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This is a project that I finished last summer. I have wanted an outdoor daybed with a canopy for YEARS. I kept looking at them but didn’t want to spend $500 or more. Then I saw a Pinterest post for an Ana White pattern and since I’m adept at using a chop saw and paint brush I thought – what the heck!.
I live in a condo, so my work shop is on my back deck, well in the summer anyway. Luckily, it is pretty large (for a condo) at about 14’ x 14’. Here is what it looks like in workshop mode.
This is a pretty straightforward project, and thanks to Ana White, who makes some amazing patterns for furniture. See the end of the post for the link to her outdoor daybed with canopy pattern.
Go to home depot or your favourite home improvement store and buy your lumber. A lesson learned for this part. Make sure you really eye-ball your wood. Take your time choosing pieces that are straight and not full of flaws. Turn the pieces long ways and look down the wood to see if it’s true. This will save you a lot of hassles later on. I had to rebuild one of the end sections because the wood I used was so warped that it wouldn’t lay flat. Not an expensive lesson, but one that you can avoid. Also, don’t leave your raw wood outside, it will warp and bend. Oh, and just in case you are not familiar with shopping for wood. You want to be buying dimensional lumber, not finishing wood. A 2″x2″x 8′ should cost you about $2. I would also suggest that you might want to buy or borrow a miter saw, as there is a fair bit of cutting to do. Years ago , I went to Home Depot to buy a miter box, and the sales guy talked me into buying a miter saw, and I have to say I’m glad he did. I have used it sooo many times.
Get all of the necessary supplies and tools, you don’t want to be running to the store multiple times. Get all of your screws, glue, primer and any tools you are going to need. You will want to use a power drill/screw-driver. This would be pretty tedious to do by hand.
I will defer to Ana White’s Outdoor daybed pattern for instruction on how to build the daybed, see the link below. Here is my process without too much detail.
Priming and painting
Paint daybed: I used Behr Double Espresso. Funny thing that a LOT of my favourite paint colours have food names… Just saying 🙂
- I used all 1 x 6’s instead of 1X3’s. This required a bit of repositioning as the pattern doesn’t totally line up when you change out the wood. So, if this is an issue for you, just stick with the 1 x 3’s as the pattern calls for
- I had to add adjustable feet, as my deck has a very severe slope to the drain (over 3”)
- I attached the canopy using snaps so that it doesn’t blow off in the wind (it’s pretty windy where we live)
- I also added a ‘curtain rod” on the front to accommodate mosquito netting
- I also built some detachable snack trays for holding food and beverages, which are completed but not yet painted. Will add more on those later
We purchased a used mattress via our local “used” vendor in our case usedvictoria.com This is a super thick memory foam mattress, and we paid $50 for it. It is the perfect size AND super comfortable – sweet!
I have been sewing my entire life, so this part was a no brainer for me. I just did some math, and built a big square cover for the mattress. I also purchased a waterproof mattress pad for it, for a couple of reasons:
- It’s going to be outside, and not totally under cover so it might get wet
- There will be food and drink consumed here, so there could be spills
- I have a dog, and a cat that drools 🙂
The daybed fits a standard twin mattress. If you aren’t a strong sewer, you could just tuck the edges of the fabric under, or use a fitted sheet.
I also constructed a canopy, which is basically a straight piece of fabric with a seam allowances turned over at the edges. Crazy easy. Then I attached snaps to the bed frame, with small screws, and to the canopy, so that it doesn’t take off in the wind. Victoria is pretty windy as we are on the tip of an island. I used the snaps that you attach with a hammer, like these ones:
I had an existing patio set, which I really love. I had recovered the cushions a few years before, and had some left-over fabric, so I used that to tie into the pillows so that it looked like part of the set.
I used Walmart Blue Whale pillows that will only run you $5/pillow. Three pillows fit pretty perfectly on the daybed. I intended, and still intend to add a couple of bolster pillows for the ends. I even saved a couple of pieces of the accent fabric to do this.
We spend a LOT of time laying around on this the last summer. It fits both of us nicely.
- Buy straight and flaw free wood. As I noted above, this will save you a lot of frustration down the road.
- Use outdoor fabric – I used cotton twill fabric. In part because it was on sale for a very good price, and I needed a LOT of it. Also, because I wanted a very deep red, and couldn’t find one that I liked in the outdoor fabrics. My fabric faded horribly. I am going to try and dye it before next summer. I would hate to have to remake everything. So, my advice is to buck up and buy proper outdoor fade resistant fabrics. Maybe just wait for a good sale.
- Lumber and building supplies: approx. $110
- Memory foam mattress: $50 (used)
- Fabric and notions: $70
- Pillows: $15 (Blue Whale pillows from Walmart $4.99 each)
About $250 all in.
Here it is in its completed state
This was a pretty easy project. You should make one too!
That is beautiful! We just finished our deck and have a gazebo up but a daybed sounds like a plan for next summer. Pinning this to remember
Thanks Carrie, Honestly it wasn’t really that difficult to do. You should do it 🙂
Gorgeous Daybed. I love all the tips and lessons learnt tips especially. Ana’s plans are the best, I built one of her outdoor sectionals and after 4 years I still love how beautiful and sturdy it is. Now you have me thinking where i could use a daybed.
Thank you Samantha. Tips and lessons must be shared, otherwise no one learns from my mistakes 🙂 Agreed, so great to have a source like Ana for those of us that like to build things. We have spent so much time lounging on the daybed, please post a picture if you end up building one.