DIY French Seam Slipcovered Bed

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Last time I checked in with you here I was sharing some updates that I had been working on in Izzy’s room. One of those updates was making her a new bed. She wanted a simple, neutral bed which was a perfect choice. We found this Serena & Lily slipcovered bed and used it as inspiration for the build. Today I’m going to share with you how I made her DIY French seam slipcovered bed for a little over $200.

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DIY slipcovered bed

Material’s Used

Her bed is a queen size so all measurements are based on a queen. Adjust your measurements according to your bed size.

  • 6.5 yards – 54″ wide fabric for headboard slipcover and bedskirt sides (Note: You could save on fabric by using a cheaper fabric for the wall side of the headboard that isn’t seen and then you would only need 5 yards of your nicer fabric)
  • 4 yards – 43″ wide flannel fabric for bedskirt base
  • 6 yards – 48″ wide 10 oz batting
  • 1/2″ plywood cut to 48″x62″ (for a queen size bed)
  • staple gun
  • sewing machine & thread
  • scissors & pins

Step 1

The first thing you will do is create the base for the headboard. Cut a 1/2″ thick piece of plywood to be 48″ tall by 62″ wide. You can typically have this done for free at your local hardware store.

Step 2

Cut FOUR pieces of batting the same size as your plywood (48″x62″). Note: I originally only cut two pieces of batting as shown in the photo below, but decided to add two more because the headboard didn’t seem plush enough with just two.

Cut a piece of muslin fabric several inches larger than the plywood so you have enough fabric to wrap around the back and staple.

Step 3

Layer the muslin fabric down first, then the FOUR layers of batting, followed by the plywood on top.

DIY slipcovered headboard

Pull the muslin fabric tight while stapling in place along all four edges and corners. Cut off any excess fabric.

DIY upholstered headboard

This is the base of the headboard that will then have a slipcover slid over.

slipcovered head board tutorial

Step 4

Now to make the slipcover. I used a heavy weight upholstery fabric and I don’t have intentions of washing the slipcover of bedskirt after I make it so I didn’t prewash my fabric. However, if you are using a fabric that is washable and you intend to wash your slipcover and bedskirt from time to time then go ahead and prewash and dry your fabric before continuing. Take into consideration any shrinkage when ordering yardage of your fabric.

Cut two pieces of fabric to be 66″x54″. This will give you enough excess for a 1/2″ seam allowance and a 1″ flange along the top and sides of the headboard. Pin right sides of the fabric together and stitch together along the sides and top. Snip across your top corners so they lay nice and flat before turning right side out.

DIY slipcovered headboard tutorial

Step 5

Turn your fabric right side out and press the seams with an iron. Now do a dry fit of the slipcover over the headboard base to determine hem length and flange size.

Pin a 1″ flange along the corners to make sure you have enough width to do a 1″ flange all around the top and sides. You’ll want the fabric to be nice and snug. Once you have determined the size of your flange (should be 1″), measure down to see how much you need to hem the bottom.

You will want the bottom of the slipcover to be hemmed before you stitch the top and sides for the flange.

DIY simple slipcovered headboard

To hem the bottom you can do a straight stitch, but my preference is a hidden stitch. I’ll use a hidden stitch for all the other hem pieces on the skirt as well. If you’re unfamiliar with a hem stitch there are video tutorials on YouTube that are very helpful.

Step 6

Now that the bottom of the slipcover is hemmed, stitch the flange for the sides and top. With the slipcover facing right sides out, stitch a straight line 1″ in from the edges along the sides and top.

DIY headboard slipcover

Slide the slipcover over the headboard base. This should be a snug fit so that the fabric doesn’t look sloppy. Once on, steam out any wrinkles in the fabric.

DIY French flange headboard

Step 7

Now comes the bedskirt.

What makes this bed look more high end is the tailored bedskirt that matches the headboard. I wanted to make sure I didn’t mess up this part so I searched for a bedskirt tutorial. You won’t believe what I found. Suzannah at Create/Enjoy had already made the EXACT same bed I was making! I followed her bedskirt tutorial with one slight change that I will explain below. My headboard was also made almost identical except that she made a bed frame and attached the headboard to that, where I am using our existing metal mattress/box spring frame and did not attach it to the frame. If you’re looking for a full bed tutorial and are not using a boxspring, definitely check hers out to see how she did it!

