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the best way to paint brass I read post after post of people reviewing the HORROR of brass and how ugly it is and outdated and did I mention UGLY?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!