How to Make Your Own Mattress Topper
Add a mattress topper and prolong the life of the mattress.
- 1 Make a Fitted Sheet for a Platform Bed
- 2 Sewing a Gusset in a Comforter
- 3 Make Your Own Reversible Futon Cover
- 4 Make Cording for Sofa Covers
A mattress topper adds loft to a mattress top, it can provide a moisture-absorbing barrier between the mattress and sleeper, it can reduce heat buildup between the sleeper and a mattress surface, and it may be removed for easy cleaning. With a few tools and beginner-level sewing expertise, a homeowner may attempt the construction of a mattress topper with confidence.
Measure the top of the mattress. Measure the width as the distance from one side to the other, and length as the distance from the head to the foot of the mattress.
Purchase pre-quilted fabric that is at least as wide as the mattress plus 1 inch. For example, if the mattress top is 60 inches wide, buy topper fabric at least 61 inches wide to avoid seams on the sleeping surface.
Cut one piece of fabric to the size of the mattress top plus 1 inch.
Measure the depth of the mattress. Cut strips of lightweight fabric equal in width to the depth of the mattress plus 5 inches. Cut enough strips which, when joined, are equal in length to the perimeter measurement of the mattress plus 1 inch. For example, if the mattress is 60 inches wide, 75 inches long and 14 inches deep, the perimeter measures 270 inches. Using fabric 60 inches wide and allowing 1 inch for seam allowances, cut five strips 19 inches wide and seam them together. Cut the finished strip to the required 270 inches plus 1 inch seam allowance, then join the ends to create a continuous strip.
Serge or zigzag one long edge of the strip. Turn the edge 1 inch toward the wrong side and press. Stitch close to the finished edge, creating the edge casing. Leave a 1-inch opening in the seam for elastic insertion.
Pin the remaining edge to the perimeter edge of the mattress topper fabric and sew all around the perimeter with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Finish the seam with serging or zigzagging.
Cut a piece of 1/4-inch elastic equal in length to half the mattress perimeter measurement. Following the example, cut the piece 135 inches long. Fasten a large safety pin to one end of the elastic and thread it into the edge casing and around the perimeter, exiting at the opening. Sew the ends of the elastic together and evenly adjust the gathers around the casing. Sew the 1-inch opening closed.
Position the topper on the mattress and slip the gathered edge under the mattress to complete the project.
Make Your Own Mattress Covers
Mattress covers play quite an important role. A mattress takes a fair amount of wear and tear and are very easy to soil. Mattress covers protect the mattress from everyday use. They also act as dust-catchers so it’s particularly important to use mattress covers as a form of protection. Instead of forking over big bucks for a new mattress cover, consider making your own by following the steps below.
Step 1 – Calculate Fabric
Begin by measuring the length, width, and depth of your mattress. Purchase enough material to cover the mattress and allow an additional three inches all the way around for your seams. It is easiest to purchase just two pieces of fabric because these will be wide enough to cover half the depth from each side of your mattress. Both pieces should be large enough to completely cover the length and width of one side of the mattress.
To save time, ask the assistant in the fabric shop to cut the length of your material to the exact size. Once you have brought your fabric home, it is wise to wash the material to allow for shrinking before the covers are made. Failure to do so can weaken your sewing if the covers aren’t washed until a later date.
Step 2 – Prepare the Material
Place each sheet of fabric on a clean floor. The side facing up will become the inside of your mattress cover. You now need to mark out your seam lines. Allow for two inches around the perimeter of each piece of fabric. If you’re a little nervous about mistakes, allow for three inches instead.
Place the inner sides of your fabric sheets together and pin the seams of the two short sides. Leave one of the long sides open but pin the remaining side.
Step 3 – Construct your Covers
Place the sheets on your sewing machine and, removing pins as you go, run the machine down the three pinned edges. Try to keep the stitches as straight as possible because irregular or uneven sewing will cause your mattress cover to fit poorly. Take your time because any mistakes can require a new mattress padding.
Once the first three sides are sewn, you need to deal with the opening side of your cover. Using your pins once more, fold down the edges of the opening and place a suitable length of Velcro onto the folded material on each side. Pin the edges and Velcro into place. Run your sewing machine along the edges to simultaneously create a neat seam and two firm velcro attachments that will face each other once the cover is fitted.
Step 4 – Make your Bed
You now need to turn your finished cover inside out. Pull the cover on to the mattress and close the Velcro strips to keep it in place. Lay the mattress back on to your bed with Velcro side down facing into the wall wherever possible to promote a tidier appearance.
