How to hang curtains on a canopy bed

Written by andrea lott haney
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Hanging curtains on a canopy bed creates an ethereal and romantic bedroom setting. Kids love canopy beds with curtains because they form a hideout or private space. Canopy beds adapt to nearly any decorative style, from Victorian to modern. Hanging curtains on the canopy rails softens the look of the bed, creates a private "bed chamber" look, and adds an opportunity to display different colour combinations in the room. Purchase premade curtains or make them from scratch.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Canopy bed
  • 8 matching rod-pocket window panel curtains, 54 inches wide with tiebacks
  • Iron and ironing board or fabric steamer
  • Stepladder
  • Screwdriver or hex key
  • Optional: silk floral garland, minilight strands

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  1. 1

    Press or steam the curtain panels to remove wrinkles.

  2. 2

    Set up the stepladder in the room where you can add the curtains to the preassembled canopy bed without completely disassembling the bed.

  3. 3

    Using a hex wrench or screwdriver, disassemble the canopy rails from the bed frame posts, one end at a time, one rail at a time.

  4. 4

    Slide the rod pocket of the curtain panel over one rail, sliding it all the way to the opposite end, still attached to the bedpost. Slide a second curtain panel's rod pocket over the rail, keeping the bulk of it near the open end.

  5. 5

    Reattach the rail containing two panel curtains to the bed post with the hex wrench or screwdriver before disassembling the next canopy rail. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all eight curtains are on all four canopy rails.

  6. 6

    Adjust the curtains to gather them into the four corners of the bed. Use tiebacks placed about halfway down the bed posts to gather the two curtains in each corner into one sweeping pool of fabric. Adjust the gathers at top for evenness, leaving space in the middle of each rail for openness.

  7. 7

    Wrap silk floral garland or strands of minilights around the canopy rails, disguising ends in the curtains and running cords down the bed post in the gathers of the curtains, if desired. Plug twinkle lights into a timer for a romantic night light effect.

Tips and warnings

  • Use sheer curtains and don't tie them back at the posts for a translucent canopy that hangs all around the bed.
  • Add additional curtains if needed for greater fullness depending on the size of the bed and the look desired.
  • Purchase silk garlands or twinkle lights on post-holiday clearance to save money and add an accessory. You can alter many items to remove their specific holiday connotations, or buy items that come in decorator colours like white or purple rather than basic red and green.
  • Measure the width of the bed's canopy rails, and their height from the ground when shopping for curtain panels. Purchase curtain panels with a rod pocket large enough to accommodate the bed's canopy rail, and long enough to reach the floor from their hanging height. If the rod pocket is not large enough to accommodate bed's canopy rail, consider hanging them using clip-on shower curtain rings.
  • Use flame-resistant fabrics in a child's bedroom or when using strands of twinkle lights.

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