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When Grandma showed the Damsel how to make hospital corners, long, long ago, she had just one question.


Grandma had a perfectly good explanation, but first let’s ask another question.

What the heck are hospital corners?

They are simply a way of folding and tucking in bed linens. Apparently they were named “hospital corners” because nurses made up beds in hospitals this way, but you don’t have to be sick to enjoy a nicely made bed.

Grandma explained that just cramming the sheets under the mattress wouldn’t work as well. The sheets would come untucked more easily, and there really is something cozy about a bed that’s made right. Besides, once you learn how, you’ll see it’s so simple and easy, it hardly takes two seconds longer than cramming.

First, smooth out the item you’re putting on the bed, whether it’s a top sheet, a blanket, or what-have-you. Make sure it’s positioned right on the bed before you begin. Shortsheeting, another ancient skill, isn’t in today’s class.

The Damsel usually thinks of hospital corners as something she does to sheets, but today she’s using an ancient bedspread, made back at the dawn of time, because it showed up better in the photos.


Tuck the end of the bed in nice and smooth, letting the sides hang.

IMG_2985On the hanging side, grasp the edge of the bedspread/sheet/thing about 12-18 inches from the end of the bed. Pull straight up, forming a sort of triangle. Just lay it there.

IMG_2986Leaving the triangle thing still lying across the top, tuck in the part that hangs down on the sides.


Pick up the triangle thingy, pull it straight down, making a diagonal line.

IMG_2989Now just tuck in that last bit. Now, doesn’t that look nice?

It’s kind of like wrapping a gift to yourself. It’s so much nicer to crawl into a bed with fresh, smooth sheets than a crumpled heap of blankets. As a matter of fact, the Damsel feels a nap coming on.

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  • Garcalian

    aaaaaahhhh . . . yes yes!

    • damselindisdress

      The Damsel is in awe. A convent! No doubt she learned a lot of good life lessons there.

  • Miette

    Sometimes I just get too lazy to do them at home. They taught us at nursing school that they used to fold all sheets this way before fitted sheets came about. So if you run out of a nice elastic sheet just do these corners on every corner and voilà a fitted sheet. Neat huh? Get it? Neat? ….

  • maimeyrocky

    nicely nicely!

  • My husband is in charge of making our bed precisely because he’s great at making hospital corners–his mom taught him. I can’t seem to do it, even though he’s shown me a bunch of times. Of course part of that might be that I like not having to make the bed… 🙂

  • I am very sesitive to this and have a diagram-filled dossier on the subject – well, on many – I cannot tolerate incorrect or sloppy corners. It just looks as if no one cared how the job was done. But my Mom, who was once in a convent, is the real master here!

  • Chloe Rowles

    Are fitted sheets too modern to be considered on this post? I have never been able to fold a fitted sheet!

  • I second the fitted sheet folding post. Get on that, would you?

    My mother-in-law prefers the hospital corners and I actually know how to do them because me sister-in-law learned in nursing school (weird, but true…I think). I don’t like them because my feet feel too confined and can’t move around enough. I think I’m in the minority, however.

  • Bosq

    They don’t need folding. They are already fitted.
    Start from the head and work down.

  • Anonymous


  • Art


    • Anonymous