Sunday, August 19, 2012

How to Make a Flower Canopy

Flower Canopy Header

Although these are very cute, this whole thing started with Little Miss . . . and her fear of the finials on her curtain rods.

Don't ask. I have no idea what she finds so sinister about them. Then again, I was probably scared of even simpler things in the dark when I was her age.

Anyway, so she was scared of the finials at night and since taking down her curtains wasn't an option (her room gets the full sun in the morning, and I don't need her waking up any earlier than she already does), I set about to give her a little hideaway so she wouldn't have to see them while she was laying in bed.

I pinned this image of a delightful bedroom awhile back which gave me the initial inspiration:

I tracked down those rose canopies . . . they are from Pottery Barn Kids and they are $99!  Well, I want to comfort my little scaredy cat as much as the next mom, but not for a hundred bucks.  Even as I pinned it, I did so adding the description of "maybe I could DIY something similar to this . . ."

As it happened, Mr. Skooks and I had recently bought a new lampshade for our living room lamp.  We were on a *zazz it up* kick and after hitting up the tired old base with some teal spray paint we upgraded the shade on there as well.  It was really dingy and the shape of it didn't help to illuminate the room as well as I would have liked.  One larger (and cleaner) drum shade later and I had an old lampshade at my disposal.

Want to make your own flower canopy?  Here's what you're going to need:
Step 1

  • Old lampshade - one that gets narrower towards the top is best (thinking if you don't have any around your house, you could probably score one at the thrift store pretty easily) - if it's cracked or stained this will not matter at all, it will all get covered up by the end!
  • Glue Gun - or some other kind of glue that can adhere fabric to your shade
  • Green Felt for the leaves/stem (I actually splurged a wee bit and got a wool blend felt for this part because the regular felt colors were way too shocking and bright - this one had a nice "grassy" variation in it to tone down the pink) - I got a 1/2 yard of this which was 36" wide
  • Pink Felt (or whatever color you want your flower to be) - I bought this off the bolt . . . I want to say it is 60" wide and I bought 1/3 yard which is just about the perfect amount if you are only doing one layer of petals.  Originally I was planning on doing 2 layers of petals, but after I did the first round and realized I didn't have enough felt left to do another layer I just went forward.  If I was doing it again, I would buy a bit more felt to make some more petals.
  • Cording - you'll need to measure your space and decide how low you want your canopy to hang.  I didn't measure mine, but I think that I had 3 pieces that were about a yard each.  Keep in mind, I was going to hang these over a small bunk bed (Kura from Ikea).  These were in the stash.
  • Large Paperclip
  • Fabric for the canopy - Remember when I said I used the chunk of fabric that I cut off the bottom of my sewing room curtains?  This is where I used it!  Once again, I didn't measure it . . . I feel this is one of those areas where you need to decide how much coverage you want and if you want that gauze-y ethereal look or if you want to just use-what-you-got like I did and sub in some fabric you already have on hand.  In my case you're looking at a Full size flat sheet that I lopped  a piece off width-wise and then cut in half length-wise.  I didn't need it super long because, as I said, I was going to hang it over a bunk bed, but you will definitely want to measure your space and add length as needed.  If you want it to look more like my inspiration photo pick up some soft tulle.
  • Ceiling Hook - we had one in the basement we weren't using . . . yes!
Step 2
This first step is purely optional, but Little Miss and I thought it might be fun to put some glow in the dark stickers on the inside of the lampshade just for fun.  :)
Step 3

I didn't take a picture of the step right before this, but first you need to hem 3 sides of your canopy fabric.  Since I was using the bottom of a bed sheet, one side was already done.  Here's the part of the story where I tell you I was so lazy about not wanting to iron the sides under twice to stitch a hem that I used a package of white double fold bias tape to cover the raw edges.  It was sitting in my stash, and I have no idea what I was ever going to use it for, so there you have it.  Anyway, AFTER you hem your pieces, you need to glue them around your shade.  I started at the seam on the back.
Step 4
You can see here that I'm attaching the non-finished edge.  Once again, this will be covered up so it does not matter that it is unfinished.
Step 5

This is what it should look like when you've put both pieces on.  If your pieces leave a small opening in the front it's fine.  If they overlap, that's fine too.  I was really kind of letting the materials I had in front of me dictate the final product, you can likewise improvise with what you have.  :)
Step 6
At this point I cut out enough petals to go all the way around my shade.  I don't have any template, but this step required so little brain power I'm sure you can figure it out.  Just pick a shape you like.  Round your petals if you want, or point them a bit more like I did.  In case you haven't caught the drift this project is very adaptable to your whims.  I want to estimate that my petals were about 6 inches or so wide, and they were 3 inches or so  longer than my shade.  A lot will depend on the look you are going for and the size of your lampshade.

