DIY Canopy Bed Tutorial

posted by Designed to a Tea on , , ,

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I had no idea when I posted pic's of Little One's room that it would be such a hit!  Thanks to all of you for filling her little soul...she's so excited so many people like her room!  I thought maybe I would put together a tutorial so you too can make a simple canopy for your little princess too!  I apologize I have no photos of the process.....I know, bad blogger.  When I did her room though, I wasn't even thinking about blogging, so.....I have done some drawings, made a list of basic supplies, and taken a few photos to walk you through the process.

1.  I made a list of all of the supplies I would need.  After pulling items from my inventory {the stuff I keep on hand} I basically only had to buy the fabric and the L-brackets.  Here is what you need:

  • Plywood, cut to your determined size
  • L-Brackets and screws, I used 8" L brackets
  • Wall anchors
  • Velcro - Sew on.
  • Staple Gun
  • Battery powered drill/screw driver
  • Fabric for the inside of the drape and valance
  • Fabric for the outside of the drape and valance
  • Trim 
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine
  • Thread

2.  I always start everything with a drawing.  First it's a sketch and then I scale it.  This is similar to what I did to start with for Little One's room.  I determined how large the canopy should be.  I decided, based on the size of the room and bed, mine should be 24" wide and extend 18" over her bed.

This is what my base for my canopy looks like.  Cut your valance board.

3.  Then I measured the length and width the drape would need to be and the width, depth, and length of the valance.  I then had to decide what fullness I would use for the drape and the valance so I could figure my yardage.   I decided on 2 1/2 x fullness factor.

This is a plan view of the canopy board to figure yardage for the valance.  I have a total perimeter of 65" that I am covering.  Using my fullness factor I can figure out my total width of fabric needed to make the valance.

65" x 2.5 fullness = 162.5"

Divide this by the width of your fabric to find out how many widths you need.

162.5"/45" wide fabric = 3.6 widths of fabric

So, since I would always rather have more, I need a 4 widths of my fabric.  Now to translate that into yardage.

Allowing 1/2" for seams and a 3"  header to staple onto the canopy board, my long point of each width is going to be 20".  
20" x 4 widths = 80" 
80"/36"  =  2.5 yards
162.5"/36" trim = 4.59 yards trim
I need 2 1/2 yards of each fabric for the valance. And 5 yards of trim for the valance.

Now to figure the yardage for the drape.

This is a plan view of the canopy board to figure yardage for the drape.  I have a total perimeter of 24" on the canopy board that my drape would be hanging from.   Using my fullness factor I can figure out my total width of fabric needed to make the valance.

24" x 2.5 fullness = 60"

Divide this by the width of your fabric to find out how many widths you need.

60"/45" wide fabric = 1.3

So, since I always like a little more, I need a 1.5 widths of my fabric.  Now to translate that into yardage.

The drape needs to be able to wrap around onto the sides of the bed, so I created a scallop in the hemline, using this drawing to mark my measurements on.  You can make this longer if you want more of a puddle.  The door is next to the foot of Little One's bed, so I could not allow for a puddle.

 My longest point is 98.5".   I need 1.5

98.5"  x 1.5 widths  = 147.75"
147.75"/36" = 4.1 yards.  
98.5" x 2 = 197"/36" trim =  5.47 yards of trim
I like to round, so I bought 5 yards of each fabric.  And since I have 2 sides that are each 98.5" long, I will need 6 yards of trim.

That's a total of 7.5 yards of Fabric 1 and 7.5 yards of Fabric 2.  A total of 11 yards of trim.

The one thing I have learned over the years of being a designer is that you can never have enough fabric.  You can have too little and if you make a mistake, you are out of luck....but if you allow a little extra for mistakes, you are golden.  I never order just what is required...always add a couple of yards extra, you won't regret it in the end.  And if you don't need it, you can always make pillows, welt, or save it for a project later on.

4.  Then I put together my drape and valance.  When sewing your drape and valance, never center a seam.  Use a full width of fabric for your center piece and add the additional material needed to the sides.  Your finished product always looks so much better that way.  While I do not have photos to show you how to put together your drape and valance, I've done drawings.  And make sure you iron as you go.

After stitching all sides of the drape, turn the raw edge on the top in by 1" and stitch closed.  A tip from my work room for gathering. Instead of using a gathering foot or trying to pull threads to gather, use fishing line and run a zig zag stitch over the fishing line, be careful not to catch the fishing line.  It will take less time and you will be able to adjust the gathers much easier.  Stitch down your gathers once you have the correct width needed.

Once you have gathered your fabric on the drape, pin and sew your Velcro onto the inside of your drape.

Now for sewing your valance.  Close both sides and the bottom.  Leave the top edge open and use a basting stitch to close it.  Trim any loose threads and use the same technique to gather the valance.  This will get stapled to the top of your valance board.

5.  Now your drape and valance are done, it's time to install the L-brackets for the canopy board.  Measure the location of the canopy board and figure out where your L-brackets need to be attached to the wall.  I like the plastic screw anchors.  Attach the L-brackets to the wall.  Pre-drill your screw holes, but don't screw your valance board down to the L-brackets yet.

6.  The rest of the steps will be done on the floor or table until you are ready to fit the canopy board onto the brackets.  Attach the Velcro to the valance board to attach the drape.

7.  For fitting the drape over the L-brackets, I measured the location of where the L-brackets would be on my drape and put button holes in my drape at that location so the drape would easily slip over the L-brackets.

8.  Attach the valance to the canopy board.  I stapled my valance to the canopy board...but you can Velcro is as well.  If you really want professional results, like my work room would put out, you would cover your finished canopy board with a dust cover.  I didn't do this....sorry Mona!  Maybe I'll do it later!!

9.  To finish the whole thing off, I stapled Velcro to the flat bottom of the canopy board so I could cover it with a fabric panel.  I just went back to my measurements of the canopy board and made a rectangle, hemmed and finished exactly that size.  Then I attached Velcro to it so I could Velcro it to the board.

After I finished that, I decided I would make a fabric rose for the center of it so Little One has something pretty to look at when she's laying in bed.  You could really hang anything from the center, I might change it later on, but for now she likes it.  Sorry the color looks horrible, flash lighting.

So there you go!!  Now you can make your own canopy bed too...pretty much the way a professional work room would do it.  Let's take another look.....

Have a great weekend!

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