Bedspread Aid





Introduction: Bedspread Aid

This instructable is to make a aid that automatically removes a bedspread and closing it. We are students that had this assignment for the course Design for (every)one. In this course we need to work with a client that has a special need, for our case it is a person who has SMA type 2(Spinal muscular atrophy is a serious disease that causes nerves and muscles to stop working). This means the client can not lift any thing heavier then a small water bottle. Our client had a struggle in her bed, when she is too warm she could not remove the sheet from her to cool down. And when she was to cold, she could not place the sheets on top of her.

Our solution is a kind of caterpillar that is controlled with 2 strings. One string for removing the sheet and the other string that is located in the caterpillar to place the sheet back. The strings will be powered by a motor, the motor is not discussed in this instructable. A holder for the caterpillar is also mentioned.

Demonstration film

Step 1: The Materials

  • M5 countersunk bolts of 25mm long
  • M5 nuts
  • Some screw of 25mm long
  • 1m of non stretch fabric (jeans is a good)
  • 1 square meter of wood approx. 20mm thick (multiplex, natural, ...)
  • 1m long wood plank of minimum 40mm wide and 15mm thick
  • 2 wooden planks of 1m long, 25mm wide and around 8mm thick
  • 5m of smooth ribbon
  • 6 buttons

Step 2: The Tools

  • cordless drill (column drill is also advised)
  • wood milling machine
  • screwdriver
  • allen keys
  • sowingmachine
  • fretsaw

Step 3: The Milling

Before cutting the wood planks we first mill.

For the wide plank, cut a groove in the middle of approx 10mm wide and 1,5mm deep in his length. This groove is for the ribbon.

For 1 of the thin planks, cut a groove in the middle of 8mm (the wideness of the nuts) and 2mm deep in the length. Now the chamfer milling on each side of the plank, we used an angle of 60°.

Step 4: Cutting and Drilling

The cutting

The wide plank you cut in pieces of the same wideness as the thinner plank, the 2 thinner planks you cut as the same wideness as the wide plank.

The drilling

Drill holes of 8mm through the pieces, this step you can do before all the cutting when you measure everything up, or afterwards the cutting. Then you can hold the 3 pieces together and drill through all 3 in one drill movement.

The pieces where there isn't milled need a countersink in them.

Step 5: The Fabric

Cut the approximate length of the fabric with a wideness of 40mm extra as the wideness as your widest plank. now lay your thickest pieces on the length of the fabric, leaving 10mm of spacing on each side of the fabric. Mark the spots where the holes are for cutting them out. The cutting will work with a perforator. Another technique is stabbing the holes through with a thin pointy object.

Step 6: Sewing

After every segment is made, you can check the function of the construction (see next step). If everything checks out you can sew the edges and place some buttons on the side, and the counter buttons on the sheet.

Step 7: Assembly

First of you assemble the bottom part; this consists of the small piece with the countersink and the large piece with the ribbon in place. For the first piece you tie the ribbon around or tie a knot.

Then you place the fabric over and on that the piece with the chamfers. The last thing is to use the allen key to keep it all together. Do this for all the pieces.

Step 8: The Holder

This piece is to hold the previous assembly secure to the bed. These dimensions were all very situational. It can vary to your needs.

There need to be a flat surface on the frame of the bed where you can drill 1 hole in for this to work.

Step 9: The Cutting and Drilling

The general idea is 3 main parts and 2 other smaller parts.

Use the fretsaw to saw out these parts. First start with the middel part the long neck is for bridging the thick mattress. The segment where the rod is already in is where it contacts the bed frame. There need to be a hole there.

Secondly you saw the 2 other main parts that need to be symmetrical. The left segments of the part hook on the bottom side of the bed frame. You can shape them that way so there is a snugg fit.

The last parts are the smaller ones. These need to have a good length to be over the mattress. Another important thing here is the the incision for the fabric to slide into.

