How to Make a Floating Canopy Out of PVC Pipe

Written by linda becksterhed
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How to Make a Floating Canopy Out of PVC Pipe
A floating canopy will add a romantic touch to any standard bed. (Hotel bedroom with double bed image by TekinT from Fotolia.com)

A floating canopy is a wonderful way to add privacy, fantasy and romance to your bedroom space. The illusion of the canopy fabrics floating over the bed can add a whimsical element to your room's decor. Some bed canopies can be bulky and hard to fit into a small space, but a floating canopy built out of PVC pipe and suspended from the ceiling with hooks and fishing line is a simple way to give you that luxurious canopy look without the tall, heavy wooden frame that is commonly used on canopy beds.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • PVC pipe cutter OR
  • Hacksaw
  • 1/2-inch PVC pipe OR
  • 3/4-inch PVC pipe (thinner pipe bends easier for circular canopies, and thicker pipe is more rigid for solid rectangular canopy frames)
  • 90-degree elbow PVC pipe fittings (4) OR
  • One standard couple PVC pipe fitting
  • PVC glue
  • Drill
  • Four to eight metal ceiling hooks
  • Heavy duty fishing line (for a circular canopy)
  • Fabric of choice
  • Fabric scissors
  • Thread to match the fabric
  • Sewing machine

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the length and width of your bed with measuring tape to determine the size your canopy will need to be. Also measure the height you plan to hang the canopy at to determine how much fabric you will need.

  2. 2

    Draw out the design of your canopy on paper to work out the dimensions with the measurements you took. You can choose to do a rectangular canopy to go over the entire bed, or you can do a circular crown canopy that goes over the head of the bed.

  3. 3

    Measure and cut your PVC pipe to the specifications in your design. To cut the pipe, use a ratchet-style PVC pipe cutter or a hacksaw. If you use a hacksaw, use a mitre box or vice grip to brace the piece while you cut. A rectangular frame will require you to cut four pieces of PVC pipe, and a circular frame will only require you to use one long piece.

  4. 4

    Connect the pipe ends using the PVC fittings. If you are building a rectangular frame, use the 90-degree elbow fittings. If you are building a circular canopy, use a standard coupling piece to connect the ends of the pipe.

  5. 5

    Use the PVC glue to permanently secure the pipe ends into the fittings. Follow the directions on the PVC glue to use, as directions vary between manufacturers. If you are making a rectangular canopy, wait to glue the pipe ends into the fittings until after the fabric has been finished and added.

  6. 6

    Mark the spots where the hooks will go in to hang the canopy on the ceiling with the pencil. For a circular canopy, you want to place the hook in the centre of where you want the canopy to hang. For a rectangular canopy, use the measurements from earlier to place the hooks along the straight edges of the frame and at the corners. Use two or three hooks for longer lengths of pipe.

  7. 7

    Predrill the holes for the ceiling hooks and screw the hooks into place. You can use a decorative hook to help accent the look of the canopy. Make sure the hook has a large enough opening to fit the PVC pipe into.

  8. 8

    Run lengths of heavy-duty fishing line from the hook to the frame of the circular canopy to hang it at the desired height. Make sure the ends of the line are securely tied. If you are using a rectangular canopy, skip this step.

  9. 9

    Measure and cut the length of the fabric to drape from the canopy. If you are using a circular canopy, you only need to measure one panel that is wide enough to wrap around the PVC circle. For a rectangular canopy, you will need eight panels to go on either side of the corner hooks that are wide enough to run far enough down each side, giving you the amount of coverage you want. If you would like the fabric to gather at the floor, make sure the panels are long enough to do so.

  10. 10

    Sew the bottom hem of the panels and the side edges to prevent fraying. Do the same on the top edge for a circular canopy. Sew the front closed at the top of the canopy fabric, leaving it open below where the PVC will sit. The top should taper to form a conical shape for the top of the canopy. For a rectangular canopy, fold the fabric over far enough to have an opening to fit the pipe through, and sew.

  11. 11

    Slide the fabric over the canopy. For a circular canopy, just slip the fishing line up through the top hole and draw the fabric over the hoop of pipe. For a rectangular canopy, slip the pipes through the opening at the top of the fabric and glue the pipe ends into the fittings. Hang the canopy and position the fabric around the bed as desired.

Tips and warnings

  • Measure everything twice to make sure you have the correct dimensions before you cut.
  • Use a lighter sheer fabric on your canopy to have a more flowing, romantic look.
  • Use a heavier opaque fabric to give more privacy and sound proofing inside your canopy.
  • If you are building a rectangular frame, use 3/4-inch piping to have a more rigid frame. If you are building a circular crown canopy frame, use 1/2-inch pipe that can curve easier.
  • Make sure the canopy is well secured to the ceiling. A canopy that is not properly secured can fall and cause injury.

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