How to Build Your Own Murphy Bed
When it comes to decorating bedrooms and guest rooms, one of the most important things that homeowners look for is organization and storage. Plastic storage bins and other general storage items are not the most attractive items to place in a room, so many homeowners seek alternatives when it comes to organization. A great way to organize any type of bedroom is by using a Murphy Bed – Murphy Beds are designed with built in shelf storage that adds style and functionality to the room.
Materials and Tools for DIY Murphy Bed:
• 3/4″ plywood (birch)
• 1/4″ plywood (hardwood)
• 3/4″ poplar lumber and trim
• 1×12 pine boards
• 2×8 boards
• Medium density fiberboard (MDF)
• Wood screws (various sizes)
• 2″ finishing nails
• Angle brackets
• Gate hinges
• Lag bolts
• Wood glue
• Pocket hole plugs
• Circular & compound miter saw
• Drill driver & driver buts
• Carpenter’s square
• Drill bits
• Pocket hole jig
Directions for Building a DIY Murphy Bed
1. Cut the Face Frames for the Unit: Using a table saw to cut the ¾ x 96” poplar boards down to a 1-1/4” finished width. You will need four of these for the frame pieces as well as two additional pieces for the cross pieces. Set the saw blade to a ½” depth and cut a ¾” wide by ½” deep rabbet along one back edge of each of these pieces. Using a compound saw, cut the pieces into 95” finished lengths. Cut two of the 1-1/4” lengths into 10 individual pieces measuring 15-1/2” long each.
2. Create Plywood Shelves and Sides: Using a circular saw, cut 6 plywood boards into ¾ by 11-1/2” pieces. Set the table saw blade to a 1” depth and finish-cut the pieces to a 10” width. Using a compound saw, cut four of the plywood boards to a 95” finished length on the vertical sides. Cut the remaining two boards into 16-1/2” pieces for the top, bottom and shelves of the unit.
3. Face Frame Assembly: Use an inexpensive pocket hole jig and the tapered drill bit and stop collar that comes with the jig to quickly assemble the face frames using hidden screws. Measure, mark, and clamp the face frame pieces together according to the jig’s directions and use it to drill pilot holes for the hidden screws. Measure and mark the cross pieces, making sure they are equidistant away from one another and making sure the rabbet on the back is facing upward. Secure the vertical and cross pieces using 1-1/4” crews and the pre-drilled pilot holes. Cover the screws using the tapered wood plugs.
4. Wall Unit Assembly: Measure the placement of the cross pieces for the face frame and transfer these measurements to the vertical side pieces. Also mark the lines of each shelf. Insert the side pieces into the rabbets located on the back of the 95” long face frame pieces. To secure, use wood glue and finishing nails. Cut two pieces of ¼” plywood to 95” long by 18” wide for the back of the shelf units. Attach to the units using finishing nails.
5. Cut Materials for the Bed Box: Once the measurements for the Murphy bed have been determined, cut two 1×12″ side-boards to the size needed to allow the mattress to sit slightly above the box. Next, cut shorter 1×12″ end-boards to form the top and bottom of the box. Cut 1×12″ boards that will make up the bed box sides. Use a router to cut rabbets on the inside top edge of all boards. Cut the bottom board from MDF. Cut a 2×8 to make the ledger board to connect the bed box to the wall.
6. Murphy Bed Assembly: Using glue and 2″ finish nails, assemble the end and side boards of the bed box. Drill pilot holes where the boards meet and secure with 2-1/4″ wood screws. Repeat these steps until the entire box is connected. Install 6″ L-brackets at the corners to hold the boards in place. Secure brackets with 1″ wood screws. Turn the bed frame so that the rabbet edges are exposed. Place construction adhesive along the rabbets and set 3/4″ MDF into the frame. Drill pilot holes along MDF edge every 6″. Secure with 2-1/4″ wood screws. Flip the frame over and install smaller 2″ angle brackets to connect side rails and bottom surface. Install the 6″ gate hinges to the ledger board and then to the bed box. Position the bed box upright on support blocks and use shims to raise the bed to the right height and required position. Using 3” lag bolts, attach the ledger board to the wall studs.
If you want to take on this DIY project, it is very likely you may need some extra tools. You can buy them at our online store or stop into our brick and mortar Mountain View AR tool rental and hardware store! Just ask for Gentry! For more information, click here.