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

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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″



Thu, 04/04/2013 - 21:22

I had a thought for a raised bed. Build the Murphy bed on top of a set of the cubbies from this site, then build another set of cubbies that rests on top (for horizontally mounted) or are stacked on top of each other next to the Murphy bed (for vertically mounted) put the moveable cubbies where the bed folds down to as a prop. Also, I think it would be cool and reasonably easy to mount a fold out table to the bottom like in this video:


Mon, 04/29/2013 - 14:36

Like the design a lot and would like to try it. I have a question about the hinges. If I go with the piano hinges how wide should they be: 1.5", 2" or wider? Thanks.


Tue, 04/30/2013 - 13:18

Looking for sideway plans for a queen bed sitting off the ground. I also had an idea for the exterior part showing to have a fold down table. Any help, ideas, suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also if you have plans it would help me get my husband to tackle this project instead of us fussing to try & figure it out lol. thanks in advance!


Thu, 07/04/2013 - 05:13

Would love a copy of the plans for a queen size! Has anyone been able to get them? Please let me know. Thanks!


Thu, 10/31/2013 - 12:32

I am attempting to build a horizontal murphy bed with a bookcase on top and when folded up it will double as a desk, (using a similar plan to your fold down art desk) for my daughter, do you have any suggestions on what I could use to make it easy for her to lower and lift the bed herself? Like springs of some sort, I do want to pay $300 for the kit I found through the link posted here in the comments. Also do you have any suggestions on what should be used as a foot for the bed?


Sat, 01/25/2014 - 11:20

Very nice, but one concern I have is the bed would appear to open heavy for most people. Also the mattress seems to lay at floor level which is not very comfortable for most people to get in and out of. For not much more money, there are Hardware options available online. will price match all of their mechanisms, even after you purchase. They also have free designs right on their website. All mechanisms make the bed normal bed height, and use fingertip operation, so the beds will never fall open. No magnets needed. Safer option, specially if you have kids that could try to open it.


Thu, 09/11/2014 - 17:47

For the Star Wars fan. It's not a faithful reproduction, just an inspired project. Used the basic plans here and modified it as needed. Hope you like it! My son does.

I still have to complete the rest of the room.


Fri, 09/12/2014 - 17:08

That would be fun to build stuff like this for a living, but this took me about 8-10 hours stretched over a month. So I would have to charge 30,000$ each. hahaha

Actually the poster was 50$ on ebay, then the rest maybe another 50$ or so. But I think I can justify the 30,000$ price tag because of the endless return trips to Home Depot because I forgot to get something else. So that's 29,900$ in gas money.


Sat, 08/08/2015 - 19:11

Ana, what kind/type of compression hinges do you recommend for a queen bed? Afraid of how heavy it will be when coming down vertical  I do not wants I buy the kits as I will put it on the floor 

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