How to Build a Murphy Bed. Many people need an extra bed in their house yet don't have the space to put one. Building a Murphy bed that will tuck nicely away when not in use is a relatively easy and stylish way to meet those needs.
Select the wall to be used for the Murphy bed. Be sure it long enough for both the width of the mattress and two bookcases.
Purchase two pre-made bookshelves that are the same height, or higher, and deeper than the mattress. These will be used on either side of the Murphy bed.
Measure where the bookshelves will mount on the wall and mark with a pencil. Be sure to use a reciprocating saw to cut out the baseboards in this area so the shelves will be flush with the wall.
Find the studs behind the wall where the bookshelves will go. Mount the bookshelves securely to the wall at the stud with 3-inch wood screws.
Determine the bed box measurements. Use 1x12 boards for this frame. Apply wood glue and then nail the boards together. Carefully pre-drill holes where the corners meet. Be sure to use wood screws for even more stability. Add large brackets at each corner.
Make the board that will attach the bed to the wall out of a piece of 2x8. This is called a ledger board. It should be several inches longer than the length of the bottom of the bed frame.
Cut the MDF to the appropriate size for the bed frame. Affix the MDF to the bed frame with construction adhesive. Pre-drill holes and secure the MDF to the frame with trim screws at roughly 7-inch intervals.
Turn the frame over and add 2-inch brackets to affix the side rails to the MDF.
Using 6-inch gate hinges, attach the ledger board to the bed frame.
Use blocks to stand the bed frame at the appropriate height when upright to align it with the bookshelves. Use shims if necessary.
Use 3-inch lag bolts to affix the ledger board to the wall studs.
Attach casters to the bottom of the bed and hide them by building a frame with MDF.
Add finishing details with trim molding and paint the bookshelves and Murphy bed box.
Place the mattress in the box and set in the upright position. Install sliding bolts inside each bookshelf by drilling a hole from the bookshelf into the bed box. Place these bolts under the shelf so they cannot be seen.