Bedding Tutorial #1–A Blanket/Bedspread

Hello everyone! I hope you are here because you want to learn how to make doll bedding. If not, you are in the wrong place! This tutorial series is going to show you how to make doll bedding to fit any size doll bed. It’s really pretty easy once you know a few basic steps. You don’t have to have a bed either, a box that is the right size length and width-wise to fit your doll is all you need. I myself am using a box for this tutorial:
Bed tut A 1
This is the box that Kit’s bed came in. It’s nice and sturdy and since it’s made for a doll bed, definitely long and wide enough. I like keeping the boxes the beds came in whenever possible just in case I would ever have to store them.  A doll box works well for this purpose too.  This tutorial will make it so that you have a bed with a headboard and the box stays intact, no gluing or cutting!

For most of this tutorial series, you are going to need a few basic supplies. Here is a check list:

Scissors
Straight Pins
Paper
Fabric
Thread
Sewing machine (although you can sew this by hand if you don’t have one)
Iron
Ironing board
Yardstick or tape measure
Fiberfill (if you are making the pillow and/or mattress)

As for how much fabric–that’s going to be determined by how many different parts of this series you are going to make. I’m using two coordinating fabrics and I have a yard of each. If you are going to make it all out of the same fabric, 2 yards will be plenty and you are likely to have some left. You will also need a yard of plain white fabric for making the mattress, pillow and the top part of the box cover.

This is the fabric and thread I selected for my project:
Bed tut A 2
I prefer to stick with a cotton fabric, quilt fabric works well for this project. I’ve also used flannel for one side and it worked very well. Try to avoid knits, large prints, and pre-quilted as they are not only not going to lay right, some of those can be difficult to work with, especially if you are just learning.

First thing we need to do is measure the top part of the box.
Bed tut A 3
The width is just over 10 1/4 inches. (excuse the odd picture, I had to take it upside down and flip it because I couldn’t hold the tape measure AND the camera with the same hand LOL)

Bed tut A 4
The length of the box is just over 19 1/2 inches.

Now we have to determine where we want the sides of the bedspread to hit:
Bed tut A 5
The total height of the box is right around 5 inches, but I don’t want my bedspread to hit the floor. Because of the shape of the box, I do want it to hang past the end of the lid, so I am going to use 3 inches as my measurement for the sides.

Now we have to do a little bit of math. Let’s do the width first. Add the width of the box, plus what you want the drop to be (in this case 3 inches), making sure to add that figure in twice (once for each side), then add 1/2 inch in for each side as well for your seam allowance. Add it all together:
Bed tut A 6

Now for the length! We’re going to do the same thing, EXCEPT you are going to add the drop in only one time since this bed is going to have a headboard.
Bed tut A 7

Because I hate working in fractional numbers when cutting things out, I’m just going to round up!
Bed tut A 8

So now it’s time to cut two pieces of fabric, 18 inches x 24 inches. I’m going to cut one piece of each fabric so my bedspread will be reversible! So, how to cut it you ask? You can make a pattern piece, and the easiest way I’ve found to do this is to take several sheets of printer paper and carefully tape them together until they come out to the right size, making sure to keep everything square as you do it. It’s probably best to overlap the sheets, that will help you with alignment. Plus, if you make pattern pieces as you go, you can make more than one blanket (or pillow or mattress!). I usually keep all of my measurements and pattern pieces I make right inside the box (soon to be bed!), that way they are easy to find if you need them!  Other things to make pattern pieces out of: wrapping paper, kraft paper, paper grocery bag.  Don’t use newspaper, the ink tends to come off onto your hands and fabric.

I have to admit that I’ve gotten out of the habit of making pattern pieces though, since I discovered this:
Bed tut A 9  Bed tut A 10

This is a rotary cutter, self healing mat and a measured straight edge, generally used for quilting.  I DO NOT recommend this for an inexperienced person as that blade is MEGA SHARP and very dangerous in inexperienced hands!!!!!  I don’t want to hear about anyone cutting any appendages off while doing this project, so please don’t try it.  These are also rather expensive (the mat alone is about $30!) and I’m sure that whoever owns these wouldn’t appreciate finding them improperly used.  However, if you do have someone who knows how to use one of these, by all means, con ask them into cutting things out for you. 😉

Here are my two pieces, cut and ready to sew!

Bed tut A 11

Place the right sides of the fabric together and pin the two long sides and one short side:
Bed tut A 12
(I have it flipped so you can see that both wrong sides are facing out)
Bed tut A 14
The pins don’t show up all that well in this pic because of the print of the fabric. Just remember that you don’t need to pin the last short side.  You want to leave that side open so you can turn the blanket right side out.

Sew the three pinned sides (2 long, 1 short) using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Remove pins.

At the bottom corners, you are going to need to trim some fabric away–locate your stitches so you don’t cut them!
Bed tut A 15

It should look like this when you trim. The reason for doing this is to eliminate some of the excess fabric so that when you turn this right side out, it doesn’t end up a lumpy mess!
Bed tut A 16

Now, using a hot iron, press open your seams. This is also very important as it helps everything lay better as well.
Don’t be afraid to get help from someone else if using an iron scares you! It scares me too!!!
Bed tut A 17

Now turn your pouch right-side out.  You can use something pointed to help turn the corners better–chopsticks or a knitting needle both work well for this purpose.  Press the piece again, making sure you get a nice, smooth finish at the seams.

Bed tut A 18

Now you need to fold the fabric on your open end down 1/2 inch to the inside and press this as well.
Bed tut A 20
Bed tut A 21
Pin the open sides together after pressing and sew them together using a top stitch. You want this to be fairly close to the edge of the fabric, just be sure that you are catching both sides. It will look like this:
Bed tut A 22
Alrighty, almost done! Now you are going to top stitch the 3 already sewn sides the same way. This serves two purposes. 1) gives a uniform look to the piece and 2) prevents shifting of the side seams in the event you have to launder this piece. If you don’t do this, heaven only knows what shape it will be when you get it out of the washer/dryer!!!!

Bed tut A 23

And there you have it–a bedspread! Custom fit to your bed (box).
Bed tut A 24

Just remember–to fit your bed for the width, take the width of your box, plus the drop x 2, plus 1/2 inch and 1/2 inch for the seam allowance. For the length, take the length of your box, plus the drop (just once!) plus 1/2 inch and 1/2 inch for your seam allowance. As long as you remember these two rules for measuring, you can make a blanket to fit any box or bed! If making it for a daybed, just reduce the amount of drop, you’ll just need enough so you can tuck it in. Easy Peasy! 😉

The next tutorial will be how to make a pillow for a doll bed with a pillowcase. Thanks for stopping by!

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8 thoughts on “Bedding Tutorial #1–A Blanket/Bedspread

  1. The is so awesome! Thank you for putting the time in for these great step by step instructions. It’s really clear. I think this might be the first project I try with my new sewing machine (that I’ve been afraid to try!). I love the idea of repurposing AG boxes for this. 🙂

    • Doll bedding is an excellent first project for a number of reasons. It’s mostly straight stitch sewing, no curves to sew and if you make a mistake, the dolls aren’t going to notice! I hope you give it a try, it is addictive.

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