How to Build a Murphy Bed that Easily Transforms into a Desk

From home office to guest room in seconds.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

Next Project
Time

Multiple Days

Complexity

Intermediate

Cost

$501-1000

Introduction

If you’re tight on living space or you want your guest room to double as an office, here’s a piece of furniture you’ll want to check out. This bed quickly converts to a desk without increasing its footprint. When you switch it back to a bed, the desk stays level, so you can leave all your stuff on it!

Tools Required

  • Circular saw
  • Cutting guide
  • Drill
  • Forstner drill bits
  • Handsaw
  • Metric tape
  • Miter saw
  • Nailer

For this project, I used maple lumber and plywood from a specialty lumberyard and finished it later with a couple coats of polyurethane. You could save money buying materials from a home center, but the quality won’t be as good.

A company called Hiddenbed sells bed kits with all the parts precut and ready for assembly. You can also purchase just the hardware kit, which includes the plans, and that’s the option shown here. Building the bed yourself instead of buying the precut kit can save you about $1,200! To make this furniture even more user-friendly, I added a strip of LED lights and attached cork boards to the bed’s underside.

The hardware for a twin bed costs about $300 at hiddenbedusa.com. There are also versions for double and queen-size beds. All of the other hardware, fasteners and supplies are available at home centers.

Tip: The hardware kit includes everything needed for the folding mechanism, but not the fasteners used to assemble the bed/desk. The company offers a fastener kit, which I ordered. But, the fasteners in the kit are large-diameter screws with heads that show after assembly. I wanted a cleaner look, so I used glue and trim-head screws instead.

Check out the Murphy Bed in action:

Shopping for Materials

Dimensions for Part A:

Dimensions for Part G:

murphy bed cutting guide

Project step-by-step (17)

Step 1

Shopping for Materials

Dimensions for Part A:

Dimensions for Part G:

murphy bed cutting guide

Cut the Parts

Most of the parts of this project are simple plywood rectangles. But the sides and bed ends have inside corners, requiring stopped cuts. To make these cuts, mark out the cutting lines on plywood. Cut close to the corners using a circular saw with a cutting guide. Finish the cuts with a handsaw, then smooth the cuts with a file or sanding block.

murphy bed cutting guideFamily Handyman

Step 2

Apply the Edging

Cut all the edging about 1/16 in. wider than the thickness of the parts being covered*, so it’ll just barely overhang both faces. Apply the edging to all parts before assembly using glue and finish nails.

*Plywood and lumber thicknesses vary slightly, so standard 1-by lumber may not cover the edge of 3/4-in. plywood.

apply murphy bed edgingFamily Handyman