Tuesday, July 27, 2010

DIY Boxspring Cover

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I opted for a boxspring cover instead of a bed skirt for our bed to keep the look clean and tailored. Another reason I picked the cover is that I wanted to make something custom for the bed using the curtain fabric, and covering the boxspring seemed easier than making a bed skirt.

Having now finished the cover, I can say that this is a very easy, no-sew DIY project. It takes a little time and patience like anything DIY, but no skills beyond ironing and gluing are needed. Read on for instructions on how to make your own!

Materials for a Queen size cover:

- 2 yards of 54" wide fabric*
- Iron on adhesive (like Heat 'n Bond) - 1 pack 3/8" wide, 1 pack 1" wide (it might not be exactly 1", because I can't remember, but around 1" wide is good)
- Fabric glue (like Unique Stitch)
- Staple gun
- Scissors
- Yard stick/ruler
- Pencil
- Iron

*A queen size boxspring is approximately 60" wide x 80" long x 12" deep. 2 yards of fabric will give you more than you actually need, but if your boxspring is several inches larger than these dimensions you may need to adjust your yardage. Also, if you are trying to line up a pattern, you also may need more fabric (and how much more depends on your fabric). If you are at "boxspring cover beginner level", choose a simple fabric to keep it easy.

1) Measure your fabric into approximately 15" long horizontal strips and mark the strips with a pencil (so each strip is around 15" long x 54" wide) . This does not need to be exact, but don't make your strips less than 15". I used one of those lap desks (you know, plastic top with bean bag underside) whose top was about 15" tall to mark my strips, but you can also do this with the yard stick and just good ol' measuring. Once your measuring is done, cut your fabric into your four strips.

2) Next comes the iron-on adhesive to "hem" the top and bottom of the strips. The reason I did this was to prevent the cover from fraying over time. I chose a very skinny width for my iron-on adhesive (3/8") because I didn't need a large hem - just enough to fold over the raw edge on each strip. Follow your iron-adhesive instructions for application. Fold over the top edge of each strip and the bottom edge of each strip, and use the adhesive to permanently hold the fold, thus creating a "hem".

After hemming each strip, you will also want to fold over the selvedge on the right and left side of each strip and adhere it so that the selvedge is hidden on each strip. (The selvedge is the edge of the fabric, usually in a different color, that has the name and fabric details written on it)

3) Once each strip has been "hemmed", it's time to apply the strips to your boxspring. (A side note: this project is indeed no-sew, and that's how I made mine. In hindsight, sewing the strips together to make one 15" long x 216" wide strip would have been a good idea, if you know how to do it. Keep in mind the selvedge of the fabric, which you'll need to hide with your seams.) I applied my cover to the top side of my boxspring also using iron-on adhesive like Heat n Bond. This time, I chose a wider adhesive to give me more hold (I think it was around 1" wide). I started at the head of the bed on one side, and slowly adhered the top edge of my fabric strip to the top of the boxspring with the adhesive. Make sure you press down nice and hard to ensure everything sticks together.

As I finished up strip #1, I started with strip #2, and made sure to overlap it over strip #1 to make the cover appear seamless (I lined up my stripes accordingly). I glued these seams together with some fabric glue (see below for a picture of the fabric glue tube) and kept going with my iron, adhesive, and overlapping all of my strips until I reached the other side (note that you are only covering the sides and foot of the boxspring).

p.s. In my picture above, you can see the selvedge edge of the fabric. I knew that edge would be overlapped, so I didn't bother folding over the selvedge, but for ease of instructions, just go ahead and fold over all of your selvedge edges in step #2.

4) You'll find that the two corners at the foot of the bed provide some fun entertainment in the form of excess fabric - but nothing some folds and glue can't cure. I folded each corner as shown in the below picture and glued the heck out of it as I went to keep the excess fabric in place.

5) Once you've adhered all of your strips to the top of your boxspring, call in a friend to help you flip over the boxspring (which should be done gingerly to not disrupt your strips). You'll attach the bottom edge of each strip to the underside of the boxspring using a staple gun. Most boxsprings have a wood construction, so stapling into the wood on the underside provides a good hold for each strip, and it's actually easier than using the iron-on adhesive.

Once you have stapled the bottom edge of each strip to the underside of the boxspring, you're done! Call you friend back to help you flip over the boxspring, and voila!

Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section - I'll compile any questions into one response, so check back if you asked something. Happy boxspring-covering!


  1. Oh wow. This is a great idea. I love the way it looks.

  2. So creative and what impact! Okay, putting this on my to do list. Love it!

  3. Anonymous7/27/2010

    Yours looks great--so crisp and clean. Do you think it would have the same effect with a Toile?

  4. Wow, Daniela! Your room is looking stunning. Only you could turn an ugly boxspring into a beautiful design element!

  5. Love the stripes. I def prefer a boxspring cover to a bedskirt. I'll be bookmarking this one for when I get my new king size bed...

  6. Anonymous7/28/2010

    So pretty! You did a great job on it!

  7. I did something similar. But used a black leather look fabric (nylon) and added 5 small legs to the box spring(4 corners and one center) and it turned out to be an upholstered bed.

  8. Anonymous2/25/2012

    I'm getting ready to do this on 3 beds, doing away w/ the dust ruffles. I am an experienced sewer, however, I'm going to just attach the thing to the box spring, so easy! & I thought I wanted solids, but I'm going to do the stripe, so cool.

  9. This is a great idea! I am going to try this on my bed!


  10. Anonymous2/04/2013

    Love this idea too!

  11. Anonymous3/14/2013

    My sister just emailed me from the caribbean wondering what she could do with a boxspring (for daughter in University in Quebec) and luckily I found your idea. Very nice! I am even going to do this with mine. Thanks so much!

  12. Anonymous8/20/2013

    I wonder how it would look in a seagrass material or linen?

  13. Daniela, yours was the only tutorial I saw where they didn't staple the fabric to the top of the box springs! (What kind of box springs have wood around the top perimeter?) Anyway, thanks for the idea. I have already stapled the bottom edge of my sewn-together, taupe linen panels. I was resigned to the idea of having to sew the top edge onto the box spring, using a curved upholstery needle. The iron-on adhesive will be much easier, although I may tack it here and there to make sure the adhesive holds over time.

    1. Anonymous3/26/2015

      My boxspring only has a piece of metal running around the perimeter on top. I plan on using upholstery screws to hold them all down. That way I can change the fabric easily if I ever get tired of it. Here are the screws I'm talking about: http://www.joann.com/twist-pins-clear/1958289.html?green=9AF4630B-BE4E-5930-B249-30608F0B0716


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