Murphy beds are an elegant solution to a simple problem: you need a bed and you also need floor space within the same room. Rather than having to resort to a cot or spend thousands on a pre-made bed you can put together a Murphy bed quite simply and maintain the extra room you need while fitting a bed in whichever room you might need.
Keep in mind that this is a pretty serious undertaking, and we’re going to show you how to do it without a kit. You’ll need some skills to pull this one off, so read through before you start rushing about to make sure you’re ready to commit to the project.
2.) Making the Mattress Board
3.) Build the Frame
First things first, measure the height of your mattress and add the height of the board you’re planning on using for the bottom. Add 2” and get to work on the frame with your 2x4s.
The frame should extend all the way to the ceiling, even if the mattress does not. This is so we can get a “finished” look when it’s all done.
Use off cuts from the 2x4s used for the frame to hold up the 2×6 you’ll be using to run the width and take the weight of the mattress. The easiest way to build the frame is to not attach the whole thing from the ground up. Instead put up the pieces of the frame that will be screwed into the wall first. Screw these in, using your already cut mattress board to make sure you have the exact right width.
Make sure there are studs under the frame. This whole structure is going to put a lot of stress on the frame and bad things will happen if the whole bed isn’t well secured.
Afterwards, use a pocket jig to drive the central supports into the outside rails and attach a piece of 2×4” of the same length at both the bottom and top of the rails. Then, you can screw on the final 2x4s.
Building the base is similar. Cut a 2×4 at the correct width to fit in between the rails and use your pocket jig to run the screws you need into the base. Then, attach cut several of the off-cuts of your 2×4 to the base with pocket jigged screws.
Try to place them at 4” intervals or so, then cut your 2×6 to the correct width to fit snugly in the frame and screw it into each of the supports underneath.
And finally, attach another 2×4 at the top to keep the whole thing sturdy.
4.) Facing the Bed
Using the veneer or paneling of your choice, you can now cut and cover the entire face of the Murphy bed before you finish. It’s a lot easier if you can lay the mattress board on the floor after all.
This is the most tedious, but far from the hardest part of the project so just persevere through because you’re almost there.
You can cut another piece of board and skin it to cover the distance to the ceiling, or just use your paneling or veneer to provide the illusion of a complete floor to ceiling cover.
If you’d like, you can add simple bracketed shelves on either side of the bed now as well, in order to make the whole thing look “flush” with the wall.