I toyed with a couple different petal placement options.  I started with the idea to just overlap one over the next until I had gone all the way around (as in the PB version).  But I didn't like it as well as what I ended up doing, which was to put one next to the other leaving gaps in between and then adding a layer over top of those two.  (If you look at my finished project I think you can figure out what I mean even if my explanation isn't the best.  I hope, anyway!)

Step 7

Then find a big bowl:
Step 8
and trace around it on your green felt.  Again, your size is going to be big enough to lay over the top of your lampshade and hang down as low as you want your leaves.  Cut this piece out.
Step 9
At this point I laid my cutout circle over the top opening of my shade and used a very quickly cut out paper template (haha - can you tell?) to guide me on the cutting of my leaves.  You want to stop cutting a half inch or so below the opening so you can glue this piece down later.
Step 10

Work your way around until you've got all the leaves cut out.  (It was at this point Little Miss declared it a strawberry.  Modify your leaves to whatever shape you like the best.)
Step 11
Pierce the center of the leafy section with some very sharp scissors and cut a small hole.  This is where your stem piece is going to go through and it does NOT need to be as large as you think.  Squishing it through a smaller hole is going to suit it just fine and will look better in my opinion than making a large hole.
Step 12

Set your leaf piece aside.  Reach into the shade and attach your cording.  I tied 3 pieces around the ring at equal intervals so that my shade would hang straight when I was done.
Step 13
Braid these 3 strands together to form a single chain.  It does not have to be perfect, but this will help stabilize it.
Step 14

Tie a knot at the end of your braid.  Slip the paperclip through it.
Step 15

Cut a length of your green felt for the stem.  I didn't over-analyze this step, but my piece was probably about 4 inches wide and a yard long.  Adjust depending on how low you want your canopy to hang.  Then just fold it in half (to make a 2"x36" piece) and sew a line down towards the edge to close it up.  As you can sort of see from my terrible photo (can you tell that the day was wearing on as I finished this up and all the natural light was gone?) I didn't even bother to switch my thread from white to green.  You can, but I figured it wasn't worth it and no one would really see it anyway.  I think I am mostly right about that.

Now you'll want to feed the stem piece through the hole in the leafy piece.  Take your paperclip and feed it through the stem.  This will take a little bit of work, but it's not too hard and having the paperclip in there will help you guide it through with a bit more ease.  Work it through til it comes all the way through and out the top.  It should be a bit scrunchy if you made your felt piece longer than your cording.  I like that look, but adjust if you want it to be a straight piece.
Step 16

The last step is to glue down your leaf piece to the top edge of your shade:
Step 17

Attach your hook to the ceiling, slip the paperclip into the hook, scooch your stem piece up over the hook and you're all done!
Flower Canopy - Finished

Cute, fun, and keeps the scary finials out of sight.  ;)

If you end up making one, I would love to see it!  Leave me a comment or add a picture to my Flickr group if you wish.

Happy making!

Linking up with some fun parties this week RIGHT HERE
August Finishes

Some fantastic sites have featured this post!  Thank you to all of you who have pinned this post as well as to these lovely people who gave me some bloggy shoutouts!


♥Duff August 19, 2012 at 7:06 PM  

YOu are on a mad roll, woman! I wish 1/10 of your energy!!
What a fabulous project--you're so clever!

Skooks August 19, 2012 at 8:10 PM  

D - Thank you! It's nice to finally have the ole blog back up and running again . . . I guess I'm on overdrive lately. ;) The first night was dubbed a success as my daughter told me when we got up this morning. "Mom! I couldn't even see my curtain rod. It was awesome!" Ahh . . . the little things.

CBH August 20, 2012 at 10:07 AM  

Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in Creative Busy Bee Craft Inspirations, under the Page 2 post on Aug. 20, 2012. Thanks again.

kelly o! August 20, 2012 at 12:59 PM  

Using the lampshade is *brilliant*! My daughter was just asking for one of these yesterday. Guess we'll make one today! Thanks!

