Quilting and Stuff by Knitnoid

Day Bed Dust Ruffle Tutorial


Earlier this week I posted that I finished my dust ruffle.  I’ve subsequently been asked if I could do a tutorial on how I made the dust ruffle.  This is my attempt.  A printable version is here: DustRuffle

I had an old twin size dust ruffle on the day bed. It didn’t fit well, was starting to fall apart, had to be adjusted every time I changed the sheets on the bed and finally wasn’t a good color to go with my quilts (it was a green and black plaid – which surprisingly worked OK with the pink quilt, but clashed horribly with anything else). The distance from the springs to the floor is only 11 ½” so I discovered after an on-line search that I wasn’t going to be able to buy a replacement dust ruffle. Clearly I was going to have to make one.

There wasn’t a pattern – only a vague notion of how long the ruffle needed to be and that I probably wanted 2 ½” the width in fullness. The first thing I needed to do was measure the width of needed and the length. Bedpost to bedpost measured 76″ and the length from the top of the springs to the floor was 11 ½”.

I bought 2 ½ yards of fabric and 2 1/4 yards of Decorator Velcro. Decorator Velcro is sew-in on one side and sticky backed on the other side.

Step 1 – measure the bed to determine the finished width of the dust ruffle.  I wanted mine to go from bed post to bed post which worked out to 76″.

Step 2 – measure the length of the dust ruffle.  From the edge of the bed frame to the floor is 11 ½”

Step 3 – determine how big and how many pleats are needed.  I decided I wanted 4″ pleats and an odd # of pleats – 7 sounded good and as it turned out was perfect for the math.

Here’s the math:

4″ pleats times 7 pleats = 28″.
76″ width minus 28″ for pleats = 48″
48″ divided by 8 flat sections = 6″

Flat + Pleat 1 + Flat + Pleat 2 + Flat + Pleat 3 + Flat + Pleat 4 + Flat + Pleat 5 +Flat + Pleat 6 + Flat + Pleat 7 + Flat

But before cutting can commence, the TOTAL width of the pleat needs to be determined. The pleats I made touch in the back like this line drawing:

That means that I need 12″ for each pleat.  4″ for the front of the pleat and 4″ for each side folded under the pleat.  Now to figure out how long a piece of fabric for the width of the dust ruffle.

8 flat sections times 6″ = 48″
7 pleats times 12″ = 84″
2 side hems times 2″ = 4″
Total width needed 48″ + 84″ + 4″ = 136″

For the length, I decided on a 2″ hem top and bottom plus the 11 ½” finished length or 15 ½”.

So, I need a piece of fabric 136″ x 15 ½”.  I decided that I would cut my fabric across the width instead of the length since it is easier cut than cutting down the length of the fabric.  I determined that I needed 4 lengths.

136″ divided by 40″ = 3.4 strips.

I cut four strips 15 ½” long.  Before stitching them together, I pressed up a 2″ hem on both the top and the bottom and turned under 3/8″.  It was easier handling a 40″ width of fabric instead of a 160″ piece of fabric.


Next I stitched the sections together, matching the press creases.  I used a 3/8″ seam, which I pressed open and then top stitched down.  Finally I stitched the top and bottom hem.  I did NOT stitch the side hems.





Once the fabric was prepared, I marked the pleats.  I started in the middle of the fabric marking 4″.  I didn’t want my seams to show on the front of the pleats so I started in the center folding the seam into the pleat.


When the center pleat was marked, folded and pinned, I measured 6″ either side of the first pleat and marked the next pleats.    I continued until I had all 7 pleats pinned in place.  Then I pressed them – all the way to the hem.




Next I stitched the pleats in place – two lines of machine stitching and a little bit of hand stitching.




Finally, I measured for the side hem.  I cut 8″ from the last pleat on either side of the dust ruffle, pressed under 2″ and then turned 3/8″ under again.  I stitched this down.

The last sewing step on the dust ruffle was to stitch the Velcro to the top of the hem.  I used a narrow blind stitch and stitched down both sides of the Velcro.  I did NOT cut it to size, but simple started at one end, trimming the Velcro when I got to the other end.
15-drtut-sidehemFinally it was time to attach the ruffle to the bed frame.  I wiped down the frame with an alcohol wipe to make sure the frame was free from dust and dirt.  Then starting on the left side of the frame, I pulled about 6″ of the backing from the Velcro and pressed it on the frame – about 1/4″ from the top of the frame.  I worked 5 or 6 inches at a time trying to keep the Velcro straight.
16-drtut-velcrostickyI lined up the top edge of the bed skirt with the top edge of the bed frame and pressed it in place.  Now I can easily move the mattress to change the sheets or tuck the quilt in on the back without moving dust ruffle.  Pulling the trundle out from under the bed won’t pull out the dust ruffle either.



I’m considering making a custom ruffle for my king size bed.  I would attach the sticky side of the Velcro to the top of my box springs.  I don’t know if I would make 3 ruffles like this one with the ruffle on the bottom of the bed long enough to wrap around the foot of the bed a few inches and then hold it in place with a pin.  Or if I would make it in one continuous piece, allowing a little extra fullness to get around the corners.  If I ever get that far, you can be sure I’ll post a picture on my blog.

I hope these instructions make sense.  I’d love to see a picture of your dust ruffle if you make one from these instructions.

2 Thoughts on “Day Bed Dust Ruffle Tutorial

  1. I’m tired of fighting the dust ruffle when making the bed on my day bed. I’m also tired of fighting the excess comforter (I’m using a twin comforter), so when I finally make a new comforter for the day bed, I’ll come back here and get your tutorial for making a coordinating dust ruffle. 😉

  2. I found a dust ruffle that fit exactly–covers all the box spring and is extra long to match the wide mattress. just a simple gathered eyelet lace but it fits nicely. The eyelet seems to go well with any quilt I put on the bed.

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