Do you believe in fate? Or do you believe life is a series of coincidences? The fabric on our new daybed makes me believe in fate! Never in a million years did I imagine the perfect fabric for my pirate-themed playroom would have “marine” in the name. How perfect is that for an underwater-themed room?! And, on top of that, the darkest blue in the fabric is an almost identical match to the blue I painted on the walls. It was meant to be!
I think some of you were skeptical when I placed this very modern, steel-based daybed in the playroom. It looked cold and uninviting, but I had a vision. The warm wood rolling storage crates were just the first step of the plan. They definitely warmed up the look, but I knew a new cover for the daybed would make this space amazing.
I hate to boast, but I kind of feel like this corner of my home should be in a magazine now (minus the fact that there is no good light in here for photography)! The new daybed cover brings this space to life! It completes the modern whimsical pirate look I imagined all along.
First things first, the fabric. I know you are dying to know what this gorgeous fabric is and where I got it. Well, the story starts years ago before we even started the basement project and conceived of this playroom. I first fell in love with this fabric print when Jonathan Adler was using it to upholster chairs. The print is so striking. It falls somewhere between a damask and an ikat, but it is all modern! I love the star like shapes in the brighter color. Oh, this fabric just makes my heart sing, and I knew someday this print would be mine.
A couple of months ago, I teamed up with OnlineFabricStore to recover the daybed. As I was browsing through their amazing selection, there it was…Robert Allen New Damask in Marine in 100% cotton home decor weight. It was the same print I fell in love with at the Jonathan Adler store years before (in Graystone), but in a colorway that was beyond perfect for the playroom. I could not place my order fast enough!
Once I found my dream fabric, I had to decide exactly how I wanted to cover the daybed cushion. The thing is, this is a very nice daybed from Room & Board. We will probably keep it forever, but it will probably not stay in a playroom for ever. The existing upholstery is in great shape, but too boring for the playroom. I did not want to permanently recover it. For a while, I thought of taking the easy way out and just covering it with a fitted twin bed sheet, since it is almost the same size. I just couldn’t disgrace these beautiful piece of furniture that way. I wanted to keep a tailored look.
With requirements like removable and tailored, I had my work cut out for me. I wanted the ease and removability of a fitted sheet, but the style of a well-upholstered piece. After a bit of brainstorming, I settled on creating a fitted sheet type cover, but adding a little something to make it special. The result looks like a custom upholstered piece, but I can pull it off just like a sheet for cleaning or to return the daybed to its original state. See…here is the underside:
It is the large self-welt detail on the top and bottom of the cushion that gives the cover an upholstered look. The good news is this method is even easier than creating a welting or piping. This cover was made with one piece of continuous fabric, cotton cording, and simple hand-quilting. It fits on the daybed like a fitted sheet and removes just as easily. I made my cover from new fabric, but the welting detail could be added to an existing cover, too.
- 54-60″ wide Fabric
- 1″ Cotton Cording (usually in the upholstery section of the fabric store)
- Thread to match fabric
- 5/8″ Elastic
- Sewing Machine and/or serger
Fabric and Notion Measurements:
This cover is made from one large piece of fabric. To cut the fabric the right size measure the width, length, and depth of your cushion. Then cut a piece of fabric that is:
(width + 2 times depth + 12″) x (length + 2 times depth + 12″)
My cushion measured 35″ wide, 73″ long, and 5″ deep. Based on those measurements, I cut my fabric piece to be 57″ wide (35″ cushion width + 2(5″ cushion depth) + 12″) x 95″ long (73″ cushion width + 2(5″ cushion depth) + 12″). My fabric was only 54″ wide, but with the selvedge it was 57″ total. The raw selvedge edges will end up on the underside of the cushion.
For the elastic you need about 1.5 x (length + width) of your cushion.
For the cotton cording you need 4 x (length + width) of your cushion.
Step by Step:
1. Cut a notch out of all four corners of your fabric. First, fold the fabric into fourths, so all four corners are together. Cut a notch out that measures the depth of your cushion + 6 inches. In the case of my 5″ depth cushion, I cut my notches 11 x 11″ square.
2. Finish the raw edges of your fabric. Since I had the selvedge on both long sides of my fabric, I only had to finish the two short ends. Either hem or use an overlock stitch. I used my serger to finish the raw edges.
3. Sew the notches together to form the corner of the cushion cover. To do this, start with your fabric face up.
Fold your fabric on the diagonal, until the two edges of the notch meet.
Stitch 1/4″ in from the edge or use an overlook stitch (shown here), to form the corner.
