Sweet dreams await under a lighted canopy bed.

How to Hang Lights and a Canopy in a Girl's Bedroom

by Gwen Carrington

A lighted canopy bed can turn a girl’s room into a charming space, perfect for both dreams and play time. Decorating a bed with a lighted canopy is a simple way to transform the look and feel of a girl’s room without spending a fortune. The indulgent, gauzy netting and soft string lights are easily customized to create a unique backdrop for a variety of girl’s room decor themes. The bed canopy's royal history makes it perfectly suited to a princess room, for example, and the ethereal look of netting and twinkling lights will energize a faerie theme.

1 Plan your canopy by determining the best style to suit the girl’s bed and room decor. Four-corner netting extends from the ceiling at the four corners of the bed. The four overlapping panels can be arranged in a variety of styles and it can be purchased ready to hang. Hoop netting features one or two panels attached to a round support and decorative overlay. Hoop netting is the easiest to install and usually has only one point of attachment to the ceiling. Canopies can also be made using ceiling or wall-mounted drapery hardware.

2 Use tape to mark the outline of the bed on the floor. Measure the length, width and height of the bed, then move the bed out of the work space. Measure your room from floor to ceiling. To determine the proper length for canopy panels that will extend from the footboard, over the length of the bed and down behind the headboard, double the height of the room and add the length of the bed plus an additional two to three feet for draping. To determine the proper length for canopy panels that will extend from one side of the bed, over the middle of the bed and down the opposite side, double the height of the room and add the width of the bed plus an additional two to three feet for draping. If your ceiling is higher than the average eight feet, you will need more material to enable you to extend your draping down to within four and a half to six feet above your bed.

3 Measure your canopy to ensure that the fabric panels are the correct length. Your canopy should be long enough to touch the floor, but you should carefully trim any excess material to prevent a tripping hazard. After trimming you can hem the bottom of the canopy netting with a sewing machine, or leave the edges unhemmed, depending on the look you desire.

4 Carefully climb the ladder and use the stud finder and a pencil to mark the joists in your ceiling over the bed. Use a tape measure to mark the locations for your ceiling hooks or drapery hardware depending on how many anchor points your canopy will need -- a single hook for a hoop-style canopy, for example, or matching pairs of drapery brackets on opposite sides of the bed for full draped panels.

5 Use the drill or screwdriver to drill preliminary holes, making sure your drill bit or starting screw is smaller than the ceiling hooks or drapery hardware screws. Screw the ceiling hooks into the holes or attach your drapery hardware to the ceiling following instructions on the package.

6 Iron the netting on a cool setting. Hang the canopy netting from the hooks or hardware. A premade canopy will include fabric loops to attach to the ceiling hooks, or you can make a hole in the netting with scissors and attach a ribbon to create your own fabric loop. Return the bed to the marked space. Arrange the canopy around the bed to your preference. Adjust the drapery to your satisfaction before you add the lights.

7 Add the LED light strands by attaching the strands to the same ceiling hooks with zip ties. Position the lights to rest between the folds of fabric; this will help soften the lights. Lights positioned at the top of the canopy will give a “starry night” look when illuminated. Lights can also be extended down bed posts, if the bed has them, and the sides of the canopy to create an illusion of a bed framed in lights or surrounded by fireflies.

Items you will need

  • Premade canopy or sheer fabric panels
  • Masking tape
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Ladder
  • Stud finder
  • Ceiling screw hooks or drapery hardware
  • Screwdriver or drill
  • Iron
  • Battery-operated white LED light strands
  • Zip ties

Tips

  • Step back from your work periodically and look at the bed canopy from all angles, and adjust as needed.
  • If your bed has a built-in canopy frame, you will not need any additional tools to hang your canopy netting. The fabric panels can be wrapped around the canopy frame or attached using zip ties.

Warnings

  • Inspect your light strand carefully to make sure there is no damage to the cord and the lights are seated securely in their housing. Discard or return any damaged light strands.
  • Only use lights that are designed for indoor use. The packaging and the light strand should have a UL mark that specifies indoor use only.
  • When using a ladder, always have someone on hand to hold the base and keep the ladder steady.

About the Author

Gwen Carrington is a marketing professional with experience in strategic brand management, consumer marketing, business-to-business marketing and communications management. She has held lead marketing roles in a variety of industries, including fine jewelry, new homes and technology.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images