Rest up in a 'Doctor Who' Tardis bed for sleepy Time Lords

Does your guest room have a time machine disguised as a bed? Crafty Whovian Jennifer Tuttle tells us how she built a Murphy bed to save space and impress geeky visitors from any galaxy.

Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
3 min read

This Murphy bed is bigger on the inside than the outside, just like the Tardis!

Jennifer Tuttle

"Doctor Who" fans are a crafty bunch. They've built life-size Tardis props, cat playhouses, bathrooms, deluxe soda machines, 3D-printed Transformers, and even a Tardis stroller. So when Whovian Jennifer Tuttle published on her blog her trials and tribulations in building a Tardis Murphy bed from scratch, fans everywhere were in awe.

The Florida-based crafter said she felt cramped in her two-bedroom condo. She needed a space-saving bed for overnight visitors, so her guest room could also serve as a home office and crafting area.

"Space is extremely limited in my condo," Tuttle told Crave. "The old furniture, which was slated for donation, was still in the guest room until the weekend before installation, which meant the Tardis couldn't be assembled in the guest room."

That left my living room, my kitchen table and my patio," Tuttle told Crave. "Tools and paint cans took most of the real estate on my kitchen counter during the build. Materials were stashed anywhere I could make them fit, and the power tools were on the patio."

Some challenges in building a Murphy bed frame included initially buying improper materials, making the wrong cuts, working alone and dealing with a cranky Home Owners Association that didn't like seeing a table saw on her patio.

Tuttle told Crave: "I received an email toward the end of my project indicating as much. It didn't seem to matter that [the table saw] was getting regular use. I suppose I was probably single-handedly driving down the values of all the homes in my neighborhood."

Once the Murphy bed began to take shape, Tuttle was able to add details that truly transformed it into the famous "Doctor Who" Tardis.

"Rather than use just plain wide boards, I selected a variety of trim pieces that I combined to add a little more dimension," Tuttle told Crave.

For her Tardis paint choice, Tuttle chose La Fonda Midnight Blue. And for the famous police box sign, she found the highest resolution of the image, ordered an 11x7 inch print and secured it to the bed with Mod Podge.

"When I first considered the Murphy bed, I immediately thought 'bigger on the inside,' but I have to admit that I giggled like a little girl when I realized how perfect the instructions 'pull to open' would be," Tuttle told Crave.


On top of the police box frame is a solar-powered lantern, which Tuttle painted blue to match the Tardis.

Jennifer Tuttle

"People have commented that it would be cool if the top lantern was operational and could work as a night light," Tuttle told Crave. "It can. It's just a solar-powered light, so during the day it recharges and at night it illuminates."

Inside the frame, Tuttle also installed reading lights that have three levels of brightness. "They operate at the touch of a button -- attached to the headboard," Tuttle told Crave.

When the bed was complete, Tuttle added finishing touches like Tardis interior-inspired pillows and a 10th Doctor suit duvet cover from Redbubble.

Tuttle has plans for making her own "Doctor Who" bedding as well. "I want to sew white sheets with a thick red stripe at either side like suspenders, a tweed-like duvet with buttons down the middle, and a giant red bow-tie-shaped throw pillow," Tuttle told Crave. "After all, bow ties are cool."

For those who want to follow in her crafty footsteps, Tuttle has some advice for her fellow Whovians.

"Do it!" Tuttle told Crave. "I won't say it was easy. It was definitely a challenge. Maybe I was just too naïve to know better, but what better way to learn? The Internet is full of (video) tutorials for learning to use tools you've never used before, so there's really no excuse not to try."


Even Time Lords deserve a good night's rest in this cozy Tardis.

Jennifer Tuttle