How to make your own fitted sheets #Do It Yourself#bedding#sewing October 18 2012 | Guest post by Liz Gubernatis In our house, we have lots of blankets. We have lots of pillows. We don't have lots of sheets. Regular flat sheets are super easy to make — you just hem the edges of your fabric. Fitted sheets seemed more complicated — and yeah, there are a few more steps involved — but they're super easy to DIY. This tutorial takes you from two yards of a quirky cotton fabric to a fitted sheet for a crib-size bed. Crib sheets in quirky fabrics make awesome gifts for kids and new mamas. Also great for large dog beds, too! But at the end of the post are measurements that you can use to makes fitted sheets for larger, adult-size beds. Same process — and all DIY win. Here's how it's done. Materials and Tools: 2 yards of fabric (quilting cottons are a great fabric for this) 1 package elastic (recommend 3/8 inches wide) Sewing machine Coordinated thread Ruler Step 0: Pre-wash your fabric. I've been a lazy seamstress much of my life, but this is one step NOT to skip. Pre-washing your fabric lets it pre-shrink. If you wash it for the first time after you've completed your project, it'll never fit the same way again. Wash first, and measurements will be accurate forever. Just run it through your washer/dryer with the same settings you'll use when it's dirty for the first time. Step 1: For a crib sheet, your cotton fabric is the correct width selvedge to selvedge. You'll want to measure the length and cut to 70" (usually taking about 2-3 inches off your total 2-yard cut of fabric). Once at 70" you'll need to finish the raw edges. Fold over ¼ inch, then again ¼ inch, and stitch down using a straight stitch. Step 2: To make the fitted pocket, we first need to remove a square from each corner. For our crib sheet, this will be an 8"x 8" square. Measure and cut out a square from each corner. Step 3: Fold over the edges of your square right sides together, lining up the cut raw edges and pin together. Repeat at each corner. Step 4: Stitch this seam closed with a zig-zag stitch, backstitching at both ends to secure it. Use a small seam allowance – sew close to the edge, but not over it. Repeat at each corner. Your completed corners will look like this on the top side. Step 5: Cut 4 12" lengths of elastic. Step 6: Fold a piece of elastic in half to find center. Pin center to the corner seam. Measure down 11" from the seam on each side and pin the ends of the elastic. Elastic pinned and not stretched yet — looks weird. Your pinned elastic should look like this. Repeat at each corner. Step 7: Using a zig-zag stitch with a long-ish stitch length (4 or 5) tack down one edge of the elastic and backstitch to hold. Then, holding the seam/pin in one hand and the tacked edge in the other, stretch the elastic to match the fabric and pull through as you sew, attaching the elastic to the sheet. When you get to the corner seam, adjust your hands to pull through to the other end and backstitch to hold at the end. Go slowly and with patience — the long stitch length will let the elastic do it's magic. Your finished elastic should look like this. Repeat at each corner. Ta-Da! You've made a fitted sheet! Applications: Other sized beds can be made with this method by using flat sheets as your base fabric. You can also seam fabric together, but you'll usually feel the seam in the finished product, so your mileage may vary. Related Post Going vintage: How I learned to stop worrying and love my vintage sewing machine My husband asked me, "Why are you spending all this time and money on these old sewing machines? Wouldn't you rather have a new one?"... Read more To make fitted sheets in larger sizes, you'll want to measure your bed (mattresses are all a little different depth-wise). Here's how: Length = depth of bed + length of bed + depth of bed + 4 Width= depth of bed + width of bed + depth of bed + 4 Square to cut out of corners = depth of bed + 2 Elastic: 12 inches stretched out to 22 inches is usually good. You can go with a wider elastic on larger sheets if you'd prefer. Tips: Hold the elastic taut and gently pull through as you sew. If your corners aren't perfectly square on the outside (say your raw edge is a touch wonky after finishing the hem) that's okay. Make sure your square will be, by lining up to the edges rather than the fabric corner. In other words, close enough is good enough, and a quarter inch isn't going to ruin anything. Your Turn! What are you going to make a fitted sheet out of? Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Liz Gubernatis PREVIOUS Colorado mountain home with hand-made details NEXT Deciding whether or not to go back to work after my child was born has made me a less judgmental person Show/Hide comments [ 52 ] Hmm, this might be super helpful. I have one of those 5 inch thick ikea mattresses and storebought sheets just don't fit as well as I'd like. 13 agree Reply Yep. Depth of the pocket really can make a difference. If your sheets are always a bit baggy, give this a try on a flat sheet with your specific mattress measurements. I think you'll be happy. 7 agree Reply Ha this is great! I usually buy flat sheets at thrift stores for fabric ($5 for a king-size sheet's worth of fabric? yes please!), but so often the fitted sheets have crappy elastic. The tutorial on sewing elastic really helped, and now I can take the flat sheet from my favorite chocolate-colored set and have a second fitted sheet instead. Thanks for posting this! 10 agree Reply Yes! We never used the flat sheets from sets (well, on guest bed, but not on our bed) so I started turning them into bonus fitted sheets. SO much cheaper and doesn't take very long, either. 9 agree Reply That is such an awesome idea both of you! I still put the flat sheet on my bed, but I hate it! It always ends up bunched up at the bottom under the comforter. I'm not sure why I still put it on. It comes with the set, so I just always do. I don't even think about it. Genius. Fitted sheets FTW! Reply I use the top sheet on my box spring. I just let it hang down so it looks like a bed skirt : ) 14 agree Reply BASKETS! 2 agree Brilliant! I never have a good solution for my ugly box spring… this is perfect! 1 agrees i make the topsheets into half-fitted sheets as my husband likes to have a topsheet.The thing is; he pulls it up while asleep and we end up with the crumpled sheet all over the bed. So, just make the bottom only into a fitted sheet and you'll be rapped! 12 agree Reply GREAT GR Idea So pleased to finally have this Idea. Angie Such a great help for Hubby. THANKS Many Thanks. Reply Oh, baskets! Why didn't I think of this before? I know what I'm making for my next parent-to-be friends. 🙂 Out of curiousity, anyone know of places to get wide enough fabrics to make custom sheets for adult mattresses, besides other sheets? 3 agree Reply Using flat sheets is easiest/most inexpensive. Sometimes, for deep beds, I'll go a size up on the flat sheet (Use a King size flat sheet for a Queen size bed) but if you want fabric by the yard, try searching for extra wide quilt backing fabric. They're often anywhere from 90-120" wide. 5 agree Reply Quilt shops sell fabric intended for quilt backing. It usually ranges from 90" to 108" wide and would be excellent for custom fitted sheets for adult sized mattresses. I've found choices to be relatively limited at online quilt shops, but my brick & mortar quilt shop has hundreds of choices. I don't know if craft stores like JoAnns carry it, but even if they do, the thread count and fabric quality will be much better at an actual quilt shop. 1 agrees Reply I am never buying sheets again! I hate boring, boring, boring commercially-available sheets with a passion and this tutorial (really, the measurements) are just what I need to just give in and make my own! Caloo Calay! 4 agree Reply Oohhh how I wish my sewing brain allowed me to make practical items like sheets. Knowing me, I'd buy the fabric and it would sit and wait with all my mending while I work away as a Mad Hatter on my costuming. There has only been 1 completed practical project, and that was to make a blackout cover for our cockatoo. My ears begging for quite at night demanded it though. I've learned practical means never getting completed 😀 But I love this, so maybe at some point, after I actually get around to making curtains. 2 agree Reply That's one of the many reasons I'm loving posting for the empire. Makes me work on the practical stuff, too, with bonus photo action to share with others 🙂 Reply Yay! I have an awesome flat sheet to fit a double bed made out of purple flannel that I have been wanting to turn into a cot sheet set for my little one for next winter. I keep thinking that it'll be too hard to get it right, but this gives me hope that even if I make a couple of mistakes it'll still do the trick! Now to find the time… 1 agrees Reply I love this- I don't use flat sheets, and I don't like cheap sheets. Very rarely can I buy a 600 thread count fitted sheet alone for a decent price. But I can often find sheet sets at discount stores for a reasonable sum. Now I will turn all the unused (but good quality) flat sheets into fitted sheets! Previously they had just protected the couch from dog hair. 3 agree Reply I'm rejoicing over the fact that I can make my own geeky sheets. I'm thinking Harry Potter, Batman, Star Wars, and Avengers just to start with. Maybe Dr. Who from there? 