How To Make A Duvet Cover

A DIY duvet cover is easier than you think and will allow you to use a unique fabric to add to the style of your room. Don't worry if your fabric isn't wide enough. In this tutorial I'll show you how to sew a duvet cover to get a custom look.

It all started when I was designing a room for the grandkids at my mom's house and she couldn't find a duvet cover she loved. But she did find a fabric she loved so I set out to make a custom duvet cover.

For this easy duvet cover, I used fabric for the top layer and a white flat sheet for the bottom layer which saved us money. I promise the hardest part of this project is finding a place to lay out a giant piece of fabric.

Doesn't my little lady look cozy in this DIY duvet cover? She's fake sleeping pretty well don't you think?

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What Is A Duvet Cover?

A duvet cover is a light weight fabric covering that goes over a duvet insert and typically used as the top layer of bedding. The benefits of a duvet cover are that you can easily take the cover off to clean it, switch out the thickness of the insert for different seasons, or change the duvet cover itself seasonally.

What Goes Inside A Duvet Cover?

A duvet insert goes inside a duvet cover. Duvet inserts can range from light weight to heavy depending on how much warmth you need. You can find duvet inserts made from anything from cotton, to down filled duvet inserts, to synthetic down inserts (my favorite!)

What Is The Best Fabric For A Duvet Cover?

The best fabric for a duvet cover is a light weight cotton twill similar to the fabric sheets are made from. This makes it easy to throw in the washing machine. If you use a fabric that is too thick it won't be comfortable as bedding or lay nicely on the bed.

Buying fabric online has become one of my favorite things because it saves time and the selection is amazing! Click here to see my favorite places to buy fabric online!

Supplies For Sewing A Duvet Cover

This is for a twin duvet cover. You’ll need to adjust the amount of fabric you need and the size of the flat sheet according to the size duvet cover you’ll be making.

How to Make A Duvet Cover

Step 1: Get measurements and cut the duvet cover fabric

Your supply list may differ if you’re using a different width of fabric or if you’re making a different size duvet cover.

Here's the rundown of how I figured out how much fabric I needed:

  • First I took measurements of my duvet cover insert and added 4 inches to both the width and the length to allow for 1 inch seams all the way around and be able to fold over the edge that the Velcro is on.
    • Because my fabric was only 42 inches wide I had to get extra to put panels on either edge to make it wide enough - you'll see what I mean in the next step.
  • For the back side (where I used a flat sheet) I added another 6 inches to the length to allow for the pocket along the Velcro edge - that'll make more sense to you in a minute too.

Example: My insert measures 63 x 86 inches. So for my top layer I created a 67 x 90 inch piece, and for my bottom layer I cut the flat sheet to 67 x 96 inches.

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Step 2: Prepare the top layer of the duvet cover

Because my fabric is 42 inches wide I added panels on each side to make it 67 inches.

  • I cut out two 13 ½ inch wide panels - trying my best to keep the pattern aligned.
  • Then I laid each panel onto my 42 inch wide piece, print side to print side, and sewed down the edge with a 1 inch seam. Now I have one big 67 inch wide top layer.
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  • Now decide which end of the duvet cover you want to go at the bottom of the bed and fold that edge over 1  inch, then again 1 inch, pin in place and sew. (Example image below... the fabric is different because the photos are from a different duvet cover I made.)
    • This will be the part that opens to put your insert in, so you want it to be a clean edge.
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Step 3: Prepare the bottom layer of the duvet cover

  • Cut a piece from your flat sheet that's the same width as your top layer but 6 inches longer than the original top layer before you folded in for the seam. (Mine is 96 inches long.)
  • Fold the extra 6 inches over to make a pocket and make sure it's smooth. Do not pin.

Step 4: Attach the two layers of the duvet cover

  • Lay the top layer (print side down) onto the bottom layer and pin all the way around on 3 sides, not pinning on the side with the hem and pocket.
  • Sew the 3 pinned sides together with a 1 inch seam.
  • Surge the edges of the 3 sides to keep the fabric from fraying when washed.

If you don’t have a serger, simply run it through the machine again with the zig-zag stitch making sure that it catches the fabric on one side and the needle lands just outside the fabric on the outer edge.

Step 5: Add Velcro hooks and loops

To keep the bottom portion of the duvet cover closed I added small pieces of hook and loop about every 10 inches.

  • Cut about 4-5 one inch pieces of hook and loop and take apart so you have the hook side and loop side separate.
  • With the duvet cover still inside out, pin hook pieces to one layer of your duvet cover and the other a loop piece to the other layer directly under it.
  • Sew each piece of hook and loop in place making sure to have only one layer of the duvet cover in your machine at a time. (Otherwise you'll accidently sew it closed and won't be able to put your duvet insert in.)

Tip: This part can be a bit awkward because you have to change directions often. Be sure to leave your needle down each time you turn and bunch up the excess fabric just enough to get to the next edge.

(Optional) Step 6: Make ties to keep your duvet insert in place

  • Take about a 48 inch strip of extra fabric (or ribbon if you don't have extra fabric) and fold it in half length wise.
  • Run it through your machine along the edge.
  • Then cut it into about 6 inch pieces.
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  • With your duvet cover still inside out, fold each strip in half and open slightly (you'll have a V shape) and place the point of the V in each corner on the flat sheet side.
  • Run the point of each V through the sewing machine to hold it in place.

Note: The ties will need to be placed on the inside corners of the pocket you made from the flat sheet.

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Step 7: Putting on the duvet cover

The easiest way to put on a duvet cover is to start with it inside out.

  • With your duvet cover inside out, lay it flat on the floor with the ties facing up. Then lay your insert on top of it matching up the corners.
  • Using the small straps on your duvet insert, tie each duvet cover tie onto the duvet insert.
  • Holding the closed end, push the duvet cover and insert through until it's right side out.
  • Make any necessary adjustments and then press the hook and loop pieces together to close the open end.

And that's it! Now your possibilities for bedding are endless!

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Frequently Asked Questions - DIY Duvet Cover

What is the purpose of the duvet cover pocket?

The pocket goes inside so that the duvet insert goes in it and then the two edges come together with the velcro squares. This keeps the insert from popping out of the bottom and gives a really nice finished look.

Do you need to serge the edge of the pocket that is folded inside?

I used a flat sheet so the edge was already taken care of (it’s the top part of the sheet.) But if you don’t have that you’ll want to make sure it has a clean seam, so yes you’ll want to serge it so it lasts through washes.

I'm making this for a king size bed. Won't a king size flat sheet on the bottom be too small?

You can always take one and lay it out (without tucking it) to see if it’s the look/ size you like before getting started. If it’s too small you can use multiple and create panels like you do on the top (printed fabric.)

Ready to create a home that feels like you without the overwhelm?

Inside my course, Style Your Way Home, I'll teach you my step-by-step approach to discovering your unique design style and how to incorporate all the styles you love into your own home design plan. Plus, you'll learn my simple 4 step process to to apply your decor plan to any room in your home so you can make quick and confident decisions and create a home that feels like YOU.