DIY bed canopy with a little help from Ana White

Ever since I was a little girl I dreamt of sleeping in a canopy bed like this.

Source: via Nikki on Pinterest

As a matter of fact, one of my best friends who lived across the street from me had one very similar.

Her sister did too, as they shared a bedroom. Every time I went into their bedroom, I remember how much I just loved their pretty beds, they were like beds made for a Princess.

Now don’t get me wrong, my parents provided everything my two sisters and I ever needed and more, but we already had a bedroom set, and I would never have asked them to replace it.

But I could still dream about having one someday.

My husband and I have slept in canopy-type beds before.

The first time was 2001 at the Bali, Indonesia at Jimbaran Bay.

This place was incredible and is actually the place where my husband “popped the question”.


And more recently in February at the amazing Jade Mountain in St. Lucia….


What a beautiful resort indeed.

These canopy beds are just SO romantic right ?!?

So inviting, they make me want to crawl right on in and sleep like a baby.

I’ve pinned a bunch on Pinterest, dedicating a whole board to canopy love.

Well, since returning from our trip to St. Lucia, I’ve been scouring the internet for bed canopies that would work in our room, without having to buy a new bed.

Originally, I thought maybe attaching a canopy to the ceiling fan above our bed and draping the fabric around our bed like this…


But I didn’t LOVE the idea and knew we would probably get annoyed with all of that loose fabric.

Then I came across this idea of attaching drapery rods to the ceiling and adding fabric, like these….


Just so pretty.

However, our bedroom ceilings are 15′ high so attaching the rods and buying all of that fabric…yikes! That would be very challenging and very pricey.

Because I couldn’t find anything online that I thought would work, I started thinking of ways to make our existing bed into a canopy bed.

Our bed is about 12 years old, but structurally super solid. We bought it at Pottery Barn.

The other day while I was getting dressed, I unscrewed one of the finial balls that attaches to our set.


Without the finial in place, the surface was perfectly flat.

Hmmmm….my wheels started turning.

I measured the post, it was 4″ square.

I thought if I could find 3″ or 4″ square wood, I could figure something out.

So off to Lowes I went to see what I could find.

I learned that they don’t carry 3″ square lumber, only 4″ square.

I also learned that 4″ square lumber is really 3.5″ square.

Um…why ?!?

Anyway, I was confused and without a plan, I decided to hold off on buying anything.

When I got home, it hit me…why not check out Ana White’s website ??

I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that before going to Lowes but I started searching her site.

If you don’t know Ana White { but I’m guessing you do }, her woodworking skills, beautiful designs and ideas are just amazing and she does all of the plans for you, including shopping lists.

She’s my hero.


Guess what?? Ana had plans for a canopy bed top to attach to her Farmhouse Bed plans.

Oh, it gets better! Her farmhouse bed looked very similar to our Pottery Barn bed !!


I finally had a visual, the knowledge (well, at least the plans) and the courage to give it a try.

I was SOOO excited, I got measuring, made my shopping list and back to Lowes I went.

Ana’s plans were for 83″ height canopy, but since our ceilings are so high and I didn’t feel like moving all of the pictures above our bed, I decided to make mine 87″.

Here plans are also for a Queen size bed, ours is a California King so I had to factor that in.

I altered the shopping list a bit from Ana’s since I only needed (3) 4″x4″ pieces of wood.

Here is how I figured out what I needed and how to cut my (4) posts.

My headboard is 46″, my footboard is 20″

To get the desired 87″ I needed (2) posts cut to 41″ and (2) posts cut to 67″

Because the 4″x4″ ‘s are 8 feet long (97″), I only need (1) piece for both of my headboard posts (41″ each = 82″ total), but (2) for my footboard posts.

Following ??

I also got (4) 2″x4″

1.5″ screws

3″ screws

(4) 6″ hanger bolts ( I made sure they were the same size as my finial bolts so I wouldn’t have to drill another hole )

Angle brackets (per Ana’s suggestion)

I was so excited and measured and cut my posts.

Next I sanded them and primed each one.

It was getting late so I decided to call it a night, and I picked up where I left off the following morning.

I re-sanded any rough spots.

Next, I added a 6″ hanger bolts to each post.

( didn’t take pics, sorry )

Then attached each post into the existing spot where my finials were on both my headboard and footboard.



Next I added my 2″x4″ ‘s

{ It is very important to use a level for this entire process, you don’t want to end up with a crooked bed after all of your hard work }



Next I added my sides.

After the bed was assembled, I painted the entire canopy using a bright white Pantone paint that matched our bed.

I would have preferred a slightly more creamy white but I was exhausted and didn’t feel like painting the entire bed as well.

I was SO extremely excited as my canopy was starting to come alive.

And honestly, I was a bit proud of myself for pulling this off.

It’s not perfect, there are some gaps here and there where the 2″x4″ ‘s meet, but they don’t bother me a bit.

It’s structurally strong, so I’m not afraid it will fall on us during the night.

{ that would just crush all of my dreams turning my fairytale into a nighmare }


I added some ribbon ties to a set of sheer panels I had made a few years ago, followed by a long lace swag piece I lied over the the top.

Here is the finished product….


Here’s a before from a different angle…

{ anyone recognize those drapes ?? hint: Miss Mustard Seed  }


and now…


Drapey, feminine and romantic


Exactly the look and feel I wanted.



Of course no project of mine is complete without a little “element of surprise”.

Yup, I surprised my husband Michael yet again, who was away on a business trip while I did all of this.

He absolutely loves it.


Oh, I almost forgot.

The cost ???

Only $60 !


Michael and I decided that it would be nice to have the ability to enclose the whole bed if we choose, kind of like the beds we slept in during our trips.

So last night I ordered these (2) 4 post bed canopies on Amazon.





I figured we could see which one we like better and return the other.

So much easier than me trying to make one myself and a WHOLE lot less expensive than purchasing all of the fabric I would need.

Who knows, maybe we’ll return both and just keep what we have, but it’s nice to have options.

{ Thank you Ana White. I just love your site, your work and generosity in sharing all you do. You are such an inspiration to me. I ordered your book today and cannot wait to dig into it. }


So the moral of this blog post story…

At 44 years old, I now have my very own Princess canopy bed, however I feel like “Queen” is more fitting at my age.

My best friend doesn’t live across the street anymore, rather he shares this bed right along side me.

He also happens to be the King.

…..and they lived happily ever after….



Linking up at Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday.

5 thoughts on “DIY bed canopy with a little help from Ana White

  1. If you don’t mind saying… Where did you get this bed and how much did you pay for it? I love it and have been wanting one sooo bad 🙂 !!!

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