Step 10: Assembling the Holder

Assemble the parts using the screws with the wright spacings, you can pre drill holes and countersinks for a smoother part. When the holder is made you can sand the last piece of the other assembly down so it is a goot fit in the holder (see picture).

Step 11: Movie

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    44 Discussions

    this idea is very useful thankss

    cool. but what we really need is a way to keep the fitted sheet taunt! i have tried the elastic clips and they suck.

    5 replies

    Easily done, take the fitted sheet and fold over the edge, and sew it. Then put a drawstring around, leaving access at one corner. Put it on the mattress then pull tight and tie it off. If it still loosens too much on the long sides in the middle, flip it over and put a hole over the drawstring in the center of both sides, then loop another string and pull the drawstring tight with it..

    Realize the sheet loosens because it moves with people as they move. Stopping it moving will increase abrasion, so could be a bad idea for those with skin problems or really sensitive skin..

    OK didn't really state the basic idea first for clarity. Instead of depend on the elastic band to help hold the fitted sheet in place, fold over those edges and make a hollow hem, and put in your own drawstring. Then tighten it up after the sheet is on the mattress. A non-stretch string will do a much better job locking the sheet in place than the elastic band that is designed to stretch to get over the mattress easily..

    Aking14, can you make an instructable for this? I only mostly know what you mean.

    I don't understand your directions on the sheet. Could you draw what you're explaining? Thanks!

    I love the thoughtful imagination you put into the "trax". Beautiful work.

    hmmm. interesting idea. unfortunately, i'm more of a fabric glue guy than a sewer but i will think about it and maybe come up with something based on your idea. thanks!

    I can see it being useful for special a needs person, except the unit definitely needs to be 'softened up'. I would not want to roll over on to it, or sit on it while getting out of bed. Keep up the good work.

    I have a daughter who has SEVERE scoliosis. Her spine is shaped literally like a letter 'S', as she has two curvatures in opposing directions. She had her first surgery at the age of 12 that left her totally paralyzed at T-12 level. (belly button down) She had ZERO function and was never supposed to walk again. We have a strong faith and believed that God would heal her, even though the doctors said there was NO chance she would ever walk again. As we believed, 3 months later she walked out the door of the hospital to the car. She did physical therapy for 2 years to build her muscles back up, but after that 2 years, she's never gone back to using the wheel chair. She's now 31 and has had 3 more back surgeries to try to help improve the constant pain that the first surgery left her in. She still has some major limitations, and some pain, but with the aid of a cane she can still walks on her own.

    As a parent, it was a VERY trying time. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for you and your team to develop something for someone that is life changing for them! You can NOT POSSIBLY know how much these little things you do every day mean to you, until you've lost the ability to do them. We take for granted things so simple as being able to bend over and tie our shoes or even just breathing. Until we loose the ability to do them. What you have done is a REALLY, REALLY BIG DEAL! Thank you so much! I'm sure that it means more to your client than s/he would ever possibly be able to tell you! You and your team should be VERY, VERY proud of yourselves! :-)

    Brilliant, lovely work.
    Thank you for sharing.


    We should all be so lucky as to not need anything like this. Nice solution, well executed and presented.

    Such a great project and such a relief for the user! Really like the little "caterpillar" - looks like it's dancing the quilt on and off.

    this is cool

    Thank You

    Kudos to all of you. I am disabled and have had to find many new ways to do things that I used to take for granted. I hope that you will continue on this path somehow when its no longer an assignment for you, whether its in your spare time, or as a job. You can take a basic sewing class at a quilting store, explaining why you are taking it might get you a discount or free class, or a paid class at a JoAnn's store. A sewing machine is gender neutral and is simple a power tool to enable quicker work. In any case this is one of the coolest things I've seen and you deserve to be acknowledged for it.

    Stuff like this restores my faith in humanity...Bravo!

    the moment i saw the pic, i immediately saw similarity to a tracks (the ones on a tank) design