Ideas on How to Embellish Your Bed Linens

Embellishing items that you already have around your home is a great way to freshen up the place without spending too much money. 

For instance, how about giving your plain sheets and pillowcases a little lift with simple embellishments that make them look like a million bucks?

How about embroidery?


This photo is taken from a website called and it has an embroidery tutorial.  Hand embroidery seems to have become a lost art – until you start surfing the web for embroidery ideas.  That’s when you run into the people that absolutely LOVE the idea of embroidering.

bedding2 has a wonderful section that lists all the stitches and how to create each one.  I had no idea there were THAT many different stitches.  I am so enthralled that I’m going to get my old embroidery hoop out and get busy.  I remember making pretty designs along my pillow cases when I was in junior high!


I have been able to purchase some pretty attractive embroidered pillowcases recently and they are fun to add to the rest of the bedding.  More often than not when you purchase embroidered bedding, both pillowcases and the top
flat sheet are embroidered with the same design.  I found this red embroidered design on white and knew right away that it would be perfect with my red coverlet.  When I placed it on the bed and turned the edge of the coverlet over to reveal the embroidered design all along the flat sheet and across my bed, it was awesome!


The holidays are a perfect time to redress your bed.  I actually have a Christmas quilt that goes with these embroidered sheets that Matt bought for me one year.  It’s been a long time ago, but I bring them out just for the last two weeks in December and they have worn very well.

How about ribbons?

Another good option for dressing up your bedding is with ribbons!  All you have to do is travel down the ribbon aisle in one of your favorite fabric or craft stores to know that there is something magical about pretty ribbons.  They come in all shapes and sizes, sheens and fabrics, and if you are ribbon savvy you know that they can dress up just about anything!


Now an off white ribbon on a warm white pillowcase isn’t going to be anything dramatic, but sometimes being subtle is just what a room needs.  In this case, each of the pillowcases could be different, but done in the subtle whites and off whites to show restraint yet be decadent at the same time!

This was an easy decoration to accomplish.  I simply pinned the ribbon so it stretched across the double stitch line on the hem of the pillowcase.  I measured as I went along, making sure that the ribbon extended passed the hem the same amount all the way along the edge.  Then, when I was comfortable with the spacing, I stitched over the top of both stitch lines, attaching the ribbon to the case.

Would you consider lace?


I do think you have to be careful if you are considering adding lace to your pillowcases because some laces aren’t face-friendly if you know what I mean.  Some of them that are made a bit stiffer would probably scratch you during the night and of course that would not be good.  However, there are quite a few varieties of lace that are soft and meant for clothing and bedding applications.  Crocheted lace for instance is usually pretty soft.


Another nice aspect to perhaps just adding embellishments to your pillowcases is that if you are a sewer or crafter, you probably already have a collection of different ribbon or lace scraps around.  That is exactly what happened to me with this pretty white lace.

Just like I added the ribbon to the hem of the last pillowcase, I lined up the lace with the same stitch lines on this pillow case.  A double line of stitching right over the top will hold this lace in place for as long as the pillowcase lasts.


And isn’t this a handsome effect?  It’s pretty on the shams, but imagine what you could do with your flat sheet and pillow cases if you cut the hem off and inserted the lace?  It looks like you could cut the hem off about three inches into the sheet, insert the lace and add another decorative ribbon or trim along your stitching line.

Maybe iron-on appliqués?


Embroidered appliqués are a wonderful way to add the look of embroidery to your bedding without doing the time consuming part yourself.  You can purchase appliqués at your local fabric and craft shops and they can be either sewn on or even easier, they can be ironed on!


The last appliqué I added to the hem of a pillow case was an iron on appliqué.  I have to admit I was a bit skeptical, but it turned out fantastic.  I will say that I chose one with sequins and beads and it is raised up off of the case quite a bit.  Because of its construction and the fact that it might be a bit rough on the skin, I’m using this only on my guest bed for show.  When the guests actually arrive and want to sleep – they get softer, more face-friendly pillow cases!

How about simple fabric ruffles?


It should be mentioned that you don’t have to purchase special trims either.  I know I’ve talked about lace, ribbons and appliqués, but you could just as easily whip up a ruffle to add to your linens.  It’s as simple as cutting a length of fabric at least twice the length of the ruffle you need.  Stitch pieces together for extra length.  Fold the strip in half lengthwise and stitch two lines of basting along the cut edges.  Pull on the bobbin thread to gather the ruffle and then stitch the ruffle on the wrong side of your project.  Cover over the raw edges by hand stitching a ribbon over the top.

Not just for pillow cases!

It’s true, embellishments like we have talked about are not just for pillow cases or the flat sheet of your bedding.


Look at this great dust ruffle from Restoration Hardware.  The embroidery makes an ordinary white pleated cotton look like a show piece!  If you give embroidering a try and find you become obsessed with it, remember that there are many sewing machines that will do all sort of machine embroidery stitches so you can create designs like these for all the linens in your home from bedding to dust ruffles, napkins, runners and tablecloths, to scarves, tea towels and more.

Well, I guess there’s no excuse for bland bedding or linens around our houses.  Keep those creative juices flowing and send me pictures of anything you try.  We all love to learn from each other!


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