Need new duvet covers? Make your own for less

hand made duvet coverI saw a stunning duvet cover in a posh independent shop at the weekend, made from fabric patterned in a series of gorgeous purples and greens. It was the most beautiful duvet cover I’ve ever seen… no contest. But at £220, they were having a laugh – there was no way I was going to pay that much.

Half an hour later I was in my favourite antique/junk emporium, where I came across an even more beautiful pair of 1960s patterned curtains, an outrageous design, typical of the times, also in greens and purples. At £50 the pair they weren’t cheap but they were huge, two king size duvet covers’ worth of fabric. I was sorely tempted, and might go back this weekend to see if they’re still there.

A few weeks ago I bought a new duvet cover in town. It’s quite nice, in a deep aubergine colour one side and bright magenta pink the other. It cost £35. But the fabric is actually really thin and rubbishy, pretty disappointing. It got me wondering, can you make your own duvet covers?

Make your own DIY duvets

Of course, the answer is ‘yes’. You just need to track down fabric that’s wide enough and long enough, which means dress fabric and upholstery stuff isn’t much good, not wide enough unless you include a seam in the centre and double up.

The solution? Use sheets or old curtains. Sheets are wide enough, and even lovely quality sheets are usually much cheaper than posh duvet covers. If you’re lucky you’ll find some fab retro curtains that are big enough to make a great duvet cover. You could even patch together some lovely old woollen blankets for the top of a snuggly winter duvet cover.  Or make a patchwork quilt-style cover, either in big or tiny squares… it depends how patient you are!

All it takes is three straight seams and a few press studs and you’ve done it. It’s also easy to embellish your ‘new’ duvet cover, using all manner of fresh creative ideas to make it really special:

  1. sew cut-out fabric shapes onto the front of the cover, perhaps from contrasting or toning fabric, either plain or patterned
  2. cut colourful sheets or strips if fabric into strips and sew them together to make a stripy duvet cover
  3. if you’re an expert you could embroider the edges and corners, or create a central pattern
  4. sew on colourful strips of ribbon, just running the weing machine up the centre of each strip in a matching or toning cotton
  5. cut flowers out of flowery fabric (or any other kind of pattern) and tack them on
  6. add pieces of old lace
  7. sew on sparkly things like sequins and faux jewels

Instructions to make your own duvet cover

Here’s a link to a brilliant video about how to make your own duvet cover. And here’s a link to home made duvet covers on Pinterest, a great place for inspiration. You can also search Google images for ‘home made duvet covers’.

Thanks to deckchairstripes for the excellent image, a place where you’ll also find loads of beautiful stripy fabrics, perfect for your duvet project.

PS. You could also make a duvet cover from old woolly jumpers, pairs of jeans or even gig t-shirts.