How To: Make a Bed Skirt

Making a custom bed skirt isn’t hard {promise!} but there are several steps. Stick with me & I’ll walk you through it.

First, lets take a look at what we want to make. The final product:

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{I think knowing what the goal is helps in understanding the process.}

I made the bed skirt while visiting my parents. Mom’s got a great sewing set-up and we’re still living out of boxes. Our bed is the same size {queen} and height {14″} as the one in their guest room. Having a template made things super easy; pin, sew, fit, tweak, sew, etc.

For the sake of clarity, we’re going to call the panels left, middle, & right. ‘Height’ is the vertical dimension & ‘width’ is the horizontal dimension.

left middle right

I purchased 4.5 yards of fabric because I wanted enough for our headboard but 2.5 yards would have been plenty for just the skirt {using 54″ wide fabric).

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First, wash & dry your fabric. You don’t want things to shrink after you’ve spent an entire afternoon {ok ok…. DAY} making this thing. Pre-shrink people.

After I laundering, I laid it out on the box spring {a nice flat surface!} so I could cut out the piece for the headboard. The strip on the left is also the right height for the middle panel.

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You want enough height so the skirt hangs just above your carpet, 1/2″ for a hem & about 2-4″ to go over the top of the box spring {to be hidden under the mattress}. For me, 16-18″ high worked well.

first cuts

Then I cut the side pieces. 54″ wide fabric / 3 pieces = 18″ high each

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If I were to make this again, I would just use these 3 pieces for the bed skirt. It would save fabric & just be easier.

2nd cut

IRON EVERYTHING. Or iron it after you first take it out of the dryer. Either way, iron it.

I also ironed & pinned up the hem at this point.

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By pinning up the hem now, I was able to fit the bed skirt to the correct height without having to worry about hemming it later. Don’t sew it in though! Just pin.

Pin the panels around the box spring, wrong side out.

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Make sure it’s even at the bottom. I found sticking a pin through the edge of box spring kept things from slipping.

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Pin the corners together. Make sure the seams are evenly placed on both corners. You wouldn’t want one seam to be back closer to the headboard, while the other seam is firmly on the foot of the bed. Make sense?

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Then pin the top of the corners together {making a little corner pocket}.

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Time to sew.

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Sew up the seams where the left & right panels join to the middle panel.

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Be sure to flatten the ironed in hem before sewing up the edges. You want be able to fold up the hem after the side seams are sewn in.

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{At this point, you should serge the edges but I forgot.}

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After the sides are stitched together, sew the corners. {Again, serge the edges but I forgot. If you serge them, serge both separately, NOT together. You want to iron the seam open & flat with finished/serged edges.} You can cut off the excess that’s in the corners after you sew it. Just be sure to leave 1/4-1/2″ seam allowance.

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Sew the hem.

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Back up to the box spring. Right side out, pin it back on the box spring.

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Time to fill in the middle. I used a cheap old IKEA sheet I had lying around {I think it retailed for $1.99}. It’s a twin and almost the perfect size. Spread it out.

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Starting at one corner, pin the sheet to the top of the bed skirt, covering all your messy raw edges.

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Make sure that it’s ONLY pinned to the bed skirt, not to the box spring.

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On the left side, there was a good amount of extra. Just fold it under and pin. You’ll cut the excess off after you sew it together.

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There’s going to be extra at the top too but don’t worry about that yet.

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Starting about 5″ down from the top of the left side, top stitch all the way around. {You’ll see why you don’t start at the very top in a minute.}

Juki

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In the middle of the middle panel, I left a little slot for the cord to our heated mattress pad.

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Be sure to lock your stitches here by sewing backward & then forward again on the seam.

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Going around the corner is easiest if you leave the needle down & rotate the fabric around it.

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Stop sewing when you’re about 5″ away from the top of the right panel.

Fold the bed skirt in half, lining up the left & right panels at the bottom corners and smoothing it out to the top. The top edges of the right & left panels will probably be uneven. Fold them back so they’re even, iron & stitch ‘em up.

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{My mother would have serged these edges first but I didn’t. Sorry Mom.}

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Now that top edges of the left & right panels are hemmed, stitch them to the sheet just like you did everything else.

Remember that extra sheet you folded under on the left side?
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Serge {or cut} it off, so you don’t have so much extra in your way. Be sure to leave at least 1/4″ seam allowance on the back side. {Almost done. Promise!}

You will be left with a good amount of extra sheet hanging off the top. Spread the bed skirt flat out on the floor.

