Introduction: Industrial DIY Wall Sconces for a Murphy Bed

About: Part MacGyver, part Martha, creator, host and producer of Engineer Your Space, an award winning DIY home design show dedicated to clever, affordable and stylish solutions for common challenges faced by renters…

This project came to life when I needed to find a solution for incorporating lighting into a Murphy Bed that I build for a studio apartment. The overall style of the space is industrial and utilitarian and that's what inspired the design for these DIY walls sconces with LED light strips.

Step 1: Making the Wall Panel

The first part of the project was to build the wall panel to cover the bare wall at the back of the Murphy Bed. It had to be 1" thick or less to not interfere with the mattress and bedding so I chose to build it with 1/4" plywood and 1"x2" furring strips. I had to be very careful to make sure it was perfectly square to fit inside the opening. To accommodate the wall sconces, I made 2 openings ( 3" wide) and covered the top and bottom with a piece of the 1/4" plywood to leave about a 10" opening for the actual light part. The video shows in more detail all the steps and you'll see exactly what I did.

Step 2: Adding LED Lights

I found narrow led light strips that were the perfect width for what I wanted to do. I attached the clips, tested that the lights fit in them OK and then I secured the wires behind the panel. I made sure there was an opening wide enough to let the wires pass at the bottom of the panel.

Step 3: Staining, Painting and Adding the Backing

I stained the front of the panels to match the outside of the Murphy Bed (I used a Varathane stain called briar smoke) and used some silver metallic paint to make the area around the lights look like metal.

To reflect more light and make it look even more industrial, I screwed a metal panel to the back of the panel lined up to cover the back opening of the lights.

I chose to make the section above and below the wall sconces black to highlight them more. At this point, the only missing was some sort of cover.

Step 4:

This is what the sconces looked like without a cover - I wanted to give them an even more industrial look so I decided to make a cover for them using metal wire mesh. I cut the mesh with metal snips to be slightly larger than the opening. To edges were very sharp and pointy, so I used left over iron on wood veneer edging to make a border for mesh (it was very was surprisingly easy to do with the iron). Then I used more of that metallic paint to transform the wood edging into looking more like metal.

Then to complete the industrial look, I used sheet metal screws to attach the covers to the wall panel.

Step 5: Paint the Rest of the Inside of the Murphy Bed

Sunsets were the inspiration for the colors on the inside of the Murphy bed so I painted the inside of the Murphy bed in this golden orange color to mimic that. And with the lights on, it almost looks like the sun is setting inside the Murphy bed with the pattern from the light reflecting onto the sides!

Indoor Lighting Contest

Participated in the
Indoor Lighting Contest