Home Ideas: How To Make A Bed Skirt

A bed skirt adds a luxurious, finished look to your bedroom décor. Anyone with a sewing machine can make this lovely accessory.

Dress your bedroom with fantastic homemade curtains and linens, but don't forget the bed skirt! The bed skirt, or dust ruffle, is constructed of a large sheet of plain fabric edged with a home decorating fabric. The large, plain piece of fabric lies between your mattress and box spring, while the edging hangs along the sides of the bed and touches the ground. This piece will beautifully hide your box spring and obscure the space underneath your bed. It makes a luxurious, expensive-looking addition to your homemade bedroom ensemble, but is deceptively inexpensive to make. The bulk of this gathered skirt - the part that goes under your mattress - is made from inexpensive muslin, leaving you free to splurge on fabric for the visible portion of the skirt. The directions given here are for a gathered, ruffle-like bed skirt.

Before you begin, make sure that you have the following supplies on hand: sewing machine, measuring device (tape measure, ruler, or yardstick), dressmaker pins, scissors or shears, and a fabric marking pen or pencil (choose one that is either water soluble or one that uses disappearing ink).

1. Measuring for the Bed Skirt

Remove the mattress and use a tape measure, ruler, or yardstick to measure the length and width of the box spring. After you obtain the length X width measurements, add 1" to each. For example, if you determine the box spring to be 80" X 60", your final measurement will be 81" X 61". The piece of muslin cut to these dimensions will be the portion of the bed skirt that fits between your box spring and mattress.

For the visible portion of your bed skirt, add 2 X the width of the box springs to 2 X its length + 4". Using the sample measurements above, 2 X 80" + 2 X 60" = 160" + 120" + 4" = 284", or approximately 8 yards. Now measure the distance from the top of the box spring to the floor. Add 2 1/2 inches to this number. For example, if the distance from the box spring to the floor is 20", your final measurement will be 22 1/2". So, you would need 8 yards of 22 1/2" fabric for the skirt. Most fabric, however, comes in widths of 45" - 60". This will enable you to get the required length of fabric from 4 yards of 45" fabric that has been cut in half along its length.

2. Choosing Materials

Choose a length of muslin (any color) that corresponds as closely in size as possible to the first set of measurements taken in the previous section. Extra-wide muslin is readily available and can be found in your local fabric store. The muslin will most likely shrink a bit after laundering, so purchase a length that is an inch or two longer and wider than your desired dimensions. You can always cut a larger piece of fabric down to size, but a piece of fabric that is too small will be very difficult to make usable.

Choose a machine washable fabric for the ruffled portion of the skirt. The fabric you choose should coordinate with the rest of your bedding. You will also need a coordinating sewing thread that matches the fabric's dominant color or is one shade darker.

Pre-wash and iron all fabric according to the manufacturer's instruction (this information is located on the bolt of fabric).

3. Making the Bed Skirt

Cut the muslin out to the appropriate size and use a measuring device and fabric pen or pencil to mark a line that is 1/2" in from the raw fabric edge. Do this along all four sides of the fabric and set it aside.

Cut the home decorating fabric into four strips of fabric. Two strips should be equal to the length of the box spring + 1" X the length determined in Section 1. The remaining two strips should be equal to the width of the box spring + 1" X the same length. Depending on the width of your home decorating fabric, you may have to piece together the four sections from many sections. As you did with the muslin, mark a line on each fabric piece that is 1/2' in from the raw edge

Use a 1" hem to finish one long edge of each length of fabric and use a 1/2" hem to finish each short edge. Set your sewing machine to its longest stitch length and, for each piece; sew along the remaining raw, long edge of fabric, 1/4" from the fabric's edge. Do not reverse stitch at the beginning or ending of your stitching as you would if sewing a permanent seam - you will be pulling these threads out later.

Take one piece of fabric and hold on to the threads at one end. With your free thumb and forefinger, gently pull the fabric down along the length of the thread. The fabric will bunch up, or gather, along the thread as you pull. Work the thread and fabric in this manner until the entire length is evenly gathered. The final gathered length of each short piece should equal the width of the box spring and the final gathered length of each long piece should equal the length of the box spring.

Sew each section of gathered fabric to the muslin along the appropriate edge, using the 1/2" marked line as a seam guide. Sew slowly, making sure that all gathered edges have been caught in the seam.

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