Skooks August 20, 2012 at 1:06 PM  

r - Thank you! I'm so glad you found this post useful. It takes forever to do a DIY post like this, so I *love* to hear when someone has actually found it worthwhile. :) I hope your daughter loves her new canopy. If you ever post a photo, let me know. I would love to see your creation!

Christina at I Gotta Create! August 20, 2012 at 8:31 PM  

DARLING and Brilliant!! You did a fantastic job on these.
<3 Christina at I Gotta Create!
Wildly Original linky party is open

Ronni and Sean August 20, 2012 at 9:09 PM  

Totally brilliant. What an awesome mom you are! :)

Skooks August 20, 2012 at 9:21 PM  

C - Thank you so much! I had never seen your linky before, thanks for the invite. It was a fun project and I keep getting high fives from my daughter for doing it. ;)

Skooks August 20, 2012 at 9:23 PM  

R&S - :) It's wonderful to have a little girl to do crafty stuff for. Although sometimes it is hard to convince her that there is something that I *can't* do.

Christina at I Gotta Create! August 20, 2012 at 9:26 PM  

I'm so thrilled you linked up! Pinning and Sharing ASAP on Facebook!

Jen Lossing, Artistic Abode Designs August 21, 2012 at 12:18 AM  

This is adorable! I bet your daughter just loves sleeping under this at night! Great job! I love the colors too!!

Skooks August 21, 2012 at 12:46 AM  

J - You know what? Every day since I put this up she has come in to wake me up first thing and told me, "Mom . . . I LOVE my flower. It is just THE BEST!" I'm not even making that up. Ahh . . . to be five years old again. Isn't everything just a bit more wonderful and magical at that age? :)

Christina at I Gotta Create! August 22, 2012 at 8:09 PM  

You're a STAR tonight at I Gotta Create! Thanks SO much for linking up this beautiful project.

<3 Christina

Anonymous,  August 24, 2012 at 9:01 PM  

So cute! I love your version of the flower canopy! I made one as a play canopy rather than one that goes over a bed and added a cozy "flower meadow" cushion beneath the canopy to make it an extra sweet little play spot. My full tutorial is at

Skooks August 24, 2012 at 10:20 PM  

C - Thank you! So glad you enjoyed my little project. :)

M - Oh, how fun! What little girl wouldn't love a place like that to play in? Great minds think alike!

Lauren @ mercy(INK) August 25, 2012 at 2:32 PM  

What a clever and crafty idea! LOVE it! Please come link up at for our weekly (HEART)&(HOME) Link Up--- would love to have you!


Skooks August 25, 2012 at 5:47 PM  

L - Thank you! Will be linking up with you. :)

Anonymous,  August 26, 2012 at 9:57 PM  

That. Is. Adorable. Pinning!

Sew Can Do August 27, 2012 at 10:13 AM  

Fantastic Idea and looks adorable. I've featured it at this week's Craftastic Link Party. Stop by & grab a Featured On button. Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday at Sew Can Do:)

CBH August 29, 2012 at 10:07 AM  

Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in Creative Busy Bee Craft Inspirations, under the Page 5 post on Aug. 29, 2012. Thanks again.

Katherine September 4, 2012 at 2:47 PM  

Awesome! Does keeping it out of sight make it less scary or more scary? We have boob lamps on the ceiling, we are not weird, that's just what my girls call them! Those half dome lamps with the little nubby finial things stuck onto the bottom. And sometimes they are 'vampire boobs' and those are scary. But I don't think there is anything I can do to them that my husband wouldn't think would catch fire. Anyway we are mostly past that stage. And anyway, these are super cute!

Skooks September 4, 2012 at 3:53 PM  

K - According to LM they are only really sinister looking at nighttime . . . still not sure what she thinks they'll do to her while she sleeps. No one ever said that fears are always rational. And can I just say . . . LOL. Literally. I laughed when I read your comment. I totally call those things boob lights, and if I had the money I would get rid of all the boob lights in my house too. (Apparently the people who lived here before us LOVED the dern things because we have many of them as well. Blerg.)

Unknown May 29, 2015 at 9:34 AM  

Thank you so much! I was trying to find a pattern to sew one similar but your way is much better.

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