Outdoor Daybed with Canopy

An outdoor daybed with canopy designed to fit a standard twin mattress. Includes several modification examples.


Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!


Author Notes: 

You've just gotta trust me on this and click here to see a pretty picture.  It's a picture of a Pottery Barn Chesapeake Lounger that is discontinued.  And it makes me want to sleep outside, who cares about mosquitoes and the midnight sun, I want this lounger!

But there is no way of getting it, unless you strike gold on Craigslist, settle for this one at Pottery Barn for $2000, or you build it yourself.

Good news!  The mattress is actually a twin mattress, so if you've been planning on upgrading your kids bed or you've got kids heading to college, you might be able to snag a twin mattress up.  I love working with a twin mattress because you can use sheeting for the covers.  Just spray with a water resistant spray, and you've turned indoor fabric into outdoor fabric.  Or you could purchase a daybed cover.

There are of course many many different ways to build this canopy daybed.  You could choose to go a more modern route

Simply use 2x2s for the sides and back of the daybed for a modern minimalist look.

For a more substantial look, use 2x6s for the sides (two layers) and then a 2x12 on top with an arch shape cut out.

But we are going to build a classic slatted bench design today.  Like this one above.

Shopping List: 

14 – 1×3 8′ Boards (OR 9 10′ 1×3 Boards)
2 – 1×6 10′ Long
5 – 1×2, 8′ Long
10 – 2×2 8′ Long
1 1/4″ Screws or nails
2″ Screws or Nails
3″ Screws
Wood Glue

120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
measuring tape
safety glasses
hearing protection
General Instructions: 

This daybed fits a standard 39" x 75" twin mattress.  Composition is dimensional boards, mostly 1x3s for the slats, 2x2s for the posts and canopy, and 1x6s for the siderails.  The tops of the back and sides are 1x2s.  Cedar is not much more than pine and is weather resistant.  However, if you are going to paint anyway, regardless of what type of wood you use, paint needs to be touched up every few years, so it won't matter what type of wood you've got under the paint, as long as the paint is sealing the wood completely.

Work on a clean level surface. Predrill and countersink every screw hole. Use glue unless otherwise noted. Check for square during and after each step. For outdoor furniture, it is a good idea to paint with an oil based primer (because an oil based primer will soak into the wood better) and then you can paint with a latex paint overtop of the oil based primer. BUT read your paint cans just to make sure and ask the nice man at the paint store. I also love the idea of using spray paint on all those slats.

Fits Twin Mattress
Cut List: 

5 – 1×3 @ 75″ (Back Panel Slats)
1 – 1×2 @ 75″ (Back Panel Top)
2 – 1×6 @ 75″ (Front and Back Siderail)
4 – 1×2 @ 28″ (Back Panel Supports)
6 – 1×3 @ 39″ (Side Panel Slats)
2 – 1×2 @ 39″ (Side Panel Tops)
2 – 1×6 @ 39″ (Side Panel Side Rails)
4 – 1×2 @ 19″ (Side Panel Supports)
4 – 2×2 @ 81″ (Posts)
2 – 2×4 @ 75″ (Cleats)
12 – 1×3 @ 39″ (Slats, approximately)
2 – 2×2 @ 78″ (Canopy Tops)
4 – 2×2 @ 39″ (Canopy Stretchers)

Step 1: 

Build your back panel as shown above. Take great care to make sure the panel does not become off square as you are building it.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Build your side panels as shown above. Again, make sure the panels do not become off square as you build it. Build 2 side panels.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Mark each post 10″ from the bottom. Use 2″ screws to assemble the bed as shown above, using your marks to line up your side panels.

Step 4 Instructions: 

Use 3″ screws to add your cleats. Also attach the back cleat to the back panel using 2″ nails or screws and glue. Cleats will be 10″ from the bottom of the posts, or even with the bottoms of the siderails.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Attach your front rail to the front cleat, keep in bottom edge flush with the cleat, as shown above. Use glue and 2″ screws or nails.

Step 6 Instructions: 

Lay your slats on top of your cleats and screw down without glue, as shown above.

Step 7 Instructions: 

Build your canopy top using 2″ screws and glue. Then set on top of your bed (you may have to lay the bed on it’s back) and use 2″ screws and glue to fasten to the posts.

Preparation Instructions: 
Your project should already be finished. You can go back over with a paintable silicone or wood filler and fill any exposed holes, then lightly sand and add a touch up coat.
Project Type: 
Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 


ohhh thank you, thank you thank you! i have been wanting a day bed but even the target and walmart ones are $400-700. thank you sooooo much!

Yes, I've been waiting on this one. Building as I type can't wait to post pictures of this and my finished saw horse table. Thank you ANA :)

Meredith, that's actually a fabulous idea. I would make the bench seat not so deep (it's 39" deep for the twin mattress) but it would work perfect for a bench with an arbor over it! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

I am new to your site and...I am in love! What you are doing is so fabulous! I love this daybed! How would I alter this for a full matress? My daughter is in need of an upgrade and her bed is just on a metal frame. I would love to surprise her with this! Thanks for sharing your gift!

Kilobelle, I've used 1x6 for cleats before. I think you'll be fine. Remember though that the slats sit on this. You'll then want an outside board that will be even wider to hide the slats. Think too, that you'll be altering how high the actual box spring & mattess.

I'd just run out and grab a couple $1.98 2x4's instead of doing all that changing of the plan layout to make it work.

I love this bed! I just finished making it for our little girl and posted the pictures on here. I actually modified it to be full-sized to go with the mattress set we already had. And we already had it on a metal frame, so I was kind of lazy and actually built the bed around the frame instead of adding slats and putting the mattress on top! Tree, I just changed the length of everything that was 39" to be 54" (which is the width of my bed... I think I actually did 54 1/2 to allow for space around the metal bed frame). Then it just went together the same way! I added an extra support piece on the side panels to hold the slats up since they were wider. It all went together so easily. If you want to make this, don't hesitate! You can totally do it!

I'm thinking pretty hard about putting one of these on my rooftop deck, however it gets a bit windy, so I'm considering 4x4's instead of 2x2's for the posts. Would that substantially effect the plan?

I just looove the look of this bed!  Its either going in my daughter`s bedroom or our sewing room/playroom :D

Just bought all the wood and had the guy at HD cut it all for me,too! All I have to do is put it together tomorrow! I am making some modifications because it is part of a "castle bed" I am building for my youngest. I am too excited to sleep, but I must so I can get up and BUILD!! I was telling everybody at the store to go to your website!! They all thought I was a little crazy with all my wood...lol!! P.S. My husband thinks I will give up in the middle of building it...hmmm...don't think so...I have too many mentors on this site to inspire me!!

I really want to build a day bed for my outdoor patio... how much did this cost you all to do??!

I'm inspired!

This is a great project!My best friend has built such a daybed and it looks great and it is very comfortable.I am thinking to build one too and I want to buy a sheet metal paper in order to accessorize it.


I stumbled across your site sometime last year and have LOVED reading about projects and builds. I am FINALLY ready to begin my first build; attempting this beautiful outdoor canopy daybed. I LOVE the canopy but my question is, could I somehow make it detachable to store for winter? I would love to utilize this on my patio and I am excited to get started.

P.S. I'm also from Alaska (I grew up in Anchorage, but moved to the lower 48 as an adult.)

Kindest Regards,