PLANS: A Murphy Bed YOU Can Build, and Afford to Build

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 03/21/2010 - 20:40
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Do you need a guest sleeping spot, but don't have a guest room? Or is your guest room also a nursery or office? Add a hidden murphy bed with this easy project plan. The bed folds away into a cabinet that looks like an armoire. Easy instructions, no special hardware required.

Dimensions and Composition are show above


Shopping List

1 – Sheet of 1/2″ Plywood or MDF
3 – 1×12, 8′ Long
1 – 1×8, 8′ Long
1 – 1×4, 8′ Long
1 – 1×3, 8′ Long
3 – 1×2, 8′ Long
2″ Screws
2″ Nails
1 1/4″ Nails
5/8″ Brad Nails
Wood Filler
Sand Paper
1/4″ Thick Hobby Boards
Hinges (preferably heavy duty door hinges or continuous piano hinge)
Heavy duty magnetic clasp to keep the bed from falling open
Optional compression hinges to slowly lower the bed in place

Cut List

Cut List for the “Box”

2 – 1×12 @ 78 1/2″ (Sides)
1 – 1×12 @ 42 1/4″ (Bottom)
2 – 1×4 @ 42 1/4″ (Back Supports)
1 – 1×2 @ 43 3/4″ (Front Support Trim, Top)
2 – 1×2 @ 77″ (Side Trim)
2 – 1×2 @ 12 1/4″ (Top Side Trim)
1 – 1×2 @ 45 1/4″ (Front Top Trim)
1 – 1×3 @ 47 1/4″ (Top, Back)
1 – 1×12 @ 47 1/4″ (Top, Front)

Cut List for the “Bed”

1 – 1/2″ Plywood @ 40 1/2″ x 76 1/2″ (Back)
1 – 1×8 @ 40 1/2″ (Bottom)
1 – 1×8 @ 55″ (Cut Length wise at a diagonal as shown in the plan to get 2)
Trim as desired with 1/4″ thick hobby stock

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

General Instructions. Work on a clean level surface. Use proper safety precautions and equipment. Take a square of your project after each step. Use good straight boards. Countersink and predrill all of your screw holes before fastening.


Step 1

Build the Box. Using the 2″ screws and glue, fasten the sides to the bottom

Step 2

Back Supports. Fasten the back supports to the box, flush with the top and back. Also fasten through the bottom of the box into the bottom support. Use 2″ screws and glue.

Step 3

Front Support. Fasten the front support to the box as shown above. Top edges are flush. Use 2″ screws and glue.

Step 4

Side Trim. Using 2″ nails and glue, fasten the side trim to the box. Outside edges are flush. You will need to also fasten to the bottom of the box and fasten through the top of the top trim into the top end edge of the side trim.

Step 5

Step 6

Front Top Trim. Fasten the front top trim in place using 1 1/4″ nails and glue. Keep top and outside edges flush. Use 2″ nails on the ends to fasten to the side trim and the sides.

Step 7

Top, Back. Using 2″ nails and glue, fasten the top back piece to the top, leaving 1″ overhang both ends. Back will be flush.

Step 8

Top, Front. Leaving a 1″ overhang on front and sides, attach the top as you did the top in step 7.

Step 9

Mattress Box. Build the mattress box by using 2″ screws to screw the bottom 1×8 board to the plywood bottom. Use glue. Then fasten the sides to the bottom and the back using 2″ screws and glue. The sides are simply the scrap 1/8, cut at a diagonal to create two boards. You can cut with a jigsaw or a circular saw.

Step 10

Door Decorations. Using 1/4″ thick hobby stock, fasten your desired door pattern to the face of the door (mattress bottom). Secure with glue, 5/8″ nails and clamps and let dry. Dimensions shown are for the sample pattern above.

Step 11

Hardware. Use the hinges to attach the mattress box to the wall box as shown above. You should also use a clasp to keep the door from falling open when shut. You can also use support hinges to keep the door from free falling open when unlatched.

Step 12

Finishing. Fill any nail or screw holes with wood filler and sand and finish as desired.

Step 13

Installation. You will need to use screws to fasten through the 1×4 support boards into a stud in the back wall. This recommended on the top and bottom. Also recommended is a wide elastic strap secured to the plywood door to keep the top of the mattress in place when the door is closed.

Fits a standard twin mattress 39″ x 75″


Thicket Dweller (not verified)

Mon, 03/22/2010 - 00:50

FYI, if you're looking for the plans for a vertical Murphy bed with the hardware, you need to go here to buy the hardware: and the vertical plan is *included* with the hardware. The link in this post is to a separately available side-mount bed using the same hardware, not the vertical one.

Melanie (not verified)

Mon, 03/22/2010 - 02:54

Ana-- this bed is GREAT! I am going to have to make it.. our guest room is running out of space. Great idea. Do you think we could use this plan for a full size bed? That is what we have. Thank you for your blog... my family loves it!

gkey (not verified)

Mon, 03/22/2010 - 03:00

Dear Ana, at K O W
Happy Spring
Happy Monday
Happy Building!

I enjoy your site so much.
My husband and I will have to build the Murphy bed for our library (the only place we can put an extra guest bed just now) We have talked of this for a long time...30+ years as we slept in one on our honeymoon. I joked him really good (which is so rare).. that at the headboard I could see down to the room below us!! We have laughed about that many a time. Thanks for the
fun idea.
Murphy Memories in Nebraska

Debbie (not verified)

Mon, 03/22/2010 - 03:26

So I'm beginning to think you have a bug planted in our house. I just said yesterday, when we finish the basement bedroom, we should put in a murphy bed, and then I wished you had plans to one!

Love your you!

Rebecca (not verified)

Mon, 03/22/2010 - 04:20

Very neat. Do you think you could do a bookcase plan for tall, real wood bookcases and recommended hardware? I desperately need bookcases that look like builtins for book storage and can't pay a fortune.

Kathy (not verified)

Mon, 03/22/2010 - 04:49

What good timing you have. We can really use a Murphy bed for the small room we fixed up for my grandson, who rarely visits. I'm changing it over to my sewing/craft room to get all my "stuff" out of the living room, but will still need a bed in case he does come to stay. This one would be great and still allow me all the room I need for crafting!

Cindy (not verified)

Mon, 03/22/2010 - 08:31

Well, I'm the third person so far who just mentioned *last week* that a Murphy bed would be great in my in-the-works craft room, if only Ana had plans for one! :D

~~ (not verified)

Mon, 03/22/2010 - 09:52

I just got back from Lowes with the hardware and a brand new air compressor. Now one more trip with no children in the van and I'll have the wood. OH, THIS IS EXCITING!! I will be posting my progress on my blog - I hope to make you proud!

Parvoti (not verified)

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 10:11

If we wanted the bed to be sideways would all we need to do is switch the hingeing spots to the long sides instead of the short sides? I kinda like how the link showed the bed sideways and then it could be used for a nice shelf when not in use.

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