DIY slipcovered sleigh bed

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Thank you guys for your comments on my guest bedroom makeover!  Without a doubt, the biggest change in there came when I slipcovered the dark wood sleigh bed.  Total game changer.  This is a perfect way to help break up a matching bedroom set or to freshen up a bed you’re not loving the style of anymore!

Here’s how the bed started in the room.
This sleigh bed actually used to be in our master back in our Kansas home, and I wish I would have done this back then.  My husband loved it (it was his bachelor furniture), but I just never cared for it.  Mostly because it was part of a full up matching bedroom set and all of the dark brown furniture together was way too much.  While we have since broken up the matching side tables, there was still a lot of dark furniture in this room.   
Now, I don’t have photos of the process because I was busting my rear to get it done in time before guests showed up, but I can still walk you through the process if you’re looking to do something similar.  
You can obviously use whatever fabric you’d like, though a heavier weight fabric is ideal.  I used my favorite go-to fabric for slipcovers – painter’s drop cloth from the hardware store.  It’s the perfect weight, it’s neutral, has a nice texture, and it’s CHEAP.  For this queen sized sleigh bed I purchased two 9×12 drop cloths at about $20 each.  I had a lot leftover, but I needed the larger sizes so I would have enough large segments without running into seams (larger drop cloths are pieced together so you have to work around the seams).  

TIP: Wash and dry your fabric beforehand so you don’t have shrinkage later. 
When making a slipcover, you always work inside out.  Keep that in mind when placing and pinning your fabric.  For the headboard and footboard, you are going to have one large piece of fabric that runs from the inside where the top of the side rails meet the headboard or footboard, up over and down the outside of the board to the floor.  You then will have two smaller pieces that will cover the sides of the headboard or footboard.  Its always best to give yourself plenty of seam allowance at this point.  Pin in place and cut off any large amounts of excess.  Use scissors to snip in towards the curved areas.  
TIP:  Once you’ve pinned the large center piece to the smaller side pieces, use a pencil to trace around the shape of the headboard or footboard.  This will give you an exact guide when sewing the pieces together.  I wanted to be able to see the inside curve of the headboard and footboard, but wanted the outside more straight, so I drew a straight line from the top of the headboard and footboard to the ground.
Once sewn together, turn right side out and check your fit.  At this point I decided to run a second seam on the outside of my first to give it a more finished look.  This part is totally up to you.  Next you place the slip back on the bed right side out, pin, and sew your hem in place.
Cut out a strip of fabric about 3″ wider than the span of your side rails and about 5″ taller than the top of the side rail to floor measurement.  Sew a hem along the bottom edge.  
Now, originally I was going to use the velcro where one side is sew through and the other is sticky back.  That way I could remove the side rail piece and wash if needed, but decided on an easier/quicker route since I didn’t have velcro and was short on time.  I used a staple gun and stapled the side piece to the rail from the inside so no damage was done to the visible wood. 
For this part you’re going to need to remove the mattress and box spring.  Lay the fabric right side out over the rail.  Start near the headboard, fold under 1.5″ of the unfinished vertical side and staple into place from the inside of the rail.  Work your way down to the footboard making sure your bottom hem stays straight.  Once you reach the end, fold under the remaining length of the unfinished vertical side and staple.
You’re done!  
You can check out the full bedroom makeover here!
For more slipcover ideas, check out my no sew slipcovered buffet and slipcovered nightstand.


If you haven’t done so already, make sure you enter my JORD watch giveaway here!  Everyone who enters receives a $20 gift card!!!



  1. Becky {This Is Happiness} Avatar

    Such a great idea! It looks awesome!! I'm so ready to get rid of our dark sleigh bed too…it's definitely on the list of new house projects.

    1. CrazyWonderful Avatar

      Several years back I thought about painting it to lighten it up. My husband about had a stroke over the thought of that. The slipcover was actually so much easier!

  2. Cassie @ Primitive & Proper Avatar

    this is such a smart idea, shelley! love!

    1. CrazyWonderful Avatar

      Thanks Cassie! Now if I could just figure out what to do with the ugly matching dresser you can't see. I wonder if I could slipcover it? ;D

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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