You know what bedding is? It's frosting for your bed frame. Think about it – plain old cake layers just popped out of the cake pans certainly resemble your mattress and box spring without any of their bedding. Lay down a little fabric frosting... and boring becomes beautiful. Bedding has many parts and any part can be made by you. Starting from the ground up, you have: bed skirts or dust ruffles, sheets, pillowcases, blankets, bed spreads, comforters, duvets, shams and blanket throws. Pick one piece or create an entire coordinated set.
Nothing brightens up your bedroom like new bedding. Except maybe turning on the light... that would really brighten things up. Bedding is the perfect home decor picker-upper. Start from scratch or buy plain items at the store and add your own embellishments.
Here's a run down of Bedding Basics:
Bed Skirts or Dust Ruffles
This is the decorative fabric that runs around the bottom of your bed and covers your box spring as well as the legs of your bed frame. It fits between the mattress and the box spring and hangs all the way to the floor. The length of a bed skirt is called its "drop."
You have a bottom fitted sheet and a plain top sheet. The bottom sheet should be left free of embellishments so it is smooth to sleep on. But the top sheet is a great candidate for embellishment, especially along the edge, which many people fold over their blankets. If you've ever wondered, thread count is the number of thread ends per square inch in a woven fabric. The higher the count, the finer the weave and, therefore, the smoother the feel of the fabric.
There are those who recommend changing your pillowcases every night to insure the cleanest surface to rest your head and face. The good news is that pillowcases are one of the fastest and easiest home decor items to make. They're really just two seams and a hem. The fun comes in combining fabrics to create a border, adding trims or embroidery to the open edges, or experimenting with luxury fabrics like fine linen or satin. Personalized pillowcases make great gifts and a super fun for kids to make.
Possibly out-doing the pillowcase in ease of construction is the blanket. Just about any piece of fabric can become a blanket, but most folks stick with the tried-and-true favorites: wool, fleece and flannel. For a lightweight blanket, simply sew two pieces of flannel right sides together along all four edges, leaving a small opening along one side. Turn right side out through this opening, slip stitch the hole closed, iron the seams, and sleep. For a heavier blanket, many wools can be used as one thickness with just a rolled hem along the edge. Most fleece doesn't even need a hem since it doesn't ravel along a raw edge. Instead, cut a little fringe to create a decorative edge. As another no-sew alternative, fringe two identically sized pieces of fleece (make them two different colors or patterns for more contrast), place one on top of the other wrong sides together and knot each corresponding fringe. One episode of CSI: Miami later, and you have a thick fleece blanket with fluffy fringe all the way around.
A bed spread is a heavy covering with sides that drop all the way to the floor. If you choose to use a bed spread, you really don't need a bed skirt. If you're into recycling, vintage drapes re-cut to the correct size make awesome bed spreads.
These are thick, decorative bed covers. They are simply a soft, flat fabric bag filled with down, feathers or a synthetic cousin. They are often quilted and usually reversible – with beautiful decorator fabric on both top and bottom or a plain color on one side and a pattern on the other. The sides of a comforter normally go only about halfway to the floor, so you would need a bed skirt to finish the look.
A duvet (pronounced do-vey) is a plain comforter. It is still a soft, flat fabric bag filled with down or feathers, but unlike a comforter, the fabric is not decorator. It is usually just a plain white cotton or polyester. Duvets can be used alone as a fluffy blanket, but most people prefer using a duvet cover, a fabric envelope that slips over the entire duvet and closes at the top with buttons or ties. Just between you, me and fence post – most people (and many stores) use the terms duvet and comforter interchangeably. Just remember, if it's plain white or off-white to start with, you should really plan on making a duvet cover to prevent stains.
These are decorative coverings for pillows. Pillow shams are usually placed behind the regular pillows you sleep on. They look nice and are also good padding when reading in bed.
Just like a regular blanket but smaller in size, blanket throws are meant to be folded at the foot of your bed so they are quick to grab and wrap yourself up in while you lounge in bed eating crackers and watching TV because you're home all alone and no one will ever find out.