murphy bed plan

If you’re interested in building a DIY Murphy bed (also known as a pull-down, wall, or fold-down bed), we’ve gathered 13 free plans below.

They’re great for saving floor space and stunning guests with the magical ‘fold out’ process.

There are a bunch of interesting options on this list: #11 is a stately cabinet; #1 is made from recycled materials; and #5 emerges from the wall with gas struts.

Whatever your ambition, scroll through the list, click the ‘View Plans’ button to access the free building plans!

13 Murphy Bed Plans

diy murphy bed plans

1. Upcycled Murphy Bed Blueprint

This builder had an old entertainment center laying around and decided to put it to better use. If you can repurpose an old piece of furniture, you’ll only need to buy some boat seat swivels, gas struts, and ball studs.

Once your cabinet is disassembled and you’re left with just the frame, cut out holes where the feet will be and attach the bed frame. These can be awkward and heavy to move, so it might be a good idea to build this exactly where you want it to be.

Once everything is connected, you can add a false front and attach the hardware. If you struggle with this, the gas struts and brackets should come with directions for assembly.


2. Murphy Bed with Sliding Doors Idea

While store-bought Murphy beds can cost over $3,000, this DIY project teaches you how to utilize two Ikea wardrobes. To make things even easier, the builder bought a Murphy bed kit that contained all the hardware and instructions needed to get the bed to lift up and down.

Because you’re attaching mirrors, you also need to add a lower track and upper track for them to slide on. After joining the tracks together, you can add any finishing touches like light strips or paint trim.

The total cost for this DIY project is around $1,650 – that’s practically half the price of a regular Murphy bed. This should also only take a few hours to complete from start to finish.


3. Sideways Murphy Bed Project

This is the perfect DIY idea for those who live in a basement or apartments with low ceilings – if you can’t fit a Murphy bed right side up, position it sideways. It’s crucial that you find a wall with good studs that can support the bed. Then, build the basic structure and frame using plywood and attach that to the studs.

Just make sure this structure is wide and strong enough to support the mattress and boxspring. Now you’re ready to install the heavy-duty hinges and add the feet to the bed frame. If you things to be more aesthetically pleasing, you can create a false bottom or decorative top so the bottom of the bed isn’t an eyesore.


4. Simple Murphy Bed Plan

This basic DIY design should take you less than a day to build yourself. Materials required include some plywood sheets, screws, finishing nails, cabinet handles, wood glue, solid wood, a circular saw, and clamps. This DIY plan is super detailed, even including a cut list and photos showing the exact different pieces of wood.

First, create the struts, assemble the sub-frame, round the corners, and attach the head and foot rails. Then attach the side rails, position and connect the panels, assemble the header and cabinet, attach veneer, and mount the cabinet to the wall. If you buy a hardware kit, you should easily be able to attach the various hinges and supports.


5. Inexpensive Murphy Bed Plan

If you’re an experienced builder, it should only take you around four hours to get this built and on the wall. You’ll first need to prepare the wall – that means removing the baseboard and taking precise measurements so you can build the platform and frame.

To save money, you can use door hinges instead of gas struts – they’ll help the bed lift up and fold out just the same. You can get creative with the front-facing headboard side of the bed – you can coordinate it with the rest of the room or paint it a bright color so it stands out. Costing just $150, you’ll save a lot of cash following this DIY plan and not buying a bed.


6. Basic Murphy Bed Blueprint

You’ll only need a few materials to follow this DIY plan – some wood, paint and primer, crown molding, cabinet hardware, and some sort of spring mechanism. Once you know where the bed will be and having precise measurements, you can build the frame.

Preferring beauty over functionality, this designer added crown molding, knobs, and handles to give the appearance that the bed is an armoire when folded up. If you’re in need of storage space, you can easily add some real drawers and shelves. Once everything is built, paint it the color of your choice and allow it to dry before actually assembling. When it is dry, you can install the mattress and get comfy.


