How To Build Faux Dresser Murphy Bed DIY
What do you do when space is limited but you need an extra bed? A murphy bed is the perfect solution. This credenza cabinet bed plan is magic for tight spaces.
If you are short on space, you might have considered building a murphy bed. But many murphy beds are oriented so that the length rather than the width folds down into the room. But if you have a small room or are living in a one-room home that is small, that option may not work for you. In this post we show you how you can make a dresser look, sideways oriented, twin sized murphy bed, that gives you a great surface for decor or display on top with plenty of wall space for a tv or mirror above, which really helps to maximize space in a small room.
Another idea for using this bed is adding it as an extra bed to a guest room. It could possibly fit nicely opposite a king size bed. Giving a perfect location for TV viewing, on the available space above it on the wall. This means a small room could fit anywhere from 1-3 guests. This idea is great for guest rooms, vacation homes, airbnb’s and many other places you are tight on space.
If your room has a little more space, this could be done with a bigger bed, a Queen size bed for example however, for safety reasons, if you do a bigger mattress, I would add a spring mechanism to help control the weight transfer when opening. These murphy bed kit hardware will help to assist the person opening the bed with the weight and safety when bringing it down to the ground.
Today we will show you how to build this project easily without expensive equipment. Of course, if you wanted these could be added for extra safety.
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Submitted By Joy2Journey
M … is for Murphy Bed and it is finally finished and installed! Can I get a Woo Hoo?!
I have been asked quite a few times if I had finished my Murphy Bed, and the resounding answer is … Yes!
Let me take you back in time, if I may. I found a Murphy Bed plan on Ana White’s website (Ana-White.com) and thought, “I can make that!” I need an extra bed in the guest room for the little ones that come visit and this seemed to be the perfect solution. I love how this looks like a beautiful freestanding piece of furniture. So began the “journey”…
Building the DIY Murphy Bed:
- Pine or Hardwood 1×2’s for face frame
- Pine 1×4 cleat for attaching to the wall
- MDF or pine trim- for front to create drawer divider look.
- Door Hinges( the type you need is called a Butt hinge, try not to laugh)
- Additional hardware (murphy bed hardware kit optional if concerned about weight of mattress)
- Bolts for wall
- Door Lock
- Circular saw or Tables saw (or have the width cut at the lumber store when you buy the sheet goods if available)
- Screw driver
- Clamps (especially these amazing corner clamps to keep things square)
We are making this murphy bed without a murphy bed kit, spring mechanism to keep cost down, however, if you would like to add springs or a dual-piston system they are available on Amazon.
Build the Bed Frame
Start by building the dresser frame. This is a simple 4 sided rectangle. Built to fit the twin bed mattress inside. Place the bottom piece on its side and predrill holes into the side pieces through the bottom piece.
In order for the bed to fold out and not catch on the top shelf you will need a face frame on the dresser body. This face frame will also cover the raw edges of the plywood body, so that is a good bonus.
with a small face frame on the top and 2 sides (but no face frame along the bottom) We recommend adding a 1×4 brace along the back wall attached to the top shelf and sides of the dresser. Drill through this board into the studs of your wall to secure the bed to the wall.
The platform for the bed is simply a plywood sheet with the addition of some decorative moldings on the front for that can be glued and nailed in place.
You can add a small 1×2 face frame on the frame sides to hold mattress in place; with triangular side rails, this will help when folding out the mattress.
No foot rail on this bed.
Making the frame was the easiest part of the process for me, even though I had to adjust the plans to make it sideways instead of up and down.
Before I could attach it to the wall, I needed to paint the room. I had been wanting to do it since we moved in 3 years ago. It was a Salmon color … but I will tell you all about that later in another post 🙂
This is the step that everything fell apart for me! I had this amazing idea (I thought I was going to wow the web world with my brilliance … HA!) I was going to do a decoupage of Paper bags and these really pretty napkins for the added color. I had the bags already and the napkins I got on sale. Woo Hoo, watch me go!
It seemed like a good idea at the time. If you look at this picture… you might even be impressed. Briefly. In a small area it was really pretty. This process by the way … takes FOREVER! I cannot tell you the amount of time that it took! Wrinkle up the paper just to lay it out flat again. Ugh! I try not to think of it as wasted time but, “as a learning experience”. 🙂
This bed front wasn’t turning out as I had hoped. I had in my mind’s eye what it would look like and this was not it! So I changed plans. DIY people need to think on their feet and change ideas when needed. At least that is what I do 🙂 I found this upholstery fabric at Goodwill for $1.99 and it was just what I wanted. It had that Chevron feel and the colors were perfect for the Guest room.
Decoupage to the rescue again … This time to adhere the fabric to the bed front.
I wanted this bed to look like a dresser as it was going to be on it’s side, and there isn’t a dresser in the room. I will show you the whole room later … but the short version is, I have a luggage rack for guests. (Just like a Hotel) 🙂 I attached drawer handles on the top two spaces to look like drawers. It also helps with opening and closing.
I stenciled the corners of the top “drawers” and then added the
lock. I do not want little ones getting hurt. (I still need to spray paint the lock a bronze color so that it matches the room.)
I attached the front portion of the bed with 4 door hinges.
I ended up getting a twin mattress and of course covered it with a mattress cover. Waterproof!
Are you ready for the big reveal?!
I love it! And it works too. I kid you not!!! I already used it just to see, and it is so comfortable.
So thoughts on this credenza cabinet bed plans … comments? questions? observations? Share your thoughts with me.
Q and A Murphey Bed Style
What is the point of a murphy bed?
