A canopy bed is a very nice decorative bed somewhat similar to a four-poster bed. While most canopy beds typically have four posts, each at the corner of the bed and attached to the canopy bed frame, these posts normally extend four feet or more above the mattress. These can be somewhat simplistic or ornate, and always use a decorative fabric as a canopy bed curtain which is draped across the upper expanse between the posts. A solid singular swath of cloth often creates a ceiling canopy directly over the bed.
Canopy beds were initially meant for a common utilitarian purpose and rather than a decorative extravagance. Canopy bed curtains could very easily and completely shroud the bed as an enclosure. They were most commonly used by European lords and noblemen during medieval times and served the purposes of offering both privacy and warmth as they would block those asleep from wind and even pesky bugs and insects. As their hired servants often slept in the very same room, the privacy attribute of these canopy bed curtains was most certainly perceived as quite a luxury. Up until the 1500’s, this type of bed was most assuredly plain and utilitarian. As all things do over time, these canopy beds would become quite ornate and elaborate as hand-carved headboards were added and became standard and part of the design styles of the time period.
In China, these beds became such a focal point and prized possession, they were often part of the dowry of the bride, and often were found with the most ornate and delicate symbolic decorations of happiness, longevity and fertility. Their canopy bed curtains were crafted from the highest quality and most expensive silk fabric material known.
In this DIY feature, we will explore the makings of a 360 degree canopy bed curtain that is inexpensive to create, and yet extremely simple to make. Rest assured that you will not need to modify the canopy bed headboard or frame, mattress or box spring. If you have a traditional four poster bed, then you can simply drape your sheer fabric material over the existing four posts as you see fit. For this canopy bed curtains instructional feature, we are going to simply mount hanging rods (painted pvc piping) to the ceiling. Once the mounted rods are in place, you can add your sheer fabric material and enjoy it for many years to come.
Material List for this Canopy Bed DIY include:
4 x ½” PVC Pipe
4 x 90 degree PVC elbow joints
10 x PVC Conduit Clamps
16 Curtain Rings
1 can of spray paint (Rustoleum Rubbed Bronze)
Recommended Tools for the crafting of your DIY Canopy Bed include:
1 saw (hand saw, jig saw or circular saw work well)
1 Drill with flush mounted flat head screws
Cut lists for your pvc piping or your industrial pipe curtain rods:
King size: 2 at 76” and 2 at 80”
Queen Size: 2 at 60” and 2 at 80”
Full Size: 2 at 54” and 2 at 75”
Twin: 2 at 39” and 2 at 75”
Using the defined cut list detailed above, and based on the size of your bed, cut your pvc piping to these exact specs. Use a tape measure and a pencil to mark the lines of your pvc pipe, and then cut to spec. It would be helpful and encouraged to lay out the square/ rectangle on the floor first to mark and then cut.
Now is the time to take all of the pieces (the 4 cuts of the pvc pipes, the 4 pvc elbow joints, the 10 pvc conduit clamps, and the 16 curtain rings) outside to spray paint with the Rustoleum Rubbed Bronze spray can. Place all of these pieces on a cardboard sheet panel (or any cloth that you don’t mind throwing away after spray painting). With the Rubbed Bronze spray can 2 feet away from the pieces, begin spraying evenly and smoothly. Make certain that all pieces have been coated evenly and completely. Allow to totally dry before beginning to work with them (2 hours or so).
Now is the time to mark those same dimensions on the ceiling with a pencil. You will now need to attach the 10 pvc conduit clamps. It would be wise to mount these clamps into the ceiling joists versus just the dry wall, but as this is such a lightweight structure, it’s ok if you have a difficult time locating the joists precisely. We would recommend using 3 clamps for each of the length of the pipe railing (6 total/ 3 on each side), and then 2 pvc clamps at both of the widths of the two rails (4 total/ 2 on each side).
Once you have the conduit clamps properly secured on your ceiling, and at the specs of your frame, you can easily run the painted pvc pipes through the clamps. For our DIY canopy bed curtains, we have chosen a very sheer fabric material called Sheer Drape in Ivory. It is a very lightweight, highly transparent, elegant and 100% soft polyester. It is also inherently flame retardant and so will not spark or catch fire against a candle. There are many fabric material options, and you can select from the many different types here. Many people have told us that they prefer white canopy bed curtains as they are softer and more neutral of a color palette.
The 16 curtain rings that we have chosen to craft our DIY canopy bed curtains allow for the fabric material to be clamped. As the fabric does not have grommets, these curtain ring clamps work very well. If you wanted to grommet the fabric material, then you could easily do so with an inexpensive grommet gun purchased at many retailers.
After the sheer canopy bed drapes have been clamped and hung securely from the overhead ceiling mounting pipes, you can now add your 4 painted 90 degree pvc elbow joints to all 4 corners. Check that each pipe fits in well into the elbow joints, and secure well.
And there you have it . . . an easy and effective way to create your own DIY canopy bed curtains and to add beautiful style, elegance and sophistication to any old bedroom! We hope that you have a fun time creating these canopy bed curtains, and that you enjoy them for many years ahead!