7. Farmhouse Style Murphy Bed Idea

This a great DIY plan for you to follow if you want a finished and professional looking result. Essentially made of poplar and Purebond brand plywood, the wood you choose to use is key. Other supplies needed include a kreg jig, edge banding, router, power drill, and lag screws.

You’ll first need to make the bed platform and attach it to the face of the Murphy bed. If you’re matching the matching bookcase included in these plans, now would be the time to build and sand them. This bed also has a false front, which can be painted or customized any way you like. Once everything is built, you’re ready to install this to the wall.


8. Murphy Bed Inspiration Blueprint

This DIY plan gives you a number of suggestions and styles of inspiration for a murphy bed. Some of the plans even include a bunk bed Murphy bed, which is pretty impressive. Although definitely complicated to build, the result is amazing and will come in handy if you have a large family.

While that bed is more chic and basic, there are also plans for a rustic and country style bed made out of weathered pine and a white wash stain. When folded up, it looks like a decorative barn door. There is even a plan for a super modern and minimalist bed that looks like an expensive wall decoration when folded up.


9. Quick and Easy Murphy Bed Idea

Adding a Murphy bed is a great way to discreetly turn any space into a guest room. This bed can easily be built using plywood or medium density fiberboard, brad nails, wood filler, hobby boards, hinges, magnetic clasps, and some power tools. A cut list is included with these instructions, as well as step by step blueprints.

Perfect for novice or experienced builders, this can be built in just 13 steps. Costing just $150 to make, you’ll save a lot of money by not purchasing a bed. The first step is always to build the box. Then you need to make back supports, front supports, and a trim for the front and sides.


10. Horizontal Murphy Bed Project

This DIY idea gives another approach to making a horizontal Murphy bed. Crafted out of birch plywood, this builder chose to paint the wood a bright red color. Because of the width, this piece can function as a cabinet or media console during the day and a cozy bed at night.

This is a very simple design, with a simple frame built for the mattress and two side panels and a top panels complimenting it. This design also eliminates any need for drilling the bed into sturdy studs in the wall. Once painted and polished, make sure to allow enough time for it to dry before closing it and attaching the bed.


11. Cabinet Style Murphy Bed Plan

Costing around $250 to make, this is a great weekend project that should only take you around 15 hours at the most to finish. When upright, this piece really looks like an armoire or ornate chest. The builder added some crown molding and folding doors to make the bed feel more elegant.

Made out of medium density fiberboard and pine, this will not be expensive to build. Everything was also painted white for a pristine and chic finish. Although this DIY plan isn’t very detailed, the designer simply used plans to make an armoire and adjusted the measurements based on the size of his bed.


12. Queen Size Murphy Bed Blueprint

Following some plans by Ana White, this DIYer built a chest to accommodate their queen size bed. Most Murphy beds are meant for twin or full-size mattresses, so this might be a bit of a challenge.

The builder also pine for this, making the total cost come out to about $200 – if you want to spend less money, you can use plywood or medium density fiberboard too. For a slightly rustic touch, the builder also added some laminated hardwood tiles to the doors. Now the bed seamlessly matches the rest of the room and isn’t an eyesore. Novices or experienced builders both be able to tackle this project, as it takes around 15 hours from start to finish.


13. Murphy Bed with Storage Blueprint

At first glance, this bed is very simple and plain. However, it has built-in shelves instead of a false front. If you don’t plan on using the bed often (maybe only when guests are staying over) you can easily use the shelves for storage or displaying knick-knacks.

If you plan on using the bed every night, however, it will probably get annoying having to remove any items on the shelves before you go to sleep. The concept is genius, however, and the whole project only costs around $280. Made out of birch plywood and kiln dried white wood, the builder stained the wood to bring out the natural designs. Even with the staining and polishing, this should only take around 15 hours to finish.