How to Make a Mattress Cover
How to Make a Mattress
Things You’ll Need
- 1-inch elastic
- Tape measure
- Mattress pad clips
- Sewing machine
Mattress covers will keep your mattress from getting soiled and will prolong the life of the mattress. Another good reason to keep a mattress cover on your bed is for warmth. During cold weather, it’s much nicer to relax in a warm bed than hitting the cold of the hard mattress cover.
Measure the size of your bed and cut an old blanket, fleece or flannel material to that size. The more layers you have, the softer and more comfortable the mattress pad will be. If you are adding layers to your pad, then you will need to machine stitch the layers together.
On a flat surface, spread out the first layer of fabric; each layer after that should have any wrinkles smoothed out. Pin the outer edges and, using a wide stitch on your sewing machine, stitch all the layers together. Continue to machine stitch vertical and horizontal rows. This will keep the layers from shifting. The number of rows will depend upon the size of the mattress cover, but three rows each, from top to bottom and across, should be sufficient.
Use elastic to secure the cover to the mattress. Mattress pad clips are available in stores and consist of a wide elastic band and clips to secure to the cover. You can easily make your own by using 1-inch wide elastic. Measure back 12 inches from each corner. This is a total of eight measurements. Measure and cut four strips of elastic. The length will be determined by the thickness of your mattress. You will want a snug fit. Sew each elastic band to each corner using your sewing machine or hand stitch.
Slip the elastic under each corner of the mattress and you have a new mattress cover.
Too many thick layers on your mattress pad will make washing and drying more difficult.
Sewing News LIVE – Angela Wolf talking with Joanne Banko
Embroidered Summer Sweater by Joanne Banko
Final Sew Blog Inspiration
Life Lessons for a Life Skills Class
DIY Tent & Gear Repair
Thanksgiving Sewing Projects
Christmas Tree Turtlenecks
Authentic Japanese Boro, Boro Mending and Boro-Inspired Patchwork
Cleaning Your Sewing Machine
How to Sew a DIY Mattress Cover
My husband and I sleep on a full-sized bed on 4” of high density foam that we bought from Keyston Brothers, a store that specializes in auto and marine foam and fabric (We use density type Q41 for anyone interested in doing the same). We find the foam lasts about five years before we need to replace it and for a full-sized mattress’ worth, it costs about $250. That is loads cheaper than a fancy mattress and we sleep like babies.
We discovered this foam when we were replacing the cushions in the v-berth of our sailboat. We lived aboard for almost eight years and slept amazingly. When we moved on land we decided to cut costs and stick with the foam. I made a custom cover for it but this frame we recently got from Ikea is smaller than the foam. See how it curves down into the bed and up and over the edges? My husband and I were getting rolled into each other at night so I knew I was going to have to take matters into my own hands.
See how it curves down into the bed and up and over the edges?
Let’s get started
I took off the cover I had made and measured the foam to a size that would fit in the frame. Then I got out my $20 electric cutting knife from Walmart and got to slicing.
Take a deep breath. We’re about to slice into our bed. Ready? Let’s go!
Upstairs, I cut the side piece (zipper piece) off of the top and bottom of the cover. Here are the two main panels laid out.
Here are the two main panels laid out.
I had finished all my seams with zigzag stitches and there was no way I wanted to take out all those stitches. Instead I saved the zipper by just taking out the straight stitches holding it to the cover.
I saved the zipper by just taking out the straight stitches holding it to the cover.
Zipper saved! Now I didn’t have to buy another one for the smaller sized cover.
Let’s sketch this out…
Math time! Here I had to work out the new size of the zipper plaque and the rest of the side facing. Plus I wanted to add handles this time so I measured out those too. I also cut the top and back panels to the same size as the foam that now fit in the bed frame.
I was all out of the original fabric I had used to make the mattress cover so I used some leftover Sunbrella scraps I had from another project. Here are the parts I’ll need to piece together for the zipper plaque, the rest of the sides and the handles.
Here are the parts I’ll need to piece together for the zipper plaque, the rest of the sides, & the handles.
I made quick work of the four handles and top stitched them for strength. The ends are unfinished as they’ll be sewn inside the cover.
I made quick work of the four handles & top stitched them for strength.
Next I sewed the zipper plaque and side pieces together. I also made sure to zig zag stitch each join to prevent the fabric unraveling.
Next I sewed the zipper plaque & side pieces together.
Making the zipper plaque is my favorite part. It means I’m getting close to being done. Here I’ve switched to a zipper foot so I can get super close to the zipper.
Making the zipper plaque is my favorite part.
Next I sewed on the handles to one of the large panels.
Next I sewed on the handles to one of the large panels.
Now it was time to add on the side facing. Yes! I joined one end of the side panel to the zipper plaque and started sewing on the zipper plaque portion first. Then I just transitioned to the side piece and kept going all the way around.
