Nautical Bathtub Valance

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DIY easy shower valance


Over the past couple of weeks, I have been working on transforming my sons’ generic white bathroom into a yacht club loo.

My first order of business was to add some color. Choosing a paint color has never come easily to me, and paint stores truly overwhelm me.  As we all know, you can love a color on a paint chip but it can be a very different experience when brushed all over your walls. I wanted a nautical inspired bathroom so I found a lovely shade of navy that ended up looking fabulous against the white tiles (phew!).

My second project was to create a valance over the tub. Years ago, while searching for inspiration at model homes, I saw a valance and fell in love.  Five years later I am finally trying it out and I wanted to share my quick and easy nautical valance with you all.  I do want to share that I am in no way shape or form a seamstress. My sewing skills are mediocre at best, but since this was a simple rectangle design with three simple pleats, you don’t really need to be great on a sewing machine to end up with fabulous results. I also know that there are probably “proper’ ways of assembling a valance, however, I typically don’t follow the rules and just dive in.   So jump in, the water is fine and my nautical valance looks pretty darn good for a novice!

Things you will need to make your valance:  Measuring tape, fabric scissors, sewing pins, 2 x 1 piece of treated wood to hang valance on (same size as valance width), (2) elbow brackets, (3) wooden dowels (same size as valance), staple gun, fabric glue, fabric accent ribbon and approx. 2 yards of fabric (probably less).

Step One:

Measure, Measure, Measure!  I simply measured across the top of the shower, which was approximately 5 feet across.  You want extra fabric on each side of the measurement so you can have a nice straight hem.  I already had chosen my fabric so I ordered 1 3/4 yards to cover the length of my shower plus a bit extra for the right and left hem.  I also went to Home Depot and asked them to cut a 2 X 1-inch piece of pressure treated wood as well as three wooden dowels.  I also picked up 2 elbow brackets (in the hardware aisle), which I will use to secure the valance to the wood and ceiling.


Tools for Valance

Step Two:

As I mentioned earlier, I really don’t follow the rules and typically jump right in, so here we go…. I simply measured out the exact width of the shower, tucked the extra hem fabric over on right & left side and began pinning everything in place.  I also folded over about an inch on the bottom to create an even and finished look.  At this time I also measured out three equal pleats and pinned those in place.



(There are three pleats in this picture although it may be difficult to see them, as the fabric is dark)

Step Three:

Time to sew.  First, I stitched the bottom hem as that didn’t have any of the pleats and it was the easiest to manage.  Then I stitched each side hem, including the pleats.  Lastly, I stitched across each pleat (approx. 3/4 inches above the bottom of the pleat).  You will insert the wooden dowels into that area so you will want to leave one end open to insert the dowel.




Step Four:

I decided that I needed a little something else as I have the navy walls and the navy fabric so I wanted to add some red trim.  I didn’t want to sew it on so I just used fabric glue.  Such a simple, no sew solution.



Step Five:

Place the wood at the top of your valance (on the back side of your material).  Fold over the material and staple the material to the wooden taught.  Screw in the elbow bracket on each end of the wood.  You will then screw that elbow bracket into the wall of your shower placing the top of the wood flush against the top of the showers ceiling.



Here is the final product accentuated with a white shower curtain.  I still have to decorate their bath with some nautical accents, but I am really happy with how the valance has transformed their bathroom into a taller and more sophisticated room.




DIY easy shower valance

Thanks for stopping by~

terry name graphic



  1. Christina Bartz says

    Love, love, LOVE!
    And you do NOT give your sewing skills enough credit… just sayin’.

  2. Won’t those whimsical red stars look just awesome in there? Love the navy paint and the valance looks amazing.

  3. Your information is incredibly useful.

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