How to make a headboard slip cover

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  • Follow Country Homes & Interiors' step-by-step guide

    Looking for bedroom decorating ideas? Follow Country Homes & Interiors‘ step-by-step guide to making a beautiful headboard slip cover.

    What you’ll need

    * Main fabric (we used Sofia, ref 1003, £22 a metre, Harlequin)
    * Contrast fabric for the side strips
    * Matching thread

    Before you start

    *Please note that this slip cover is designed to fit a substantial head (or foot) board with a flat, broad top.

    You will need to tailor the instructions if your headboard is radically different in design. For example, if you have a a standard iron bedstead you may be able to omit the side panels altogether and just insert the ties between the main fabric and a facing.

    making a foot board also note that the cover shown here is as long at
    the front of the foot board as it is at the back on the mattress
    side. This is because there is a gap between the base of the bed where
    the mattress sits and the foot board, enabling the cover to be pushed
    down through the gap and tied at the sides.

    Not all beds
    are designed this way so check yours: if there is no gap you will need
    to make the back of the cover shorter than the front and position the
    ties accordingly.

    Step by step instructions

    Step 5) Work out where your eight ties will need to be positioned and, matching raw edges, slip in place between the main fabric and the side strips, unpinning and re-pinning if necessary  Illustration: Michael A Hill

    1) Measure your bed
    to work out the finished size of your slip cover. To work out the
    length, measure from your preferred drop on the front of the head or
    foot board, up and over the top, then down to the rear, stopping at your
    preferred drop. Add 10cm in total to this measurement for hems. To work
    out the width, measure the width of your head or foot board and add 5cm
    in total for seams. Cut out a piece of main fabric to these measurements.

    To work out the width of the four side strips, measure the depth of
    your head or foot board. Halve this measurement and add 6cm in total for
    seams and hems. To work out the length of each side strip, measure from
    the top of the head or foot board down to your preferred drop at the
    front and also down to the preferred drop at the back if this needs to
    be a different length. Add 7.5cm to each strip in total for hems and
    seams. Cut out four strips of contrast fabric to these measurements.

    For the fabric ties, cut eight 12cm by 30cm strips of main fabric. Take
    one tie and place wrong side up. Fold one short edge in by 2.5cm and
    press. Fold the two long edges in so they meet in the centre and then
    fold in half along the length. Press and top stitch along one short and
    one long edge. Repeat to make the remaining seven ties.

    4) Along one long edge of each side strip turn under 1.5cm then 2cm, hem and press.

    Lay the main fabric out flat, face up. Right sides facing and matching
    raw edges at the corners, pin the side strips in place along the long
    edges of the main fabric. If the strips are two different sizes,
    remember to pair them up across the width of the main fabric so that
    they match on the front and back of the cover.

    Once pinned in
    place you should have a gap between the two pairs of side strips. Work
    out where your eight ties will need to be positioned and, matching raw
    edges, slip in place between the main fabric and the side strips,
    unpinning and re-pinning if necessary (see main illustration).

    Tack all side strips and ties in position and remove pins. Starting
    from each corner of the main fabric and working towards the centre,
    machine stitch the side strips and ties in place taking 2.5cm seams and
    stopping 2.5cm from the end of each strip. Remove tacking.

    7) Bring
    the long hemmed edges of two adjacent side strips together so they sit
    flush along their length and the top raw edges of the strips match the
    raw edge of the main fabric underneath. Stitch across the top of each
    side strip taking a 2.5cm seam (see illustration below). Repeat to
    stitch the second pair of adjacent side strips.

    8) Trim and
    press open all seams, clipping the corners and snipping into the seam
    allowance around top of the side strips for a neat finish.

    9) Hem the front and back of the cover by turning under 2cm then 3cm and top stitching. Press.

    10) Turn through, slip over the head or foot board and secure the four ties with knots or bows.

    Headboard slip cover  Illustration: Michael A Hill

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