Ok, for the exposed skirt portion of the bedskirt you are going to be using the same fabric as your headboard but a different fabric for the hidden part that lays on top of your box spring. You can use a muslin fabric for that, but I liked what Suzannah did by using a flannel fabric for a couple of reasons: 1) I could get it in a color that was a perfect match to my headboard and skirt fabric; and 2) the flannel would have more grip than muslin and would therefore have less chance of sliding around.

Cut your flannel fabric (the part that will lay on top of the box spring) to be 61″x81″. This will give you a 1/2″ seam allowance all around. Since I went with flannel I had to sew two sections of fabric together to get one 61″x81″ piece. There are lots of wrinkles and folds in the fabric, but you can see my seam down the middle.

On one 61″ side, fold over and hem 1/2″. This side of the fabric will be the part of the bedskirt that meets up with the headboard and all other sides will be sewn to the skirt.

DIY bedskirt

Step 8

Like I mentioned at the beginning of Step 7, I used this tutorial for the bedskirt. Determine how long you want the drop of your skirt to be. I wanted my drop to be 14.5″ so it would float instead of lay on top of the carpet. I cut two 17.5″x84″ pieces for the sides, one 17.5″x64″ piece for the front, and two 17.5″x18″ pieces for the hidden pleats.

Here’s where I did made a slight change to her tutorial. Instead of doing the side hems first and then the bottom hem, I hemmed the bottom first and then the sides. One way isn’t better than another, it’s just my preference so I don’t see the folded bottom hem at the front corners when the skirt is on the bed.

For the bottom hems I folded over 1/2″ and then another 2″ and pressed flat with an iron before stitching in place with a blind hem.

For the side hems I folded over 1/2″ and then another 1.5″, pressed flat with an iron, and blind stitched in place.

The two shorter sections are for the fake pleats at the foot of the bed. Those will be hemmed along the bottom in the same manner (fold over 1.2″ and then another 2″, and then pressed flat with an iron and blind stitched in place), but you can just zig zag the sides since those will not be exposed.

DIY tailored bedskirt

Here’s what the inside looks like on the two side pieces and front piece of the skirt.

DIY bedskirt blind hem

And here’s what the outside looks like. This is before my final pressing with the iron so it’s still very wrinkled.

DIY bedskirt blind hem

Step 9

Now we’re going to attach all of the skirt piece to each other. Straight stitch the two 17.5″x18″ small hidden pleat pieces to the part of the skirt pieces that come together at the corners of the foot of the bed. Having all of those pieces sewn together will make it so much easier when attaching the large flannel piece of fabric. You will end up with one very long piece of skirt (the long side skirt, shorter front skirt, and the second long side skirt).

Here’s how that hidden pleat will look.

Step 10

Pin your large flannel piece to the skirt pieces and stitch in place with a 1/2″ seam allowance. I found it was easiest to pin and sew the foot of the bedskirt together first, and then pin up and sew up from the foot to the head of the bedskirt one side at a time.

You’re Done!

Congratulations! You just made your very own DIY slipcovered French seam bed! All that is left to do is press your bedskirt and place it over the box spring. As I mentioned earlier, my headboard is not attached to the metal boxspring/mattress frame. The bed is simply pushed up to the headboard keeping it in place.

French seam headboard tutorial
French seam headboard tutorial, linen headboard DIY
slipcovered bed tutorial, DIY linen headboard
DIY linen bedskirt tutorial


Words cannot express how excited I am about how this bed came together. It looks just as beautiful as the inspiration bed, but SOOOO much cheaper. We’re getting closer and closer to having this room update done! To see where were started with Izzy’s room you can check out this post. What do you think? Would you give this DIY a go?


  1. Pamela Avatar

    This nicely tailored. I love the clean lines with this style. Love her new style and room changes. Sad to lose the little girl style, but she’s growing up fast into a tween.

    1. Shelley Avatar

      I can’t believe how much she has grown!

  2. Bonnie Avatar

    Thank you for sharing the details of your lovely upholstered headboard and bedskirt. A less expensive option would be to make them out of drop cloths. I have used them for making draperies, upholstering dining chairs, and upholstering a headboard. They have a similar look to your more expensive fabric.

    1. Shelley Avatar

      Yes, I love using drop cloth! I have several drop cloth projects on the blog where I have used it to slipcover beds, tables, nightstands, etc.

  3. cassie bustamante Avatar

    it’s utterly incredible, shelley! what a beautiful bed and lucky girl!

    1. Shelley Avatar

      I love her bed more than my own!

Meet Shelley

Hi, I’m Shelley! My belief is that with a little creativity and elbow grease, you can make your home look like a million bucks without spending it.

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