How to Make a Bed Canopy

Dress up your bed with a chic, modern canopy. Simple fabric and trim make a bold, customizable statement.

Make a Bed Canopy

Make a Bed Canopy

Create a modern bed canopy

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Materials Needed:

  • (2) 2"x2"x8' boards
  • saw
  • (4) small L brackets and screws
  • drill
  • 11 yards linen or linen-look fabric
  • 11 yards ribbon or trim
  • rotary cutter and/or scissors
  • sewing machine
  • pins
  • iron
  • coordinating threads
  • cardboard upholstery tack strip
  • staple gun and staples
  • 2 tension rods, at least 17" long
  • hook and loop tape
  • 2 cup hooks
  • anchors
  • (4) 3" screws

Building the Frame

Cut the 2”x2”x8’ boards to (2) 2”x2”x70” and (2) 2”x2”x17” pieces. (Image 1) Note: This canopy is for a standard queen size bed. Creating this project for a different sized bed or an oversized headboard will require some adjustments to the measurements. Lay the pieces on a flat surface with the two long pieces parallel to each other. Sandwich the other pieces at the ends between the two long pieces. Use L-brackets to secure the pieces together with the outside edges flush with each other. (Image 2) Drill pilot holes in each of the corners with a small drill bit to use for installing later. (Image 3)

Making the Canopy Drapes 

Cut two lengths of fabric to 9 feet. Using a rotary cutter or scissors remove the selvage edge from both sides to avoid any puckering. (Image 1) Fold and press the fabric over 1/2 inch on both sides. Fold it over once more to create a 1/2 inch hem on both sides. Pin in place and sew a seam close to the edge of the hem. (Image 2) Pin ribbon or trim along one long side 2 inches from the edge. Sew the ribbon or trim in place. (Image 3) Fold one short edge up 3 inches and press. Fold it over again to create a 3-inch hem at the bottom. Pin and sew in place with a seam close the the edge of the hem. Fold over the opposite end 1 inch. Fold it again to create a 1-inch pocket across the top for the tension rods. Repeat for the other 9-foot cut, but place the ribbon or trim on the opposite edge from the first panel to create left and right panels. Note: The measurements may need to be adjusted based on ceiling height.

Making the Canopy Valance

Make a Bed Canopy

Make a Bed Canopy

Create a modern bed canopy

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Cut a length of fabric that is 26”x144”. On one long side fold up the fabric 2 inches and press. Fold it over again and press creating a 2-inch hem. Pin and sew it in place with a seam close to the edge of the fold. Pin trim in place with the bottom edge flush with the top of the 2-inch hem along the entire edge. Sew the trim in place. On each of the short ends fold the fabric over 1/2 inch and press. Fold it again then press and pin. Sew the 1/2 inch hem close to the edge of the fold.

Attaching the Fabric to the Frame

Lay the frame on a flat surface. Make a mark at 35 inches on the top of the front long board. Fold the canopy valance fabric in half lengthwise. Make a mark with a pencil at the center point of the unfinished edge. With the front of the frame closest to you, lay the fabric on the frame upside down and with finished hem pointing away from you. Line up the two center marks and position the edge of the fabric along the front edge of the top of the frame. Place one staple at the back of the frame piece to hold the fabric in place in the right position. Measure 11-5/8” in both directions from the center mark and mark those spots. At each of those spots fold the fabric over 2 inches in the opposite direction, then fold it over again in the original direction. Four inches from the last fold, fold it under in the opposite direction 2 inches and then under again in the opposite direction completing the box pleat. (Image 1) Place a staple at each of the folds near the back of the frame piece to hold the pleats in position. Take both ends of the fabric to the corners and repeat the pleating process by placing a staple at the end. Next fold the fabric over in the opposite direction 2 inches, then back over in the original direction 2 inches. Place another staple at the end of the front frame board. Now, turn the fabric 90 degrees and at 2 inches fold under 2 inches in the opposite direction and under again in the original direction. Staple the folds in place to create the pleat. Finally place one staple at the end of the fabric lined up with the back of the frame on each side piece of the frame. Lastly, place cardboard upholstery tack strip along the inside edge of the top of the frame on the front and side pieces and staple the tack strip and fabric in place. (Image 2) Flip the fabric over the front of the frame.

Adding the Finishing Touches

To make the tie backs cut two pieces of fabric 10”x20”. Fold the pieces in half lengthwise and press. Fold each long side into the center crease and press. (Image 1) Fold the piece in half again with the folds inside. Sew a seam at 1/2” along both edges. Fold the ends over 1/4” and then again. Sew a seam close to the edges of the folds. Hand sew a ring to each short edge in the center. (Image 2)
To make the inside cover cut one piece of fabric 66”x21”. Fold over each edge 1/2” and press. Sew a seam all the way around close to the edge of the fold. (Image 3) Place hook and loop tape in each of the corners. (Image 4)

Installing the Canopy

Make a Bed Canopy

Make a Bed Canopy

Create a modern bed canopy

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Press drapes, inside cover, and tie backs. Press the canopy valance on the frame paying special attention to the pleats. To create crisp pleats, pin them together at the bottom hem matched up perfectly. Press sharp creases and then remove the pins.
With help, hold the canopy in place. insert the screws in the pre-drilled hole just far enough to begin to go into the ceiling. Remove the screws and canopy. In the spots marked by the screws insert anchors. Place the canopy back in place and insert the screws into the anchors. Insert the tension rods into the pockets on the top of the panels and place the tension rods between the frame front and back close to the sides with plenty of tension. Be sure to install the panels so that the ribbon or trim faces the front of the canopy. Add cup hooks to the wall behind the valance level with the top of the bedside table. Wrap the tie backs around the panels and slip the rings over the cup hooks. Press the opposite side of the hook and loop tape to the hook and loop tape on the back of the inside cover. Remove the protective film and press the cover to the frame in the corners close to the tension rods. 

Make a Bed Canopy

Make a Bed Canopy

Create a modern bed canopy

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

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