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  • Danika Herrick

MAKE IT: Custom Pleated Dust Ruffle

Updated: Mar 16

Custom Extra Long Twin Dorm Beds with coordinating bedding and bed skirts in pink, coral and yellow
Custom Pleated Bed Skirts

We recently had the opportunity to help design a dorm room. We all know dorm/ dorm apartment furniture is not the most attractive so we incorporated several hacks to beautify the space. The basic metal bed frames left little to the imagination. Dust ruffles really finish off a bedding ensemble and they allow you to hide extra storage underneath, a must have when storage and space is at a minimum.  Quite often dorm beds have adjustable height to allow for more under bed storage, but these random sizes prove to be a challenge when finding a premade dust ruffle.  Especially trying to find extra long twin sizes. 

This dust ruffle tutorial will require quite a bit of math and a sewing machine because it uses decking. I really like how decking keeps everything secure and lying flat, and while I have used fasteners like Velcro in the past, I always had issues with the dust ruffle falling off in places when I changed sheets. 


Here I used the Travis Stripe printed on Cypress Cotton Canvas. This pattern matches the wallpaper "faux" headboard and gives the space a tailored feel.  As for the type of fabric you choose, you really have a lot of options and I recommend any of the Home Decor fabrics for this project.  They all give similar results but will offer different textures and weights.  

I have created a printable worksheet here to determine your size and fabric amount, as well as step by step instructions. 

  1. Print the worksheet and fill out the measurements, I have created it with a blank second page so you can sketch your bed and make notes. 

  2. Cut your decking fabric to the decking size listed on the worksheet.  An old white bedsheet or inexpensive drapery lining works great since this will end up under your mattress and out of sight. Be sure to mark the center at the end of your decking.

White decking fabric lying flat with center point measurement marking.
Marked center point on the cut decking

3. Determine the height and length of your dust ruffle fabric panels by using the work sheet, as well as how many panels you are going to need to cut. For the height simply measure from the top of your bed frame to where you want it to hit near the floor. If you want it to puddle, you will need to add a little extra.

4. Cut your dust ruffle panels to the height needed and seam together to create one continuous long strip of fabric that measures the total perimeter length.

Folded striped fabric pieces
Cut lengths prior to seaming together

5. Hem your bottom edge.  I like a larger hem, so I created 2” allowances to incorporate a 1” folded hem. I marked the inside bottom edge at 1” intervals and then folded it under and pressed.  Sew your hems.

Striped fabric being hemmed on a sewing machine
Sew the hem the bottom edge of the fabric

6. Measure and mark for your pleats.  Follow the guidelines on the work sheet to calculate your pleat placement. I like pleats folded at 4” increments and every pleat will need 16” of fabric total.  Find your center and mark that. I like to use pins to mark my pleats since it lets me make adjustments easily.  I used a different color (green) pin for my center mark so I can find it easily later on.  Starting at the center, create your pleats by marking the center of your first one and measuring  4” twice to the right and then 4” twice to the left:

Striped fabric with 4" markings and straight pins at those marks
Pin the pleats with straight pins

7. Fold the outer most pins in to meet in at the center pin.  Use two straight pins to tack and set the pleats in place.  The first (center) pleat is now set.  Now its time to continue creating your pleats by working off this first center pleat.


8. Refer to your worksheet for your pleat spacing, measure and mark the distance to your next pleat starting from the center pin of the last pleat you made. (Ex: if your pleats are spaced out every 27”, measure 27” from the center point of the last pleat. Set a pin and begin to measure 4” four times from that pin).  Mark the 4” increments from that point with pins and fold and set the pleats. Continue around both sides until all pleats are done. 

When you finish the last pleat on each side measure its time to finish the ends with a half pleat. Measure an extra 5” past and trim any extra if there is any.  You will make a 1/2” rolled hem along the edges and fold the ends 4” under and tack at the top.  You can stitch across the tops of each pleat to reinforce them before you attach to the decking.  Press all your pleats to really set them in place.

Striped Fabric being ironed
Iron to set the folded pleats
folded striped fabric being sewn on sewing machine
Sew across the centers of each pleat to reinforce before attaching to decking

9. Join the pleats and the decking together. Find your center points you made earlier on both and line them up with their good sides facing each other.  Pin both together. Using a 1/2” seam, sew the decking and pleated ruffle together.

Match the decking and skirt center point

Sew the decking to the bed skirt

10.  Once all three sides are sewn together, hem the top unfinished edge of your decking by folding the unfinished edge under twice and sewing across.   YOU ARE DONE! You can now place your new dust ruffle on your foundation and make your bed.

Bed skirt/ Dust ruffle on bed frame
New bed skirt in place

close up of striped bed skirt in striped pinks and coral with yellow.


Custom Bedding to Complete your Project

folded duvet and sheet sets in pink, coral and gold flora and small print
Mughal FieldsTwin Duvet Cover with Citrus Pinecone Sheets

Did you know that any design you order on Spoonflower is also available in Home Decor items that are sewn to order?  This takes finishing your room to the next level, allowing you to mix and match designs to coordinate with your fabric an wallpaper projects. From table clothes and napkins, to curtains, throw blankets and bedding, there are endless ways to finish that space.  I dove into their Bedding section and coordinated a few patterns for duvets, shams, pillows and sheets.  Speaking of sheets, Spoonflower now offers twin XL sheets which are such a necessity for college dorms!  You no longer have to be stuck browsing the limited options at big box stores, instead you can choose from the millions available on Spoonflower and even customize your design.

Bed made up in pink, coral and gold patterns of floral  and stripes
Finished Bed in Spoonflower bedding and pillows

Everything is printed on their Perennial Sateen Grand which is a buttery smooth, lightweight cotton. I used the Pinecone 4 Citrus Yellow for the sheets and the Mughal Field Citrus for the Duvets. I even ordered a throw pillow in the Travis Stripe Citrus to tie together the headboard and Dust Ruffle. Speaking of the headboard, that was a super easy DIY made out of Peel and Stick wallpaper! Check out the full tutorial here.  Whether you want matching bedding like we did here, or two different print looks on each bed that coordinate with color, Spoonflower has you covered!

bedroom with two twin matching beds in fabric designed by Danika Herrick

Patterns used are from this collection:

Mughal Field Citrus (Duvet, Shams, Artwork)

Travis Stripe Citrus (Headboard, Dust Ruffle, Lumbar Pillow)

Pinecone 4 Citrus Yellow (Sheets)

Marge in Citrus Gold (Artwork)

Large Sally in Coral and White (Artwork)

Powder Blue Diagonal Treillage (Doors)

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1 Comment

White Lilac Farmhouse
White Lilac Farmhouse
Apr 23

I love your designs and have ordered wallpaper and fabrics that you have designed from spoonflower. You have such gorgeous patterns to select.

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