You’ve probably heard of Murphy beds by now. They can be found in many hotels and furnished apartments. But have you ever wondered how they work or how to make one yourself? Here, we’ll show you how to build your own chest murphy bed so that it seamlessly moves out of the way when not in use, using materials you likely already have lying around the house.
Chest Murphy Bed Materials
Below is a list of materials that you will need in order to construct a Murphy Bed. The bed can be made from any material, but the measurements given are for the ikea MALM Bed which is 58′′ x 78′′ x 83′′:
1-Laminate (IKEA, any store) $60-75 depending on the length you need and if it is unfinished or finished. There are many choices available so be sure to compare prices before purchasing. Finish costs an additional $35 or so.
2-Table saw or mitre saw ($50+) If you don’t have access to these tools, they can be rented from any tool rental company for about $25 per day.
Murphy beds are great if you have space constraints, but making one can be costly. Instead of opting for pre-made furniture, consider building one yourself.
These seven steps will walk you through the process:
- Prepare the plywood by cutting it down to size and drilling pocket holes along the edge of each side. The holes should be drilled every 16 so that screws can secure the joints in place.
- Pre-drill three or four sets of 1/4 pilot holes into the joints at 120 degrees apart so that they can later attach hinges, locking cleats, and wire supports with an electric drill.
Preparing The Pieces
To build the murphy bed, you will need two pieces of 2×4 for the vertical supports and cross-members. You’ll also need eight casters and eight lock washers (to prevent it from rolling). To start, we used an electric saw to cut both ends of each piece so that they were flush with one another. We then pre-drilled through each corner and attached the cross-members with four screws apiece, first in the corners and then along the length of the frame.
Once we had done this, we flipped it over and assembled four more pieces (four casters attached) onto each side frame. These were left loose because once we attached them there would be no room for a screwdriver.
Putting Together The Frames
What if you could put together the frames and base of your Murphy Bed in less than an hour, with few tools and no special skills? And then only need another two hours to assemble the bed itself?
Attaching The Bed To The Frame
Once you have the side pieces put together, measure and cut the rail lengths for each side. Be sure to cut them all at the same length so that they will be symmetrical. Screw one end of each rail onto the side piece. With one rail facing forward and the other back, you are now ready to attach them with five long screws (5-1/2 screws will work).
Lay out your mattress before assembling so that it’s in its final position when done with proper depth dimensions – use this as a guide for where you need to attach the rails in order for the finished frame to clear over or under it, based on whether it’s sitting in front of or behind the Murphy Bed frame.
Making A Murphy Bed
Typically, when making a Murphy Bed, you would use the headboard and footboard of the bed in question, but depending on your needs, you can use any type of headboard. First, you want to measure the height of your mattress.
Next, cut two pieces of plywood (larger than these measurements) and attach them with brackets so that they are at an angle. From there, place one board horizontally and run it through the first bracket; this will be called the top board. This is where we need to drill holes through both boards.
Removing And Hiding The Bed
You can also just store it away when not in use, which means you never have to move it. IKEA has Murphys that come with storage options inside the headboard. If your bedroom is small or lacking in closet space, this could be a good option for you! You might want to take advantage of the height if it will work for what you need.
The Murphy bed above the couch in my living room was an affordable option and when friends visit, we can just pull out the couch cushions and convert that into another sleeping area.