Redecorating an RV Travel Trailer with DIY Valances
My son Jared and his wife, sold us their RV for a fraction of what its worth, so we can escape some of the long Canadian winters. So exciting, pinch me. It’s in really good shape but I want to glamour it up and make it more personal, and I love the soft cream colour on the interior walls. My first project is recovering the existing RV valances.
My original plan was to decorate the trailer in taupes, black and white with natural baskets. We were not able to find any nice valance material in those colours but I did find a multicoloured fabric with turquoise and yellow. It’s cheerful, modern, fresh, and perfect for the trailer.
Here is one of the original valances after Hubs took it down for me.
The trailer has a total of four valances in the front living area, they were different shapes and sizes but the process for each of them is the same.
Stripping the Original Valance Upholstery
I am pretty certain most RV valances are similar, made out of light wood with a layer of brocade style fabric, a very thin foam layer and a liner on the inside.
I thought the professionals who covered the original valances would have lots of slick tips and tricks, but the inside of ours was roughly cut material stapled hundreds of times until the fabric was tight. It was very basic so I am
Remove the layers of the original upholstery by removing the staples holding down each layer. Make sure to keep the material intact s you can use it as a pattern.
To remove the staples pry them upwards with a small flat screwdriver and then pull them out with needle nose pliers. This valance also had a round embellishment held on with four little screws. I removed the screws and discarded the round portion.
It took three hours to remove the staples from all four valances. Yours should not take that long as ours literally had hundreds of staples.
Adding Batting for the First Layer
The new fabric is a cotton and much thinner than the original brocade. To compensate I added a layer of quilt batting.
Use the old fabric as the pattern, cut around the existing fabric with an extra inch. The cotton batting was easy to work with as it is a bit stretchy. Starting in the middle staple every six inches or so, tightening the batting as you go, and trimming off the excess to keep it neat.
Once you reach the ends fold the fabric over the end to make sure it’s covered.
Then tuck in the corners. Make sure the batting material on the front of the valance is smooth, and the corners are neat. The edge doesn’t need to be turned in as it won’t fray.
Repeat on the other end.
Adding Fabric to Cover an RV Valance
If the original material from your valance is structured and neat you can use chalk to create the outline. My fabric was really jagged and hacked, so I used my fabric as a guideline for a rectangle and made sure it was two inches wider and longer than the existing fabric.
Repeat the same process that you used for the batting. Except fold in the edge of the fabric before stapling. Start at the middle, making sure the fabric pattern is the correct direction, work towards the ends on both sides.
I am hopeful that these pictures illustrate how to fold the corners. The only important thing to remember is which side is the front of your valance and it needs to be smooth. You can pull the fabric tight on the backside and add more staples as needed.
Once you reach the end, make sure that
- The bottom end of the valance is covered with fabric.
- Then you can fold the bottom outside corner so there is a crease.
- Wrap the ends over the top, staple snuggly and then trim.
You do the top corner basically the same way, but as it’s on the front here is a little more detail for you.
Once the fabric is pulled tight, staple it in place on the backside and trim if needed.
Adding the Liner
The front of your valance is now finished. The original valances had a liner on the inside portion, so I chose to replace it using some bits of leftover white fabric I had. I doubt anyone is ever going to look behind the valance to see if it’s lined, but as it cost me nothing I went ahead and lined the back.
Cut your fabric the same width as your valance with an extra inch for seams. Fold the top edge under and press leaving a crisp edge. Place this edge on one side of your RV valance and staple in place all the way along. Fold the other side under and staple into place. I used an iron to make the creases crisp but you certainly do not need to.
When you reach the ends, stuff the material behind into the corner and staple well.
Rehang all your valances in the same spots with the same hardware.
There are two more valances for the dining room area of the holiday trailer. The valances are done, but I am working on recovering the seats, so you will see the valances in photos once I post the seats.
We’re loving our summer so far, and I hope you’re having a good one too.