Introduction: DIY Modern Murphy Bed

About: Hi, I’m Sam! Full time psychologist and woodworker! I build things and publish plans. Check out my website and YouTube channel for more project ideas!

Since schooling is going to be hybrid for many places for a bit, I wanted to transform a guest room space in my parents' house into a combination home office and guest room for my mom, who is a physical therapist for children with disabilities. So, I built the best space-saving guest room project on the planet… a DIY modern murphy bed!

Want to see this build in action? Check out my my video on YouTube & please subscribe!

For full details about the printable plans and cut list I used, please visit my website!


Murphy Bed Hardware Kit
Track Saw/Table Saw
Miter Saw
Jig Saw
Drill & Driver
Nail Gun
Sander & Sandpaper
Iron (For Edgebanding)
Staining Materials
Forstner Bits *

¾” Birch Plywood *
¼” Birch Plywood *
1 x 2 Pine * Edgebanding *
Birch Veneer Sheets
1 ¼” Wood Screws
1 ½” Wood Screws
3” Lag Screws
Wood Glue
Special Walnut Stain
Black Spray Paint

* Indicates materials and tools that are specific to the particular DIY Murphy bed hardware kit I used. Please refer to your particular Murphy bed kit’s plans for your specific materials list.

Step 1: Cut Your Plywood Pieces

After collecting my materials and reviewing the plans, I cut all of my plywood pieces using my track saw. If you don’t have a track saw you can use a circular saw with a guide or a table saw. I only needed my jig saw for one cut (to round the outside edges of the bed frame).

Step 2: Build the Bed Frame

Next, I cut all of my pine pieces for my queen-sized bed frame using my miter saw. I trimmed any specialty pieces with my table saw.

Step 3: Add Edgebanding

Once my pieces were cut, I applied edge banding to all of the exposed edges of plywood using a hot iron.

Step 4: Stain

Next, I pre-stained all of my bed pieces.

Step 5: Assemble Bed Frame & Cabinet

I then assembled the bed frame using the plans to guide me. I installed any hardware that needed to be placed in the bed frame according to the plans as well. I had to do this in the final space because the stairway was too narrow to fit the assembled frame.

Once the bed frame was assembled, I began to assemble the other cabinet pieces and install hardware according to my specific set of plans.

Step 6: Build Doors

Next, I focused my energy on the Murphy bed doors (I had to wait to do this because of spacing issues in my shop). I decided to use pressure-sensitive, adhesive birch veneer to create a chevron effect on the front of the cabinet. I seriously loved this stuff – it was so easy to trim with a box cutter and apply using some pressure.

I then stained the doors to match the cabinet.

Step 7: Install Doors

I then installed the doors to the back end of the bed frame using the plans to guide me.

Step 8: Cut Cabinet Pulls (Optional)

Next, I cut and installed custom cabinet pulls using 2 x 2” poplar. I cut them to 1 ½” square and used my table saw to cut a groove for my fingers to grip (you can see this in action in my video).

Step 9: Close Up Bed Frame

Next, it was time to close up the bed frame using the ¼” plywood.

Step 10: Add Headers, Pistons, and Anchors

I then installed the headers for the cabinet according to the plans and I then enlisted the help of my family to help install the pistons to the bed frame and the cabinet. I also used their help to anchor the bed to the wall (but, it's best to follow your specific plans for anchoring placement).

Step 11: Add False Bottom (Optional)

Instead of applying a piece of trim to the outside of the cabinet, I opted for a removable piece of flush trim that I can move out of the way when folding the bed up and down (you can see this in action in the video).

Step 12: Customize & Admire!

I absolutely love how this Murphy bed space turned out! It not only looks awesome, but allows for so much room for activities!

And those shelves!? You can find the tutorial for those in the full Guest Room Makeover on my YouTube channel!

If you liked this project, please watch the full video and subscribe to my YouTube channel!

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