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How to Make a Canopy Bed

Updated on February 1, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Knowing how to make a canopy bed can give you the romantic bedroom you want without breaking the budget.

There are a variety of ways to create the look of a canopy without much trouble, depending on the style you want and how much work you can put into it. Whether you want an innocent cottage look or an elegant country house style you can make your own canopy with fabric and a few other materials even if your sewing skills consist of a skirt with an uneven hem you made in seventh grade Home-ec class.

Most of the ideas below can be completed by just one person in a day. You may need some help hanging the canopy so be sure to have a friend on call.


Choosing Your Fabric

There are a variety of fabrics that are appropriate for your romantic canopy bed. Your choice should depend on your budget, the look you want, and your level of experience. Most homemade canopies will look best if you make them from a fabric that is lightweight and drapes well. You can hold up a few yards from a bolt and let the fabric flow to the floor to see what it will look like hanging from your bed.

Some that can work well are:

  • Cheesecloth
  • Cotton
  • Gauze
  • Lace
  • Muslin
  • Satin
  • Silk
  • Tulle

These fabrics are generally available at any fabric store, drape easily, and come in a variety of colors. You don't have to limit yourself, however. You may find the perfect pattern in a sheets or curtains at the thrift shop. Keep an open mind to the hundreds of possibilities.

If you need some inspiration this slideshow from Elle Décor has many great canopy bed looks and ideas.

How to Make Your Own Canopy Bed

You will need something to attach the fabric to. This can be created from many different items, depending on the look you want.

Curtain Rods

Believe it or not, one of the easiest ways to create a canopy is to use curtain rods. This will give a tradition, country house type look to your bedroom and is perfect for heavier materials such as velvet, or brocade. Make sure that the fabric is not so heavy that it will pull the rods out of the ceiling.

You will need three curtain rods. One rod should be equal to the width of your bed and two equal to the length of your bed. These will be installed upside down on the ceiling. You will also need 50 clip rings, or more, depending on the weight of your fabric.

  1. Install one rod crosswise at the head of your bed.
  2. Install the other two rods lengthwise on either side of your bed.
  3. Measure from the ceiling to the floor, and add a few inches (2-4) for hem allowance.
  4. Hem the fabric and attach it to the rods with the clip rings.

You can also use tab top, ready –made curtains for this project to make it even easier.

Grapevine Wreath

A grapevine wreath suspended from the ceiling can give a country, natural, or medieval romantic look to your bedroom. You will need to choose an 18 inch wreath and suspend it from the ceiling with about six inch lengths of clear fishing line, silk ivy vine, or other strong material. Make sure the wreath is parallel to the surface of the bed.

Pull lightweight fabric, gauze is perfect for this, through the wreath and attach it to the bedposts or wall behind the bed. You can even allow it to flow around the bed like mosquito netting.

For a little girl's princess or fairy room you can attach silk butterflies, roses, and other items with hot glue.

Towel Rings

Use four, purchased towel rings to create a traditional canopy bed. This technique is the most versatile and it allows you to change the colors of your canopy simply, at your own discretion.

  1. Attach the four towel rings to the ceiling at the four corners of the bed, slightly wider than the bed.
  2. Measure from the floor to the ceiling and write that measurement down. Add eight inches for hemming and draping. Multiply this number by four.
  3. Now measure the length of your bed and add eight inches for hemming and draping. Multiply this number by two.
  4. Now, measure the width of your bed and add eight inches for hemming and draping. Multiply this number by two.
  5. Add up all the totals and divide by three. This is the number of yards of fabric you need.
  6. Hem the fabric and pull it through the rings so it drapes on either side of the bed as well as draping across the ceiling.

PVC Pipe

You can also make a frame of lightweight pvc pipe or dowels to suspend from your ceiling. Either drape the fabric over it or fold the top of the fabric down and sew it to make a "tunnel" for the pipe or dowels to fit through.

Save Money on Your Romantic Bedroom Look

This project is easy and less expensive than even cheap canopy beds at today's retail prices. Best of all you will have a unique look that fits your idea of a romantic bedroom and gives your room the ambiance you are looking for.

Knowing how to make a canopy bed is a great way to express your creativity as well as save money on your bedroom decorating project.


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    • najeemakari profile image

      najeemakari 5 years ago from Columbia, SC

      i honestly have never thought about making my own canopy but this hub makes it look fairly easy. great article!

    • sweetguide profile image

      sweetguide 6 years ago from River side

      Great info. thanks Marye Audet

    • Abby Lysach profile image

      Abby Lysach 6 years ago from Singapore

      I'll create one for my daughter. Nice article.

    • profile image

      Frank 6 years ago

      Nice hub and good article.

    • ournote2self profile image

      ournote2self 6 years ago

      Thanks for the tips! Great hub!

    • dusy7969 profile image

      dusy7969 6 years ago from San Diego, California

      Very nice hub.The above picture is so beautiful.I am going to suggest this idea to her. She is a single mother even though she's pretty handy.This hub is very amazing and thanks a lot for this good sharing.

    • Nicolas Simons profile image

      Nicolas Simons 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Didn't really know that making a canopy bed could be so easy. Thanks for the tips.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      A wonderful advice. Thank you for showing.

    • Tamila Roberts profile image

      Tamila Roberts 6 years ago from Canada

      I definitely need to get one like that at home. My bedroom is a mess and can't seem to get fixed.

    • cwarden profile image

      cwarden 6 years ago from USA

      I love the idea of the towel rings. My sister is looking at canopy beds for my niece but has not found the perfect one yet. I am going to suggest this idea to her. She is a single mother even though she's pretty handy, she had ruled out the idea of making her own thinking it may not look very nice. This seems like an easy project and I bet it would look great. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Bethany Culpepper 6 years ago

      I've always wanted one! Great suggestions, especially for a little girl's room.

    • Golfgal profile image

      Golfgal 6 years ago from McKinney, Texas

      very cool indeed.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 6 years ago from Indonesia

      I may be overslept more often if mine is a canopy bed, it looks so cozy..

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      I grew up with a canopy bed and absolutely loved it. Nice Hub!