A dust ruffle or bed skirt is a very traditional dressing for your bed that covers the box spring and goes nearly to the floor. Bed skirts come in a huge range of styles, and you can purchase them or choose to take on a bed skirt DIY project to get a custom skirt that is the perfect fit, both size and style-wise. You don’t have to be experienced to sew a bed skirt either, and the whole project is straightforward, easy, and very doable for the most inexperienced sewist Below, you’ll find several options that help you try out a bed skirt DIY tutorial, and all of them are inexpensive and relatively quick to complete.
It can be difficult to find a bed skirt to fit your bed perfectly, so it’s usually easier and more cost-effective to make your own.
Sewing Your Own Bed Skirt DIY Tutorial
If you want to try sewing your bed skirt DIY project, this one is straight to the point. It does require a little measuring and sewing, but it’s not nearly as complex as a pleated design like we’ll go over later.
Step One – Measure Your Bed
First, you want to measure the length and width of your box spring, and you should also measure the distance from the floor to the top of the box spring. To sew your bed skirts, you’ll need to cut out two length-by-height panels for the bed skirt DIY project and one width-by-length panel to go over the top of your box spring.
- HappyDIYHome Tip: When you measure, make sure to add an inch to both the length and width measurements and add two inches to the height to have room for seam allowance. This will give you the measurements you need for your panels.
Step Two – Decide on How Full You Want Your Bed Skirt
If you want to make a flat paneled bed skirt because this is your first bed skirt DIY, you can simply use the measurements you have. To make a ruffled bed skirt, you’ll need to remember the fullness factor. Determine whether you want it to be two or three times fuller than a more traditional flat or smooth bed skirt. A fullness level of two is mildly full, and a fullness of three is very full. Multiply all of your length and width measurements for your panels but the amount of fullness you want. This will give you the dimensions you need to cut your fabric.
Step Three – Prepare Your Fabric
Wash and dry the fabric you’re going to use first to account for shrinkage. When it’s dry, iron the fabric so that it is wrinkle-free and flat. This will help ensure everything is even and accurate. Measure and mark the panels using a straight edge, ruler, and a fabric marker.
Step Four – Cut the Panels
When you finish cutting, you should have four panels in total. Three will be for the bed skirt itself and one for the main panel.
Step Five – Sew Your Hems
Press the bottom edge of your bed skirt DIY panels up ½-inch on the three pieces, making sure the wrong side is in to make a hem. Also, press the two length edges and one width edge of your main panel under ½-inch with the wrong side in. Using a straight stitch to sew the pressed edge will give you a very finished, clean look for your hem. This will also help prevent the bed skirt from fraying. If you’re using a thicker fabric like canvas for your bed skirt DIY, you’ll need to get a heavy needle with a ballpoint to easily sew through the fabric.
Step Six – Prepare the Gathered Panels (Ruffled Bed Skirt – Optional)
If you want your bed skirt to have flat or smooth sides, you don’t need to do anything else before you sew them onto the main piece of fabric. If you want to make a ruffled bed skirt, you’ll need to gather your panels before you sew them to the main panel. To create the gathered panels, you’ll:
- Get your sewing machine and set it to a zig-zag stitch, or set it on the longest available stitch length. You’ll stitch ½-inch from the top edge of the skirt paneling.
- Line up your crochet thread in the center of your presser foot. The goal is for the zig-zag stitch to enclose the crochet thread when you sew. Don’t sew your crochet thread into place yet because you’ll need to pull it through this chamber to create the gathered look.
- Sew along the length of your panel from end to end
- Pull your crochet thread from either end of your panel to gather the fabric until it reaches the width and length measurements for your bed.
- Adjust your gathers so they’re evenly spaced out.
- Sew a straight stitch along the gathered edge to hold the gathers in place to finish.
Step Seven – Sew Your Panels Together
Starting at the hem edge, you want to pin one vertical end of every lengthwise skirt panel you have to each vertical end of the widthwise panel with the right sides facing together. Leave ½-inch for seam allowance, and sew the panels along the two connecting vertical edges. When you finish, you’ll get one long bed skirt panel that goes the circumference of the bed without including the head end.
Step Eight – Attach the Main Panel to Your Skirt Panels
Put the main panel in place. You want it to cover the entire face of your box spring and allow it to drape over the unfinished top edge of your bed skirt paneling. Pin your main panel to the bed skirt panel, running around the perimeter. Sew along the main panel’s edge on all three sides that are edged by your skirt panel, using a straight stitch. Leave ½-inch seam allowance.
Step Nine – Finish Your Bed Skirt DIY Project
Once you get everything sewn into place, put your bed skirt over your box spring and check the fit. If everything lies where it should, you are finished. If not, you’ll have to go back and fix your mistakes.
