Swag Valances

Swags can be joined by jabots, cascades, and rosettes to create swag valances.

A swag is a piece of fabric that swoops or swags downward forming a u-shape. Rows of pleating or shirring go along in this smiley-shaped pattern creating an aesthetically pleasing decoration.

Let's look at the some swags styles and how they are used:

Board Mounted Swag


board mounted swag The board mounted swag like its name suggests is a swag thats mounted on a board. This swag is gently draped into approximately five to nine soft, graceful pleats. The amount of pleats used depends on the size of the swag. The top of the swag is straight (and does not dip downwards as some other swags might) so it covers the board completely.

The board mounted swag comes in three different varieties. Since the top of the swag is horizontal and pleats go in a u-shape there is an area of fabric in the center that remains flat. The syle of the swag is determined largely by the width of the center area in relation to the width of the whole swag.

  • The center area of the European Swag is half of the width of the swag creating a nice balanced look.
  • The pleats of the Queen Anne Swag fill up almost the whole swag leaving a very small center area.
  • The Stacked Swag has a very wide center area leaving the pleats to be stacked on narrow pleat allowances; hence the name Stacked Swag.

Here are some ideas how to create a swag valance with any of the three board mounted swags listed above:

  • Overlapping Swags: This valance is created with swags that overlap each other. An odd number of swags is usually used. The center swag is completely exposed and overlaps the edges of the swags on the two sides of it. And those swags overlap the next swags and so on. Two cascades frame the outside of the valance.

    To purchase a custom made overlapping swag valance click here.



  • Side-by-Side Swags: The swags on this valance are completely independent from each other. Jabots or rosette cover the place where the swags meet. Cascades can be added to the outer edge for a finishing touch.

Pole Swag


The Pole Swag is most commonly used with a decorative rod, but can also decorate a cornice. This swag consists of six to seven soft pleats and gracefully dips down and back up forming a look-thru space on the center top of the swag.

Here are some ideas for creating a swag valance with a pole swag:

  • Flip Pole Swags: Swags are draped across a decorative rod . Each swag overlaps the swag beside it. It is so designed that it appears as if the fabric is flipped over the rod to create the swag look. Two cascades on the the edges hang softly behind the rod.
  • Swag Cornice: In this cornice and swag combo the 'pole swags' are placed one beside the other on a flat cornice. A ideal solution if you can't choose between swag valance and cornice.

Drapery Swag


drapery swag

The drapery swag also known as a "necklace swag" is made of either pleating or gathering that ends in two points one on each side. The swag hangs from rings attached to these two points.

These swags are called drapery swags because they are very often placed in front of a drapery and attached to the same rod .

  • Drapery Swag Valance: Create a valance with drapery swags. Swags are hung with rings onto a decorative rod . The first ring of the second swag is placed before the second ring of the first swag causing the swags to overlap each other slightly. The two outermost swags are edged with a jabot on the outer edge.

Scarf Swag


arch drapery The Scarf Swag looks like it is made out of one long piece of fabric which is folded and draped to form a swag and tails. To maintain a neat look each swag is sewn separately but attached discreetly to simulate a real scarf.

The lighter and more airy look of the scarf swags make them more casual than the pleated ones.

  • Scarf Valance: A scarf valance can be created by attaching multiple scarf swags. Decorate the seam where the swags meet with rosettes or pull them through sconces. The window is framed with two scarves that reach down to the floor. The complete ensemble looks like it is made out of a extra long scarf yet it does not have to be adjusted constantly as a real scarf would.


For more pictures of swag valances click here.

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