The finished corner will look like below. Repeat for the other 3 corners.
4. Create a casing around the entire bottom edge for the elastic. Do this by folding under the bottom edge and sewing 3/4″ in from the fold. Make sure to leave a 6″ opening in the seam to insert the elastic. Do not insert the elastic, yet.
5. Put the cover on the daybed cushion and ensure a good fit.
6. Remove the cushion cover and lay the cotton cording along the edge of the cushion top. Use a few straight pins, if necessary, to hold it temporarily in place. Put the cushion cover back on over the cotton cording. Remove the temporary pins and reinsert them from the top of the cover fabric, if necessary to hold the cotton cording in place.
7. Hand quilt the cotton cording onto the fabric. This sounds way more intimidating than it is. Thread your needle, pulling the thread through to meet the tail end (double thread). Knot the two tails together. Bring your needle up from the bottom of the fabric just above the cotton cording.
8. To stitch the cording in place, you need to make small stitches above and below the cording. Make sure along the way you do not catch the actual cushion underneath. It is easiest to put your needle through the back edge of the cording to avoid inserting it through the daybed cushion.
If you are right-handed, you will likely be most comfortable working from right to left.
First, angle your needle down at 45-degrees from right to left and insert it through the top back edge of the cotton cording (indicated by the dotted lines in the graphic below) and bring it out the bottom back edge of the cording.
Second, make a small stitch (about 1/8″) and re-insert the needle at the bottom back edge of the cording angled up at 45-degrees from right to left.
Third, make a small stitch (about 1/8″) and re-insert the needle at the top back edge of the cording angled down at 45-degrees from right to left.
Continue in this pattern all the way around the top cushion edge. Make sure you are positioning the cording under the fabric at the cushion edge as you go along. When your thread runs out, pull it through to the back, knot, and start a new thread.
This is what the finished cording looks like stitched on the inside of the cover:
While topside, it looks like this:
9. Insert the elastic in the casing on the bottom of the cover, before adding the cording to the bottom edge. This will ensure a nice tight fit. Attach a safety-pin to one end of the elastic and feed it through the casing starting at the 6″ opening in the seam. Feed it all the way around until you come out the other side of the opening. Pull the elastic tight and tie the two ends in a double knot to secure.
It will look just like a fitted sheet when you finish.
10. Insert the cotton cording for the bottom under the edge of the cover and push it into place at the bottom edge of the cushion cover.
11. Repeat step 8 to hand stitch the bottom cording in place. When you are done, you will have a self-welt effect on the top and bottom of your cushion.
Voila! An upholstered look that is easily removable…just like changing the sheets!
I took my youngest with me to shop for some new pillows to dress up the daybed and make it a cozy spot to snuggle and read. I used leftover fabric to make an easy envelope pillow cover for the large 26″ pillow in the back. The two turquoise pillows are Sanela velvet pillows covers from Ikea with some of my secret cheap pillow inserts. I made the yellow textured pillow from a body pillow cover I found on clearance at Target. And, the studded pillow was Jax’s pick. I normally don’t buy pillow covers, but at only $12 for a studded pillow cover with down insert, I was sold.
I love how the yellow pillow ties in with some of the yellow accents on the nearby gallery wall. And the pretty turquoise in the fabric coordinates with the DIY striped school-house light. Oh, how I love when a plan comes together!
A Favorite Fabric Source
Many have asked me to share my favorite sources for fabric and I have hesitated to do so. For any online retailer to be considered one of my favorites it has to not only have great products, but the website must be well designed and useable. Unfortunately, the second part escapes most online fabric stores. I am happy to share one favorite fabric source that gets it all right, OnlineFabricStore.net.
There are three issues I typically find when shopping online for fabric:
- Bad or small pictures of the fabric swatch.
- A large collection, but search and filters are poor making browsing the fabric collection impossible.
- Badly designed website, both aesthetically and functionally, with a very cluttered and confusing layout.
I love shopping OnlineFabricStore because they have:
- Large, clear pictures of the fabric both while browsing and on the individual product page.
- A vast collection with easy to use search and filters to make browsing enjoyable. My favorite filters are by color and by design. Everything under the geometric design category is my favorite!
- A clean, minimal, uncluttered website design that makes the fabrics stand out.
And, because they are so awesome, the lovely folks at Online Fabric Store are offering each of you a coupon to try it out for yourselves. Now through October 7th, get $5 Off orders over $50 (plus free shipping on orders over $50 within contiguous US) when you use code: TEALANDLIME5
Disclosure: OnlineFabricStore provided me with the fabric used in this post. The fabric selection, project, and all comments in this post are my own.
