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DIY Canopy Bed

I’m Zoe.
My mission is to teach you to  confidently build magazine-worthy DIYs. I used to be terrified of power tools, which is why I'm a firm believer that ANYONE can DIY.
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Gimme that

Oh, canopy beds. I’ve always loved canopies. When I designed my little lavender bedroom as a little girl, my favorite piece in the whole room was the canopy. It made me feel like a princess every day, and it also protected me from spiders.

Seriously, one morning I woke and a spider was on my face! Well, if I didn’t have a canopy, it would’ve been right on my face, but luckily my canopy protected me and it was just in my face instead of on it.

My love for canopy beds rekindled when we went on our honeymoon. Our resort had a canopy bed, mostly to protect from the million mosquitoes, but it was so gorgeous. I think I asked Andrew multiple times every night on our honeymoon if we could build a canopy bed once we moved into our new house. Eventually, he got on board!

Alright, let’s start DIYing!

DIY canopy bed with labeled dimensions

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)!

Tools

What You’ll Need

For exact quantities needed for each bed size, see our printable plans.

See printable plans for cut list.

Prefer printable plans? Grab your canopy bed PDF plans HERE.

How to build a canopy bed

New to DIY? Download our free 5 Steps to Getting Start with DIY guide!

Step 1: Cut your wood

Start by cutting your posts to ~88 inches (this doesn’t need to be exact, because you’ll re-cut to the proper length after gluing). Glue three 1×3 boards together to make the bedposts. Use a stainable glue and start by putting two boards together, then add the third board (picking the best sides of the boards to face outward). Use clamps to hold the 3 boards together and ensure they are lined up as much as possible on the long sides.

Repeat this process until you have 4 posts created, if you have enough clamps you can do them all at once, otherwise you’ll want the glue to dry before unclamping. We got the idea to glue together 3 – 1×3 boards, rather than use 4x4s from Kreg Tool.

Make your remaining cuts using the cut list provided in our premium plans. All common bed dimensions are provided: twin, full, queen, king, and California king.

In addition to the cut list, cut a spare piece to 7”. You’ll use this to help level the side and end rails during assembly.

Step 2: drill pocket holes

Drill pocket holes in the end rails and front and back top rails. Pre-drill the side rail attachment and slats:

  • 4 pocket holes on each end of your end rails (16 total)
  • 1 pocket hole on your front and back top rails (4 total)
  • Pre-drill 8 small holes (smaller than your screw size) across your side rail attachment 2x2s.
  • Pre-drill holes 1 hole in the middle and 1 hole close to the edge on each side of the slats. For 3 of the boards, drill 2 holes spread out evenly instead of the 1 in the center.

Great news! We’ve created a PDF version of these plans, complete with 3D renderings that show you exactly where to drill holes and how things fit together. Get the plans.

Step 3: sand, stain, and seal

Focus a lot of your attention while sanding on the outward-facing pieces of the bed. We didn’t sand the 1×4 slats that hold up the bed since those didn’t need to be stained and will never be seen.

For this bed, we mixed 2 parts Dark Walnut to 1 part Classic Grey. Stain all the boards and let them dry before applying a coat of sealer.

 Seal your wood once the stain has fully dried.

P.S. we have a full post explaining everything you need to know about staining wood.

step 4: Add supports

While the stain is drying, attach the 2×2 supports to your 1×4 wood slats with 1.25” wood screws. Most will have just a single support in the center, however we will have 3 slats with 2 supports for extra stability.

Once everything is dry, you’re ready to bring the wood up into the room you’re putting the bed in! You’ll want to assemble in the room to ensure you can get the wood up the stairs and through the door.

Step 5: assemble the end pieces

Each end piece is made up of 2 posts and an end board. Attach the end board 7” from the bottom of the post using 2.5” Kreg pocket hole screws. You can use the 7″ scrap board you cut earlier as a guide. Ensure you attach it to the side of the post where you can see the 3 boards you glued together and that your favorite sides of the boards are facing out. Screw your end board into the other post. Repeat to create the other end piece.

assembling side rails of DIY canopy bed with a drill

Step 6: side rails

Attach the side rail attachments to each of the side rails. The side rail attachments should be 1.5” from the top of the side rail and 2.5” from the bottom and centered horizontally so that you have room on the end of each side rail for the metal brackets.

