Can you imagine how much it would cost for a unique box canopy that attaches to the ceiling? Have you ever even seen such a thing? Of course, they make them but you sure don’t want to see the price tag on a decor item like that! It would cost hundreds of dollars and you would have very few choices about the way the box canopy would look. When you make that same canopy yourself, though, you have lots of choices while still keeping all that money in your wallet!
The true investment for this project is the fabric you choose for the corners of the canopy. Wispy, lightweight fabrics work You’ll need to measure from the ceiling to the floor to accurately purchase the amount of cloth required. Take that measurement and multiply it by four. It’s much easier to round the number up or down – depending on the final measurement – to make it a whole number. For instance, if you’re left with a whole number plus three-quarters of an inch, just round that number to the next whole number; it will not effect the final project at all to round these numbers up or down. Set the chosen fabric aside for the moment as you begin the project.
You’ll start by creating the box frame for the canopy. Use thick cardboard to make the frame that is simply a giant square or rectangle of cardboard. To help you along with this you can wrap lengths of cardboard around the bed itself, if this is possible. The cardboard pieces should be thick and all the same type and color. The cardboard should be no taller than the bed itself – maybe even half that tall – depending upon how high your bed is off the floor. You’ll likely need more than one piece of cardboard to make the square that will become the canopy. Just use clear packing tape to adjoin the pieces together. Form very distinct corners, at each of the four corners, to get the best look for the canopy.
After creating the shape of the cardboard the hardest task is to get it positioned correctly on the ceiling. Place the bed exactly where you want it then use the new cardboard shape as a pattern. Others can help you hold the box shape up to the ceiling as you draw around it with a disappearing ink marker from a craft store. Or, you can use chalk instead. After making sure the outline is perfect you can come down from the ceiling with the cardboard shape and finish the project.
Choose the fabric or decorative paper you want to use to cover the cardboard. Line the inside and outside of the cardboard with the same design or use a different pattern on the inside than what you have on the outside. The top edge of the cardboard – the edge that faces the ceiling – will not need to be painted or otherwise decorated. The bottom edge will be but that will come later. For now, begin by covering the outside of the box shape. As you do, position pieces of ribbon across the top edge so you’ll create a way to hang the canopy. Cut lengths of narrow ribbon, fishing twine or similar materials to make the hangers. Start by gluing one edge of the fabric or paper to the outside of the cardboard shape. Decide how many inches you will leave between each folded ribbon hanger. For some people, it’s easier to first glue on all the loops of ribbon, right along the top edge, and then go back and glue on the paper or cloth. Regardless of which technique you use you’ll have ribbon loops positioned all the way around the top perimeter of the box shape, with fabric or cloth covering their ends as well as the entire outside of the box. Make sure that there is a hanger on each side of each top corner.
To cover the inside of the canopy, and create the holders for the corner curtains, start by gluing the chosen cloth or paper to the inside. As you approach the corners you’ll add strong rubber bands. So, glue the fabric on until you get close to the corner. Poke a hole in the paper or cloth, insert one end of a cut rubber band, and tie it in a knot. Glue this area of cloth or paper – with the knot facing the cardboard – until you get to the other side of the corner. Poke another hole in the fabric or paper, insert the opposite end of the rubber band, and tie a knot. Continue gluing along, placing a split rubber band at each corner, then gluing the paper or cloth down to cover the knot
The size of the rubber band you use is all-important. To get a good idea of what size to use cut the four curtains to the size they’ll need to be. Gather the curtain at one end and wrap the rubber band around it. The fit shouldn’t be so tight that it pinches the curtain but shouldn’t be so large that the curtain simply falls right out.
When you’re finished, the inside of the cardboard should be completely covered, and there should be a rubber band loop at each corner, about halfway down the cardboard. These strong, tight rubber bands will be the method you use to attach the curtains. Hem the curtains, at the top and bottom, then attach then one by one to the four corners. To do so, gather the fabric along the top edge so that you can hold it all in one hand. Push this gathered end through the underside of the rubber band and all the way through the top of the rubber band.
To finish the project select roping, feather boas or other similar objects to glue onto the bottom edge of the canopy. This will cover the raw edge of the cardboard and add more interest to the finished project. Screw “C” hooks into the ceiling to hold the ribbon loops and hang the canopy. The bedroom canopy is unique and not so hard to accomplish. If you purchase the fabric at a dollar-a-yard table you’ll have a beautiful creation for very little money, indeed!