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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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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. :)




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.




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. :)




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.)



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.)



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.




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



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.



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.



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.



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



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.)



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.)



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



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.



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



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






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Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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