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Fold the excess sheet over. Iron {the crease helps to stop it from shifting around}. Sew.

sew here cut there

Serge edge to get rid of all that extra sheet.

AND YOU’RE DONE!!

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With the Heated Mattress Pad

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The cord cannot be trapped in between the mattress & box spring but I didn’t want it sticking out over the bed skirt either. The hole allows the plug to come through, plug into the pad, & still be completely hidden behind the skirt. The cord then goes under the bed & plugs into the headboard wall.

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You can see the plug under the sheet but it’s totally hidden with the duvet/comforter on. The cord is also completely undetectable behind the bed skirt.

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That’s a win.

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I know this was really {REALLY!} long but I tried to be as detailed as possible. I hope you find it coherent & helpful. If anything is unclear, let me know & I’ll explain it more.

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Happy sewing!

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30 Responses to How To: Make a Bed Skirt

  1. Sara says:

    This is a great tutorial, but I will never ever attempt this! haha

    It is beautiful though.

  2. Dad "A" says:

    I think I just came up with a project for my wonderful daughter (in-law) and I to work on next Spring… How about a custom cover for the backyard kitchen, Carrie? (I promise, no “serging” necessary).

  3. Kim says:

    This is very cool. You are quite talented. I did something similar to make a “kennel cover” for the dog crate. Although, my sewing skills are not very good so the seams are a little off. Oh well….

    I love the look of the bedskirt. Much nicer than most I see at the store. =) And the cord holder – brilliant. I’m totally envious.

  4. Carole Bellaver says:

    You really need your own home improvement show…..any connections with NBC????? You are awesome!!!!!!

  5. Jennifer says:

    very nice! now, how about a curtains tutorial next? :)

  6. katie says:

    i thought i had commented on this already but i guess not :-) great tutorial, this is exactly what i was thinking for our bed… but now i just need to decide! good point about the comforter being tucked in, i would never do that.

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  10. Amanda says:

    Can you e-mail me with any information about the fabric you bought?

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  12. Kmahajan21 says:

    WOW just wanted to thank you for the amazing effort you put in, not only in making the bed skirt, but in posting this as well! I’m totally inspired, and it’s all thanks to you! =)

  13. Danyel says:

    I have my bed up on risers, so my bed skirt doesn’t come near the floor. It’s been hard finding one that is long enough. I think I just found my solution. Now, if I can convince my mom to do it for me :-)

  14. Ngozi says:

    I really hate the ruffly dust skirts out there. This one is so nice and tailored looking, plus the fabric can be exactly how I want it. I can get a twin sheet at Goodwill for peanuts. Thanks for taking the time to share this with us! I’ve pinned your tufted upholstery tutorial on Pinterest and I plan on pinning this too. God bless you richly!

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  16. Nicola says:

    This is exactly what I’m looking for, and with great level of detail in the instructions. Thanks!

  17. Nicola says:

    Just made it! (Denim, Single Sized, extra tall box as it’s a trundle bed). I struggled with the corners and had to put an extra dart in each side (rounded base) but it’s covered by the mattress, so pretty forgiving. My fabric would have frayed, so zig-zagged it all – arduous but probably worth it when the inevitable time comes that it needs washing. Thanks so much for the detailed instructions – invaluable.

  18. mamalu says:

    I found this very useful especially allowing for the heated mattress pad cord to be hidden behind the bed skirt. My dilemna is allowing for a top sheet and a light down blanquet to tuck in under the mattress and doing the hospital corners so they are neat. Would you have a solution? I have always slept under a top sheet and have not gotten used to duvets.

  19. Marty says:

    I really enjoyed this but can you surge on a regular sewing machine?

  20. Marty says:

    Well, I forgot to say how great these instructions were – thanks!

  21. Stacy says:

    This is REALLY helpful. We have a raised 4-poster bed and I need atleast a 20-24″ drop! Thanks a bunch for providing!!

  22. Rabia says:

    Your instructions and pictures are so detailed! I have a project on my hands for the weekend. No more flimsy store bought bed-skirts for me!! Well, I hope so.

  23. Verona says:

    Everything is very open with a clear explanation of the challenges.
    It was really informative. Your site is extremely
    helpful. Thank you for sharing!

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