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Ideas for Decorating with Window Toppers
by Jessica Ackerman

Window toppers are a popular decorating method, allowing for many different options when finishing a window. Because they can be combined with other window treatments, they offer a lot of flexibility as well as design impact. Window toppers are also generally a very economical window treatment as opposed to other curtain and drapery options.

Classic Valance Window Toppers

Valances are one of the most popular window topper treatments. These toppers can be used with or without curtains, and are sometimes used with mini blinds or even windows that are otherwise left bare. Valances can be plain and simplistic or quite elaborate, depending on the look you want to achieve.

Simple valances usually consist of a strip of fabric that is approximately twice as wide as the width of the window, with a pocket sewn in the top so that it can be hung from a curtain rod. However, more elaborate window treatments can also be achieved with valances, including those that include pockets that can be stuffed for a "pouf" appearance, or those which are made from luxurious fabrics and trim accents. When combined with other curtain treatments, the valance can either match the rest of the curtains or draperies, or it can contrast for an interesting look.

Beautiful Swag Window Toppers

Swags can be used to give a formal look to a room, and are generally combined with draperies in the living room, dining room or bedroom. Swags are generally made from the same fabric as the rest of the window's draperies, with the swag being folded and draped across the top of the window. Swags are also commonly combined with jabots on both sides of the window to blend the swag in with the rest of the window's drapery treatment. Swags are often finished in a formal fashion, and might include fringed or tasseled detailing for added visual interest.

Topping a Window with a Cornice

Cornices are a more tailored approach to topping a window. This style of window treatment consists of a cornice box, which can be made from wood or a synthetic material to reduce the overall weight. The cornice box is padded and covered in fabric, which is then hung at the top of the window. One of the advantages of a cornice is its ability to cover all of the other window hardware completely, giving a very nice finished look to the window. Cornice boxes can either be straight along the bottom edge, or include eye-catching curves to add a decorator touch.

Interesting Ideas for Custom Window Toppers

Although valances, swags and cornices are probably the most commonly used window topper treatments, there are also many other different effects you can create using your own design ideas. For example, long silk scarves can be draped across the top of a window for a beautiful flowing window treatment. Scarves can be used alone, or try combining them with other window treatments such as curtains or mini blinds. A lace shawl or a length of lace fabric also can be used to create a beautiful window topper, or try a garland of silk flowers.

Jessica Ackerman from, has spent over 25 years honing her skills in all areas of candle holder wall sconces paying special attention to carved wood art.

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