How to Build a Murphy Bed Cabinet

Written by amy lea
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How to Build a Murphy Bed Cabinet
Murphy Wall Bed Adds Elegance (hotel bed image by araraadt from

Turn that extra bedroom into an office by hiding that bed in a wall cabinet easily pulled down any time family decides to visit. Getting a Murphy bed professionally installed can be expensive and intrusive. Do it yourself by building the Murphy bed cabinet and save money and space. Building the Murphy bed cabinet and surrounding it with beautiful bookshelves adds glamour to any bedroom or helps to turn the spare room into an office/guest room without any fuss.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 2 1-by-12-by-8 foot wood boards
  • 1 1-by-12-by-4 foot wood board
  • 2 8 foot hinge doors
  • 2 wooden bookshelves
  • 1 inch wood screws
  • 3 inch wood screws
  • 4 corner brackets
  • 4 6 inch wing hinges
  • Wood glue
  • Saw
  • Drill and bits
  • Varnish
  • Hammer
  • Murphy bed mounting mechanism

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  1. 1

    Purchase the mounting mechanism for Murphy bed from your choice of retailer. There are many places -- including online retailers -- that charge for shipping and regular stores that do not.

  2. 2

    Choose where you want to place your Murphy bed. As long as there are studs in the wall and no windows, the placing of the bed depends entirely on style and flow of the room. Measure out how much space you have to work with and subtract the amount of space needed for the bed. Divide this answer by two. This is the approximate width of the two bookshelves you need to purchase or build.

  3. 3

    Set up the two bookshelves on either side of the Murphy bed. The height of these two bookshelves depends on the style of the room and taste of the owner.

  4. 4

    Cut the baseboard from the wall in the area that you have measured out for the bed unit.

    How to Build a Murphy Bed Cabinet
    Murphy Bed Adds Space to Small Areas (bedroom image by Jorge Casais from
  5. 5

    Mount the two bookshelves onto the wall by drilling 3-inch wood screws into the wall studs.

  6. 6

    Measure two of the 1-by-12 boards to the length of the mattress and one 1-by-12 board for the width giving both measurements 1 inch for leeway. Glue edges together then drill in the 1-inch wood screws. Apply inside corner brackets.

    How to Build a Murphy Bed Cabinet
    Measure Murphy Bed According to Bed Size (man marking the spot image by Joann Cooper from
  7. 7

    Attach the ledger board to the frame about 1 foot from floor with 1-inch wood screws and glue. Attach corner brackets to this board as well. This is where the mounting mechanism is attached.

  8. 8

    Place cabinet frame against wall between the two bookshelves.

  9. 9

    Drill 3-inch wood screws through the ledger board into the wall studs in the middle position of the area without baseboards.

    How to Build a Murphy Bed Cabinet
    Secure Murphy Bed to Wall With Precision (cordless screwdriver image by robert mobley from
  10. 10

    Drill sliding bolts through the bookshelves into the Murphy frame to secure them to it.

  11. 11

    Attach hinge doors with 6-inch wing hinges to sides of the Murphy bed cabinet to make sure they open on the outside edge of the cabinet.

  12. 12

    Attach purchased mounting mechanism for Murphy bed as per manufacturer instructions.

Tips and warnings

  • The bed frame needs to fit into the cabinet flatly. As the metal frame for the bed is not in the mounting package, the build must purchase one or already own one. Make sure the bed and mattress are not thicker than 12 inches.
  • When mounting the bookshelves and cabinet to the wall, drill only into the studs in the wall or the entire set up could pull out of the wall with use.

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