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4 Great DIY Murphy Bed Plans You Can Construct Today (With Pictures)

DIY Transforming Murphy Bed and Desk from Family Handyman

Murphy beds are a great way to make a space more functional. Beds take up a ton of floor space. Depending on the size of a room, a queen-sized mattress will take up the majority of the open floor space. A Murphy bed can help alleviate that problem by allowing you to fold up the bed when it is not in use, freeing up floor space for different uses. But aren’t Murphy beds expensive and hard to build? Not exactly. There are numerous different types of Murphy beds that can be easily built in just a few hours that are cheaper than you expect.

These are four DIY Murphy beds with plans that you can construct today. This article also has some tips, tricks, material lists, and linked guides that will ensure that your Murphy bed project goes off without a hitch.

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The 4 DIY Murphy Beds

1. Classic DIY Murphy Bed by Refashionably Late

diy murphy bed
Image Credit: Refashionably Late
Materials: 1×6 pine, 1×12 pine, L-brackets, 2×6 pine, plywood, screws, hinges, 1×3 furring
Tools: Drill, circular saw, miter saw, measuring tape, stud finder
Complexity: Intermediate

If you have ever wanted to build a Murphy bed, you are in luck. They are actually much simpler than they first appear. This classic Murphy bed can be easily constructed in a few hours with materials you can pick up from your local home improvement store. If you know how to work a saw and are able to make precise measurements, you can build this bed for just a couple hundred dollars.

This Murphy bed consists of a simple frame that can hold a queen-sized mattress. You could also tweak these plans to fit a twin or full-sized bed if you want. Just redo the measurements for a smaller mattress. Almost anyone can build a Murphy bed with simple plans like these.


2. DIY Murphy Bed from a Kit by Tomorrow Magazine

diy murphy bed
Image Credit: Tomorrow Magazine
Materials: Murphy bed kit, extra screws
Tools: Drill, hammer, measuring tape, stud finder
Complexity: Beginner

One of the easiest ways to build a Murphy bed is to use a kit. Murphy bed kits can be shipped right to your door and include everything you need to build a Murphy bed. This eliminates the guesswork from Murphy bed construction and delivers a product you know will fit and work.

These helpful plans put together by experts offer some tips, tricks, and extra information about how to build a murphy bed from scratch. They also offer some insight on how to replicate a Murphy bed kit without actually buying one, which can save time and money for certain people. One of the biggest tips for building a Murphy bed via a kit is to follow the instructions extremely carefully. Do not cut corners, and do not skim over the words. If you pay attention, putting a murphy bed together will be a breeze.


3. Unique DIY Horizontal Murphy Bed by WoodBrew

diy horizontal murphy bed
Image Credit: WoodBrew
Materials: ¾” plywood (x3), ¼” plywood (x1), wood screws, edge banding, 1x2x8 (x10), wood glue, Murphy bed hardware
Tools: Drill, circular saw, measuring tape
Complexity: Advanced

Not all Murphy beds need to be attached to the wall. Most murphy beds stand vertically and are anchored to the wall via studs. This unique Murphy bed takes the standard script and flips it on its head. Instead of flipping up vertically, the bed folds up horizontally. The bed is stored in a box that can be decorated to look like a chest, cabinet, or dresser. The result is a Murphy bed that does not need to be anchored. It can fit different types of rooms or different types of styles.

No one will expect a Murphy bed to be hiding in a horizontal chest. These plans are a little complicated, but they are very doable for someone who has some carpentry experience. The result will be a beautiful and unique Murphy bed that will surprise everyone who sees it. These plans work best for a twin or full-sized bed rather than a queen bed.


