Living

Do-it-yourself bed canopy

Create a romantic drapery effect over your bed in five simple steps

There’s nothing like lying under swaths of luxurious fabric to make you sleep like a queen. This creative canopy works well in a variety of rooms depending on the type of curtain panels, the frame you choose and the mood you’re after. For a light, airy effect, use simple white muslin drapery panels and a plain, light wood frame. Or, if you prefer a more traditional look, choose silk panels and an ornate antiqued frame.

• One large rectangular picture frame (at least 2 1/2 inches deep). The exact dimensions will depend on the size of your bed. The long sides of the frame should be at least three-quarters the width of your bed. The short sides should be at least a foot long.
• Three long pleated drapery panels in whatever style suits your room. Make sure you measure the frame before buying fabric. When hung, the panels must be wide enough to wrap around the sides and back of the frame with enough fabric to drape generously behind the length of your headboard (see picture above). Also, make sure the panels are long enough to reach below mattress level.
• Approximately two yards of similar fabric with surged edges in a contrasting colour or pattern to create a swag across the front of the frame. Try using a pretty scarf or vintage shawl.
• A staple gun and staples
• Six small metal L brackets from the hardware store (or small shelf brackets)
• Two curtain tie-backs
• A screwdriver or drill
• twelve 3/4-inch wood screws and twelve 1 1/2-inch drywall screws to secure the frame to the ceiling. If you have a drywall ceiling, you may also want to secure the 1 1/2-inch screws in your ceiling with plastic anchors. Ask a staff member at the hardware store to help you find the right ones.

How to do it

1) Lay your wood frame on a table with the decorative side facing up. Stand the L brackets up so the vertical edges are flush with the inner sides of your frame and the horizontal edges are visible, pointing in toward the centre of your frame. One should be centred in the middle of each short side, and two should be evenly spaced along each of the long sides. Attach the L brackets with the small 3/4-inch screws into the inner sides of the frame (taking care not to puncture all the way through). Now you are ready to attach the frame to the ceiling.

2) To hang the frame, position it on the ceiling above your bed, centred over your headboard. If you can’t reach properly by standing on the bed, mark the position and move your bed to make room for a ladder. Use a drill and your 1 1/2-inch screws to attach the brackets to the ceiling (you may also want to use the plastic plugs to secure them).

3) Once your frame is secure (it needs to be sturdy to support the weight of your panels), you are ready to hang the drapery.

4) Begin stapling the drapery to the inside of your frame. Position your staples so they’re tucked behind the fold of your pleats – that way you won’t be able to see them when you’re lying on your back admiring your handiwork. Staple one panel along the back edge to go behind the headboard and one on each side. Tuck the back panel behind your headboard. Gather the side panels and secure them to the wall with curtain tie-backs.

5) Complete the look by creating a draped swag at the front of the frame. Gather your two yards of fabric and staple it inside the two front corners of your frame, allowing it to drape down in the middle. Try to staple deep in the corners, so the staples won’t show. You can also try tucking the stapled edges behind the drapery panels.

FILED UNDER: