DIY Pleated Bed Skirt

**By the way, did you notice the new re-design?  And the new “kitchen” side to the blog?  Check back later today…..something yummy will be shared this afternoon!

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DIY Pleated Bed Skirt --- Make It and Love It

 

Have you been to the store lately, looking for a bed skirt?  I was shopping around for one last week, looking for one that would work in Connor’s room…..but you know, the options are pretty slim.  Especially for a bed skirt without ruffles.  But nope, there just isn’t much out there in the “reasonably-priced” area that would look cute in a boy’s room.  So, yep, I had to make my own.  (What was I thinking, by trying to take a shortcut and buy one?  Ha!)  And you know, these polka dot pleats turned out cuter than planned.  Oh, how I love that!

 

 

Once I told Connor I was making him a bed skirt, he hated the idea.  He immediately asked me, “why would I want to put a skirt on my bed?“  So, I had to explain it was just something to hide the box springs and the toys he shoved under his bed.  Hello?!?!  You’re totally gonna want one of these, kid!  He agreed but insisted that we call it “bed SHORTS”.  Okay, deal. :)

 

DIY Pleated Bed Skirt --- Make It and Love It

 

 

And you know, a plain and straight bed skirt would have worked fine…..but those pleats?  I love them.  They just turn a boring skirt into a really sharp one. 

 

DIY Pleated Bed Skirt --- Make It and Love It

 

 

I’m starting to re-think the ruffled bed skirts.  I may make a similar pleated one for our king size bed.  It’s just so clean and crisp.  And that makes me happy. :)

 

DIY Pleated Bed Skirt --- Make It and Love It

 

 

Ready to make one too?

 

Supplies:  (this is for a twin size bed, 14 inch skirt height)

  • 2 1/4 yard of very inexpensive cotton fabric (for the main rectangle piece of fabric, that sandwiches between the mattress and box spring)
  • 4 1/2 yards cotton fabric (for the pleated skirt section)
  • matching thread

*My fabric was about 43 inches wide, so it wasn’t quite wide enough to fit all 3 strips of fabric within that width (because my strips were 15.5 inches wide each…see below). However, if you found fabric that was wide enough, you could get away with purchasing less fabric.  A little math will be required to figure out how much less. :)

 

Okay, let’s get measuring.

 

A bed skirt fits under a mattress and right on top of a box springs, covering up the box springs on down to the floor. 

 

Begin by measuring the very top of your box springs.  I was covering a twin size box springs and came up with the dimensions below…38 x 74 inches.  Then add 1 1/2 inches to the length and 1 inch to the width (for seam allowances).  Cut out a piece of fabric to this dimension.  (I bought the cheapest piece of white cotton fabric I could find for this…..because it will only be sandwiched between the mattress and box springs.)bed skirt 1

 

 

Round off 2 corners at one end of your rectangle piece of fabric.  You could always leave these corners square but I think rounding them gives a better fit and helps keep the bed skirt from shifting as much.  (The curve of each corner should match the curve of the box screen corners….so use the box spring as a guide.)

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At the other end of your rectangle piece, fold over the raw edge a 1/2 inch, another 1/2 inch and then sew in place.  Iron flat.

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Now you should have a large rectangle piece with 2 corners rounded off at one end and the other end hemmed under.

bed skirt 2

 

 

Okay, so now it’s time to cut your fabric for the main portion of the bed skirt.  But first, a little math.

 

Return to your original diagram of your box spring dimensions (WITHOUT the added seam allowance measurements) and add marks to the middle of each long side, the 2 corners that are rounded, and then right in the middle of the short end (on the left).  This is where you will be placing your pleats.  And to save on fabric, I cut 3 long strips of fabric (one for each of the 3 sides of the bed skirt) and pieced them together.  You could always buy enough fabric to have one really long strip but once you piece them together, they will be hidden in the pleat, so you’ll never see it if you piece them together. But, you decide. :)

 

So, now you need to figure out how long each of those 3 strips of fabric need to be.  For each pleat, you’ll need an extra 12 inches of fabric.  So, add 74 inches (the length of one of your long sides), plus 12 inches (the pleat at the center of the long side), plus 6 inches (half of the pleat at the corner), plus 1 inch (the seam allowance at the right side that has to be turned under twice), plus 1/2 inch (the seam allowance when you add this strip to the next strip).  And that equals 93 1/2 inches.  And since the other side is identical, I needed 2 long strips that were both 93 1/2 inches.  Done.

bed skirt 3

 

 

Okay, onto the short end.  So, add 38 inches (the length of the short end), plus 12 inches (the pleat at the center of this end), plus 6 inches (half of the pleat at one corner), plus 6 inches (half of the pleat at the other corner), plus 1/2 inch, plus 1/2 inch (the seam allowances when you add this strip to other strips).  And that equals 63 inches.

bed skirt 4

 

 

Now, measure from the top of your box spring, down to the floor (everyone’s will be a little different, depending on your bed frame and box spring height….but mine measured 14 1/2 inches).  Then subtract 1/2 inch so that the skirt is slightly off the floor.  Then, add 1 inch for the bottom hem and then 1/2 inch for the top seam allowance, to add the skirt to the rectangle piece of fabric.  Sooooo……after all that, I knew I needed strips that were 15 1/2 inches tall. 