Although you can sew your bed skirt DIY project by hand, it’s much easier and quicker to use a sewing machine, especially if you’re making a pleated one.
No-Sew Flat Sheet Bed Skirt DIY
This easy and quick tutorial will allow you to make a fast bed skirt without sewing anything using a flat sheet. You can do it in 30 minutes or less, and since sheets usually come in a set, you most likely have a closet of flat sheets that are just collecting dust. They’re perfect for making your bed skirt DIY project.
But, if you don’t have a backlog of flat sheets on hand, you can still easily make your own bed skirt. There are many places where you can get flat sheets that are fairly affordable. You also won’t have to cut the sheet.
- 1 flat sheet
- Upholstery twist pins
The first thing you do is drape the sheet over your box spring or bed platform or bed frame below your mattress. For a twin bed, you can use a twin flat sheet and get a perfect fit. But, if your bed is on the higher side, you may need to size up a bit to get the correct length.
Adjust your flat sheet so that the edges brush the floor on the visible sides of the bed. For this example, we’ll say that the bottom side of your bed isn’t against the wall. If you have a lot of fabric left, you can fold it on top of the box spring where your mattress will cover it nicely.
Once you get your sheet situated, use upholstery pins to secure your sheet on top of the box spring, an inch or so from the edge. Generally, you’ll place a pin every foot or so along the edges of the box spring to secure everything. This is also great for anchoring your bed skirt DIY project if you’re moving the mattress around to change your fitted sheet out later.
When you get to the corners, you’ll pull all of your extra fabric to the corner straight across one side. Use two pins to secure the fabric in place. The goal is for the extra fabric to smoothly fall over your pinned area. If you have any spare fabric pooling, you’ll fold it under your bed skirt and pin it to the box spring out of sight. Finally, if you want it to look slightly more tailored and smooth, you can iron it over the seam to get a nice crease.
Repeat the last process we outlined for the other corners that are visible. For the corners that are hidden by your wall, all you have to do is pin the extra fabric out of sight between your wall and box spring. The whole process shouldn’t take more than 20 to 30 minutes, even if it seems complicated at first glance. You’ll end up with a custom bed skirt that fits your bed perfectly.
If you can’t or don’t sew or have a sewing machine, you can use this bed skirt DIY project to make one without having to sew.
Pleated Twin Bed Skirt DIY Project
Have you ever gone to the store with the intention of buying a bed skirt but you couldn’t find the fit or style you wanted? Some of your options are very slim in this department, and it’s relatively easy to make one to your exact specifications. This is especially true if you’re looking for a bed skirt without any ruffles or that won’t break your budget, especially if you’re after a more masculine look. You can use any fabric for it, but thinner choices are usually much easier to work with, unless you have a larger needle on-hand. To create this project for a twin-sized bed, you’ll need:
- 2 1/4 yards of very inexpensive cotton fabric (main rectangle piece of fabric)
- 4 1/2 yards cotton fabric (pleated skirt section)
- Matching thread
Generally, a bed skirt will fit under the mattress and right on top of the box springs, covering the box spring and lightly brushing the floor.
Start the project by measuring the top of your box spring. For this example, we have a twin-sized box spring, and it ended up coming up to 38-inches by 74-inches. Then, we added 1 ½-inches to the length measurements and an inch to the width measurements to allow for the seam. Cut your inexpensive cotton fabric for this dimension. You can get cheap cotton material for this portion since you won’t actually see it, and it’ll get sandwiched between the box spring and your mattress when you finish.
Round off two corners at one end of the rectangular piece of fabric you just cut out. You can leave these corners square too, but rounding them off can give you a better fit and helps to keep the bed skirt from shifting around as much. You want each corner’s curve to match the box spring corner curves, so you can actually use your box spring as a guide. At the other end of the rectangle, you’ll fold over the raw edge ½-inch, then another ½-inch, then you’ll sew it in place and iron it flat. This should give you a large rectangular piece with two ends hemmed under and the other two corners rounded off at the other end.
Now, you’ll carefully cut the fabric that will eventually make up the main part of your bed skirt DIY project. First, you have to do a little math. Go and get your original box spring dimensions without the added seam allowance you put on later, and add marks to the middle of each of the long sides, right in the middle of the short end, and on the two rounded corners. This is where the pleats will eventually go. To save on fabric, you can cut three long strips of fabric, one for each of your three sides of your bed skirt, and piece them together. You can also always purchase enough fabric that you create one really long strip to fit around the bed, but this can be hard to work with. Besides, when you piece the three shorter ones together, they’ll get hidden by the pleat, so you’ll never see it.
