5/14/12

tutorial: easy DIY bed skirt

When it comes to designing a room, one of my biggest challenges is finding what I want in stores without paying an arm and a leg. This weekend I went to about 4 stores looking for curtains and didn't find anything I liked. The same goes for bed skirts. They are all either too plain, too frilly, too lacy, or too long. It doesn't help that I had black and white stripes in mind for our bed skirt. You know where this is going. 

I made my own bed skirt - the cheater way.


I am loving the floral with the stripes. Of course I am still missing the obligatory mound of pillows, curtains, and wall art, but we are getting there. By the way, did you see my brass lamps I got at Goodwill? I bought them with the intent to paint them, but when I saw them in the room I loved them paired with my mid-century inspired side tables. While researching the best way to paint brass I read post after post of people reviewing the HORROR of brass and how ugly it is and outdated and did I mention UGLY? Well, I rather like brass. So there. There is more brass toned decor coming, so brass haters beware!

Onto the bed skirt. If you like to do things "right", you might not like my cheater's version of a bed skirt. For me, any way I can get out of being behind the sewing machine is the way to go. I don't like sewing and avoid it when I can. (Sorry.) There is some sewing involved here but only what I had to do to make it work. 


 I found the perfect striped fabric at a local quilting shop after a fruitless search of Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's. J's had zero black and white striped fabric (come back during Halloween, they said), and HL only had 1 kind and the stripes were teeny tiny, making the fabric look grey from far away. Off to the quilting shop I went, where I paid the full price $11.99/yd for this lovely goodness. Could I have paid less by searching on line and couponing and all that? Maybe, but when I have a project in my head I want it done five minutes ago. Patience is not my strong suit. In fact, I came home with this and had the bed skirt made in less than 2 hours. 

 Since the stripes ran vertically down the whole length of the 3 1/2 yards I bought, I had to tear the fabric into strips and sew it to make one long piece. To figure out how long my strips needed to be, I measured from the top of my box spring to the floor - 15". I then added a generous 2 inches for the hem and four inches to be pinned on top of the box spring (you'll see what I mean a little later). That works out to 21" strips. With me?


Now that I had all those strips, I had to match up the stripes and piece them all together into one looong piece of fabric. If you have a non-patterned fabric, you wouldn't need to do all the piecing. You'll just need one long piece of fabric to wrap around the bottom of your bed. 


Hem one side of your long piece of fabric. This is by far the best hem work I have ever done. Usually my hems are beyond terrible, but I had an easier time keeping things straight using the stripes as a guide. 

Now you have one very long, half-hemmed strip. That's all the sewing we are going to do.


I took the mattress off my bed and started laying down the strip at the front of my bed. The pretty hemmed edge will be hanging and the un-hemmed edge is what will get tucked under your mattress never to be seen again. After carefully laying out my fabric on the front of the bed, I secured it with safety pins. 


 I super cheated and didn't even fasten them. They are just wedged down into the box spring. Whatever material that covers my box spring is really thick and the pins stuck in there quite well. Place a pin every few inches. 


For the corners loosely drape and pin the fabric in the same way. Don't pull your fabric too tight or you won't be able to get things out from under the bed. 


Keep laying and pinning all the way around your bed. (You can see where I had one longer strip of fabric. I didn't bother to cut it because no one will ever know except for the hundreds (thousands?) of people I am telling right now.) 

Carefully move your mattress back onto your bed. Between the excessive pinning and the weight of the mattress, our bed skirt hasn't moved an inch. It fits perfectly and it is exactly what I wanted.





I am really trying to pace myself and wait for just the right inspiration, material, and ideas. So far, the major pieces of the room like the duvet, side tables, lamps, and bed skirt have come together perfectly. I would still like to DIY a headboard, curtains, and throw pillows, but I am really trying to live in the space and get a feel for what we really want before I make any decisions. Have a mentioned that I'm impatient? It's an internal battle of wills, but waiting to do things the right way always pays off in the end, so that's where we're at. The creative process is such a fun one!

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23 comments:

  1. I love the stripes! The bed skirt looks perfect with your duvet, I seriously want your whole bed! I like brass too :)

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    1. Good to know I am not alone in my love of brass :)

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  2. Oooh, I love it! I really need to make a bed skirt, too . . . this is the simplest one I've seen, so I think I'm gonna go for it. I've avoided making one because most tutorials seem like WAY too much work for something that's just meant to hide the crap under my bed. This is perfect!