What’s Reddit Saying

Build a Murphy Bed on the Cheap (ish) from DIY

One of the first Reddit DIY pdf builds we took a look at was a cheap option that includes step by step video instructions. Builders said that it was an especially cost efficient option- the carpenter says that he spent $275 on the bed itself.

With A Stay Level Desk

Another PDF plan we saw comes from a different DIY Subeddit- the builder constructed a Murphy bed that included a stay level DIY desk for a spare bedroom in his home.

I made a Murphy bed with a stay level desk for our spare room from DIY

One of the top comments came from a woodworker who had completed a similar project. He says that lacking a proper workshop, it took over 7 months to complete the woodworking project. One question that he had for the original poster was whether he had to get rid of the mattress support in order to install handles.

The original poster said that he didn’t have to remove the mattress support to add on the handles- all he did was with up the mattress and then use some extra long screws.

Other posters said that they appreciated the builder’s transparency- particularly that he demonstrated some of the errors and missed use that occurred along the way.

He says that he purchased the kit plans from Prime Tools – from the brand Create A Bed.

Murphy Beds? Let’s talk about them from malelivingspace

Over in the subreddit Male Living Space – one user who was relocating into a small studio apartment said that he was looking into purchasing one to help economize the limited floor surface in his new apartment.

In particular, he was somewhat concerned with making hardcore modifications to a rental unit – for example, he wouldn’t want to have to bolt the bed to the wall and end up really upsetting his landlord.

So, he was looking for some free-standing Murphy bed recommendations that wouldn’t be prohibitively expensive.

One of the top comments comes from a Redditor who said he uses a chest platform bed in a spare bedroom – the way it works, it resembles a DIY dresser when it’s all folded up, but when you extend it, it’s actually the size of a queen mattress bed.

Cheap Options

Before and After: A DIY Murphy Bed for a Third of the Cost of Store-Bought from TopDesign

Another user said that murphy beds are traditionally pretty expensive because they need to be engineered well to prevent dangerous failures. Others concur, saying that these specialized beds are fairly complex because of their moving parts- they need to have high levels of structural integrity but also be collapsible at the same time.

That’s a tough combination to pull off. Another user had the helpful suggestion of just purchasing a daybed that can double as a couch- he says they are actually more comfy than a traditional futon because they use an actual mattress.

Yet another Redditor had an interesting perspective – he says that while Murphy Beds are nowadays always screw mounted to a wall, older versions were built using a pivot system that was mounted to the floor.

Murphy Bed vs. High-end Sleeper Sofa

Murphy bed vs. high-end sleeper sofa from InteriorDesign

Over in the Interior Design subreddit, a user posted wondering what the pros and cons were between a Murphy bed and a high-end sleeper sofa.

Specifically, the user was moving into a small urban studio so he was looking to economize and space.

The top response came from a poster who said that the choice would depend on the shape and size of the floor plan.

One consideration, he says that Murphy beds do actually take up a lot of space because they fold up against the wall- he compares it to adding another closet in your home.

That said, they take up a lot less space than a traditional bed that eats up all of the floor space.

Another interesting consideration- if you are a bachelor and frequently bringing new women back to your house or apartment, it looks a lot classier and impressive to pull down a Murphy bed than deal with a sleeper sofa or a bunk bed.

In addition, with a Murphy bed, it’ll always be ready and made up. With a sleeper sofa, once you put it into the sofa position, when you open it up again, you’ll have to make the bed up- this can be an annoying hassle.

Another poster said that in his experience he has not found a sleeper sofa that isn’t painful on his back. By comparison, he slept on a bunch of different Murphy beds that have been comfortable.

If you’re only using it a couple of nights out of the year, a sleeper sofa can be a viable solution for a short-term house guest, but if you’re intending to use it every single night, it’s not a practical solution. An even more involved, technically advanced solution is an elevator bed.

The homeowner in the video the Redditor linked to actually employs a garage storage lift so that the bed, which sits on tracks, can be raised and lowered.