How to Create a Bistro Canopy Window Treatment


The look and style of a bistro canopy can dress up virtually any window in your home and give it a cafe feel. With just basic knowledge of sewing and construction, you can create a bistro canopy window treatment in an afternoon. Once you know how to make one bistro canopy you can make as many as you'd like to dress up multiple windows in your home with the same or different fabrics.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • 2 boards, 2 by 4 inches
  • Saw
  • Poster board
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Plywood, 1-inch thick
  • Drill
  • 2-inch wood screws
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Staple gun
  • L-shaped brackets

Making the Frame

  • Measure the width of your window on the outside of the frame. Cut two 2-by-4-inch boards to this length.

  • Measure from the top of the window to where you want the canopy to end and subtract 3 inches. Measure out from the wall how far you want the canopy to extend. Draw a rectangle onto poster board with these measurements. Cut out the rectangle on the draw lines.

  • Position the rectangle so the height runs vertically. Measure 4 inches from the top left corner to the right. Make a tic mark at this point. Divide the height of the rectangle by three. Measure from the bottom right corner up by this amount and make a second tic mark. Draw a diagonal line from one tic mark to the other. Cut across the diagonal to get rid of the top right corner.

  • Trace the template onto your plywood twice. Cut the two plywood pieces out along the traced lines.

  • Stand the plywood units upright with the diagonals running parallel. Slip a 2-by-4 between the plywood pieces and align it flush against the 4-inch length along the top. Screw two screws through the plywood and into the boards on each side to attach.

  • Place the second board along the face of the frame so it rests flush with the bottom third of the height just below where the diagonal ends. Secure with two screws.

Making the Fabric Canopy

  • Measure the width of your frame to find the width of your main fabric piece. Measure from the back of the top, down the diagonal and down the front to find the length of the fabric main piece. Add 1 inch to each measurement and cut a piece of fabric to this size.

  • Trace the poster board template twice onto the back of another piece of fabric. Cut out both pieces, working 1/2-inch out from the drawn lines, to form the sides of the canopy.

  • Pair one of the canopy sides to the length of the fabric with the patterned sides facing in. Align the length of the main fabric to match up with the 4-inch margin of the side unit, down the diagonal and down the bottom third. Pin the material together. Repeat on the other side. Sew a 1/2-inch seam to join the fabrics where pinned, removing the pins as you sew.

  • Add the width of the frame to two times the depth. Cut a piece of fabric for the trim to this length by 5 inches. Fold one of the long edges of the trim strip to the back twice by 1/2-inch to form a hem. Sew the hem in place. Align the raw length of your trim strip to the bottom edge of the connected canopy fabrics and pin. Sew the trim to the canopy and remove the pins.

  • Turn the canopy right side out. Drape the canopy over the frame with the trim hanging down below the frame. Wrap the 1/2-inch of fabric along the top and sides to the back of the plywood and board. Staple the fabric every 6 inches to the wood to secure it.

  • Hang the canopy over the top of the window frame. Secure the frame to the wall with L-shaped brackets and screws every 8 to 10 inches along the top 2-by-4-inch board.

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchase at least 2 yards of fabric for every window you want to dress to ensure you have enough.
  • Select decorative fabrics such as toile, large scale patterns or wide stripes for maximum impact in your room.

Related Searches


  • "Simply Window Treatments"; Linda J. Selden; 1998
  • "Windows With Ease"; Allison Brown Cerier; 2003
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