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  3. Wowza! That looks so good! I love it! And that duvet cover- please tell - where did you snag that beauty?!

    --kendall
    songbirdsandbuttons.blogspot.com

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    1. It is from Urban Outfitters - it's called the Romantic Floral Scarf duvet.

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  4. I love the floral-stripe combo so much! Great job, your bedroom looks dreamy...

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  5. What a great idea! Your bedskirt looks fantastic.

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  6. It turned out fantastic! I Love it! Your Duvet is beautiful and the black and white stripes make it pop!

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  7. That is really nice! I love the way it hangs so straight and square around the bed.

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  8. You did a great job! I really like how it hangs so straight. Dana

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  9. It looks great with your floral bedding. I like the brass lamps in your room! We do have 'ugly' brass in our house. It is that super shiny, fake gold looking brass. The worn brass is not so bad, but that super shiny brass is terrible - all of my door handles, hinges, knobs, pulls, and some of the light fixtures and ceiling fans are/were that shiny brass. I am sure in about 10 years, I will be wondering what I was thinking replacing everything with oil rubbed bronze! ;)

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  10. Simple and effective. Thanks for sharing this.

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  11. I found this at Thirty Handmade Days link party and I am SOOO glad I did! This is just what I needed for my spare bedroom! I am now a follower of your blog. Hope you can follow me too at www.woodsfamilyofthree.blogspot.com. You may just see this project on mine in a few months ;)

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  12. I too am making a bedskirt for my daughter's bed and would be doing it exactly this way even without finding your post!!! I had a smile on my face as I read this. I am equally impatient, want things done as soon as I get the idea and go like crazy til it's done. If I can't see it - it doesn't matter!! I love the stripes and flowers!

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  13. Love the idea and I'm totally doing this!! I bought the materials today for my diy head board...I can't wait to get started, I'm insanely impatient as well! =))

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  14. What a great idea. It looks so good. I have a link party on Wednesdays, and I would love it if you would link this and any other posts. It is called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party. It runs from Wednesday to Sundays.
    http://www.adornedfromabove.com/2012/08/tangerine-toner-and-wednesdays-adorned.html
    I hope to see you there. I am your newest follower, and I would love for your to follow me also. Have a great Day.
    Debi Bolocofsky

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  15. You did find the perfect fabric - it's beautiful! I have this linked to my bed skirts post as well today, you've done a lovely job!

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  16. Thank you so much for this idea. My Bed in a Bag came with a bed skirt and I took it off the bed because it moved almost every night - how does that happen? Grrr. Now I will pin it to the bed and see if that works. Why didn't I think of that....

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  17. I followed your fantastic tutorial 2 months ago- it worked out beautifully! I was dressing a massive new king bed with an odd size drop. Your method made it look so polished. And so easy!

    Thanks so much for all the work you put into sharing this- your great photos and clear instructions are very appreciated.

    Happy New Year.

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    1. I'm so happy when I hear that one of my tutorials worked great for someone else! Thanks for taking the time to let me know - it's really uplifting! Happy New Year to you, too!

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  18. I would get a little more of the striped fabric and make a non-ruffled, flat valance or upholstered pelmet for the top of the window. I would use white sheers and some kind of curtain with it. I would pull a color out of the duvet, probably light blue and paint the walls in that. I would paint the baseboards, trim and furniture in white. For the headboard, I would hang black wrought iron on the wall, possibly a few pieces from Old Time Pottery hung close together. I would try to find a throw rug in another color from the duvet to put by the bed. Maybe light green and tan to tie the beige carpet in. I would probably paint some striped lampshades to use on the lamps. You could even paint the lamps in an enamel paint if you wanted to. I would use alternating black (or other duvet color) and white tassels or strings of beads as fringe on the lampshades. I would definitely have some flowers similar to those on the duvet if possible, in a vase somewhere.

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  19. Here's how I did mine. Measured the length from floor to about 4 inches inside of the box springs. Cut the sheet and used the end that was already hemmed. Stapled the raw edges onto the box springs. Then set my mattress back on top. Wall llaa !!!!

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