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How I Made a Sunburst Four Poster Bed Canopy

How I Made a Sunburst Four Poster Bed Canopy

by Kelly Sparkes on September 11, 2012

Sunburst canopies, for me are the only way to dress the canopy of a four-poster bed.  I remember lying on my parents bed when I was small marveling at the cream silk sunburst and being very disappointed when it was replaced with a flat piece of material when the bed was redone.

As part of my KLC coursework I designed a bed treatment for their bed (with a sunburst canopy obviously) and was thrilled when Mum wanted me to implement it, just a little concerned about how I would get the sunburst to work…

Bed Treatment SketchThe existing bed canopy is in two pieces, so we had to make the sunburst in two halves.  This is one of the prepared halves, luckily Mum managed to remove the old peach silk without damaging the old padding.  The semi circle cut out at the top is where the fabric is pulled in to create the folds.

Prepared BoardWe bought one and a half times the fabric needed to cover the board and laid the board in the middle of the fabric, then stapled each corner of the fabric to the board at equal distances from the edge (roughly 5cm).

Stapled CornersStaying on the left side, I measured to the middle of the first section and stapled the middle of the fabric to the board and carried on all the way around the top and right hand side, stapling the middle of the fabric to the middle of the staples either side until all of the fabric was secured, the fabric folding naturally as it ran out.  I left the bottom edge unsecured.

Staple DetailWhen that was done, we turned it over and pulled the loose fabric through the semi circle, holding it tight and fixing it with more staples and playing with the folds to ensure the spacing was equal.

Creating the sunburst pleatsFinally, we smoothed and fixed the bottom edge trying to keep it as straight as possible and after lots of staples and fiddling, ta da!  The first half was done.  I think this could look good as a headboard in the right room.

one half of bed canopy finished
We then did it all over again, trimmed off the excess fabric and used it to cover the button for the middle.  Two strong men later and the canopy was up.
Finished Starburst Bed CanopyIt took quite a bit of fiddling and I’m sure it isn’t the way an upholsterer would do it, but it worked and was great fun to do.

It’s exciting seeing the room scheme coming together, I can’t wait to share the rest of it with you when it’s finished :)

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina September 19, 2012 at 6:55 am

Wow, although not a fan of sunburst canopys, I think your drawing and the subsequent making of it is AMAZING!!!!
I love how you shared the step-by-step DIY project.

Many years ago I did make a headboard with a friend. Well, if truth be told, she made it all and I just helped along:) it was fun to do but nothing as elaborate as this here.

I think you’re right! In the right setting, your piece would make a great head board.

Well done Kelly xx


Kelly Sparkes September 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Thanks Tina, it was a labour of love and so much fun to do with my Mum.

I’m sure you did more than help your friend; it’s definitely a two person job to make a headboard. xx


Sam Lennie September 19, 2012 at 10:43 am

Brilliant work love. It looks amazing. I love the colour too, all sexy and mysterious :-)

Thanks for sharing the process with us. If I ever get a four poster bed, I’ll know who to ask me to help dress it xx


Kelly Sparkes September 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Thanks Sam, Mum was a bit worried about the black but I won her around.

Happy to help with your future four poster bed :) xx


Laura Passey September 19, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Wow, you’re a clever young lady! So impressed that you took this on and worked out how to do it yourself! It is a real success, like a glamorous night sky! xx


Kelly Sparkes September 25, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Thanks Laura :)

I found it a really rewarding process, was so pleased when I saw it up! xx


JMD September 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Amazing Kelly. Definitely one for your portfolio. How are your set 3 projects coming along? I’m jumping between them as I wait for more samples to arrive as I’ve changed my mind for the 2nd time about my window treatment and am about to have another attempt at my axo drawing which I’m finding quite a challenge. I’ve decided I need to go on a CAD course sooner rather than later!


Kelly Sparkes September 25, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Thanks Jo! I will share the finished room when I get a chance to get back up north to photograph it.

I’m not doing so well with module 3, I’m still on the colour boards they are taking so long (not helped by my long holiday and London Design week) but determined to make a start on the Axo this weekend. I have to say I’m really dreading that one but will make sure I do it next as I left the bathroom plan till last in module 2 and just kept putting it off!

I think I will be joining you on that CAD course :) x


annie September 22, 2012 at 9:23 am

I’m a bit in awe of this Kelly, you’re so clever!
I love that you’re implementing your designs already, something that I’m yet to do xx


Kelly Sparkes September 25, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Thanks Annie, it won’t be long before you are implementing yours, can’t wait to see them xx


Anna Kovalchenko September 23, 2012 at 9:57 am

Wow, this looks great!
Fabric, design, colour – all is well chosen. Thank you for sharing detailed steps of making it – I probably will try to do it one day. Well done!


Kelly Sparkes September 25, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Thanks for visiting Anna and for your lovely compliments! You should try it, it wasn’t as difficult as it looks :)


geraldine September 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Wow that’s so amazing Kelly. I’m sure I would have made a mess of it. It looks stunning. x


Kelly Sparkes September 25, 2012 at 6:38 pm

I’m sure you wouldn’t Geraldine! If you ever get the chance to try I will help you :) x


Alex Parker September 24, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Hi Kelly, Wow that is gorgeous, well done. I know projects like that are often more difficult that first imagined, but it looks very professional!


Kelly Sparkes September 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Hi Alex,

Thank you, I saw a professional one at Decorex and the folds were very precise and obviously measured and pressed, but I quite like the organic feel of Mum’s, not as stuffy.

Was lovely to meet you on Sunday x


Alex Parker September 26, 2012 at 9:52 am

What a very lovely and useful Mum you have! My Mum is a knitter, which reminds me I should really get her started on a throw!

I was at a spa yesturday (lucky!) and saw a similar very tailored looking ceiling canopy in the reception area. I much prefer your looser organic version, it is more contemporary somehow.

It was great to meet at Decorex. I hope we can meet up again some time at another event :)


Sarah {Lacquer and Linen} October 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Wow Kelly!! This is so amazing! I am thinking about tackling a headboard soon, but am nervous to start!! You made this project look so easy! Thanks for inspiring me to get my act together!


Kelly Sparkes October 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Thanks Sarah, you should give the headboard a try, best thing about it is that if it looks wrong you can remove the staples and start again :)

Good luck, hope to see your completed headboard on your blog soon!


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