Now, you’ll have to do some math and figure out how long you need to make each of the three strips of fabric. For each pleat, you’ll need 12 more inches of fabric, so we added 74-inches plus 12-inches. 74-inches is the length of one of your long sides in the original measurements, and then you add 12 inches for the peat at the center of your long side, plus 6 inches for half of a pleat in the corner, plus an inch for seam allowance that you’ll turn under twice at the right side, plus a ½-inch seam allowance you need to add this strip to the next one. In total, you’ll get 93 ½-inches, and you’ll need two long strips that are this length for both sides.
So, now that you have those measurements, it’s time to get them for the short end. The length of the short end in your original measurements was 38-inches, so you’ll add 6 inches of half of the pleat in one corner, another 6 inches for the pleat in the second corner, 12-inches for the pleat at the center of the end, plus ½-inch and ½-inch for seam allowance, and this works out to 63-inches.
Next, you’ll measure from the top of the box spring down to the floor. This measurement will be a little different for everyone, depending on the box spring and bed frame height, as well as the type of bed you have. Ours measured 14 ½-inches, and we subtracted ½-inch so that the skirt isn’t sitting right on the floor. Then, you’ll add an inch for the bottom hem and ½-inch for the top seam allowance before attaching it to the rectangle piece of fabric you cut out at the start of the bed skirt DIY project. So, your strips will be 15 ½-inches tall. Cut three strips of fabric, with two of them being 93 ½-inches long and 15 ½-inches wide, and one strip that is 63-inches long and 15 ½-inches wide.
As long as you’re careful with your measurements, you should be able to get a bed skirt that fits nicely and doesn’t pool on the floor.
Once everything is measured and cut, you can sew all three panels together in a long row, and the shorter piece should be in the middle of the two longer ones. Then, on the bottom end of the long strip, you’ll fold the long edge ½ inch, then another ½ inch before sewing it in place and ironing it flat. Then, go to the shorter end and fold it over ½ inch, then another ½ inch and sew it into place before ironing it flat. Now, you’ll get an extra-long piece of fabric that has three sides with very crisp, flat hems.
Now you’ll go to the raw fabric edge and measure in from one end to half of the length of your long side. So, the long side measures 74-inches in this scenario, so half is roughly 37-inches. Mark this spot with a pin. This will secure it while you measure to the right six inches from this original pin and add a pin. Measure over another six inches and add another pin. Once you do, you should bring the two outer pins toward the center pin to create your pleats. You want the raw edges to evenly match up while you do this. Add more pins to secure all of your pleats. This one is the pleat for the center of one of the longer sides of your bed skirt. Next, start at the other end, and measure 37-inches in before repeating the pinning steps you used for the other side. This will give you a pleat on the other side of the bed skirt.
Once you get everything pinned, you want to find where you sewed the two seams where all three of your strips joined. Add pleats that will sit at both corners of the bed skirt. However, you want to measure out six inches from the seam in one direction and then go six inches in the other direction before bringing those two pines to meet at the joining seam. When it comes to the pleat at the very middle of your short end, you’ll find the middle area in this fabric section and measure six inches in both directions before pinning it. Bring those pins into the center and pin the pleat in place.
So, if you did it correctly, you should now have a long strip of fabric that has five pleats in it. Starting at one end of your fabric strip, you want to match up the long raw edge with the raw edge of the rectangle piece of fabric you cut way back in the start of this tutorial. The two finished edges should match up nicely along the left side and below, and the raw edge should be at the top. Double-check and make sure that the right sides of your fabric are together and start pinning everything. When you hit the first pleat you made, leave all of the pins from the pleat in place and pin it to your rectangular piece of fabric. Keep working down until you hit the first rounded corner. When you do, put a pin right in the center of your rounded corner, match up your pleat’s center with the pin.
Very carefully, pin around the counter of the rounded corner, putting the pins slightly closer together as it curves. If the pleated strip didn’t nicely match up, you’ll have to adjust it to get a uniform look. Decrease or increase this pleat or on the corner, or you can also adjust any pleat on the long side so that the fabric matches up evenly all along the rectangular piece of fabric. More than likely, you’ll have very minimal adjustments to worry about, but a minimal adjustment can be the difference between a flat and smooth finished look and an uneven one.
Keep pinning your pleated strip around the rectangular piece of fabric, making adjustments to your pleats as you run into problems. Then, you’ll sew the fabric together along the raw edge, making sure to use a ½-inch seam allowance. Then serge or zig-zag the raw edge of the bed skirt DIY project, and trim any excess on the edges. Open the bed skirt up and press it down flat, away from your rectangular piece of fabric. Then, carefully iron each pleat so it’s flat, and make sure that the flaps are each three inches wide. Put your new bed skirt on top of your box spring, adjust it as needed, and step back to admire it.
Even though they sound complicated at first, bed skirt DIY projects are usually very straightforward and simple. They allow you to create a completely custom bed skirt that matches your style and bed size without any issues, and they can save you some money at the same time.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.