How to make a crumply rumply bed

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Do you detest making your bed? I use to. Ensuring every crinkle was smooth + tweaking the pillows to perfection = augh. I have to admit, most days I left mine unmade I despised the duty so much.

Then a thought occurred to me. What if I MADE my bed to look UNmade?

Here’s what my bed looks like with everything just so. It’s OK, but I wanted romantic ka-POW. So I started with a flat battenburg sheet.

I first purposely crinkled up the folded area of the quilt to create fullness.

Then with the sheet, I simply laid it across the crinkled folded quilt area, tucking the underside in to resemble a regular top sheet folded over. (staging truly IS all smoke and mirrors!) NOW we’re getting somewhere. What we’re doing is creating layers upon layers. I love the added lacy details of the top sheet.

Focusing on the pillows, notice NONE of them are aligned perfectly? Arranging them haphazard like creates puffy bliss!

Ahhh, but there’s trickery involved here too. I tucked towels underneath the headboard pillows to give them abit of added height.

One end, check! Let’s focus on the foot board area now. Don’t you loathe when you’ve made your bed it’s got that caved in the center look or worse, bumps all over? I have a fix for you there too.

Here is an empty battenburg lace duvet cover I scooped up from the thrift for $3. And I want to leave it empty.

Drape the blanket off center, falling over one corner of your bed. Allow some to spill on the floor too. Crumple that lacy goodness even more, then view it in your camera. You heard me right. Just do it. Your camera picks up what you see differently than your eye. I kept messing with it until I liked what I saw.

Tip: crinkle up those sheets even more

To create more crinkles in your bedding, after washing, allow them to sit in your dryer crinkled until cool. The result? More crinkles!

To further enhance that come hither feel the bed is now portraying, I laid this once a table top now a bed tray right on top of that lacy wonder. ($1 from a garage sale)

Are ya feeling it?!? A soft sea of cotton awaits!

This bed is by far, the most fun to make ever! And it always looks great, no fuss nor muss required.

(darn that digital clock on the window sill.. wish I knew photoshop.)

Tip: odds and sods of thrifty linens does a nice bed make

Be on the lookout for all linens to coordinate, as this method exposes pretty much every layer. However they don’t have to be expensive. All top linens are from the thrift, other than the Roots quilt from Sears . A well put together look does not have to cost the price of a mortgage payment. That little pillow in the center? It’s a burlap sand bag from the local hardware.

The building of this bedroom is HERE.

Exhibit #2, my son’s bed. All the same principles apply.

However, I did something different to this one. As I didn’t wish to fuss with a blanket laying over top that would no doubt spill to the floor in this jumpy boy’s room, I wanted to puff up the mid section of the bed moreso.

Such a cheater, I know.

The added towel is to transition the bed to the pillow height. In hindsight, I needed 2 or 3 more, however…

… this bed holds the same premise as my bed. Casual, lived in fun!

(Bed in a bag from Walmart. Rest of the linens from the thrift.)

See full bedroom HERE.

I have no idea how professional stagers stage ‘messy’ beds in magazines. However I did hear of the pillow trick on beds done at duvet stores and I vouch, it does work! I don’t go to the trouble with mid section pillows on my son’s bed daily, but I do all the steps in my own bedroom. Just because. 🙂

Other secrets to a great looking bed:

– once I stopped using a top sheet under the duvet, bed making became much less of a chore

– if you want your bedding to always look fresh, fold down the top display quilt and use a different one to actually sleep with

– tuck nightly used pillows behind front never used display pillows

These are by far, the easiest and most fun beds to make! I hereby challenge you. Shake things up abit and try a few more layers for softness and see what results!

How about you? Is the chore of bed making one of agony for you too? What’s your secret to a great looking well made bed?

How to make this messy bed is HERE.

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62 thoughts on “How to make a crumply rumply bed

  1. LOL, not laughing at you, that’s just awesome. I love the way the bed is made. I LOVE a gagillion pillows, etc. My room needs some serious work, but it’s pretty far down on the list). I want it cozy. I’ll have to keep some of the ideas in mind.

  2. i have 2 words, WATER BED. There is no way to neatly make a water bed. I love my water bed. wouldn’t trade, but admit i crave a beautifully made bed that you could bounce a quarter off of!

  3. Your bed looks pretty either way, but it would drive me completely insane if my bed looked unmade after I took time to make it. Actually, bedmaking is one of those chores I really don’t mind. As soon as the bed is empty I make it as quickly as possible. It’s like a game where I try to beat my fastest time.

  4. The monochromatic bed, such as yours, is also much more romantic than those with multiple colors. Think I’ll go get back in bed and ponder your directions for a while. After all, it is 27 below (yes 27 below) here.

  5. Your bed looked so pretty, I didn’t even notice the clock in the window! 🙂
    I’ve tried doing the “unmade” bed look, but it just ends up taking me longer to get that look than it does to just go ahead and make the bed. I do love the look, though. Your beds look beautiful!

  6. I don’t enjoy making the bed but I never leave the house in the morning with it undone. I’ll tell you why… NOT because I particularly enjoy the chore, but because I have two girls (18 & 20) and if I leave mine unmade THEY’LL NEVER MAKE THEIRS! Everyday, the same thing, put the pillows on, at night, take the pillows off..(sigh). I do admit to liking the bed very neat. I dont even sit on it when its made. And when little fur face leaves her paw indents on it, it drives me nuts. But I’m one of those people who likes to see the fresh vacuum marks on the carpet for at LEAST an hour! Anal. I know.

  7. I’m with Bonita & Lisa. I make our bed every day. It’s the easiest task that yields the quickest feeling of achievement. Plus if my mom or dad stopped by I’d probably *still* get in trouble if it were unmade. *lol*

  8. *GASP* I just noticed the ladder’s purpose. I redid (to make it look old) a ladder a few years ago for blankets… not it sits bare in our bedroom. I am a book junkie with way too many books hidden on my side of the bed. I think I need to go give that ladder a purpose!

  9. Beautiful! Your bed holds the romance of Provence! It’s gorgeous!

    I make mine when I get up. Otherwise, I feel like I can’t function for the rest of the day or that something strange is amiss! I have no idea where any of that comes from! I suppose I could psycho-analyze but I’ll pass today!!!

    You’re photos are so good, too!!!

  10. LOL you guys are so funny. You just KNOW I have to break the mould and do something different otherwise you’d be disappointed. 🙂 This is so EASY to do! The instructions take longer than to just go and do it in a few min.

    Wanna know another secret? I don’t use the pillows on the bed. 🙂 I have my one ‘hard as a rock looking’ memory foam one I store on the floor beside the bed. I remove only about two off the bed, plunk mine on and in the morning, all the other ones around me are still perfect. I remove very little. One night I was so tired I left that bed tray thing on with the cup and all. It was still sitting there pleading for a coffee the next AM.

    Guess I’m the poster girl of sleeping like a log. 😀

    FJ Donna

  11. it’s funny you mention this ’cause I’s takin pictures of my son’s bed yesterday, thinking, good grief Pottery Barn must seriously starch and iron every.thing. for a photo shoot!

  12. I love the unmade look but I’ve tried it before and it’s just not me. . . . i keep wanting to straighten the bedding! kinda’ defeats the purpose, huh?
    thanks for sharing . . . .maybe I’ll try it again in our guest room.

  13. Oh all these comments are so funny! I guess are mothers trained us well regarding making our beds in the morning.

    My husband already complains, ” Why do we have to have all these pillows, we only use two?” I’m sure most of us have heard that before. Can you actually have too many pillows? He would think I’d finally lost it if I start fluffing up all the beds with towels and pillows.

    I promise I will try it for a photo one day! It really does look completely inviting and romantic! Oh and Beautiful!

  14. I should quit posting at 2:30 AM. I forgot to mention, good golly… I do NOT look through the camera before calling it good each and every time! Doh! That’s photo shoot talk.

    Photo shoots are another whole entire post. That ought to be a very good one.

    I’m not making my bed this AM and it looks just like the above pic.

    SEE? HA. HA.

    FJ Donna

  15. My grandma is rolling in her grave if she can see me reading this and nodding my head 🙂

    I throw my down comforter over everything, not necessarily straight, then another throw over that. All in white. 🙂

  16. #25 Courney, you rock. We need a link in your comments to see!

    #26 Betty, EVERY day is a fabulous day if you start with a crumply bed that doesn’t need making. 😉

    #23 Amy, reread my comment to Betty. I’m now a bed making therapist, ready to help. 🙂

    FJ Donna

  17. I don’t worry too much about it being perfect…we are the only ones to see it. But can I say I LOVE your headboard. Seriously, is that a door framed out?? My spare room needs a headboard and I have been desperately thinking of creative ideas. I am in love with yours.

  18. First things first…this bed is gorgeous and looks like a place I would love to crawl into at night.

    Second…oh my goodness on the bed tray. I LOVE IT!! How simple, but how incredible.

    Third…I make my bed everyday. My parents would be horrified if I didn’t. I am 41 and married and still couldn’t not make my bed. (just joking about the parents thing, but it’s just in my “make up” to make up my bed) 🙂

    God bless…

  19. Ok, I have to admit I don’t normally make my bed-I “air it out”-in other words I may toss the blankets and sheets haphazardly to cover the bed-then again maybe not. You did inspire me to change my sheets though-I had to throw some flannel sheets on-it’s been COLD!!! I will have to remember the whole pillow arrangement thing when I do actually make my bed.

