Practical Living: DIY Murphy Bed Back Spaces

by craftmin | December 20, 2017

You can now make a DIY murphy bed – the likes of which your granny wouldn’t recognize. As a replacement bed to make the most of small or multi-use spaces, the Murphy bed has withstood the test of time and is known as one of the best American inventions.

It may have lost popularity a few decades ago, but since 2010 the Murphy bed has been enjoying a resurgence.  These are our new takes on the DIY murphy bed, modernized and updated for sleek and stylish spaces.

(1) Now you see it, now you don’t

DIY Murphy bed

There is no need for expensive lifting and lowering devices for your DIY Murphy bed. Be inspired by how this husband and wife team created a magical Murphy bed without any, and watch how the bed literally seems to disappear into the wall.

DIY Murphy bed tip: It doesn’t make sense to keep a room a guest room if you rarely have guests, so choose a Murphy bed so it can easily be turned back into a living space.  Another tip is to add heavy-duty door hinges instead of springs for your Murphy bed, if you’re going for a manual pull down. But don’t be stingy with those hinges: the more there are, the better the support.

Source: ​Junk in the Trunk’s DIY Murphy bed


(2) DIY Murphy bed transformer

DIY Murphy bed

New York, New York and its high prices galore. When Imgur user Avalon Awaked moved apartments, he had to let go of his second bedroom but instead thought of a Murphy bed.  When he started looking for something that would work with his tiny apartment, he could only find one retailer but prices started from $6,000 without the mattress.

So instead, he decided to make one completely by scratch. His DIY Murphy bed opens over the sofa and he also built custom-made cabinets to store the sofa cushions when the bed is being used.  He added shelves for knick-knacks and other things that need to be stored away. Total cost, including the Ikea mattress: $1,800

Source: Avalon Awaked DIY Murphy Bed

(3) Crafting room space

DIY Murphy bed

How to have a craft room AND a guest room?  Jacque and Matt solved the dilemma with this DIY murphy bed made from hardwood plywood. The professional quality of the material greatly enhances the beauty and strength of the Murphy bed and, for the environment conscious, the products from PureBond are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and are also formaldehyde-free.

DIY Murphy Bed Tips: Get your measurements exactly right. Because of the close fit, accurate details and measurements are a must. The couple also added a wood veneer trim to the original Murphy bed kit for a more professional finish, but be sure to add the trim before you put the base on your mattress.

For more crafting ideas worthy of Jacque’s room, check out these nifty DIY wall decors.

Source: Jacque and Matt’s DIY Murphy Bed for Guests

(4) One-of-a-kind wonder

DIY Murphy bed

Katie is not only an intrepid DIYer, she’s a true “let me do everything” wunderkind.  For her own DIY Murphy bed, she used an original design which is serviceable with its accompanying desk and bookcases. Whether the bed is in or out, the bed doesn’t feel out of place and the room doesn’t feel empty.

Nobody would ever think that the clever storage shelves hides a bed under its door. Katie downloaded the mechanism kit for the queen-sized DIY Murphy bed from Rockler, as wll as the step-by-step guide for the cabinet and shelves. Experienced as she is, she modified the plans to suit her needs.

DIY Murphy bed tip: Read all the plans carefully before you do anything and don’t buy anything until you have studied the plans, from the bed to the shelvings. Secondly, add edge banding to all plywood projects for an extra something you won’t regret.

Source: Katie’s Modern Farmhouse DIY Murphy Bed

(5) Pocket-friendly and mechanism-free

DIY Murphy bed

DIY murphy bed kits can be pricey, but if you go for a self-pull bed, then the price drops way down. Usually, Murphy beds operate on springs or a piston-lifting rig to move with ease, but this doubles the costs of the bed.  The Lori Bed make its wall beds differently: it’s a cabinet with a bed and for kits ranging from $200 to $400, it is currently the cheapest in the market.