12 agree Reply This post is wonderful. I am so doing this! 1 agrees Reply I just bought fleece for less than $2 a yard at a holiday sale to make sheets for my grandsons bunk beds. These instructions are going to make it much easier. Thank you for your help. 3 agree Reply Yay Roxy! Send us some pictures of your awesome sheets? 🙂 Reply I have measured my bed, and I am adding the recommended fabric based on the size chart above. I am assuming that the raw edge hems are included in that formula, or should I add extra for the rolled hem? 1 agrees Reply Hi Kathleen — yes, the raw edge hems are included in that formula for the long edges, with the hem described for the short edges. I'd add a touch extra for a rolled hem. Can't wait to see what you come up with! Reply Just found this tutorial! Love that you included the formulae for calculating length, width and square to cut out. I just used your tutorial to make a fitted table cloth for my table. Now my toddler will have a more difficult time pulling out the table cloth when he sits at the table. Thanks so much! 2 agree Reply I have been looking to make fitted sheets for the odd length and width mattresses in our new caravan so this will be great for that. I will use flat sheets cut down. Might be able to make pillow cases with the offcuts. Thanks so much for this!!! ps we are going round Australia in our van for a year so these sheets will have lots of use! 2 agree Reply Thank you so very much for the instructions. I have a tempur pedic adjustable bed that takes 2 twin xl fitted sheets and a king top sheet I can never find the twin xl fitted sheets by themselves I always have to buy them in sets. Now I can use the top sheets as bonus fitted sheets – again thank you 1 agrees Reply Awesome! Glad it'll work for you! Reply Thank you for posting this. I just finished my daughter's dinosaur sheets, and she LOVES them. It is much more fun to make things that fit your personality rather than buy what the stores expect you to like. Bravo! 3 agree Reply Thanks! I'd love to see them! Glad it worked so well for you! Reply I love your narrative and pictures also, they make this tutorial so easy to follow. I have just finish 2 crib sheets for our Great Grandson (our 1st) due shortly. I have the fabric for a few other sheet for our local pregnancy center that will match the home-made quilts. However, while going through my "stash" I discovered several yards of sheet material that was given to me a couple of years ago and so I am going to make us a new set of King Sheets but I'm sorry to say that the measurements you promised are not found of my link. I have read all the comments and now know for sure I want your measurements to complete my project. Could you please send me measurements or the correct way to measure for a fitted bottom sheet. Thank you so much, Happy to be a grandma, and very happy to be able to sew. Mary :>) 1 agrees Reply Hi Mary! Measuring your bed is going to give you the best fit. Here's how to translate your bed measurements into sheet measurements: To make fitted sheets in larger sizes, you'll want to measure your bed (mattresses are all a little different depth-wise). Here's how: Length = depth of bed + length of bed + depth of bed + 4 Width= depth of bed + width of bed + depth of bed + 4 Square to cut out of corners = depth of bed + 2 Elastic: 12 inches stretched out to 22 inches is usually good. You can go with a wider elastic on larger sheets if you'd prefer. Hope this makes sense! Love to see what you come up with — and thanks for all you do! 🙂 2 agree Reply Thank you so much for a speedy response. I am glad to understand the information. I got confused with "depth of bed" being twice in the instructions until I wrote the statement out: depth of bed (2x) + l+4" and all became clear, length depth is top & bottom and right & left sides for width depth. Of coarse your way of writing it is also clear once you envision that mattress and think of it as needing 2 depth measurements for each plain. Thanks for being so patient. If I can take pictures I will send you pic's of what I make. Thanks again, Mary :>) 2 agree Reply Hi there, your tutorial is so exciting! My daughter has an odd sized memory foam mattress and until now we have suffered baggy sheets with constant tucking in. I'm now going to custom sew her fitted sheets with all the fun quilting fabric available. Just one question… If the seam allowance is 1/2 inch each side, why add 4?? My brain can't work that one out!! Thanks very much Kay 🙂 3 agree Reply Thanks for this awesome tutorial! I just spent the past hour trying to find Spider-Man and Thomas the train fitted sheets for my son. They are just to expensive. Now I can make my own!! Reply Hello I love your tutorial but just a quick question. Where can i find fabric for a super-king size bed? Assuming that i dont want to only change flat sheets but start from scratch? cheers! Reply Your best bet is going to be looking for "quilting backing fabric" as it's 104+ inches wide. Reply Great instructions! Would you have a picture of the the mattress with the sheet on upside down? I'd like to see how much the elastic corners are pulled under the corner. Thanks. 