How to Make a Bed Canopy

By Colin Fischetti , last updated January 16, 2012

When you have at last gotten into your bed with the overhead canopy you have made, you will realize that you have been missing the sweet, warm, cuddled feeling it will bring you. A good bed canopy will surround you, relax you and keep you snug in your bed all night and morning while adding to the decor and appeal of your bedroom. Bed canopies are cheap to buy and easy to set up, but when you really want your bedroom to look like your personal oasis, you can roll up your sleeves and hang your own. The practical uses for bed a canopy range from bringing darkness to bug protection. However, the appeal of the bed canopy is to bring the feel of the lavish bedroom of royalty.

Bringing Your Idea to Fruition

Start your adventure by finding the perfect material. If you have a fairly small room in which to hang your canopy it is a very good idea to use mesh or mosquito netting to keep the room from appearing even smaller. Light colors are perfect for light bedspreads but if you are working with dark spreads you will want very colorful or dark material. The type of canopy described here is best done with netting and not thick fabric. Thick fabric will require finishing all of the edges with a sewing machine.

This how-to will guide you through how to create your own "four poster like" bed canopy. Many people don't have the room or the budget to buy a tall four poster bed. Happily, if you have a four poster style bed, you can easily hang a canopy from the wooden poles. For the rest of us, creativity and some craft work can give you a similar look.

You will need (all measurements based on a queen sized bed):

  • 4 Ceiling Hooks (to match either the color of your ceiling, or the color of your material)
  • Between 25-30 yards of your material (best at 45" width, but 60" works as well). Mesh netting is sold in rolls of 10-15 yards for less than $20.
  • Scissors
  • Decorative rope matching your material. (About 35ft)
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape, 12' or more
  • Optional: Power drill, sewing kit.

Get to Your Bedroom!

Begin by using your measuring tape and pencil to mark the places on the ceiling directly above the four corners of your bed. These are going to be the guide points for your ceiling hooks. Since the canopy is, when we get down to it, a hanging mess of fabric that looks gorgeous in the sun when you wake up in the morning, it isn't imperative that you put the hooks in a perfect rectangle the exact dimensions of your bed. You can feel free to fulfill the wishes of your inner neat freak and measure it all out perfectly, but it will look great either way.

It has come time to install your ceiling hooks where you've marked. Be very careful with these hooks in the drywall of the ceiling. If you don't have a power drill to pre-drill the holes then you need to very carefully screw the hooks in with your bare hands.

Once the hooks have been installed, get a hold of your decorative rope and tie it to one of the corner hooks. Then, run it over to one of the other hooks and pull it so that it is fairly tight between the two hooks. It's best to keep the rope very close to being up against the ceiling. Leaving the ropes loose will cause the material to slide into the middle and throw off the look of the canopy. Tie the rope once again on the second hook. Continue this process until you have a rectangle of rope hanging above your bed. Make sure you keep about 6 feet of your rope as you will need it later.

Now's the fun part! Take up your material and feed it over and around one of your ropes (on the long side of the bed). Then feed it all the way over the bed around the rope on the other side. You should now have a sort of arch of material over your bed. Cut it so that is falls all the way past the sides of the bed, or all the way to the floor. Shift the material down to a far end of the bed so that it is touching the hooks.

Continue this process four times. Once at the foot of the bed, head of the bed, and on the left and right side. The hanging should now appear like four walls around the bed with splits in the middle. You will notice that the material hangs low above the bed, this is correct. The low hanging in the center of the bed will provide that feeling of being cuddled to sleep by your canopy. If you want more headroom, pull the sides down to reduce the amount of fabric hanging down.

Take the remaining decorative rope and cut it into 1-1.5 foot pieces. At each corner of the bed gather up the two pieces of the hanging material and tie them together with a pretty bow. This serves to hold back the curtains so that people can move in and out of the bed; you may remove the ropes if you prefer to shut yourself in.

A few notes about your new canopy. If you have a pet that often sleeps with you, you may want to consider buying a sturdy fabric, in case your pet to gets its claws and teeth into them. Also, keep from putting too much pressure on the curtains as they are only mounted by hooks in drywall. You can pull on them and throw them around, just don't play Tarzan. You now have a bed canopy created to make your bed look like a lavish four poster!

Resources and References
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