Make Your Bed

And D.I.Y. in it too.

by Sarah Harper

In “Macbeth,” Shakespeare called sleep the “balm of hurt minds,” and the “chief nourisher in life’s feast.” But what good is it if your bedchambers host a threadbare wreck?

Now’s the time to get all HGTV and spruce up your bed without spending a ton of cash on a new comforter. 

Leave the hospital corners and color-coordinated bedshams to Martha. Your bed is your one refuge from the stressful outside world. It should be as cool and cozy as you are.

Take a snooze cruise on a homemade ship with these tips. You’ll stock your snoring quarters with decorative pillows and a new blanket, and you’ll be able to keep it all a little secret with a makeshift canopy.

Hurt minds, get ready for some balming.



If you’re a sewphobe looking to cut your teeth on an easy project, look no further than the pillow. It’s a relatively easy, low-stakes place to start.

The kind I’m about to tell you how to make isn’t the best for resting your head on — it’s more like a decorative throw so that your bedfellows may be inspired to quote Drake (oh you fancy, huh?).

You’ll need a needle, a thread, a rectangle of fabric and something to stuff your pillow with. You might hear other pillow-makers suggest cotton balls or old t-shirts, but those won’t feel that good and might get gross. Go for some polyester filling — buy it at a supermarket or a craftstore. It’s not feathers, but it’s not bad.

Take the fabric and fold it half. Go ahead and sew two lines down each side. You should have one opening. Flip the fabric inside out and stuff it.

If you haven’t overstuffed your pillow, you don’t have to sew the last edge. Just tie the last open end up with a ribbon and then go in and sew a few knots to make sure it all stays together.



If you’ve never made a tie blanket before, you’ve probably gotten one as a gift. It’s just two large pieces of fleece — one usually solid color, the other covered in soccer balls or fish — laid on top of each other with the edges cut and then tied together. No sewing, no problem.

Take to heart that basic premise: that a blanket is just two rectangles slammed together. Break out the sewing machine and break out of the tie blanket box. There are other materials you can use to make a blanket besides fleece — I’m looking at you, faux fur.

A quick note about quilts:

A quilt is made of pieces and pieces of fabric — padding, squares, triangles, t-shirts, whatever — held together by lines and lines of stitching. If you’re going to make a classic quilt, you’re going to have to work hard and learn how to do it right — no offense to your dexterity, but it’s not just something you can figure out on your own.

It’s worth it if you are up for a challenge and have a ton of spare time. If you’re not feeling the commitment, you can start collecting pieces of fabric for the next time you hit a big lull in your life — post-graduation job search, post-divorce love search, etc., etc.



Feel like royalty and give yourself a little privacy.


Method 1:

You’ll need a hammer, nails and some flimsy fabric (an old sheet will work if you’re not actually royalty).

Stand on your bed and nail the fabric to four points in the ceiling above the corners of your bed. Bam. It’s shadow puppet theater time.

Method 2:

You’ll need everything listed above and some type of ring (a hula hoop?) and a hook for attaching it to the ceiling. Before you hang the ring up, staple your fabric around it. Suspend it from the ceiling above your pillow using the hook.


Sweet dreams, everyone.