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DIY Murphy Bed (without expensive hardware)

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

When I started working on this spare bedroom, I knew without a doubt that I wanted a murphy bed. Having a large bed in the centre of the room just took up to much space!

So, with my plan in mind I went window shopping. To my surprise, most of the murphy beds I found online were priced in the thousands and that was just not in my budget. So I went to plan B, which was to build it myself but with the official murphy bed hardware. While this option was much cheaper, it was still out of my budget for this project. That is how I got to plan C, building a murphy bed with an alternative mechanism that would only cost $50!

I will show you the steps I took to build the bed but I would recommend checking out my youtube video (below) which goes into a bit more detail.

I am working on putting together a detailed building plan that will include all a cut list as well as the materials and tools required....stay tuned!

Let's get started:

Step 1: Assemble the base of the bed

The base of the bed is where the mattress will lay. In order to build this, you will need to cut some plywood for the bottom and 4 pieces to frame the mattress:

1) Cut your pieces to length and add pocket holes.

2) Join the 4 pieces of plywood to build a "box"

3) Screw the "box" to the plywood bottom

4) Add 1" strips of plywood to make sure everything is held together securely. These strips will be screwed into the plywood bottom.

Step 2: Build the cabinet

Similar to step one we will be building another large box. Make sure the pocket holes on the top piece are facing up so that they will not be visible when the cabinet is upright.

Step 3: Attach Hardware

As I said earlier, the official murphy bed hardware was a bit too expensive for me so I decided to do some research and found an alternative.

I used two of these boat seat swivels:

In order to install the mechanism, it is best to measure and mark where it will go on both the bed base and the cabinet and drill your pilot holes. To make this easier, use a scrap piece of wood as a guide.

Step 4: Decorate and Finish

You can choose any design for the front of the base, which is the side that will be showing once the bed is upright in the cabinet.

To prep for paint, I also used edge banding to cover the exposed plywood that would be seen.

Once you have all the prep completed all that's left to do is prime and paint. I would recommend using a paint sprayer (you can find the one I use under the "Amazon Favs" link above). Since I did not have much space here, I used a hand roller.

Here is the final product:

Thanks for joining me on yet another DIY journey.

The full printable build plans with a detailed cut list, materials and tools as well as a step-by-step guide can be found here:

For more details on this project, check out my youtube video below:

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Omg, it's amazing


The smartest method ever!


Eric Arrington
Eric Arrington
Jul 07, 2023

This is super dope. Always have loved murphy beds but the hardware is insane expensive for my cheap self. Thanks for sharing the details!


Jeannette Murray
Jeannette Murray
May 24, 2023

I cannot find the link to the boat swivels as promised in my purchase. Little help please?


Tanesha Smith
Tanesha Smith
Feb 14, 2023

I am unable to purchase the hardware required for this design can you help?

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