Bunk Bed Upgrade: Add a Canopy & Fabric Panels

Give a basic bunk bed a custom look with do-it-yourself fabric panels and a ready-made fabric awning.

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Materials Needed:

  • basic, ready-made twin bunk bed
  • ready-made, indoor-outdoor fabric awning
  • colorful, kid-friendly fabric
  • measuring tape
  • heavy-duty scissors
  • 10' spool of Velcro
  • precut 1/4"-thick luan boards
  • pencil
  • notepad
  • batting
  • staple gun
  • staples
  • heavy-duty drywall anchors
  • drill
  • 2” metal screws
  • stud finder

Take Measurements

With ready-made bunk bed completely set up, use measuring tape to determine measurements for overall height, width and depth, as well as any side support panels.

Tip: While the height is important for ensuring proper size for awning, the width and depth as well as side supports are crucial in creating individual fabric panels. Be sure to measure each side support individually, taking note of which panel is which size with a simple pencil sketch.

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Wrap and Staple Luan Boards

Referring to side-panel measurements taken with pencil and notepad, have 4x8’ sheets of 1/4”-thick luan cut to size at the local home improvement store. Refer to the sketch to determine where each side panel belongs in reference to the ready-made bunk bed.

Cut batting and fabric to size with heavy-duty scissors, leaving 1/2" extra around all four sides of the board. To attach batting and fabric, fold the 1/2" border around the back of the board and attach using a staple gun and staples.

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Add Velcro to Luan Boards

Using the 10' spool of Velcro, cut two strips of the soft Velcro backing to size for the left and right back side of each luan board. Position Velcro into place along each side. Next, cut Velcro to size for the top and bottom back side of each luan board, then firmly attach in place.

Tip: The soft strip of Velcro backing will be used along the backs of each luan board while the coarse strips will be attached directly to the bed panels.

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Add Velcro to Bed Panels

Cut coarse strip of Velcro with scissors to the same size as the soft strips which are attached to the backs of the luan boards. Place each coarse strip directly along the surface of each exterior panel of the bunk bed.

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Attach Luan Boards to Bed Panels

Once all Velcro strips are in position, place luan boards up into each panel until the soft and coarse strips of Velcro attach to one another.

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Suspend Awning

Depending on the installation method for the chosen style of indoor-outdoor fabric awning, it may require being attached to the ceiling with eye hooks, chain and S-hooks, or fastening up into ceiling joists using heavy-duty anchors, 2” screws and a drill. For styles requiring the drilling method, locate ceiling joists above where bunk bed will sit using stud finder. Use pencil to mark ceiling joists and underside of awning. Add heavy-duty anchors into ceiling using drill. Next, with the help of a friend, hold the awning up into its proper position, then secure to the ceiling with 2” metal screws up through the center of the structure and into the heavy-duty anchors.

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You're Done!

The bed is ready for your child to lounge, play and enjoy.

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