How do I Make a Canopy Bed?

Josie Myers

Anyone can make a canopy bed from a plain bed with a little creativity and time. Curtain rods, curtain rings, or wood can be used to suspend a canopy from the ceiling. Alternatively, a set of four long spindles can be attached to the bed corners to create a four poster bed. Curtains, or swags of fabric, are added to the setup, resulting in a luxurious and private sleeping area.

A canopy bed.
A canopy bed.

To begin, the bed must be measured. If creating a ceiling attachment, the bed must also be positioned exactly where it will stay. Mark where the corners of the bed are by placing a dot on the ceiling right above each of the four corners. This lays out the template for the fixtures.

Canopy beds are often made to order due to their height.
Canopy beds are often made to order due to their height.

If using curtain rods, two sizes will be required to make a canopy bed; two long ones for the edges of the bed and two shorter ones for the foot and headboard. The bed length and width should be measured to determine the exact lengths, as bed sizes vary. Attach the curtain rods to the ceiling using the provided fixtures, and hang long curtains on them for a full enclosure.

Curtain rings can also be used to make a canopy bed. Attach one ring to each of the four corner marks on the ceiling. Drape long swags of curtains through the rings, and allow them to fall to the floor at each corner. This creates a more open look, and, if done correctly, will produce a dramatic effect.

Some decorative wood pieces can create a cornice of sorts for the canopy. Choose a decorative trim, or other wide piece of wood. Attach the wood to the ceiling using brackets fastened into both the wood and the ceiling with screws. The wood can be painted to match the room color, trim color, or stained to match a wooden bed. Matching the paint to the bed is a way to make a canopy bed appear to be one piece. Attach fabric panels or curtains to the back of the wood panel using staples.

If altering the bed itself is an option, look for long spindles in a home improvement store. This method will make a canopy bed that is movable within the room, unlike the previous options. Try to find spindles that will reach just a few inches below the ceiling when attached to the bed. If spindles are not available, try a simple 2 x 2 inch (5.08 x 5.08 cm) piece of wood. Either kind can be painted or stained to match the bed or decor, as desired.

Attach the spindles to the bed, preferably on the inside of the corners, using nails. Be sure that the nails are long enough to hit both the bed and the spindle, but without poking all the way through. Once the spindles are in place, drape the curtains or fabric over the top of them. Lace or textured fabrics work well, since they easily catch at the corners.

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