Project: Napkin valance

Monday was rainy, one of those glum, grey, stuck-in-the-house days. In an effort to keep my mood from being sucked into the vortex, I went looking for a project. Projects are my happy place, always. My first thought was birthday party decor, for my daughter’s 8th birthday on Saturday. Maybe a cloth garland like one of these.  My friend Molly made a great one from triangles of bright cloth sewn together, and I’ve been meaning to make one for our home.  With ten kids, there’s always a reason to celebrate something.

As I was looking around for possible fabrics, I came across some lovely linen napkins that I bought at a yard sale last Saturday, and had an even easier idea.  What about folding the napkins into triangles and stringing them on brown twine with clothespins?  It would be a sweet garland.  Or better yet, how about a valance over the kitchen window?

I folded the napkins diagonally and ironed them smooth.  Then I simply draped them over a piece of twine, overlapping the points of the napkins, and attached them with clothespins.  Any clothespin would have worked, but I had some fun ones that my kids decorated for me using scrapbook paper and Mod Podge.  I decided to add a button to each clothespin for just a little more interest.

Four napkins were enough to stretch across a four-foot wide window.  I screwed a couple of small cup-hooks into the wall, one on either side of the window, to which I attached the ends of the twine.  The valance ended up being really pretty, I think.   The whole project took me less than an hour, and required not one stitch of sewing.

It would be extremely easy to change the linens out for other colors at other times of the year.  I’m going to keep my eyes open at yard sales for napkins in other colors. I’m picturing red and blue for the 4th of July, orange and brown for Thanksgiving, and maybe burgundy and green at Christmas time.  What fun!  (Remember, you can click on any picture for an enlarged version!)

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  1. Very cute! I love all the yellows.

  2. This is really cute. I’m thinking alternatively that it would be very easy to just sew extra-large buttons right on, through all the layers, to hold it together and be decorative without the clothespins. As a person who doesn’t own a sewing machine, I love ideas that can be done this simply. Thanks– I’ll tuck this one away!

  3. Mary, I LOVE THIS! So so lovely.


  4. It’s adorable! And it involves two of my favorite words: No sew.

  5. Mary, I love this! It’s darling and the interchangeable nature of it is fabulous! I also love the “no sew” freedom! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  6. Adorable! I did a window treatment similar to this with some Longaberger napkins that matched my kitchen. I used a dowel rod instead of twine though and used black clippy curtain rings and a black curtain rod. The people that recently bought our house requested that we leave them!

  7. Christina says:

    Great idea!!

  8. This was a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

  9. This is brilliant. I have some lovely embroidered linen napkins I’ve never used that would make a great valance.

  10. I love this idea! I’ve done it with Longaberger napkins in my old kitchen too, above my sliding door. Unfortunately I haven’t put them up yet in my new house, although I have a place above my kitchen window for a couple. Also, with your clothespins and buttons idea, I can picture some in my laundry room. Super fun! Thanks for sharing all your ideas.

  11. You could use clean, unused burp cloths for a valance in a baby’s room, too!