4. Affordable and Customizable DIY Murphy Bed by Your Modern Family

diy murphy bed
Image Credit: Your Modern Family
Materials: ¾” hardwood plywood, 1×6 pine, 2×4 pine, 1×12 pine, interior trim, Murphy bed pins, and hinges
Tools: Circular saw, drill, measuring tape, stud finder, miter saw
Complexity: Intermediate

The base of all Murphy beds is generally the same, but that doesn’t mean all Murphy beds have to be identical. There are numerous ways to dress up your Murphy bed. You can add shelves or hardware, or trim to make your Murphy bed stand out from the crowd. These plans have options to create a simple Murphy bed for as little as $150. They also have tips and tricks to help you incorporate simple Ikea furniture pieces into your Murphy bed.

Cheap and easy-to-build Ikea furniture can complement Murphy beds perfectly, allowing you to customize and diversify your particular Murphy bed to your individual style and liking. Using these plans, you can create a super affordable and simple Murphy bed, or you can take those simple plans and build off of them to create something completely unique and functional. The sky’s the limit, and the possibilities are only confined by your skill and creativity.

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Ideal Spaces for Murphy Beds

Murphy beds are perfect for small spaces. They are ideal in guest rooms, dens, apartments, studios, and cabins. Adding a Murphy bed to a small space can increase value and functionality. Some people do not have enough room to create a full-sized guest room with a queen mattress without the use of a Murphy bed. Using a Murphy bed in tight confines can instantly transform a space. They are also perfect for spaces that are not used as bedrooms full-time. Some people only use their guest rooms once or twice a year. Having a static bed wastes a ton of floor space for months out of the year when the room is not in use.

What Type of Plywood Is Best for Murphy Beds?

The best type of plywood for Murphy beds is ¾-inch hardwood. There are various types of hardwood plywood you can choose from, including birch, maple, and oak. You should always choose sanded plywood if possible. Builder-grade plywood is typically CD grade meaning each side is unsanded, which can make putting your bed together more difficult than if you use sanded plywood.

Is It Cheaper to Build Your Own or Use a Kit?

If you know what you are doing, building your own Murphy bed can be cheaper than buying a kit. It takes more knowledge and know-how to build a Murphy bed from scratch, but the savings can be pretty sizable. With a kit, you are paying for the convenience and knowledge that comes from the Murphy bed company itself. If you are committed to searching out the best deal, watching for sales or low prices on materials, and sourcing individual pieces from multiple suppliers, you can save up to half the amount of money or more if you build without a kit.

Murphy bed
Image Credit: Archi_Viz, Shutterstock

What Is the Typical Cost of a Murphy Bed Project?

Murphy bed projects can vary in cost depending on the type of materials you choose and whether you decide to build with a kit or build from scratch. The cheapest Murphy bed projects can cost as little as $150, while the most expensive can cost nearly $1,000. Advanced and complicated Murphy beds can include shelving, cabinets, doors, and more. These types of projects will cost substantially more than simple Murphy beds that just include the bedframe and the hinges.

Keep in mind that Murphy bed projects do not include the cost of mattresses or bedding. If you need to buy a fresh mattress and new bedding for your new Murphy bed, the cost will easily surpass $1,000 in most cases.

Can You Keep Bedding and Pillows on a Murphy Bed?

Yes. There are ways to ensure that your bedding does not slide off a Murphy bed when it is raised. The easiest is to install a strap that will hold the bedding at the top of the mattress when it is raised. Most Murphy bed kits will include such a strap. You can also build-in pillow holders that keep your pillow secure when the bed is raised. If you do not install a strap or pillow holder, then the bedding will slide off when the mattress is raised. You can keep a fitted sheet on the bed without much trouble if you do not keep blankets or quilts on the bed.

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Conclusion

Due to their specific action, there are not a lot of varieties of Murphy beds. The differences come in how you dress up or finish the murphy beds. However, there are four doable DIY Murphy bed plans that can be built in just a few hours with the right materials. From a stunning horizontal Murphy bed to a classic Murphy bed that can be built in nearly any room, there are options for everyone. You can choose a Murphy bed plan that fits your budget, expertise, and space and will help transform an area into something versatile and fresh.


Featured Image Credit: Family Handyman

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