The bed is 100% custom-made real wood and, best of all, it has a sneaky ledge which serves a dual purpose: shelves while the bed is tucked in and as legs of the bed when it’s out. There’s also an inside shelf that does double duty as a headboard and as a bookcase/shelf when you have guests over.

The kits come with all the trimmings and you can choose either a vertical or horizontal bed in three sizes: twin, queen and double.

Source: Lori Wall beds

(6) I can do it IKEA

DIY Murphy bed

This DIY Murphy project incorporates two different IKEA hacks which Paul and his wife used to customise their own Murphy bed. They assembled and installed the bed with an all-in-one mechanism that does everything – support, lift, and lower the mattress. To wall in the bed when its not in use, Paul built a cabinet to make sure everything is safely tucked in.

Attach a strap under the bed so the bed linens remain in place whilst you hide the bed away.

Source: Paul’s DIY Murphy Bed with Ikea Hacks

(7) Hack it (again) with IKEA

DIY Murphy bed

IKEA, that go-to furniture mega-giant, is a DIYer’s best friend. When Calvin Gross couldn’t decide whether the spare room should be a guest room or a home office, he settled on both. After all, why not?  In this age of solutions, getting his own DIY Murphy bed was the answer.

The room was small, and they wanted to keep within budget as Murphy bed kits can be quite expensive. They used two IKEA Pax cabinets to accommodate a double bed and chose to go without a lifting and lowering mechanism, settling with muscle power to bring the bed up and down.

DIY Murphy bed tip: Attach the cabinets to the walls, looking for the stud ends behind the wall and making sure your cabinets have a good grip. Calvin used a stud sensor for this.

Source: Calvin’s Ikea hacked DIY Murphy bed

(8) DIY Murphy Bed back to basics

DIY Murphy bed

Rockler is known for its Murphy bed hardware, so when David Picciuto wanted to make a simple bed, he bought his side mount DIY Murphy bed mechanism there.

DIY Murphy bed tip: Sometimes a little help can go a long way. Ask a friend to help with the installation. After that, maybe enjoy a cup of coffee or barbecue at your backyard fire pit.

You don’t need to do the trim and molding immediately. Making the bed itself with the mechanism can take a lot of your time and energy, so you should space yourself and take time if necessary.

Source: David’s How to Make a Murphy bed and video

(9) According to accordions

DIY Murphy bed

Small space living makes for great creativity. Andrew and Grace Odom are ambassadors for the tiny house dweller-lifestyle, and so their answer was to make Andrew’s home office do double-duty as a guest room with an accordion pull out bed. Just think of it as two boxes built on top of each other, where the outer box opens to a bed frame and the second box stores the foam mattress. The nifty small living tips include some budget DIY room dividers you can use for your home office.

Source: DIY roll out bed

(10) All-in-one DIY Murphy bed kit

DIY Murphy bed

This kit from Wilding Wall Beds come with everything, which means the plans, schematics and the pre-cut lumber. Where does the DIY come into?  You can still customize the kit once you have assembled the bed itself by choosing your own crown molding, the paint colors, and the wood.  Yup, the kits come in your wood of choice: cherry, alder, mahogany, oak, or maple.

Source: Wilding Wall Beds

(11) Fit for a kid

DIY Murphy bed

Sometimes the bed isn’t for an adult, but for a kid.  With an itty-bitty apartment, that’s good enough to make space for a small DIY Murphy bed project, just big enough to sleep a grade schooler. Martin Vester from Copenhagen built this wall bed with built-in shelving to fit his small home office.

Using IKEA’s Ivar storage system, Martin even made a bench to house the bed’s blankets and sheets.

Source: Martin’s Ivar DIY Murphy bed hack

(12) Kits do it well

DIY Murphy bed

This DIY Murphy bed comes from a kit and contains all the things you need to assemble it, like building schematics and construction plans for the shelf and the cabinet vasing.  It also includes the lifting mechanism.

Source: Woodworking for Mere Mortals and Murphy Bed Hardware