Outdoor Daybed with Canopy

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About Project

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

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.

Fits Twin Mattress


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

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
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)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Brad Nailer
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

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

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

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

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

Step 6

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

Step 7

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.