  20. you are TOO funny! How much time did you spend not making your bed! But if you love it – GREAT! And it does look great. I’m just the opposite though – I LOVE to make my bed. Even if everything else is not picked up – when the bed is made – it just feels so much more pulled together! I don’t need it to be perfect (I kinda like when it’s not!) thanks for the show! 😉

  21. It’s gorgeous . . . so gorgeous, I would be tempted to hop right back in and have a little nap . . . and then read . . . and then a little tea . . . and then perhaps another nap . . . Yum!

  22. There are times when I feel guilty about not making the bed, but not anymore. I just angle my white duvet and throw shams and pillows on the bed and get a comfy look. I first fell in love with this look when I bought a book on bedroom getaways.
    Did you know that you can also get a real puffy look to the foot of the bed by throwing a cover over two bed pillows? You probably already know that.
    Your beds look great. I want to jump right in.
    Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be.

  23. OK – you’ve totally inspired me! I love a made bed, just rarely, OK strike that, never make it up. I studied your bed pics today like I was studying for an exam, and went to Target on my way home and bought a lovely “kiss-pleat” comforter in white. I’m gonna try it in the morning and see what happens!
    I may send you a couple of pics – if it works! 😉

    I am so loving your blog, by the way!

  24. #40 Lynette,

    keep at it if it doesn’t look right the first time! I’ll admit mine came together in a real hurry. I was actually in a rush when I did it the first time, and quite frankly, totally by fluke. I threw the covers on and liked what was happening. And it was that kind of messy movement with the blankets that make it work. Too carefully done looked wrong. 🙂

    And yes, I totally need some pics! Same goes for anyone else. I’m smiling and waiting… 😀

    FJ Donna

  25. I have an unmade bed right now, but it looks NOTHING like this Donna. LOL I’m going to have to practice unmaking mine now, because yours is gorgeous 🙂


  26. You crack me up. Do you really have to tell people how to wrinkle stuff? I’m a natural. My husband complains, but as long as the laundry room is the garage, we’re gonna have wrinkly clothes. Deal with it. Actually, I tend to forget I’m doing laundry, but don’t tell him that 😉

  27. Now how exactly does that save time? I love the look! But I think with such beautiful bedding anything would look good.Keep the bedroom ideas coming, it is my number one project this year and I haven’t got a clue what to do and how to go and do it.

  28. Donna,

    I think we could have a lot of fun creating in some of the rooms in the Fairfield House. I love your bed tray and the ladder you use to hold books and magazines. The door headboard is gorgeous. Brilliant!


  29. I love it! I am redoing my guest bedroom and want a beach cottage get away feeling. When I made the bed up it didn’t look casual and inviting,it looked stiff and perfect. I stumbled upon your post and I fell in love. Now everytime I walk past the door I want to kick my shoes off crawl on the bed and read the book that is laying on it—-inviting!


  30. I actually dont mind to make my bed, but now that bed all messy like that is just fabulously romantic. Like you just had so much fun in it. I’m tryin it tomorow morning!!

  31. Hubby and I working on our bedroom. Looks a bit like an attic at the moment. Elderly parents and not enough places to put their stuff that I’m working through. Anyone relate? I make the bed so to have a tidy focal point. Like to have great linens and toppers/pillows. Crack me up with your details…lol…but you ROCK! Can’t deal if it will take one more second to make our bed a.m. I like the idea of any contrasting fabric or textures set somewhat askew. Jaquard is in. Also bright and bold too. So unmade made.

  32. I love things like this… soft and inviting not that I need an invite to nap. 🙂 Some tricks my college kids taught me about making beds… roll a blanket up and put it at the head of the bed -gives a ‘lift’ or stage to the pillows in the back. Stuff extra blankets/towels/pj’s into pillow shams – it gives them a well loved look. Thick towels or baby quilts will stop the sag in the middle of the bed. I wonder if they make feather beds in crib size- that would do the trick for my bed.

    Love this thanks for sharing it again.


  33. I love a messy made bed. I have been doing it for ages. Love mixing up the sheets with all different pillow cases. I think it way more snugglely when the bed isn’t perfect. Thank for more great tips!

  34. It looks very inviting, but I must admit I make my bed everyday – and it’s very simple – pull up the covers and plop on the pillows – 1 minute flat if that. If it doesn’t get made in the morning I have to make it at night before I crawl in! I can’t stand the covers all whopper-jawed.

  35. It’s official now, you are crazy. You and Aunt Peaches, the Sly Stallone Rhinestone movie, sloth loving person ought to meet. After I buy all the variations of quilts, and duvets and sheets, and pillows to match the bedskirt, I never give it another thought. I change the quilt or whatever I put on top every week or more often because of the dogs. Usually when I am in my bedroom I am looking away from the bed, so I think about how it feels, more than how it looks. My bouncing a quarter off the bed days ended when I moved out of the barracks to go to college. Ann

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