Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Project: Girls Lighted Bed Canopy

Warning: Super fun project ahead!  You will be a terribly cool mom if you make this.

I have a couple of little girls that are scared of the dark.  Okay, for the one is more of a TERRIFIED than a scared.  It is this never ending fight to get her to go to sleep.  Finally one day in December, as I was putting her to bed with 2 night-lights ON her bed (the flower ones from IKEA), a 4 foot lighted Christmas tree AND an outlet night light - I started to see the ridiculousness of the situation.  I knew I had to come up with a way to help her feel safe as she fell asleep at night.

So I began the lighted canopy.
 First, I had an old mesh canopy from Wal-Mart that I dismantled.  That isn't required though.  I found some cheap chiffon curtains at goodwill, and had some others that were sitting in my closet because I don't really need them at this house.  Just find lots of curtains really.  Any color or material works, it just depends on how you want it to look.  The curtains make your life much easier because they are already cut and hemmed.  But you can start from scratch with fabric if you'd like.
 The canopy I took apart had a little, kind of flimsy, metal frame.  I was going to make a rectangle wooden frame, but ended up just using this.  I really need to buy a saw!!  I still think the wood frame would be prettier, probably easier too.  Then you could just feed the curtains onto it, hook the last corner together and mount it to the ceiling.
 But the metal frame works.  It has a little connector, and it works well.
 I gathered the tops of all of the curtains.  For a tutorial see the previous post, or click here.
 I created a casing for the frame.  Cut a strip of material your desired length (the length around your frame).  The width will depend on the size of your frame.  Make sure it is large enough to fold each side in,
 then fold it in half and sew the one side together and still fit your frame inside easily.
 I pinned all of my gathered curtains to the casing
 along with this cute little trim - from the old dismantled canopy.
Thread them on your frame.  I used picture hanging wire, criss-crossed across the circle to hang it from.  Again, how you hang it will depend on what your frame is made of.  If it had been of wood I would have just mounted it directly to the beams in the ceiling.
 Then hang your creation!  I used strands of white Christmas lights - *after Christmas sales!*- winding them up through the frame and down the legs of the bunk bed.  
 We cut shapes out of card stock and the girls had a lot of fun decorating them with glitter.  I just taped ribbon to the back and tied it to the top frame.  And added a little extra ribbon hanging here and there.
 Who wouldn't want to sleep under lots of sparkly stars and hearts?
 I used a strand of tube lights under the top bunk, on 3m hooks.  My older daughter only plugs that strand in in the morning.  She wakes up ridiculously early and reads until everyone else wakes up.  Now she has the light to do so!
Oh, I also hung one of the flower night lights on the wall behind the canopy.  And now the canopy is hooked to the wall switch, (love the outlets that do that!) so its super easy to turn on and off and...

My girls LOVE IT!!!  

And I do too, because we don't have any more "but Mom, I'm scared" at bedtime.  Who wouldn't feel all warm and cozy sleeping under that?

Just a few more little projects and I can show you the complete "before" and "after" of their room.  The difference is amazing!



LauraJ said...

Katie - this is totally awesome! So cute and I love all the ideas that brought it together - you are one talented lady!

*rOcKiN rIcHiNs* said...

I really want little girls...just so I can make this canopy!