 

So, I cut 3 strips of fabric…..2 that were 93 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches…….and 1 strip that was 63 x 15 1/2 inches.

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Then, I sewed all three together in a long row, with the shorter piece in the middle of the two longer pieces.

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On the back side of seam where I connected the strips, I finished them off a little nicer, because I wanted them to lay nice and flat and pretty.  (More on seam finishes.)

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Then, along the very bottom edge of your super long strip, fold under your long edge 1/2 inch, another 1/2 inch, and then sew in place.  Iron flat.

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Then, at each short end, fold over 1/2 inch, another 1/2 inch, then sew in place.  Iron flat.  Now you have a really long strip of fabric with 3 sides that are hemmed nice and pretty.

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Now, along the raw edge of the fabric, measure in from one end, HALF of the length of your long side.  So, remember, my long side measures 74……so I measured in from one end 37 inches…..and then marked with a pin.

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That original pin from above, is the pin all the way to the left down below.  Measure to the right 6 inches from the original pin, add a pin, measure over another 6 inches, and add another pin.

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Then, bring the two outer pins towards the center pin, to create your pleat.  Make sure the raw edges are matched up evenly as well.

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Add more pins to secure the pleats in place.  This is the pleat for center of one of the long sides of your bed skirt.

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Then, starting from the other end, measure in 37 inches and repeat the steps from above……creating the pleat for the other long side of your bed skirt.

 

Then, at the 2 seams where you sewed your 3 strips together, add the pleats that will sit at both corners of your bed skirt.  However, measure out from the seam 6 inches in one direction and then 6 inches in the other direction, then bring those 2 pins in to meet that joining seam.

 

As for the pleat at the very middle of the short end, find the middle of this section of fabric and then measure out 6 inches in both directions.  Bring those outer pins in to the center one and pin your pleat in place.

 

So, now you have one long strip of fabric with 5 pleats in place.

 

Beginning at one end of your strip, match up the long raw edge with raw edge of your rectangle piece of fabric.  The two finished edges should match up (along the left side down below) and the raw edge (along the top).  Be sure the right sides of fabric are together and begin pinning the raw edges together.  Once you reach that first pleat, just leave all the pins from the pleat in place and pin it right to the rectangle piece of fabric.

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Continue on down until you reach the first rounded corner.  Place a pin right at the very center of that rounded corner.  Match up the center of the pleat with that pin.

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Pin very carefully around the counter of that rounded corner, placing the pins closer together to help the curve.  (If the pleated strip didn’t match up evenly, you may need to adjust your pleat.  Increase or decrease either this pleat on the corner or the other pleat along the long side, so that the fabric matching up evenly along the rectangle piece of fabric.  Most likely, the adjustment will be very minimal, but making a small adjustment will keep things smooth and flat.)

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From the other side, it will look something like this:

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Continue pinning the pleated strip around the rectangle piece, making adjustments to the pleats if needed.  Then sew the fabrics together along the raw edge, using a 1/2 seam allowance.  Then, either zig-zag or serge the raw edge, and trim the excess edges.  Open up and press the skirt down flat, away from the rectangle piece of fabric.

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Then, iron each pleat flat, making sure each flap is 3 inches wide.

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Place on your box spring and admire your work!!! :)

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Enjoy!

-Ashley

 

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Comments

48 Responses to “DIY Pleated Bed Skirt”
  1. 1
    Chelsey says:

    So simple and yet so time consuming! You did a great job on his bed shorts :)

  2. 2
    Jan says:

    LOL, bed shorts, I love it! I had great plans to make one of these for my bed, but I kinda forgot to do that tricky math part and I don’t have enough fabric!!! Yours turned out so great, at least I know how to measure and know what I need if I ever decide to try again. :)

  3. 3
    Kate says:

    So cute! I was trying to find a bed skirt for my bed and I realized I could very easily make them out of curtains! They are no-sew too!