The primary purpose of a murphy bed is to save floor space in a small room where you need a bed occasionally. Or if you need the space to be available during the day when the bed is not in use. Having a murphy bed can help you make the most of a small room at all times of the day or night.
How many deaths are caused by Murphy beds?
All household appliances or furniture pieces when not used properly can be dangerous and result in injury. For example, neglecting cords maintenance, proximity to water, can make any household appliance dangerous. Death by Murphy bed is extremely unlikely. However, be sure to take precautionary steps to make sure little children are safe while playing around this murphy bed. Please be sure to attach it properly to studs in the wall when installing, keep it locked at all times when not in use and keep the key away from access by little children.
Does a Murphy bed need to be attached to the wall?
Our version shown in the post must be attached to the wall. If you purchase a more modern kit they have options for wall or floor mounted beds. Some wall beds require wall mounting because of their gas piston lifting mechanism that raises and lowers the bed platform the frame structure must be secured.
Do Murphy beds use box springs?
Murphy beds do not have box springs. Instead, the mattress attaches to the bed frame with a retention system, like an elastic strap to hold the mattress in place when it is in the upright position.
What wood is used for Murphy beds?
Most carpenters build Murphy beds from ¾-inch hardwood plywood, like these plans. Birch is a good option since it’s readily available and tends to be less expensive than other hardwoods. If you go this route, you’ll want to finish exposed edges with wood strips glued and nailed in place or with iron-on edge banding or cover the raw edges with a face frame.
Is it cheaper to build or buy a Murphy bed?
In the case of this plan that doesn’t have expensive hardware, it is most definitely cheaper to build. However for bigger beds and more elaborate beds with shelving, build from hardwoods like oak or cherry the cost can go up and may be more cost effective to buy a kit or prebuilt piece.
Are Murphey beds available at IKEA?
Currently no, but they are available at many online furniture retailers such as Walmart, Overstock, Wayfair, and even including Amazon and can be shipped directly to your home. There are also specialty retailers that specialize in very cool options for murphy beds.
This is really awesome! Measurements would be really helpful 🙂
Love the bed but I need to make one that goes vertical for a very small room. I have 10 foot ceilings and would like to incorporate legs so that it is not on the floor. Anyone have any ideas???
I would love measurements as well. I absolutely love the idea that you made it to look like a dresser!! Pure genius! Thanks so much for sharing!
I absolutely love this idea! I want to build one for my room in my sorority house in the fall. My only qualm is you said you anchored it to the wall. How unstable do you think it would be if it weren’t attached? Also, to what extent did you modify your design from the original? Thanks so much for sharing your handiwork.
I think this is an awesome idea. I, as do many others, need one for my craft room. But, alas, I need measurements. Can’t make stuff the right way without them. Care to share? Thanks, Cheryl 🙂
I really love this bed… I just don’t understand how you got it leveled when it is open. I see the hinges and so maybe the handles are about the same height on that end so that the platform is level when open. Sorry, I just don’t have much vision for some things. You did an excellent job and lots of ingenuity. I bookmarked your site.
what an awesome idea lovethe side vs the stand howdo get the plans for it
Super idea! I’ve been wanting to put a murphy bed in my spare room, but to buy one is waaaay out of my price range. This looks like something I could do. Love how you made it look like a dresser! 🙂
I loved this idea. I had always wanted a murphy bed and my wife was so against it until I showed how creative you made it. Was a wonderful weekend project to do with the wife. Theres not spot to show my picture of what i did or else i would post it. We used a full mattress so tweaked some things a bit but its fantastic.
Love Love This, expecting family for Christmas. This is just what I need. Been checking back
for the measurements? Please Help
Linda, I talked to Joy and she said that she used the measurements from this Ana White murphy bed plan. All she did different was build it on its side. Good luck and I hope that helps.
So, it looks like the bed just sits on the floor once lowered. I like the dresser idea but don’t want guests to sleep on the floor. If I wanted that, I would just use an inflatable bed. The other concern is the length of the dresser. It would need to be 80 inches( 6′ 8). That’s one long dresser. I guess I can’t have it all. It has to be vertical or one long horizontal dresser. I sure like your idea a lot, it just needs to be off the floor somehow.
WOW! The other sites make it out to be a difficult project requiring a lot of tools but you did it effortlessly! Well, except for the decoupage! LOL I have to say that your version looks MUCH nicer than the other sites I saw! Great job and thanks for the inspiration!!
Woo Hoo!!! This is beautiful!! It is exactly what we were looking for for our grandson. You did a wonnderful job on this bed and I love your ideas.
Great job! I can hardly wait to tackle a similar project in our home!
What a clever girl you are! This is a great idea…
I love it too!
This is a BRILLIANT idea! My husband and I are moving into a new home and this will definitely be one of our first projects. I just repinned this. Thank you so much for the idea!
Love this , I’m going to make the front a chalk board for my kids !
Shelley, That sounds like a great idea! Thanks!
I’ve been planning on doing a murphy bed on it’s side for a dresser for years! I want to do a queen size and when Anna posted the plans I was excited for someone to help make it easier for me. However, I noticed you still had to buy the expensive hardware for the beds and so we never built it. Did you buy the specialty hardware? I don’t see it anywhere. Would I be able to get away with not using it on a queen size since it’s on it side too? I love the idea of the lock, I wondered how I was going to keep it safe for my kids. I’m definitely going to include a lock! Thanks so much! I’m glad I saw this post!
I absolutely love it! What a great idea!
Thanks for the comment Glenda!
I’m really impressed by your murphy bed. I am about to build one, too.
I’ve got a question concerning the two handles.
Can’t they be traced through the front portion? Don’t they lift the whole thing up?
How did you handle that?
Thank so much beforehand