A photo would help Barbara.
The balances have ruffled cotton fabric on them - underneath they are beige metal - the cotton covers come off
Having trouble visualizing. Maybe the valances are OK. It might be the ruffled cotton valances under them that need to be changed.
Definitely ruffled cotton valances!
Am I understanding you to mean that you want to take the fabric off the valances without actually removing the metal framework of the valance, right? Then you want to use that metal framework for some new type of window treatment?
If so, it would be easier to visualize if you cut the fabric off of the valance (assuming the valance isn't easy to just lift off, remove the fabric panel, then pop the valance back on) so we could see what the framework looks like.
If it's just a metal bar on the top and one on the bottom, you could zigzag alternating colors of wide ribbon from top to bottom and back again, or any number of other things. If there's just a top rod, you'll just have to hang something from it.
@Barbara, is this what you are calling a metal valance?
If so that's called a Continental curtain rod.
I'd probably remove rod and valences and just go with the mini-slats for a streamlined look as ruffles just don't seem to suit the linear look. Otherwise, I'd do a tailored valence.
If you are interested in a tailored valance that would work with you continental rods, the Hidden Rod Pocket valances at blackbelthomedecor.com may solve your problem.