Megan @ Rappsody in Rooms says
Wow! I am so impressed with your sewing skills! This project looks amazing!! I definitely agree that your house should be in a magazine!
Thanks, Megan! You are so sweet!
Nikki @ Deepest Ocean Blue says
As usual, this is amazing!! Who knew it was that easy to add cording or elastic? I definitely need to up my sewing skills!
This reminds me of a similar daybed cover at World Market (http://www.worldmarket.com/product/dusk+blue+burlap+mattress+cover.do?&from=fn). I have the same daybed and fell in love with the cover, but when I saw it in the store, it looked sloppy (it wasn’t fitted quite right and always looked loose). Right now I have a queen size quilt that I’ve tucked around the mattress to give a somewhat similar look, but it’s not really working either. I think I may try this instead. You made it look so easy!
Nikki, This would be perfect for bringing a little more structure to your daybed cover. The piping look just takes it to another level!
Love this idea! And the cording….brilliant!
Happy day to you!
you have made my entire week, maybe my month!! I bought a bunch of this fabric a few months ago and do not have enough to complete my project, and the store no longer carries it, and I had no idea where to find more!! thanks so much!
Julia, So glad to help. It is definitely a fabric you can never get enough of!
This really should be in a magazine. Seriously this is fabulous! I love every detail.
Aw, thanks Heather!
I have been meaning to come back and comment on this awesomeness! Seriously, you astound me daily! Love the fitted, clean lines of the slipcover. Looks so professional and the pattern is just brilliant! Way to go my friend! Way to go!
Lauren @ The Thinking Closet says
Wow, your tutorial is so clear and easy, I feel like even a beginner sewist like me could conquer this. Also, I heart Online Fabric Store, and love the fabric you worked with. It’s almost like it was made for that space! Brava, Jackie!
Laura @ The Turquoise Home says
Genius, Jackie! I love how your tutorials are so detailed and easy to follow. :) And I really adore this corner of your playroom … so customized and pulled together.
Oh, and I love OFS too … my favorite go-to online fabric shop!
Laura, Thank you. Totally a dream come true to work with OFS…they have such a great selection!
Great job. Love the BIg Cording look. Definitely elevates the cover into the professional realm. (I can say this because I have sewn a few covers for my outdoor daybed and yours loks WAY better.)
Stephanie Hack says
Where is the daybed from? I love it!
Stephanie, That daybed is from Room & Board.
Carli Eklund says
Curious where you purchased the metal daybed?
Hi Carlie, The daybed is from Room & Board.
I am making a daybed cover using your instructions. I love it! I am working on the top cording and not sure how to mange the corners. Any tips?
Stephanie, I would love to help. Can you be more specific about what challenge your are having in the corners? I wrapped the cording around the corners and put several extra stitches around the corner to help it keep it’s shape.
I figured it out. I completed and love my daybed cover! Thank you for your great blog and instructions!
Thanks so much for this helpful instruction! I have had a daybed from World Market for over a year, still in unfinished muslin because I didn’t like the original fabric. I have longed to make my own structured cover, but I know only rudimentary had sewing techniques. I plan to take a class in sewing basics. I wonder if you think I could create something like this with basic skills? Also, what sewing machine do you recommend for a new learner? Thanks again!
This is a really easy project. The longest steps were threading the elastic in the casing and the hand sewing of the cording. You could make this without the cording as well. The sewing is just straight line :)
I love this daybed frame! Do you remember where you bought it? Thanks!
Cassie, The daybed was from Room & Board.
Where did you find the boxes that you used for rolling storage under the bed? Love that idea!
Jill, I made them. The full tutorial is here.
Melody Bowles says
I love your cushion cover. Amazing. Please explain how you came up with adding the extra 6″ to the 5″ depth. I am not a math person so I am trying figure out why 6″. Help!
Thank you Melody. The extra six inches on the sides is to wrap around the bottom of the cushion, like a fitted bed sheet. Hope that helps.
Can you tell me where you got the metal daybed frame?
Jill the daybed is from Room & Board.
Hi! I just wanted to tell you how great this cover looks. I happened upon your project while looking for a way to make a slipcover for the 3 seat cushions on my white sofa. I wanted something that had a little more style then a fitted sheet yet still easy to remove and clean on a regular basis. I think the 1in cording might be too much so I bought 1/4in instead. What do you think!
Amber, I am sure it will look great. It might be a little trickier to keep straight as you stitch it in, so pin it well.