    Read about it here: http://candidly-kate.blogspot.com/2014/04/tutorial-no-sew-bed-skirt-from-curtain.html

  4. 4
    Valerie B says:

    Hi Ashley–

    You did a VERY nice job on this tutorial. I have been sewing for over 35 years (made my daughter’s wedding dress over four years ago!) and I really appreciate you young women who are learning lots yourself and sharing your knowledge and skills with others. Don’t you LOVE how having skills like this expands your possibilities for your wardrobe and home?!! Keep up the good work!

    • 4.1
      Ashley says:

      Thanks Valerie, I really do have so much fun with this sewing thing. There really is something about it…..it’s kind of empowering to say, “meh, I could make that!” Now a wedding dress…..I have some years before that is needed, but what a treasure for your daughter! :)

      • 4.1.1
        Kristina Noall says:

        Oh my gosh, Ashley, you making a wedding dress…EPIC!
        P.S. Great tutorial, as usual. :)

  5. 5
    jo says:

    You make it look so easy – I think even I could do it! Thanks for yet another great tutorial!

  6. 6
    Stacey says:

    I bought a bedskirt that is this style at Target. Nice to know I can do it myself — so many more color and style options! Are you going to tell us about those neat book ledges??? Would love to know where you got them. Also, so excited to have your sis share her recipes!!!

  7. 7
    Kathy says:

    Excellent tutorial!!!!

  8. 8
    Melanie says:

    This looks awesome! If you make one for your long size bed would you post the measurements for that? I would love to make one for my bed too :]

    • 8.1
      Ashley says:

      Sure! But in the meantime, the directions would be exactly the same…..however, just substitute the length and and width measurements of your box springs with the measurements of the length and width measurements of the box springs up in that very first diagram. I tried to show every bit of math so that if someone wanted to make another size, you could just substitute. The pleats would be the same and you would need just as many.

      Hope that helps!
      Ashley

  9. 9
    Melanie says:

    That was suppose to be KING size bed haha my bad

  10. 10
    maggie says:

    I want to move next door to you and be the bestest neighbor ever to you!!!!!! Just to spend time watching you create!!!!!
    Love the tutorial……. seems so easy…. now to tackle the queen sized bed shorts :O)

    You Rock!!!!

  11. 11
    Louise says:

    Great job!
    I love your tutorials.

  12. 12
    Mindy says:

    I’ve been needing this tutorial! Thanks so much! Question — on your projects, what size bolt of fabric do you typically use? I see they sometimes come in 48″ widths up to 72″. Is there a standard size bolt you always use, unless otherwise noted?

    • 12.1
      Ashley says:

      Great question. The width of the polka dot fabric was 43 inches wide, so it wasn’t quite wide enough to fit all 3 strips of fabric within that width (because my strips were 15.5 inches wide each). However, if you found fabric that was wide enough, you could get away with purchasing less.

      Oh, and typically cotton fabric comes anywhere from 42-46 inches wide, depending on the manufacturer/print/etc. However, I more often see it about 43-44 inches wide. Specialty fabrics (felt, some polyesters, some knits) will sometimes come wider, up to 60-70 inches or so….but it’s not as common.

      Anyway, hope that helps!
      (And I’ll add that into my tutorial…thanks!)

  13. 13
    Donna says:

    Great tutorial. I bought some printed king size sheets and made a bed skirt similar to yours and then matching curtains. By using sheets, the side hems of the sheets became the hems for the bed skirt. I also used an old sheet for the material between the mattress and box springs. To get it the correct size for the bed, just put the old sheet on top of the box springs, add 1/2 inch to all sides, and then cut. The sheets have lots of material and since sheets are washable, they are perfect for a kids room.

    • 13.1
      Ashley says:

      Great idea! Especially using the existing seams. :)

    • 13.2
      Margaret says:

      You can also just use that fitted sheet and sew your shorts onto the sheet. That way, the shorts won’t move and will always stay in place. I will never think of a bed skirt the same way again!.

    • 13.3
      Carla says:

      You can also use a $4 white twin sheet from Walmart for the part that goes under the mattress! That is sometimes cheaper than the cheap fabric at the fabric store.

      • 13.3.1
        Donna says:

        Good idea with a fitted sheet as the base for keeping the shorts in place. I will cannot wait to use these tips on my next bedroom make over.

  14. 14
    Shantel says:

    Awesome tutorial as usual! Your tutorials are still the best in my opinion!

    • 14.1
      Ashley says:

      Awww, thanks Shantel! I’m glad they work well for you! I know everyone’s brain is wired a little differently, so it’s just a matter of trying to really spell it out for everyone to understand. Glad they make sense…because sometimes I wonder. Ha! :)

  15. 15
    Melanie says:

    I’ve always loved the look of a pleated bed skirt! My mom showed me how to make it so the seam is hidden off-centered in a pleat, the math is a little different but it looks really nice. She does high-end custom work, though, so it totally isn’t necessary and probably wouldn’t make a difference to most people! I really love the polka-dot print you used, it is fun but boy-ish too. Great tutorial Ashley, thanks!!

