Learning how to build a bed canopy is easy if you implement a simple suspension trick. Rather than attempt to craft extensions for your bed, which would require you to find identical building materials to your existing furniture, you can build a bed canopy frame and suspend it from the ceiling over the bed.
Not only will building a bed canopy add elegance to your bedroom, it will envelope your with a sense of serenity and protectiveness. A canopy also offers a great decorating tool, which can tie the window treatments with the bedclothes.
Step #1. Choose the Frame
Build the bed canopy from metal rods or wood polls depending on your bedroom furniture. For a wrought-iron bed, look for metal curtain rods that extend to the full length of your bed. You can save money by getting 2 long curtain rods for the length, but 2 short ones for the width.
For a bed made of wood, look for ornate wood polls at the lumber section of your home improvement store. Buy 2 rods to match the length of your bed and 2 to match the width. (Tip: use the store’s cutting services to cut the rods down to size.)
For Japanese or modern, frameless beds do not buy rods at all. You’ll see later in this article how to build your bed canopy from swag hooks.
Step #2. Choose the Fabric
To build the bed canopy in a room that is already decorated with curtains and bedcovers, look for a cloth that will match the room. Ideally, choose an airy, white net that will not clash with anything, and yet create a romantic canopy enclosure around the bed.
If there are no window curtains or bedcovers in the room, choose two kinds of matching fabrics. Use the heavy fabric to sew curtains (l explain how later in the article). Use a lighter, flowing fabric to sew a canopy.
To determine how much fabric you need, measure the distance from the ceiling down to the top of the mattress. After you build the bed canopy, its suspension will lower it by a few inches, which will then translate to increased length in the canopy cloth.
Step #3. Build the Bed Canopy
If you are building a swag hook bed canopy, please skip this step. Regardless of whether you are building a wood or metal bed canopy, you will need a length of climber’s rope. The color of the rope does not matter, as you can paint the rope later with spray paint if you so desire.
Lay your rods or polls on the floor to form a square. Next, raise the shorter, width sections so they overlap in the corners over the long, length sections. Use the climber’s rope to start twisting an 8 shape at every corner to connect the polls or rods. Create a nice, firm 8 shape and tuck the end of the rope safely beneath the corded mass. To make sure that the canopy sections remain at right angles to each other while you are twisting the 8 shape, secure them beneath your legs or have someone there to help hold them in place until the rope looping is secure.
Step #4. Build a Bed Canopy from Swag Hooks
If you are building a bed canopy from wood or metal, you will still need to learn how to use the swag hooks to suspend the canopy, so please don’t skip this section.
You can find swag hooks at the garden center of your home improvement store. You’ll find swag hooks in white, copper or black. Try to match the swag hooks to the bed canopy fabric and make sure you buy identical hooks for the entire project.
To build a bed canopy from swag hooks you’ll want to insert hooks from the ceiling in straight lines over the bed. Use a laser guide to help you place the swag hooks in straight lines. This will form an invisible frame over the bed from which you can then drape the canopy fabric.
If you are suspending a hard canopy frame, place 4 swag hooks in the ceiling at each corner of the frame. It’s a good idea to place the frame on the bed then use the laser guide to see where on the ceiling you should place a swag hook for each corner. Hang the canopy frame by tying small loops of rope from the corners of the canopy and suspend these from the swag hooks. (Tip: if your frame is heavy, place a cluster of three swag hooks that face each other at each corner. This decorative solution will firmly secure the bed canopy you built over the bed.)
Step #5. Sew the Canopy Curtain
To sew the bed canopy cut the fabric to the right length (from ceiling to mattress). You’ll want to sew a total of 8 canopy curtains, 4 will fit half the width of the bed, and the other 4 half the length. Each side of the canopy will have 2 curtains that together will unite two halves into full coverage.
If you want to make the canopy beautiful from both sides, you’ll want to cut twice as much fabric then fold it over itself. You can then tuck the hems inwardly and sew a hemline that will secure the folds out of sight. In other words, you’ll end up with canopy curtains that look finished and perfect both front and back.
Step #6. Sew the Canopy Curtain Loops
The easiest and loveliest way to add curtain loops that will secure the canopy curtain to the canopy frame or the ceiling swag hooks is to use a thick silk ribbon. Cut ribbon strips and sew them to the top of the canopy curtains in sets of two (or just fold each in half). This will allow you to tie the bed canopy curtain to the canopy frame overhead.
If you are using swag hooks, position the silk curtain loops in at a distance that will allow you to tie them to the hooks. Be sure to allow the curtain canopy a little room to festoon between each swag hook (rather than stretch the canopy curtain).
Step #7. Sew Matching Curtains
After you’re done building the bed canopy, you can sew similar curtains for the windows. When the canopy or window curtains need to be opened in daytime, use silk ribbons to bunch the fabric, then open the ribbons at night to close the canopy around the bed. (Tip: It’s a good idea to sew the silk tie-backs in place on the inner-side of the canopy.
Form more curtain solutions, discover how to make an arched curtain rod and curtain, and how to make a clawfoot tub shower curtain rod.