How to Build a Beautiful Murphy Bed and Bookcase

How to Build a Beautiful Murphy Bed and Bookcase

This is how we built a beautiful murphy bed and bookcase.  This project took a little time and cost a little more then we hoped it would but it was substantially cheaper then buying a custom murphy bed.

Murphy beds are very useful and serve a definite purpose.  If you’re tight on space they really free up the room.

If you need a multi functioning room a murphy bed is a great way to go.  

Why Would You Want to Build a Murphy Bed

There are several reasons why you would want to build your own murphy bed.  The first reason would be function.  Because our daughter in law was wanting to have a play room for her daughter but they didn’t have extra space it was the perfect solution.

The queen bed in the spare bedroom took up the whole space.  Because it was a spare room or guest room that wasn’t used often the space was being wasted with a big bed.  But they wanted to have somewhere comfortable for guests to stay when they did come.

The perfect solution was building a murphy bed with a bookcase for additional storage.

How to Get Started

The initial step is finding a style and design you like that works best for your home.  Because the space in their home was going to serve two purposes, a guest room for guests and a play room the rest of the time the murphy bed needed to have a couple of functions.

The key to making it work was fit the space and add the bookcase for baskets that would hold the toys and books in the playroom.

There are a lot of options for hardware.  We decided to invest in a good hardware hardware kit with hydraulics that would make opening and closing the bed easier.  This was key to the building the bed.  

Murphy bed hardware

With the hydraulic hardware they also included a step by step guide to build the bed with a supply list.

Gathering all the Supplies

After the hardware kit arrived with all the instructions we went to work buying the materials necessary for the project.  The supplies were purchased from a lumber yard with each piece being cut to the necessary size.

This made transporting the materials so much easier and gave us a head start on the project.

Getting the supplies ordered and cut took some time but once we had everything we needed we were ready to get busy putting it all together.

What to Expect

This is not a one day project but you will be pretty impressed with how much you can get done in a day.  By the end of the first day the frame was inside the room and attached to the wall.  It’s not that it is too difficult there are just a lot of steps to create a piece that looks good and is sturdy.

The second day of the project was adding all the trim so it looks stylish and pretty.  It was a little nerve racking before this because it didn’t look that great.  We were wanting a piece that was really pretty and looked custom and intentional.  After day one that is not what we had.

But we didn’t panic and continued to add all the finishing pieces that make it looks pretty.

After it’s all built there is a lot of caulking and painting that needs done for it to look it’s best.  I painted in a couple stages.  Doing the inside of the frame and the bed frame first.  

This is the caulking we like to use.  It goes on quick and dries fast so you can get painting.  

In a nutshell to get this project finished you’ll need a couple days for construction and then another day for painting.  Our second day of construction was a lot shorter then the beginning day but you’d be hard pressed to get it all done in a single day.

Building the Murphy Bed

To build the murphy bed you are building the frame the bed folds into and then the support for the mattress.  After those pieces are done you put it together with the hardware. 

building the murphy bed

Building the frame is pretty straight forward but the instructions that came with the hydraulic kit give specific instructions that need to be done in the correct order so you end up with something sturdy and will function.

Installing the Bed

It is important to attach the murphy bed to the wall for safety.  Depending on the studs in your wall will dictate where you will attach the bed.

It is easier to attach the bed to the wall before it is finished.  By this stage it’s pretty heavy to move.  Bringing it in with out the trim and bookcase really help with the weight and the ability to move the bed.

installing the murphy bed


Making it Pretty

Because you are working with plywood it doesn’t look like much at this stage.  It does look like you’ll get there but it does look pretty rustic before you add the bookcase, trim pieces and paint.

There are several options to trimming the bed.  We were after the closed door look on a bookcase.  If you didn’t know it was a bed you would think it was a cupboard.  Which was what we were after.

The shelves makes it so pretty and gives it more dimension.  It looks like a beautiful built in piece of furniture.

build a murphy bed

The final step to making it really pretty is paint and hardware.  Paint has a way of making everything look better.

If you don’t believe me check out this Post that shows the magic you can make with paint.  

murphy bed trim

The Final Look

After the murphy bed was finished and painted it really looked amazing.  It had the look of a custom built in.  But it also has so many functions.

It created a lot of extra space but still left a room that would function as a guest room when there is company.

The murphy bed was the perfect solution for a room that needed to have a couple of functions.

Completed murphy bed

Decor to the Door

There is new product arriving at Decor to the Door all the time.  If you are needing something special for you home that you can’t find at the big box stores check out the cute pieces available Here.  

Check back often as there are always new pieces arriving.  Quantities are limited so be sure to get what you love before its gone.  

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I am passionate about cultivating home. Whether you like DIY, design, decor or organization I want to help you cultivate the best home for you. One space and step at a time. Small simple to maintain changes with big results.