How To Turn a Flat Sheet Into a Fitted Sheet (With and Without Sewing) 

fitted sheet

According to Casper, only 46 percent of Americans aged 55 and older insist upon having a top sheet as part of their regular bedding.

If you have shopped for bedding recently, you may have noticed a trend in selling fitted and top sheets separately. Maybe this survey explains why.

If you have bought a sheet set, however, that means you may have extra top sheets in your linen closet that you do not plan to use. Why not convert those into more fitted sheets? The project is easy to do with minimal sewing skills and can even be done as a no-sew option.

Here’s how to do it!

How To Turn a Flat Sheet Into a Fitted Sheet

No-Sew DIY Fitted Sheet

Knotting the corners of your fitted sheet is an easy fix, but it doesn’t always hold the sheet in place, which is a key feature of a fitted sheet.

That is easily remedied with adhesive hook and loop tape.

Adhesive Hook and Loop Method

  1. Tie knots at each of the four corners of the sheet at the base of the top mattress.
  2. Attach hook and loop tape to both sections of the knot’s loose ends.
  3. Add the matching sections of hook and loop underneath the mattress.
  4. Stick the two pieces together to hold the sheet in place.
  5. For extra durability, pull the ends of the knotted section up under the mattress and secure several inches away from the edge of the bed.

Hem Tape/ Fabric Glue Method

This no-sew option for turning a flat sheet into a fitted sheet for your bed uses either double sided fusible webbing tape (like hem tape) or fabric glue to create deep pockets at the corner of your mattress.

  1. Center your sheet on top of the bed with the wrong side of the sheet facing up.
  2. Fold each corner in, like wrapping a present, to determine where to make the no-sew seam.
  3. Pin this seam area and complete for each corner of the mattress.
  4. Glue each corner seam (or adhere with the iron-on tape).
  5. Remember, your sheet is wrong-side up so you can glue the seams facing upward and they won’t show when you are finished.
  6. Allow the glue to dry.
  7. Secure the sides of the fitted sheet with 3 or 4 inch self-adhesive hook and loop strips placed on each side of the bed and the mattress.
  8. For extra security, place a strip on the side of each corner, too.

Elastic Method

This no-sew version uses elastic to create a fitted sheet from your top sheet.

  1. Start with the top sheet centered on the bed, wrong side up.
  2. Pin the corners as noted in the examples above to create the fitted no-sew seam using fabric glue.
  3. Trim away the unnecessary fabric and  run a bead of glue down each of the “seams.”
  4. Let the glue dry on each of the four corners.
  5. Once the glue is dry, fold up each corner to create a ½ inch hem around the corner’s edge. Leave both ends of the hem open on each corner. Use a tape measure to determine the length of the hem casing of each corner.
  6. Cut a ¼-inch wide piece of elastic 2 inches shorter than the length of the casing.
  7. Use a safety pin to attach a piece of elastic to one end of a casing, feed it through to the other open end, and secure it with another safety pin.
  8. If you are concerned about using safety pins, you can knot the end of the elastic and glue the hem casing closed.
  9. Add elastic to all four corners and your fitted sheet is ready.

Sewing a DIY Fitted Sheet

Honestly, the no-sew fitted sheet using elastic above is the easiest transition to a sewn fitted sheet. Follow all the steps except  sewing seams instead of gluing them. When you add the elastic, you can sew it in place at the ends of the hem casing.

You can also stitch elastic into the corners without making a casing. To do that:

  1. Fold the cut edges to make the hem, and pin it in place.
  2. Instead of adding elastic inside the hem, you will attach it to the back of the hem. This gives you a finished edge plus an easy elastic application.
  3. Cut the elastic about 3 inches shorter than your hem length.
  4. Stitch the elastic in place on one end with several anchoring stitches, then pull it as you sew it in place with a zig zag stitch. (The zig zag stitch allows the elastic to stretch as needed.)
  5. Keep pulling the elastic to make it meet the end of your folded hem.

Video Help

There are some great videos that help show the process. This one by Mimzy and Company shows the process in less than 10 minutes. 

Even though this video by Made Everyday focuses on making crib size fitted sheets, it does a great job of showing both the elastic casing and direct elastic application methods.

Tips For Turning Flat Sheets Into Fitted Sheets

Measure the Mattress

Take the guesswork out of determining how much space to cut out of each corner by measuring the height of the mattress. If the mattress is 14 inches thick, cut a 14 inch square from each corner of the flat sheet to make your corner fitted seams.

Only Trim One End

If you are using a top sheet that is for a larger size bed, you will need to trim it down. Do this by making one end and one side of the sheet fall exactly at the base of the mattress. Then, you only have to trim excess from two sides. Trim the two longer sides down so that the edge falls about an inch below the mattress, which will give you enough space to hem the edges.

Use a Serger

If sewing, use a serger to finish your corner seams for a cleaner look and to keep the sheet from fraying in the future. If you don’t have a serger, a zig zag stitch that floats near the edge of the fabric will do the same thing. Don’t have a zig zag option? Just fold the edges of your seams inward and use a regular running stitch to hold the edges neatly in place. If you are gluing the corner seams, run the glue to the edges of the fabric to help prevent future frays.

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