When we moved into our apartment in September, the first thing I wanted to do was get rid of the vertical blinds. Every room had them. They make me think of 1970s offices—so ugly. The boy and I brainstormed many elaborate systems to replace them, but many months passed and we did nothing. Finally, a few weeks ago we made the bold move of taking down the individual blinds in the living room (leaving the track). We then hung those cheap temporary painters blinds (we splurged on the extra $2 for cloth ones over the paper). I had put them up in my last house and they are a fast, easy, cheap solution. But then the track was glaringly ugly looming over top of them. This weekend, I tackled covering the track and made a do-it-yourself valance. I had been saving all sorts of cardboard scraps with this in mind. I glued and taped together four layers of cardboard 6.25" wide and 110" long, making sure that the seams fell in different places on all layers (Sorry I didn't taken any pix of this part of the process — I was quite proud!) I then covered the cardboard with some leftover fabric I had (stapled onto the back). I made cardboard loops, stapled them to the back of the whole thing and then fastened those over the track. The pattern on the fabric covers any imperfections and voila! Cheap, recycled valance. Now I just have to work on the other rooms!