DIY Pillowcases & Sheets

by Emma Jeffery

Making your own comfortable cotton bed sheets and pillows is easier than you think. Once you've made a set, you'll be sewing multiple collections in an array of different colors and patterns.

DIY Pillowcases & Sheets

Making your own bedding is a great sewing project to master. Once you know the basics, you can customize colors and fabrics, add embellishments and make unique sets that are truly your own. Plus, making your own bedding means you can pick the exact patterns and, more importantly, exact thread count and fabric weight you want. No more relying on store-bought options here – gather your materials and tools and let's get sewing!

Steps for Making Your Own Bedding

The process to making your own bedding is pretty straightforward. Start by grabbing the following tools:

  • Fiskars® RazorEdge™ Softgrip® Fabric Shears – these are the classic sewing scissors made better. They feature premium-grade, stainless-steel RazorEdge™ blades that have been precision honed to an ultra-sharp edge to make sure every cut is crisp and clean. They also offer excellent comfort and control thanks to sculpted finger and thumb loops enhanced with Softgrip® touchpoints. Make sure you keep a pair separate from your other scissors for use on fabric only.
  • Fiskars® Rotary Cutter (45mm) – it you're new to sewing, using a rotary cutter can seem a little daunting, but I promise it makes this project super simple. Try it out and you'll see how easy it is to make long, straight cuts.
  • Fiskars® Cutting Mat (24"x36") – always protect your work surface so you don't leave marks on your table when cutting.
  • Fiskars® Sewing Gauge – this handy tool makes creating hems a breeze.
  • Fiskars® Ruler Connector Set – since we're working with longer dimensions of fabric, I find it helpful to use the ruler connector to join to 6"x24" acrylic rulers together. That way, my measurements are sure to be accurate.
  • Fiskars® PowerCut™ Shears – I used these to power through cardboard to create my template for the fitted sheets.
  • Fiskars® Ultrasharp Thread Snips – it's always handy to keep thread snips around to trim off any loose ends of thread while sewing.

For your pillow cases, flat sheet and fitted sheet you'll follow a few basic steps. First, you'll want to wash, dry and iron your fabric so you are working with a true size and won't experience any shrinking after sewing. You'll then cut your fabric to your desired size to fit your mattress or pillows. Fold to make a hem and then sew – it's that simple.

How to Make Your Own Pillowcase

1. Prepare the fabric. Wash and press the fabric.

2. Cut fabric to size. Use the rotary cutter to cut fabric to 36" x 44". This is a standard pillow case size.

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3. Fold and press the fabric. Working on one 44" side of the fabric, fold the fabric over by 1/2" and press with an iron. Use the sewing gauge for accuracy. Fold the fabric again by a further 5" and press.

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4. Refold the fabric. Open the folds and fold the entire piece of fabric in half so that the two short ends meet.

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5. Sew the fabric. Pin, then sew along the side and bottom of the fabric, using a straight stitch on a sewing machine. Do not sew along the top with the folds created in Step 3. This will be the opening of the pillowcase. Turn the pillow to the right side out.

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6. Hem the opening. Refold the opening along the folds created in Step 3. Pin the folds, then sew the hem in place.Remove any excess threads using the Ultrasharp Thread Snip if needed.

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7. Finish the pillowcase. To finish the pillowcase, place over the pillow insert.

How to Make Your Own Flat Sheet

1. Prepare the fabric. Wash and press fabric.

2. Cut the fabric. Use the rotary cutter, acrylic ruler and ruler connector to trim fabric to desired size. Allow an extra 2" in width and 7" in length to account for hemming. Sew two widths of fabric together to achieve the desired width, if necessary.

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3. Fold and press the fabric. Press the fabric around the entire perimeter by ½". Then press the two sides by a further ½". Use the sewing gauge for accuracy.

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4. Sew the fabric. Sew the pressed edges of the fabric.

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5. Create the bottom hem. Press the bottom hem over by a further 1½" and sew.

6. Create the top hem. Press the top hem over by a further 5" and sew.

How to Make Your Own Fitted Sheet

1. Take measurements. Measure the mattress using a tape measure. Record the width, length and depth.

2. Cut the fabric. Your fabric will need to be cut according to the following calculations:

  • Fabric width = mattress width + (mattress depth x 2) + 6"
  • Fabric length = mattress length + (mattress depth x 2) + 6"

Use the rotary cutter, acrylic ruler and cutting mat for cutting the fabric. Use the ruler connector for longer cuts. Sew two widths of fabric together to achieve the desired width, if necessary.

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3. Hem edges. Hem all outside edges of the fabric by turning them 1/2" to the wrong side using the sewing gauge and iron for accuracy. Stitch using a straight stitch.

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4. Cut corners. Fold your fabric once across the width and once across the length so that all four outside corners of the fabric are stacked on top of each other.

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Cut a square cardboard template measuring the mattress depth + 2" using the PowerCut™ Shears. Place the cardboard template on the four corners and use theRazorEdge™ Softgrip® Fabric Shears to cut the fabric.

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5. Sew the corners. Working on one cut corner of fabric, bring together the two cut edges so that the right sides of the fabric are facing each other. Pin the two edges together and stitch the seam using 1/2" seam allowance. Repeat for the three remaining corners of fabric.

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6. Sew the elastic. Place the beginning of the 3/8" wide elastic on top of the hemmed edge of the fabric. Using a zig zag stitch, sew the elastic to the fabric, pulling the elastic taut as you sew. The stitches and elastic will gather the fabric.

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7. Finish the fitted sheet. When you reach the starting point of the elastic, sew the end over the beginning to join. Remove the fabric from the machine and trim any loose threads using the Ultimate Thread Snips.

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How Much Does It Cost to Make Your Own Bedding?

The materials used to make my own bedding, consisting of two pillows, one flat sheet and one fitted sheet, cost about $60. This cost comes in around the same amount it costs to purchase bedding from the store, but the benefit here is that you can truly customize the fabric used. You don't have to rely on the few options you find in the store or scour the internet trying to find the right match – instead, you can choose the perfect fabric without making any compromises.

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