Just like the inventors of the folding bed, most of us find ourselves crammed for space as the economy becomes steeper by the day. But you know what else comes with having a smaller home or apartment? You get to save as much money as you do space.
In these situations, a bed that can fold up or even double as a piece of furniture can be a lifesaver. Especially for larger families who have to share the same space every day.
The good news is that there is absolutely no shortage of excellent folding beds. From beds that fold three ways and roll away to beds that can be hidden behind a wall, they give completely new meaning to disappearing beds.
But as you’d expect, some of these folding beds can be a bit too bulky and costly. And like the DIY motto says, why buy something that you could make at home? Not only does knowing how to make a folding bed give you that extra space when you need it, it also saves you a lot of money.
You ready folks? Here’s how to make your own folding bed.
- 1/2” plywood for mattress support
- 1″ x 12″ x 8′ for the wall box
- 1″ x 8″ x 8′ for mattress support
- 1″ x 4″ x 8′ for box support
- 1″ x 2″ x 8′ for decorative molding or trim
- 2” nails and screws
- Finishing nails
- Wood glue and filler
- Heavy-duty door hinges and magnet closures
- Drill and circular saw
- Measuring tape
- Sander or sandpaper
- Pencil and square
- Safety glasses and work gloves
- Dust mask
Instructions for making your folding bed
Step 1: Determine the location
Before you even begin making your folding bed, it’s of the utmost importance to make sure that you have ample space around the bed. You might be able to get it to suitcase-like dimensions when folded up, but you still need to unfold it at night. The location and available room will determine what size the bed and mattress are. Don’t worry if you’re working with unusually narrow dimensions; you can just buy high-density foam and cut it to fit your measurements.
Step 2: Measure and cut materials
Start by measuring and cutting 4 lengths of the 1″ x 12″ boards to make the initial box that will hold your folding bed. Next, add an extra two inches all around for the bed to fit – This step is very important, so make sure you don’t skip it or you’ll be sleeping in some very awkward positions. Using your measuring tape, ensure that the width of the bottom and top boards are the desired size of your bed plus four inches.
Next, attach the side boards to the bottom board using the wood glue and 2” screws. You have to be professional about it, so please pre-drilling the holes so the wood does not crack later on. Cut and attach two pieces of the 1″ x 4″ across the back of the box and level it out with the top of the side boards.
Make a similar box to hold the mattress using the 1″ x 8″ for the head of the frame and sides. The only difference will be the shorter width by two inches to fit into the wall box if this is your chosen design. Otherwise, you could just place the hinges at the midpoint of the frame and box. Cut the side pieces so they only reach halfway down the size of your mattress length. Taper them if desired. Lay your plywood on a flat surface and use your molding to create a gorgeous armoire-look. This will become the underside of your folding bed, or the outside when folded.
Step 3: Attach mattress and fold
As explained earlier, you will need a mattress that fits your custom DIY folding bed. To attach it to your new bed, stick it at the corners and midpoint with some glue and nails. Again, pre-drill the holes to avoid cracking. Once everything is dried, you can now test the folding mechanism to see how it works. If your hinges are at the midpoint, then simply fold your bed and enjoy your daytime desk or table. And if you hinged it to a wall at the bottom, now you have a Murphy hideaway bed that can turn into a closet or shelves.
Read also: Folding bed vs Air mattress
There’s no doubt that building your own folding bed will help you save some much-needed money and space. But as you’ve seen, it also requires a lot of tools, materials, and slightly advanced building skills. If the project seems a bit too taxing for you, it would be better to just buy a cheap folding bed that is at least safely constructed.