Hi, just wanted to say a huge thanks for the clear and perfect tutorial! Made my daybed cover last night and am totally in love with it! I tralled online for days not finding what I was looking for when I stumbled on your blog and I am so glad I did! my cover finishes the room off perfectly!
Ok, Im not really lazy-just can’t sew…could I just use a fitted sheet…like a flannel one? What do you all think?
Could you tell me how many yards Of fabric you needed, total? I do not sew but would like to have this made. Would love to hire you to make it but not sure if you provide this service! ;-) Thank you!
Whitney, We used 3 yards of fabric total, but I bought 5. I used some extra to make the large matching pillow.
Rebecca Easterwood says
I was wondering how something like this should be cleaned. Would it need to be spot treated or is there a certain fabric that would be best if I wanted to be able to throw it in the washer? Thanks
Rebecca, It would definitely depend on the fabric. If you want a removable cover that can be washed, definitely choose a washable fabric and I recommend pre-washing the fabric before creating the cover to avoid shrinking.
I love what you did…i Googled daybeds and found what you did…i love the fabric…but I also really lover the rolling drawers…did you make those? Is there a post about them? Or where did you find them? I am in love! Thanks!
Teagan, Thank you. The details for making the rolling storage crates are here: http://www.tealandlime.com/2013/08/diy-rolling-toy-storage-crates/
I am a beginner with the sewing machine but truly enjoy it. My dogs have done a number on our couch and I decided to try and make slipcovers for it. This has been the most comprehensive tutorial I have found. Got some inexpensive fabric to try it out. Thank you sooo much for sharing your beautiful project.
Can you use this technique with faux leather too???
Anna, You could certainly make a cover from faux leather, but I would not recommend doing the puckering on the corners – the threads would be very noticeable on leather and the stiffness of the material would be extremely hard to work with.
What is the tan underside of the daybed? A sheet?
Ginny, Nope. Our daybed came as an upholstered piece. That is the original upholstery on the cushion.
Jackie just fantastic your daybed cover been looking for this over a12month going to do my caravan seating you have saved me a lot of money.who needs an upholster when we’ve got you so pleased I found you thankyou xxx
Ps for got the important part you have made it look so easy your introduction wish you all the best look forward to more of your work
Hi Jackie- LOVE this cover and am going to make it for a daybed I have at my beach house this weekend. Question- The measurements for the mattress are length: 74 3/8 inches, width: 38 1/4 inches , and depth 3 7/8 inches. Do you suggest I round up or down? Thanks!
You can round up to the nearest half or quarter inch. The elastic on the bottom will make it fit snug.
Vicki Jacobs says
Excellent tutorial, this is just what a friend has asked me to make for his daybed in his son’s room. My question has to do with the fabric – do you dry clean the cover or does it work to machine wash it in cold/gentle cycle?
Vicki, it depends on the fabric. The fabric I used is dry-clean only. I personally spot clean it and use Dryel in my dryer at home. If you plan to use a machine washable fabric, I would pre-wash it before making the cover to account for any shrinkage.
I’ve been looking for a way to convert my twin bed into a daybed/couch with a removable cover – this tutorial is definitely the best I’ve found!
Question: I’m looking to cover both the mattress and the box spring – do you think I can just extend the depth measurement to cover both pieces, or is it better to do one cover per piece? One cover per piece feels like a waste of fabric.
I would do one cover per piece to get a more fitted look. You could use a cheaper fabric, like muslin, on the top of the box spring since it won’t be seen. Make that part more like a bed skirt.
Chelsea Bowman says
I absolutely love this. I have been having the hardest time finding the perfect daybed cover. Do you ever do custom pieces for people? I’d be willing to pay you whatever amount to make one for me. I have ZERO sewing skills. Let me know!
Thanks Jackie for this great post! I finished the cover for the daybed at my beach house and it looks great! I tried to round up but didn’t have enough fabric (used a piece I had saved in the basement but had never used) but it still looks perfect albeit a bit tight on the corner but was able to adjust with the elastic. I wish I could figure out how to export the picture so I can add it to this message! Thanks so much for your easy tutorial! Tania
Thanks for the great tutorial! We have a modern daybed that has a new tear in the cover. I would love to sew something very fitted (tight), but the piping is not quite the right style. Would you tell me if you think it’s possible to do this without the piping? Thanks so much!
I bought two daybeds at World Market and I was searching for something like this also! My problem is that using the formula, I need 62″ wide material. I haven’t found many options for that, so I was wondering if I could get away with sewing a couple of inches of a coordinating color to my main fabric and using that on the bottom of the bed. Do you think that would work and if so, what is the widest I can go without it showing?
Thank you so much for this amazing DIY!!