How to Fill the Space at the Head of a Murphy Bed

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Murphy beds remain popular because of their space-saving possibilities. When not in use, the bed can be folded up and away. This is especially useful in guest rooms or small studio apartments. When folded out, the bed should be comfortable, but sometimes there is a gap between the mattress and the wall or bed cabinet that makes it hard to sit up and relax in bed. You can resolve this problem with a mini-headboard.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Plywood
  • Circular saw
  • Batting
  • Fabric
  • Staple gun
  • Flush mounts
  • Phillips screwdriver or electric drill
  • Drywall or wood anchors
  • Measure the space between the top of the mattress and the wall or Murphy bed cabinet. Reduce the total space measured by 1/2 to 1 inch. For example, if there is 2 inches of space between the mattress and the cabinet, subtract 1/2 inch to allow room for batting and fabric. The total space needed to fill at the top of the bed equals 1 1/2 inches.

  • Determine the width of the bed. For example, a full-size mattress is 53 inches wide, a queen size is 60 inches wide and a king size is 76 inches wide.

  • Purchase a piece of plywood that is as thick as the distance between the plywood and cabinet or wall, minus 1/2 to 1 inch. Plywood typically comes in sizes between 1/4 and 1 1/8 inches but can come in thicker sheets. Home improvement stores can also cut a thicker piece of plywood to size.

  • Cut the length of the plywood to equal the width of the mattress with a circular saw. (An associate at the home improvement store can cut the piece to size). For example, a 63-inch-long piece of 1 1/2-inch-thick plywood must need to be cut to 53 inches long to fit a full-size Murphy bed.

  • Cut the height of the plywood to 1 foot, or taller if you prefer. At 1 foot, the plywood becomes a fashionable wedge, or mini-headboard at the top of the bed. At 3 feet or more, the plywood becomes a full-size headboard.

  • Secure batting to the front and top of the plywood board with a staple gun. This will make the plywood board more comfortable to rest against.

  • Wrap the front of the plywood and batting with fabric. Tug the fabric securely to the backside of the plywood and staple it in place with the staple gun.

  • Secure a flush mount to the left and right corner of the back of the plywood with screws. Make sure the tongue of the flush mount is facing down and use a level to make sure the flush mounts are even. Use a Phillips screwdriver or electric drill to drive the screw into place.

  • Measure the distance between the two flush mounts. Transfer this distance to the wall or cabinet and mark a place for the corresponding flush mounts with a pen.

  • Place the flush mounts on the wall or cabinet marks and mark the screw holes with a pen. Make sure the tongue of the flush mount is facing down.

  • Predrill the screw holes with an electric drill. Twist drywall anchors, or wood anchors (if anchoring to the cabinet), into the predrilled holes.

  • Line up the screw holes of the flush mounts over the predrilled holes. Drive the screws through the holes and into the pre-inserted anchors with a Phillips screwdriver or electric drill.

  • Slide the tongue of the flush mounts on the back of the plywood into those on the wall.

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