Curtains are expensive and usually end up being way too long for your windows. I recently bought some silk curtains from a thrift store for $2. They were too long so I decided to hem them. Also, my home office only had standard blinds and I wanted some valances to add a little style. I saw a few at the store, but they were pretty ugly and pricey. So, I decided to hem my curtains and use the excess material to make valances. If you don't need valances, you could also use that excess material to make some pillow covers to match. I will probably do that next time! If you can't find any decent curtains at a local thrift store, you can always buy them from a regular store. The price for the longest curtains is oftentimes the same price you'd pay for shorter ones - so buy the longest ones possible as you'll use that excess material to create some valances!
Note: You may notice in the images that the material is not the same in some of the images. This is just because I purchased some curtains on two separate occasions and altered them - and I wanted to show a variety of photos - so I've done this project twice so far!