Dawsen Canopy or Poster Bed - Queen

Submitted by Ana White on Fri, 06/27/2014 - 11:34
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About Project

build your own colonial style poster bed or canopy bed with free plans from ana-white.com

Well, we were surprised as anyone when we found out that in less than a day our HGTV pilots were airing!  For those of you who were able to watch, thank you so much for the positive feedback!  And for those of you who wanted to watch but couldn't, I'll share any re-air dates and also put together a full post on the experience.  Also, thought I'd mention, thanks to you all - like the best day ever for us!  We've treasured every nice word you've sent our way and are honored to have a chance to take what we love one step further.


So in other news, Jaime from That's My Letter made her bed today.

And yes, that definitely should make headlines.

Because we aren't just talking about neatly tucking sheets and fluffing the pillows.  Or in my case, yanking the comforter up over the pillows and calling it good.

Jaime MADE this bed.

As in she built it.  With a drill and a saw.

Yeah, she's pretty awesome like that.

And she's got nice legs.  Please don't hate her.

So anyway, I'm humbly sharing the plans with you below, but you MUST right now go check out Jaime's building post, with tons more photos and tips.  It's a must read!

Thank you Jaime!

Enjoy your weekend!

XO Ana + Family

Dimensions shown above


Shopping List

1 - 2x12x16
1 - 2x12x12
4 - 1x4x8
3 - 1x6x8
1 - 1x3x8
4 - 2x3x8
3 - 2x4x8
1 - 1/4" plywood sheet
30' cove moulding (optional)
Pencil post legs, 3-1/2" overall at bottom (custom by Osborne Wood)

Common Materials
2 1/2 inch screws
3/4 inch finish nails
Cut List

8 - 1x4 @ 19"
8 - 1x6 (ripped down to fit) @ 19"
2 - 2x3 @ 63-1/2"
2 - 2x3 @ 81-1/2"
2 - 2x12 @ 79"
2 - 2x12 @ 56"
2 - 2x4 @ 79"
1 - 2x4 @ 81-3/4"

1 - 1x4 @ 58-1/8" (long point measurement, both ends cut at 1/2 degree off square, ends are NOT parallel)
1 - 1x4 @ 57-3/4" (long point measurement, both ends cut at 1/2 degree off square, ends are NOT parallel)
2 - 1x4 @ 24" (long point to short point measurement, both ends cut at 1/2 degree off square, ends ARE parallel)
1 - 1x3 @ 50-7/8" (long point measurement, both ends cut at 1/2 degree off square, ends are NOT parallel)
3 - 1x3 @ 10-3/4"
1 - 1/4" plywood @ 30" x 57"

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Miter Saw
Brad Nailer
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Take the premade pencil post legs (Jaime got hers from Osborne Wood) and wrap with 1xs.  Jaime details how she did this with a beveled top edge here.

Step 2

Once you have the legs wrapped, add the bottom and top (Jaime choose no top on her bed).

Step 3

For the headboard, add the main headboard pieces. When you make the cuts at 1/2 degree off square, make sure you note the long point/short point, as it will be hard to differentiate this small of an angle cut without markings on the board.

Step 4

Next, fill in the side pieces. Attach also to the legs with pocket holes.

Step 5

Step 6

Fill in with the vertical pieces. Use 3/4" pocket holes and 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.

Step 7

BACK VIEW - attach paneling or plywood to back.

Step 8

Next, build the footboard piece - similar to the headboard.

Step 9

You'll probably want to finish the pieces separately so you can move this bed into the room without issue. Then assemble the pieces by attaching with 1-1/2" pocket holes and 2-1/2" pocket hole screws.

Step 10

These cleats will support a box spring. Attach with 2-1/2" screws to the inside of the bed rail.

Step 11

For additional support add a center post. You can also add a center "leg" for even more support tied into the center support.

For no box spring, you can lay slats on top of the cleats and center support.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.



Tue, 09/16/2014 - 11:25

Buying the legs pushes the price of this project higher than a lot of people can stomache. It's still cheaper than buying a quality bed of this design by far, but for me, the cheapest option from Osborn would set me back $350. Just for the posts.

If one is handy in the woodshop, the required jig to cut this taper on the table saw is not hard to make. This video gives a good overview of the process: http://youtu.be/ch5U1dZUx4U



Wed, 11/19/2014 - 18:54

I absolutely love this bed. Would anyone be able to post plans for a king sized version? I would love my husband to make this bed for me as my christmas gift!


Wed, 01/14/2015 - 17:53

Would be great to get a cut list for the king size. I have been looking for a bed to fit my set and this is it!! Any help would be great


Thu, 03/12/2015 - 09:50

I just finished making this bed, it turned out pretty good for being the first thing I have ever made. I did change it up a bit, first, I used 4x4 posts instead of the pencil legs, I did this to keep costs with in reason, second, I changed the Headboard layout a bit, now I have 4 squares instead of the 4 thats showing. It is very solid!

Now I know I have a few errors in my wood cutting (Hey, I was learning as I went) so I still need to use some wood filler and then sand... which will probably take forever but I am pretty happy with what I have so far.

My fears... the staining. The different woods I used I am afraid will turn out different colors, but to help with this I plan on doing a primer or whatever. I also plan on staining a really dark color, almost black which I hope will cut down on the different woods showing. Fingers Crossed.

Thanks Anna for the inspiration.

Magan Carter

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 10:35

I was wondering if anyone had attempted to make this in a full size bed version.  I have a son who would love it