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DIY Nasty Valance Makeover For Hospice Patient

Anyone who has visited a nursing home, hospice care or other such healthcare facility can see interior design in terms of style or creating a calm, soothing and peaceful environment is not a high priority.  But when you have a friend dying of cancer, learn below how ugly is not acceptable and we do a quick and easy valance makeover.Depressing colors of healthcare At the very least much healthcare decor is decades out of date and often sports a gruesome shade of green from the 1980’s  or  not-quite-denim blue paired with some sort of frothy peach or worse, the dreaded burgundy.

Gagging yet?  I do each time I enter one of these facilities.  Being in or visiting a healthcare facility is unhappy enough, the decor should contrast the emotional tugs not leave one more depressed than when they walked in the door.

Recently I had the opportunity to flip the bird to some ugly 1990’s era valances.

Nasty valanceMeet the quickie valance makeover/slipcover.  When change the existing valance isn’t an option the answer is, hide it.

DIY DRAPERY on an EXTREME BUDGET and FAST DIY Valance installedTWO  valances for $14.99!   No this is not a typo.  The cost of two 48″ x 17″ valances with a 6″ return cost all of $14.99.   In hospice, an end of life facility, spending a lot of money isn’t wise and time is not available. DIY Valance MaterialsMaterials List:

  • 8′ x 6″ x 1″ scrap wood board found in my stash
  • 1 polyester fabric shower curtain*
  • Stitch Witchery (iron-on fusing material)
  • clothing iron
  • staple gun
  • tapemeasure
  • 2 pieces of 48″ ish x 16″ ish pieces of white cotton chintz from my fabric/craft stash

Step 1 –  Measure the existing valance, ours were 48″.

Step 2 – Cut the board to size (we needed two 48″ lengths) and fabric.   Allow extra inch for seam allowance on 2 sides and extra 4″ in total length for return and corner pleats, 48″ + 12″ (6″ return on each end) + 6″.

Knowing the height (drop) you need to cover, add 1″ for overhang, 1″ to bottom for seam allowance plus 2-3″ at the top to attach to board.   DIY valanceStep 3 – Press 1/2″ on three sides (ignore the top) then 1/2″ again over on itself for seam.  Use  Stitch Witchery fuseable web if sewing isn’t your thing, to seal the seam on this second ironing, or pin & sew it. DIY Valance liningStep 4 – Because we had a dark valance to cover and our fabric was rather light we needed a lining.  No worries, just cut the fabric to fit across the inside of the face and using more Stitch Witchery, fuse it to the reverse side of the fabric.  Cut the bottom of the lining fabric about 1-2″ shorter than bottom seam on the valance fabric.  No need to fuse the whole piece just across the top and sides.  

Okay, I’ll confess even if it wasn’t needed, fabric window treatments (other than sheers) without lining is like nails on a chalkboardDIY Valance finishingStep 5 – Attaching to the board.  Mark and measure fabric for where the finished bottom needs to be, fold over 1/3 of excess top fabric, fold under  just shy of 1/3 again and staple across the length of the top stopping 2″ from each end.

Step 6 – For each corner fold corners of fabric as shown to make an box pleat.  Continue to staple top, finish each end turning in any excess fabric on itself.  This is much easier than it sounds.

Step 7 – Installation requires placing new valance over the top of existing nasty valance and 30 seconds later, the makeover is complete.

This is so easy and took just a few hours to complete and install.

*FABRIC   Though I have access to all kinds of fabric, we don’t the time to order it.  This blue and white horizontal stripe shower curtain was fast and cheap, plus goes with our modern beachy theme.

Frank and Diane Our dear friend, Diane, is at the end of her 8 year fight with what began as stage IV breast cancer and has since spread throughout her bones resulting in a new break and repair operation every few months.  Only in her early 60’s, she just moved into a hospice care facility, can no longer sit or get up and is a fraction physically of what she used to be.  But, Diane and her sunny disposition is still very much alive.

I wasn’t in the room for two minutes after she had moved from the hospital to hospice care, barely got a health update when she was spouting ideas on how she needs to redecorate the room.  “We’ve got to do something.  If I’m gonna be in here, I can’t look at this.”   She couldn’t raise her arm only her finger, “no peach, I hate peach.”  Any question on why we are friends?  Didn’t think so.

When the situation calls for it, I can DIY on a budget with the best of them.  You can to.  Interior makeover’s don’t require permanence only that we enhance the area for those who reside there, no matter how short there time may be.


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5 Responses to DIY Nasty Valance Makeover For Hospice Patient

  1. Taylor

    This is so awesome! What a thoughtful gesture and I’m sure it made her feel better.

  2. Thank you sweetie. No gesture, it was a command performance. Diane said we need to do something and not 10 minutes later we were like 10 year old girls chasing ideas. 🙂

  3. Lisa, This is fantastic that you could help your friend have a better surrounding and bring a smile to both of you!

  4. When a friend is in need it is nice to be able to help out in any way possible. The makeover looks lovely but the emotion and the effort is what stands out. Be strong through this difficult time.

  5. Neena, you are absolutely right… “any way possible” is all that matters right now. Thank you. 🙂

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