Draped ceiling fabric lends a lush feel to any room. A nursery is no exception; whether sheer, diaphanous lengths of chiffon or textured, colorful minky dot material, ceiling-mounted fabric adds an extra dimension of color, texture and visual interest to the room. Heavier fabrics are more suitable for limited configurations, while lightweight fabrics can be used wall to wall. Simple curtain rods will work for attaching any fabric panels. Whatever treatment you choose, be sure the fabric doesn't cover or interfere with any smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors on the ceiling or high on a wall.
While you can install draped ceiling fabric in a number of ways, including staples and nailed molding, simple adjustable curtain rods are easy to install and easy to remove when it's time to take fabric panels down for periodic cleaning. Ceiling-mounted rods, with clips to attach to the fabric panels, are another option. The ceiling design you decide upon will dictate the shape and length of the rods you'll use. If local hardware or home supply stores don't have a circular curtain rod, consider using a circular shower curtain rod instead. Sew curtains with a rod pocket at the mounting end of the panel, and sew lengths of fabric together as needed.
Wall to Wall
If your nursery ceiling has no center light fixture, run fabric panels between opposite walls, using a lightweight fabric. All fabric panels hang in the same direction, gathered as much or as little as you'd like and stretched taut between two rods. Should the room have a centered light fixture, install a circular rod around the fixture and run the panels from curtain rods on all four room sides to the center rod, for a circus tent effect. Since quite a bit of fabric will be gathered at the center, use lightweight fabric for this treatment.
Rather than covering the entire ceiling with draped fabric, you could install single fabric panels along the perimeter of the room on rods two feet long or less, with the tail ends of the fabric extending down into the room's corners. The ceiling rods can be placed at 45-degree angles from each room corner, or along the wall, with fabric panels crossing over at the corners. If you choose the diagonally placed rods, you can further enhance room corners by creating gathered fabric pouches secured with rubber bands and poofed out with polyester stuffing. Because this draped-ceiling scheme provides minimal fabric with firm support, you have a greater selection of fabric options, including heavy, textured material.
Attaching fabric panels from the four room corners diagonally to the ceiling center works with or without a centered light fixture. Using short curtain rods installed on each side of each corner, with one panel projecting from each, gather the fabric ends and secure them to a circular ceiling rod. Allow a foot or more of fabric to hang down from the center ring.
A ceiling-mounted canopy centered on the bed can be designed in several ways. For a headboard-focused canopy, mount two curtain rods on the ceiling parallel to the bed sides and the same width as the bed. The fabric panels will gently drape over the head of the bed and hang down on either side. Or you may want the draped ceiling fabric to extend from the headboard to footboard by installing the curtain rods parallel to the bed's head and foot. The fabric panels drape over the length of the bed, with extra fabric hanging down behind both headboard and footboard.