Give Your Home and Extra Bedroom with a Hand-Made Murphy Bed

Many people are not familiar with Murphy beds, which are also called wall beds or pull-down beds. It is a hinged bed that is stored vertically against a wall or in a cabinet. When it is up, the bed looks like a cabinet attached to the wall, but when the cabinet doors are open a fully-functional bed can be pulled down to accommodate unexpected guests, or as an extra bed anytime one is needed. When it is not needed, it is nearly invisible and takes up very little room.

How Murphy Beds Came to Be

The Murphy bed has a special place in history. In fact, the Smithsonian Magazine conducted some research about the Murphy bed. In the article, it states that the first Murphy bed was patented in 1911 by William Murphy. He put a full-size bed mattress on a frame that was concealed in a closet when not in use. Murphy created this bed when living in a small one-room apartment in San Francisco. It was considered inappropriate for a man to entertain a lady in a bedroom. So, by creating the Murphy bed, he transformed his bedroom into a sitting room, with the bed completely out-of-sight when visitors arrived.

Many of the advertisements for apartments back then, often mentioned that apartments had Murphy beds. This was considered a benefit and a sales tool to attract people to their rental apartments.

Today, Murphy beds have made a comeback. They are used by those that live in studio apartments to expand their living space during the day. They are also used by those that have infrequent guests. It is available when needed, but not taking up space when it is not.

Making Your Own Murphy Bed

Murphy beds can be rather expensive, especially when because they typically are not used every night. But there are alternatives. Those with some building skills and the proper tools can make their own Murphy bed.

Building a Murphy bed is not as difficult as one would imagine. You can find many ideas on the internet by just Googling how to build a Murphy bed. They also offer many ways to conceal the bed, so it looks like a regular piece of furniture until it is needed.

Here are some tips for building a Murphy bed. Get on your computer, get your tools ready, get your supplies and start building.

The Process of Building a Murphy Bed

Here are some general directions to make your own queen-sized Murphy bed.

  • Take your measurements.
  • Look for a Murphy bed kit that includes hardware and legs.
  • Purchase all the wood needed for the project.
  • Gather your tools including a circular saw, clamps, drill bits, hammer, jigsaw, nails, paint, safety goggles, pencil, screwdriver, and screws, tape measure, wood glue, and a stud finder.
  • Start by assembling the struts with wood glue and drill in screws to secure the struts; this is the sub-frame.
  • Work on side rails and drill holes for the Murphy bed hardware.
  • Attach elements to the sub-frame.
  • Next, place the side rails next to the sub-frame and attach them with screws.
  • Add on the face panels by attaching them to the sub-frame.
  • Fasten the struts to the face panels.
  • Build the bed header and finish applying the veneer.
  • Find the wall studs and secure the backside of the header.
  • Add hardware and handles to the face panels.
  • Buy your mattress, and your bed is complete.

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