Now it was time to add on the side facing.
I stopped several inches before I got back around to the beginning and joined the two ends. Then I trimmed off the excess, zig zag stitched the join, and then sewed that piece onto the bottom panel completely.
I stopped several inches before I got back around to the beginning & joined the two ends.
Pro tip:make sure you open up your zipper enough right now that you can get your hand through it to open it completely when turn this right sides out in a few more steps.
You are so close now.
You are so close now.
Before you begin sewing on the top panel there are still two important things you need to do.
Create match up marks.
- Create match up marks. When you are working with large pieces of fabric, things have a tendency to shift. These marks will let you know you are joining the two pieces together where you should. If you look carefully you will see pink marks on either side of the fabric at the 19” mark. I marked the side pieces and then the top piece so everything should match up when I sew.
- Do your corners. This is crucial. Go to each corner and fold it down and back until you are sure the piece is square with each side. Then mark that spot so you know you’re at the actual corner when you get there.
Do your corners.
Begin sewing your final panel to the cover. I like to put the panel that is being sewn on the bottom. Here you can see I’ve matched my corners perfectly.
Here you can see I’ve matched my corners perfectly.
When you’ve sewn all the way around you are ALMOST done but not quite. There are two things to be done first.
- Take the time to carefully inspect ALL seams, fronts and backs. Sew anything you might need to.
- Then you need to zigzag stitch both seams in order prevent the fabric from unraveling.
You may think you have finished the hardest part, but the worst is yet to come.
Pat yourself on the back
You may think you have finished the hardest part, but the worst is yet to come. It’s time for cushion Olympics. Yes, wrangling foam into cushions should be an Olympic sport.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Go slowly. Do not pull the fabric or you will rip your seams and pop your zippers.
- Rather, walk the foam into the cover. I like to fold it on the ends and walk it a little sideways.
- Patience, patience, patience. Fit your foam into the pattern just the way you designed it. It you did your math right, it WILL fit.
After burning some calories (always a good thing), you will have your new mattress with custom fitting mattress cover that actually fits into your bed frame. Now you may rejoice.
How to make your own mattress
Shopping for a new bed can be overwhelming. It’s hard to separate the marketing claims from the facts. And the prices aren’t that easy to swallow either. Articles on how many toxic chemicals are present in average mattress aren’t helping you make your choice either. So, what’s your alternative? How will you find a bed that meets your needs, is within your budget, and suits your style too?The answer to that is DIY. Yes, you read it right. We’re talking about making your own mattress. And before you read any further, let’s clarify one thing. We’re not talking about how to make your own foam or other mattress components. Let’s not go crazy, yeah? We’re talking about getting the mattress components from different vendors and assembling it yourself.
So, how does one do that? Apparently, it’s easier than you’d think. The first thing you have to do is figure out what you want your mattress to be made of. Do you want latex foam or memory foam? Do you want to use polyurethane foam as the base foam? Or do you want something more natural such as wool batting, buckwheat hulls, millet hulls, and kapok? The point here is, you’ll need to do a fair amount of research on what “ingredients” you want your bed to have. You can go all natural or organic, or just a hybrid of various types of materials such as pocketed coil springs, latex foam, and memory foam. Whatever floats your boat. To check out your options for mattress fillings, you can visit these sites: DIY Natural Bedding , Open Your Eyes Bedding , Foam Order , and DIY Mattress Components .
Once you have the filling sorted out, you’ll need to find a mattress case. Now, some people have the skills to sew their own. Good for them! For those of you (including me) who aren’t as skilled, you can buy the mattress cover (called ticking) from some of the stores mentioned above as well as regular mattress stores and some online stores such as Amazon and eBay.
After you’ve gathered all your materials, the next step is to assemble your bed. Open your mattress case/cover and lay it down flat on the floor or on top of the bed frame. Whichever area you choose, just make sure you have enough space to lay out the bottom part of the cover entirely flat.
Once you have the cover laid out, place your filling on top. You’ll need to put the base first, whether it’s polyurethane, latex, memory foam, wool batting, etc. Once all the layers have been arranged properly, get the top part of the mattress case and cover your chosen materials. Then, just zip it closed and viola! You’ve made your own mattress!
If you’re not sure about the DIY mattress route, here are a few other reasons why you should. You get that feeling of accomplishment when you make something using your own two hands. You also feel safe that you know exactly what you’re lying on at night and breathing in as you sleep. No toxic chemicals for you! And the best part? If parts of your bed starts to break down, you can easily replace just that particular component. No need to get rid of an entire mattress. How’s that for a perfect bed?