4 agree Reply Hi … I am a total novice when it comes to sewing! Can u give an example to ur measurement section!? I am having trouble understanding the measurements 🙁 I have been trying to find instructions on making fitted sheets for so long and have finally found something that i actually understand !!! Please help 🙂 1 agrees Reply Example: a Queen bed is 60" wide and 80" long. A common depth of mattress is 12". [Newer ones may often be 15-17"] So, for a Queen: Length = depth of bed + length of bed + depth of bed + 4 12 + 80 + 12 + 4 = 108" Width= depth of bed + width of bed + depth of bed + 4 12 + 60 + 12 + 4 = 88" Square to cut out of corners = depth of bed + 2 12 + 2 = 14 Make sure you measure your mattress, especially for the depth [thickness]. Good Luck! 6 agree Reply My husband wants my sons room to be decorated for an NFL team and I thought team sheets would be cute. Looking online is impossible to find just the sheets, and sets are over $100. I just went to Joann's yesterday and got fabric for less than $14. Score! Thanks for the tutorial! I found you through Pinterest. 3 agree Reply If my crib mattress measures 27 inch (wide) by 52 inch (length) would these measurements still.work for me? Thank you. Love your tutorial!! Reply "For a crib sheet, your cotton fabric is the correct width selvedge to selvedge." Meaning 44/45" wide fabric? I suppose I can always not be lazy and get out my measuring tape. I think making flannel fitted sheets out of receiving blankets seems like it could be an awesome thing. Reply Who makes the skull fabric that you used in your tutorial? I love it and I want this fabric!!! 🙂 Thank you! 1 agrees Reply Love, love the skull fabric…any chance you remember who makes it or where it was purchased? Thanks in advance! Reply I am new to this site! I am looking forward to sewing flat sheets into fitted sheets this weekend, as I only have ONE fitted sheet left in my linen closet and about EIGHT flat sheets that I never use! Many thanks for the tutorial. I went to Youtube first and was able to find only two videos on sewing this project. One of them the teacher used a white sheet with white thread and a white background… Hello? What was she thinking? I wanted to learn how to do this and using all the same colors didn't help at all! Then I went to Pinterest and found your tutorial and a few others. I was grateful that you used different colors on the fabric, as well as, the elastic and the stitching so that it gave me a better visual. Many Thanks for posting. I super appreciate it and will let you know how I made out with your tutorial! Reply Just to let everyone know, I made two fitted sheets already! One is cotton and the other one flannel! Yes, a mistake here and there, but a learning experience for me and a constructive and useful one nonetheless! Reply What is this amazing fabric and where can I get it? Reply The kids have twin beds and I just exchanged my old double bed for a king. Instead of getting rid of the double sheets, now I can make them fit the kids' beds. Yeah! Turning the flat sheets into fitted sheets? Brilliant! And whoever suggested turning a flat sheet into a half-fitted sheet so it doesn't get pulled up is also a genius. Thanks everyone for your GREAT ideas!! Reply I have a question about the added 4" to both your length and width formula, and the 2" added to the cutout square I assume this is to allow for the "tuck under" portion of the sheet? So, therein lies my real question….once made, how much DOES the sheet actually tuck underneath , onto the bottom surface of the mattress; is it more than 2"? 2 agree Reply You are a Goddess! Thank you! Reply Hi there! I pinned this tute at least 3 years ago and finally tonight made a fitted sheet for a twin bed from a queen size sheet that my husband brought to our marriage 30 years ago! It's beautiful and perfect and your directions are so good! One thing I did differently (after the first 2 corners)- I measured and marked the points where I would cut out the square. Then I joined those marks, making a triangle, drew a line, and sewed along the line. THEN I cut off the triangle. That way I didn't have to fool with cutting a square and worrying about cutting too far. Anyway, after all this long time, you have probably moved on, but I am just getting started! My family uses only the fitted sheets, so I have a shelf full of flat sheets just waiting to fulfill their destiny! Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Subscribe me to your mailing list No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.