

Valances are such a great window treatment solution because they are often inexpensive, easy-to-install, and work with almost any furniture/art arrangement. If you haven’t been able to identify a valance solution thats right for your space, I can’t recommend this wood version enough. With the ability to customize the size, design, and color, it really is an easy and affordable way to elevate your windows, and ultimately, your entire room!

See You Soon!