  16. 16
    Lynne says:

    I’m so glad to see this tutorial. I was going to send a request to you to do a bed skirt tutorial but with all that you have going on I thought that would be the last thing you’d want to do. I change my bedding seasonally and I always have a difficult time changing the bed skirt – our mattress is a tempur-pedic and very, very heavy and my husband refuses to help me with the bed skirt only once . Are there any adjustments to your bed skirt tutorial that would allow me to remove it easier? Thanks so much!

  17. 17
    Alice says:

    Thanks so much for this tutorial Ashley!! I’ve been wanting to make bed shorts for our queen sized bed, but was hating the idea of ruffles – and this gives me precisely what I need to feel confident in finally getting it done.
    I love your tutorials – they make me want to run away, and just sew, and nothing else! LOL

  18. 18
    Ingrid says:

    What a fabulous tutorial, Ashley. I love the fabric you chose for the bed shorts, too. I’m on the hunt this weekend for fabric for this project. Armed with a 60% coupon, I’m bound to come up with something. Your visuals are great, too. My only challenge will be the math :-D Thanks again. I’m inspired!

  19. 19
    Elizabeth says:

    Great tutorial! You make sewing possible for so many people and so many skill levels. I have made a few bed skirts over the years and found using a fitted sheet instead of a flat piece of material keeps the bed skirt from shifting and becoming uneven. I just put the fitted sheet on the box spring and draw a line at the edge where I am going to attach the skirt material. I never worry about straightening the bed skirt anymore, it stays in place no matter how much I move the top mattress around to put sheets on or pull it away from the wall to make the bed.

  20. 20
    Mickey says:

    Thanks for another great tutorial! I’ve only just started back sewing (after about 40 yrs lol) and I so enjoy you and your talent.

  21. 21

    Thanks for the tutorial Ashley! I can’t stop thinking now putting a bed skirt for my queen size bed! It just looks bad with the obvious view of the little boxes underneath at the moment.

  22. 22
    Anne says:

    Awesome!! I prefer clean lines to gathers, too. I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later today: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-pleated-bed-skirt/2014/05/07/
    –Anne

  23. 23
    Danielle S says:

    Oh my gosh I saw this just at the best time. I was thinking I have to go and get a new bedskirt for my son because the other one ripped. Now I can just make one. I’m so excited.

  24. 24
    Kathryn says:

    I love your tutorials, still a bit new to sewing, but your directions make everything easier! I want to make a bedskirt for my daughters day bed…what do I need to do differently? Also we don’t have a box spring for the bed, just a mattress, but that shouldn’t make a difference right?

    • 24.1
      Donna says:

      I made one for a day bed which had a trundle mattress/bed underneath and a metal spring platform supporting the day bed mattress. Since there were 4 fixed metal corners of the daybed which interfered with the bed skirt falling down gracefully, each bed skirt panel needed to have a side hem at the corners. Instead of one bed skirt panel with curves at the corners which went all the way around the rectangle, there were 3 separate panels (one long for the front and two for the sides) each sewn to the rectangle. I also had to space the panels about 1 inch apart (at the top) to allow for the bed frame. To make the base for the bed skirt, I placed an old sheet on the spring platform, used one of the hemmed side seams (of the sheet) at the back (wall side) of the platform, and added 1/2 inch to the front and sides of the spring platform. Then cut that material to make the base rectangle. Next follow Ashley’s directions for making the bed skirt with pleats, adjusting for width and length of each panel and then attach to the base rectangle. Ashley’s directions rock.

  25. 25
    Renee says:

    What a great tutorial for bed “shorts”! Haha I’m still chuckling. Reminds me so much of my son’s reaction to certain things.

    I used to have to order him a ” Boy Cheese Sandwich” because he used to think it was a ‘girl cheese’ instead of grilled cheese. Made a LOT of order takers laugh

    Thank you, this really is no nicely done. And I agree -reasonably priced indeed :)

  26. 26
    Molly says:

    This looks so great, I really want to do one for my bed! We have a memory foam mattress so we don’t use box springs, so I’m trying to think if it would be feasible to skip the cheap cotton that goes under the box springs and instead do a series of ribbons or something to just tie it into the bedframe? I’m not sure it would work but it might be an interesting option

  27. 27
    Allie says:

    Love this bed skirt tutorial! I also love the star blanket (it is hard to find boy decor that isn’t cheesy!), where did you find that :)

Notes and Comments