Our last house had just two bedrooms upstairs. That was perfect for a family with just a little girl, until the holidays when family came to visit. I really wanted a convenient place, with a bit of privacy, where visitors could stay. When I happened to see a picture of a murphy bed the lightbulb went on in my brain. Perfect! Space saving, but perfect for space sharing.
Then I saw the prices. A “cheap” version” ran over $1000. That was way out of our price range! Surely there was some way to DIY that would be less expensive. There was! Rockler offered a great Murphy Bed kit for a little over $300. That was at least a $700 savings. The kit came with the fold out legs, the spring loaded joints to pull the bed up into the wall, and the hardware for the bed. We still had to purchase all the wood we would need, and the stain and finish for the bed.
My husband was up for it! We began gathering supplies. Now, for this particular project, my husband is the star. He is the one that cut the pieces on the table saw. He is the one who measured twice and cut once. He’s the one that screwed the pieces together. And, he even stained and finished the bed. I was responsible for gathering materials, picking out stain, and finding a mattress that would fit the bed.
We did collect a few tips for the avid DIY-er who chooses to attempt a murphy bed.
- Don’t run a table saw in the dining room. (I was cleaning out sawdust for months afterwards)
- Home depot has some nice wood veneer that you can put on the edges of the plywood to give it a better finish.
- You will need a large vehicle to cart home the wood supplies. These did not fit in our little Mazda and we had to borrow a different vehicle to get the stuff home.
- All the trouble will totally be worth it when you see that finished bed. Don’t get discouraged along the way!
When we made our cross country move we had to leave the murphy bed behind. It had been built for the space, and was too bulky to bring up the stairs. But, my husband has promised to make me another one for our new guest room. I’m hoping for a murphy craft desk too.