Attach the metal side rail bracket hardware with 1.25” wood screws. Start by attaching the metal piece with the L-shaped metal brackets sticking out to the end of the 2×6 board. Before attaching the other half of the 2 piece hardware to the post, slide the metal hardware together.

With help from someone else, line up the side rail 7″ off the ground, mark the top and bottom of the metal piece. Aligning this hardware is a crucial step and may take a few adjustments. Using the places you marked, attach the other side of the metal bracket to the post. Repeat until all 4 brackets are attached.

If you’re looking for more photos of the side rail hardware, check out our more recent platform bed DIY.

Step 6: assemble

Time to make this look like an actual bed frame! Lean one end piece up against the wall and grab a friend to help you hold up the other end piece. Slide the metal bracket that is attached to your side rail into the other half of the bracket on the post until it locks into place. Repeat until you have the outside of the bed frame assembled.

Space out and screw down the slats. Mix those three slats with the extra supports in to help distribute the weight.

Attach the top rails. The front and back rails are attached with 1.25” screws in pocket holes. The side rails are attached with the metal ties and 1.25” wood screws.

close-up of metal bed hardware
close-up of metal hardware to attach top rails to bed posts

Optional STEP 7: Add Netting

I love a good four-poster bed, but I’ve always been a sucker for the whimsical mosquito netting that surrounds a canopy bed. Here’s the exact netting we got. It’s a great price and fits everything from a Full – California King!

OPTIONAL STEP 8: ADD A HEADBOARD

You might have noticed that this bed doesn’t have a headboard. Well, 78 weeks later, we FINALLY got around to making one! Check out our DIY headboard tutorial. It’s pretty cool. You don’t want to miss it.

Enjoy the sleek lines of your new canopy bed and take a look at some photos to gain some headboard inspiration to finish off your dream bed!

Don’t forget to grab your printable plans.

DIY wood canopy bed with netting and white bedding
DIY king canopy bed

More Bedroom DIYs: DIY Platform Bed Frame with Built-In Nightstands | DIY Wood Headboard | The Easiest Floating Nightstands | 10 Unique Headboard Ideas

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  1. Jon says:

    Hey Zoe! Can you tell me what duvet cover or bedspread that is? I love the look but can’t find that exact one after exhaustive searching. Thanks!

  2. Ir says:

    Hello!! I love your canopy bed! Unfortunately, mine is a double bed. Would you by any chance have plans for it?
    Thank you!!

  3. Marissa says:

    Hi Zoe!
    Can you tell me where your night stands/end tables are from?

    • Zoe Hunt says:

      Hi Marissa! They’re from a local store here in NC. I’ve searched high and low for them online, but haven’t been able to track them down!

  4. Nik says:

    Hi Zoe! The link to the headboard tutorial doesnt seem to be working. Can you please fix it or add the link here? Thanks!

  5. Holly Schnader says:

    Hello! Prepping to make something like this soon, but have a couple of questions before I get your plans to make sure they are going to work:
    – I can’t tell, do you have supports running down the center to support the slats? I know the Kreg plan doesn’t seem to show any supports that run down the length of the middle of the bed frame and I was thinking of running two supports down that the slats would rest on
    – If the gluing process with the posts isn’t something I want to get into, do you think traditional 4x4s would still do the trick?

    • Zoe Hunt says:

      Hi Holly! The slats are supported on either side and with 2-3 2×2 supports that reach to the ground. It’s very sturdy (and has a lot more supports than necessary. We have a tendency to over-engineer ;)) As for the 4x4s, you can definitely use them instead! The posts will be a little more substantial than ours, but it can definitely be done. Hope that helps!

  6. Amy says:

    Hello! I love the curtains on your canopy bed. I’ve been tryin to find the right ones for my queen canopy. Did you make these yourself?

  7. Tina Jordan says:

    HI!! I saw this bed and I think it looks beautiful! The only question I have is whether or not you have a box spring under you mattress? We have a sleepnumber bed and as such, it must have a “box spring” of sorts. Just wondering, if this bed is tall enough to support a box spring without the top mattress “sliding off”?

  8. Steve says:

    Can you tell me the height from the floor to the top of the slats? Can this be adjusted?

    I have a latex mattress that requires slats to be no more than 3″ apart. What’s the distance of the slats and can it be adjusted?

    Thanks!

  9. Rebecca says:

    I love canopy beds but they’re so expensive. How cool that you made one for $150! Thanks so much for sharing. It looks amazing 🙂 Pinned!

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