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Outdoor Daybed with Canopy

May 30, 2010 |
posted by Ana White
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An outdoor daybed with canopy designed to fit a standard twin mattress. Includes several modification examples.

Outdoor Daybed with Canopy

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

About Project

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.



Outdoor Daybed with Canopy
Fits Twin Mattress

Materials and Tools

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

wood glue
wood filler
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
measuring tape
safety glasses
hearing protection

Cut List

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)

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.

Step 1

Outdoor Daybed with Canopy

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

Outdoor Daybed with Canopy

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

Outdoor Daybed with Canopy

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

Outdoor Daybed with Canopy

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

Outdoor Daybed with Canopy

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

Outdoor Daybed with Canopy

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

Step 7

Outdoor Daybed with Canopy

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.

Finishing Instructions

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.

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Love it!! I kept seeing the

Love it!! I kept seeing the facebook picture and thinking, I hope Ana's posting plans for that sometime soon.

posted by ainhoa vega (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-05-31 04:05

This looks great! I thought

This looks great! I thought it was going to have screen cloth around the ends and thought that would be a great idea too.

posted by Marti (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-05-31 06:32

Oooooh, pretty! I'm so

Oooooh, pretty! I'm so excited about this! Thank you Ana!

posted by Jennifer Doherty (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-05-31 06:36

Thank you!!!

Thank you!!!

posted by Natalie (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-05-31 09:25

ohhh thank you, thank you

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!

posted by the mama monster (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-05-31 14:21

I love this. I think I would

I love this. I think I would use it as a daybed in our guest room - it's my fave of all the ones you've posted so far!

posted by LouAnn (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-05-31 17:32

Yes, I've been waiting on

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 :)

posted by Kilobelle (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-06-01 09:10

This is so beautiful! I wish

This is so beautiful! I wish my back yard were a little more private.

posted by erin (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-06-01 11:05

am i correct in assuming that

am i correct in assuming that if i just shorten the sides and bottom slats this could be a bench?

posted by Meredith (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-06-02 12:48

Meredith, that's actually a

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!

posted by Ana White (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-06-02 13:31

Hey ana, a I right in that

Hey ana, a I right in that the 2 x 4 for the cleats is missing from the shopping list, but it's on the cut list.

posted by Kilobelle (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-06-05 17:15

Also, I have some 1x6 lying

Also, I have some 1x6 lying around, can I use that instead or or does it have to be 2x4 ?

posted by Kilobelle (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-06-05 17:20

I am new to your site and...I

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!

posted by Tree (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-08-02 14:02

I'm going to add this to

I'm going to add this to Lizzie's 6 drawer platform bed (ana's plans) when I build it. Her bed now that I built 8 years ago has a canopy and she loves it, so we can keep the concept!

posted by Carrie and 3Chicks (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-09-06 09:24

Kilobelle, I've used 1x6 for

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.

posted by Carrie and 3Chicks (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-09-06 09:29

I love this bed! I just

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!

posted by kbailey22 (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-09-06 19:27

Kate, your bed is so amazing!

Kate, your bed is so amazing! Here is the link to the photo - WOW! It's a room maker! And the clip art rails are so cute!

posted by Ana White (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-09-06 21:12

So, if I wanted to turn this

So, if I wanted to turn this into a full-size day-bed, what specifications would I need?

posted by Rachael (not verified) | on Thu, 2011-01-27 17:50

I'm thinking pretty hard

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?

posted by nate (not verified) | on Tue, 2011-02-22 12:42

Used as everyday bed?

If this was going to be used as an everyday bed, would any additional support be needed for the bottom (slats)?


posted by traciecook | on Thu, 2011-03-24 10:49


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

posted by Milca (not verified) | on Fri, 2011-04-15 22:59

Soooo excited!!

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!!

posted by NatalieQP | on Sat, 2011-06-25 02:58


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

I'm inspired! <3

posted by Robyn (not verified) | on Fri, 2011-07-08 15:09

outdoor canopy

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.

posted by Ranina | on Mon, 2012-09-03 12:44
shawneycarson's picture

Detachable Canopy?


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,


posted by shawneycarson | on Sat, 2013-04-06 13:13

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