DIY Floating Murphy Desk
Updated: Aug 22, 2019
When it comes to small spaces, it’s all about maximizing every inch of your home - This DIY Floating Murphy Desk is the perfect DIY build for any small space dweller looking to create a work space in their home!
In episode 1 of Buy or DIY season 2, Dani build's Kate a DIY Floating Murphy Desk for her open concept studio apartment . Kate asked for a workspace that would also work in her Kitchen space. NO PROBLEM! To feel in line with her kitchen furniture, she uses butcher block wood and includes a unique + vintage twist by adding a photo wood transfer to the back!
UM, YES PLEASE!
Here are the steps to create your OWN DIY floating Murphy Desk in your home!
Laserjet Matte Photo
(2) 3” Brass Hinges
(4) 2” Wood Screws
(4) 3” Wood Screws
A: (1) 29 ½ x 28 x 1 ⅛
B: (1) 29 ½ x 10 x 1
C: (1) 29 ½ x 8 x 1 ⅛
D: (1) 9 x 4 x 1 ⅛
E: (1) 12 x 4 x 1 ⅛
F/G: (2) 2 ¼ x 8
1: Remove built-in hardware from back of Gerton table top.
2: Measure and cut your desk pieces using a circular saw, straight edge and clamps.
*see wood cut list above
3: Take notice in the direction of the wood grain on your cut pieces. On piece B, determine the inside, outside, top and bottom edge with a pencil.
4: On PIECE B, use your pocket jig to create 6 pocket holes along the long edge of your board. If you plan to add a recessed plug in your design, determine its location and make sure to leave a gap for it when determining your pocket holes. If you don't have a pocket hole jig at home, simply screw and glue from the back.
***Make sure to set the pocket hole jig to the correct board width. This Ikea gerton table top was a width of 1 1/8.
5: Take PIECE A, determine the top and measure down 18” across.
To start your wood transfer, start by sourcing a Laser Jet Printed Photo (MATTE). Make sure to mirror the photo before printing or the transfer will show up backwards on your board.
Take your laser jet matte photo and decide where you want to place it on your back board - Mark with pencil. Cover the photo side of your print with gel medium and the photo area on Piece A. Place photo side down on the wood top and remove air bubbles using a straight edge. Once happy, apply a last layer on the back of your photo and let dry.
6: Once dry, take a scrub cloth and a bowl of water and begin to soak the photo top. Rub away the gel medium using the scrub cloth, leaving the photo print behind on the wood. This may take a bit of scrubbing, but the photo will begin to surface. If the photo looks a little cloudy, wait for the photo to dry completely and scrub away the rest of the photo using a dry cloth. Proceed with your DIY and it should be ready to fix up when you're finished the rest of your assembly.
7: **OPTIONAL** To add your recessed plug, trace the dimensions of the plug base onto PIECE B and use a 3/4" drill bit to create two holes in opposite corners of the tracing. Using a jigsaw to remove the wood and place your recessed plug inside!
8: Take piece B, add wood glue to the inside edge and place it along your 18” marked line. Clamp in place and secure to Piece A using 1 ½” pocket screws. Once screwed in, the shelf should be snug as a bug in a rug.
9: Determine where you want to place your brass hinges. The hinges used in this DIY has a small protruding area on the flat side, to compensate for that, use a belt sander to take away some of the wood on the edge of piece B and C. Simply mark where your hinge will go, and sand down the area to create a small divot in the wood. If your hinge does not protrude out like this one, move on!
10: Place hinge back on piece B and mark your screw holes. Pre-drill a small hole using a 9/64” drill bit. Screw in place with the packaged hardware screws. Continue this process to attach hinge to piece c.
11: Take pieces F + G, measure and mark 4” and 2” from one edge. At your 2” mark, pre-drill a hole using a 9/64” drill bit.
12: Place pieces F+G on the bottom side of your desk and use your 4” center marking as your guide to line up both pieces with the edge line (folding line) of Piece B + C. Determine the best place for both pieces, where they won't hit each other when swivelled closed, and use your drill bit make a marking on piece B. Use this marking as your guide to pre-drill a hole into Piece B.
Take a 2” wood screw and secure piece F to piece B. Leave enough wiggle room that you can swivel the arm 90 degrees. Repeat steps for piece G.
13: Take your two small blockers and pre-drill a hole in the middle of both
14: These blockers will stop your swivel arms from spinning too far. Swivel pieces F+G vertical and determine its proper upright position. Place your blocker on the opposite side of the 90 degree travel path, mark the drill point with your drill bit and pre-drill a hole into piece C. Secure stoppers to piece C using wood glue and a 2” wood screw.
15: Determine where you want pieces D + E to go on your back board of piece A, Trace their positions using a pencil and use a level to make sure they're not slanted. Pre-drill 2 holes in the traced box through piece A. Add wood glue to both pieces and secure with clamps. You might need a friend for this part! Secure with a 3” wood screw through the back into both D + E.
16: Attach desk to the wall making sure to secure properly to wall studs.
WATCH FULL EPISODE HERE: