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Sunday, August 17, 2014

creating a canopy

So, crazy story. I found an adorable bed frame at Restore last spring. It was perfect. I'd been hunting Craigslist up and down for this exact bed frame. I'd found a few, but they were so, SO far away and I had no way to go all the way across the state for a good deal, because I was asking friends to help me pick it up. So, one day in Restore (the Habitat for Humanity store), I found this frame. I was so excited! It was exactly what I'd been looking for. It needed to be refinished or painted or something, but I figured that would be part of the fun. I was still living in a dorm, and had no place to put it, but I got it anyways. I had a friend who was going to let me store it at her house, but I had to keep it temporarily in my dorm room until she was free.

The bed frame looked exactly like this, but it was just a dark wood stain without the paint:

A few months later, right before school ended, some lovely friends from church said that they liked refinishing furniture, so I brought it to their house for them to refinish while I was studying abroad in Spain.

Went to Spain, had an awesome time, hiked, traveled around, bought lots of blankets from a particular blanket vendor who was my favorite. He was really sweet and we'd always chat for a while.

Got back to the States and went to pick up the bed frame. Whatever finish had been on the frame previously would NOT come off, so he just recommended that I paint it. I was totally fine with that, so my roommate and I packed it up in her car and headed back to our new place. :)

We set the bed frame up, and played around with where in the room it should go. A few days later, my dad and brother brought my mattress down. I'd been sleeping on a pallet on my floor next to my bed frame, which was fine, but I was definitely excited about the bed. 

We needed plywood to support the box spring, so we made a trip to Lowes, and purchased and cut the wood to size. We came back to the house, and put the boards into place. 

It was time for the moment of truth! We pulled the mattress out of the hallway and tried to put it in the bed frame. The operative word is TRIED. Because the bed was an antique, and handmade, and everything I wanted in a bed frame, it was not a modern, standard mattress size!
It was only about 1 inch too short and too narrow for my mattress to fit, but there was no forcing it to work. Disappointed, I asked my dad what I could do. "Get a custom mattress." But the very word "custom" is out of the price range of a college student.

So we de-assembled the bed frame, put it in my dad's truck to give away, and just laid the mattress on the floor and he headed home.

A few days later, my roommates came bouncing into the house with a metal bed frame they had found while dumpster diving. While it wasn't my favorite, antique, handmade frame, it was useful. My roommate's boyfriend helped me set it up a few days later when I finally decided that my dreams of an antique frame were not going to happen.

Life happened. I got more settled. I went to work. I fought the ants that continue to invade my house. I organized my desk. I still wanted to do something with my bed, but I wasn't sure what to do with it. 

Then I saw this picture on Pinterest:

It's so inviting and comfortable and cozy looking! Some pictures I see online and they look nice, but they don't look like something that I would like calling home. But this did!

I had a gorgeous blanket with the tree of life pattern on it from my favorite blanket vendor from Granada in the Arab Market. It was folded up, draped over a chair in the living room, so you couldn't see how lovely it was. So yesterday, I set off to AC Moore to find supplies to some how hang my blanket up like the one in the picture. Unfortunately, there's not many tutorials on how to create your own canopy. In fact, there's not any. Lots of pictures. Lots of canopies you can buy, but no how-to instructions. I just decided I would have to figure it out.

About an hour later, I had this: 

I also hung up my picture of a flamenco dancer that I got in the Arab Market, as well, and a picture of a little girl painted by Diego Rivera. 

Because there's a lack of knowledge or instructions on the internet about how to make this super simple way to turn this:

to this lovely canopy, I'll explain.

It is a matter of balance. BALANCE is the most important thing ever in this project. I screwed stuff into the walls and took it out several times because the distance was too great or too small and the blanket would slip through off. If you balance it correctly, it just hangs there nicely. :) 

So I used a picture frame kit that I got at AC Moore for $3 and a curtain rod from Target for $13.

For the main, first drape, hang up the curtain rod following the instructions on the box. I got a standard 28-48 inch rod and adjusted it so that the length was about five inches shorter than my bed was on each end. 

The structure of my room helped me with the next step, but you can totally hang the picture frame wire from the ceiling if you don't have the little soffit. I then used a screwdriver to screw the wire brackets to the walls, each a few inches narrower than what I had done with the curtain rod, leaving the wire slack, but not hanging low.

I then pulled the fabric through the wire, and TADA! 
(and washed the sheets, and made the bed, and plumped the pillows and then tada, but you get the idea).

Eventually, I'll find my twinkle lights that I know I have somewhere with the blanket so it will look even more cozy at night, but for now, I'm really happy to have something above my bed other than a beige wall. And best thing, was that it was super easy and didn't cost nearly as much as it would have for me to go find and buy a wooden bed frame. 

If you have any questions, or want to post pictures of your homemade canopy, just post below :)

Happy Sunday! (and happy nesting!)

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