Exposed Box Spring?: Emily Shows You How To Create A Custom Cover

Enjoy this little fitted box spring cover tutorial for apartment-dwellers and homeowners who, like me, have sacrificed their bed frame for the sake of interior design. I hope this helps others in the midst of a bedroom furniture transition.

Today, I want to pose a very odd question (that I’ve found is true more often than you’d think):

Are you living with an exposed box spring?

Yeah? Join the group.

An exposed box spring.

Allow me to explain (and defend) myself: I had a bed frame and pretty headboard. I liked my bed frame and pretty headboard. And I like bed frames and headboards in general. But sometimes, when you’re blessed with a tiny bedroom and unfortunately-positioned windows, you have to make concessions for the sake of having a peaceful slumber sanctuary.

My situation was this. An oversized headboard was my beef; it forced the bed into a corner, which then compromised access to my closet, so just a few months ago, I remedied the situation by eliminating the headboard altogether. Such a rebel. I pushed the bed away from the corner and aligned it beneath the window. Good news: I loved it (I even created an accent wall and made curtains to highlight its new position). Bad news: The bed frame made the mattress sit too high, bumping it against the window frame. I’m determined to make my own platform bed someday that would eliminate the need for a box spring and let the mattress itself rest really closely to the ground, but the quick fix was to remove the metal bed frame, and let the box spring and mattress rest directly on the ground, which is how it’s been for several months now.

It’s not pretty. Removing the frame meant that I needed to lose my bed skirt, which only exposed my ugly box spring that was hidden beneath. Oh, the horror.

An exposed box spring.

The solution? Wrap it up. Creating a custom box spring wrap might seem tricky, but it’s not. And covering up the exposed fabric with leave you with a room that looks more complete. (Bonus: it actually helps to make it look like your mattress is sitting on a platform bed).

For starters, I chose a white fabric that feels like a stretch pique cotton. It might be polyester. There was no clear description. Three yards.

A stretch pique cotton.

I trimmed the fabric into thirds, creating long strips. For me, ach strip was 15″ wide (for no other reason than what my fabric width allowed).

Cut the fabric length-wise into thirds.

Two strips would run the length of the bed, wrapping around the back, while the third was cut to the width of the bed to run along the front panel (5′ for me, my bed’s a queen). Sew all three together to create a long fabric band, and then pull a Hercules and hoist your mattress against the wall. Just for a minute. Hopefully your blinds aren’t dusty. Put the long fabric band in place around the bed, just to make sure your seams hit right at the front two corners for that “completed” look. I tucked mine under and let them drape over too, just to see how much overhang I’d have in width. Looks better already.

Wrap that long strip of fabric around the bed, focusing on how the seams align with the front corners.

Theoretically, at this point you could pull your still-fully-dressed mattress back down onto the box spring and call it a day; the mattress would hold it in place. But I took it a few steps further to create a really finished look.

I took a close look at each of the corners of the bed. With the overhang that fell on top of and below the box spring, I proceeded to hem the corners in the same way I would wrap a birthday gift.


See where you can fold the corners in like you're wrapping a birthday gift?

I sewed each corner in place so that the box spring band would wrap securely in place the same way a fitted sheet would.

Corners fit.

When all four corners were completed, it was already showing signs of polish.

That's (almost) a wrap.

But get this, here’s how I made it the wrap fit really snug; cutting 1-yard of 1-1/4″ sports elastic in half, I attached it to the part of the wrap that remains hidden behind the head of the bed, against the wall. Yes, it stretched enough to span that 30″ gap between the ends of my fabric.

Elastic strips are hidden, sewn along the end of the bed that's against the wall.

Like the elastic on a fitted bed sheet, it gives a little stretch to allow you to slip the box spring cover on (and off, when you want to wash it if your dog snuggles against your bed like mine does). Easy.

The corners should fit securely, the elastic should keep it from popping off, and your bed should look all fresh and clean (so clean, clean). See what I mean about it almost looking like you have an actual platform bed now? If you didn’t know I had just covered the box spring would you guess that there was no real bed frame?


It’d clearly be a lot of fun with a pop of color in a more neutral room, or using a printed fabric too, especially in a kid’s room.

If you give it a whirl, we’d love to see how it turns out!


Catching the home improvement bug at an early age, Emily Winters is a now a devoted DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects she covers on her blog Merrypad range from painting a wall to building a deck, so it’s only natural she landed at You can follow Emily on twitter at @merrypad and like her on facebook at

15 Responses

  1. Jaclyn says:

    Good job Emily, the best thing about DIY is to choose perfect design and fabric. Recently I bought a best quality brand mattress, Marshall mattress’s Bespoke Highgrove, (… ) and I have no idea how to make a fitted cover for it. I am not very good at measurements and stitching stuffs. It is a queen size bed with 9” low profile base and split type. I have searched to buy a fitted cover for the base but unfortunately I couldn't find out a suitable one. I don't like to use a bed frame. Can you suggest me which fabric is best ? I don't know it will work or not but definitely want to try this DIY. Expecting a reply. Happy day

  2. Audrey_1 says:

    There are various ways to create custom covers for base of beds, and this is one of the ingenious ways to do it. I have also used commercial office boxes in order to create DIY storage for small bedroom items. There are great ideas, too, in Pinterest that are very useful to recycle office moving boxes.

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  6. jtenedero0 says:

    In our house especially in bedroom, it is also important to consider the best bed sheet that suit on us and make us comfortable when sleep. Some people choose those have spring that make the bed sheet smooth but some of the choose foam type of bed sheet.

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  7. Susan says:

    Great job Emily! thanks for sharing. Actually I currently do use a fitted sheet and you're right it just doesn't fit as snug it actually fits a bit loose, I definitely like your idea plus it's a do it yourself project so you can definitely custom select your own fabric color and design.

    I also am looking to someday purchasing my own platform bed so that I don't have to use a box spring anymore but a bit more sophisticated bed.

    • susan says:

      Oh and if you've maybe gone a little further you probably could actually make your own custom fitted sheet out of it, for your mattress, but I'm just really learning how to sew myself, so I'm not quite sure how much more fabric that would actually take, and how you would sew it to what you already have (along the center).

  8. [...] via: Exposed Box Spring?: Emily Shows You How To Create A Custom Cover Category: Home Tags: Cover, Create, custom, Emily, Exposed, shows, [...]

  9. [...] Long overdue since I dropped my boxspring straight to the ground in July, I finally cleaned up the look of my bedroom by creating a custom wrap for it. A sleek bedskirt, if you will. Big thanks to DIY Network for giving me the motivation to get. it. done. [...]

  10. Mary Ellen says:

    Look's Great! But why not just use a nice solid or printed "FITTED" sheet to accomplish the same effect?

    • emilywinters says:

      Thanks Mary Ellen! I actually tried that in an old apartment, but I had an issue with the fitted sheets being too deep and looking bunchy! Maybe related to the height of my box spring. If you try, let me know how it looks!

      • northbound says:

        try using a large fitted sheet and use elastric to connect corner to corner it should pull in some of the fullness or even use sheet grippers?????

        • emilywinters says:

          Thanks, Northbound – there's definitely more than one way to achieve the same effect; the fitted sheets didn't seem to fit well even when tucked in snug, but again, that might have just been the height of my box spring or the fitted sheet I tried it with!


About Emily Fazio 


I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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