How to Make a DIY Porch Swing
There is something so relaxing about a porch swing! As soon as you add the ability to sway back and forth on a pretty bench, the space becomes more peaceful. I have that big ol’gazebo on the front deck and was unsure what I was going to do with the space. It needed to be something that we would use however I didn’t think another table to eat at was appropriate. When we were given this headboard/footboard that had belonged to my husbands great Aunt, I knew right away that we would make a bench swing with it and that it would be perfect in that space. It was a fairly big project but the reward of the gorgeous swing for the years to come was so worth the effort. Good luck and enjoy. Be sure to follow the blog to see more DIY’s and projects!
Porch Swing Materials
- Headboard and footboard
- Solid wood door
- 2″ screws
- 2×4′ Board
- Jute Rope
- White Duck tape
- 2- 3″ O Rings
Instructions for Making a DIY Porch Swing
You will likely want to keep the full length of the headboard as it is main component. The foot board will be the sides, the door the seat, and the headboard will be the back of the swing. Ensure the door is solid wood or this project might not go so well when the first person goes to sit on your swing. Begin by determining how wide you want to your swing to be. We made our sideboards 20 inches and the door seat 17 inches. Cutting of both the the foot board and the door will based on your desired dimensions.
Cut both the foot board and the door to desired width. Next measure the size of the headboard to establish the seat length. You will want to measure in on the sides approximately 2″ in on the headboard to insure that the arms will have a spot to attach too. Mark your measurements out on your door/seat and cut appropriately.
Some and paint and some sanding will turn this odd looking pairing into a great piece.
The swing will be attached with jute rope that was feed through two holes in each of the sides. Rope is here was around half an inch. To reduce the chance of splinters when drilling rope holes, make sure to initiate holes on both sides when the smaller bit penetrates through. Hole location will determine how the swing hangs!! So try to test how it will hang before drilling the holes.
After you have the holes drilled, you will need to find the location to hang the swing. Make sure that when you are attaching the O ring to the roof that you have it in a beam. Stud finder is best way to determine this. Use large O rings here, 3 inches at least. Desired bench hang height will be dependant on you leg size but we put our around 17 inches off the deck. For our deck we needed about 30 ft of rope to make this happen.
You will now attach all your parts together. Place the arms that you have made out of the footboard on the front side of the headboard and using 2″ screws, attach the arms through the back of the headboard. Repeat for the opposite side. Now attach the seat by drilling through the arms of the bench. Screw through the back of the bench to stabilize the seat to the headboard as well. As the screws and the door will not be strong enough to hold multiple persons, put in support beam below the seat to brace the door as well. A vertical 2×4 did the trick for us.
I also had to cover a few large areas that were cut out of the wood because it was originally used as a bed frame. I used an amazing paper clay product from Iron Orchid Designs to make my detailed moulds and I am so happy with how these turned out. See the full tutorial for the clay moulds here.
To hang the swing, simply thread the rope through one side, tying it off on the inside with a strong knot, continue threading through the O-ring and back through the second hole, tying it off again on the inside.
One last trick to note, no matter how well you place your holes the swing may not sit exactly how you want it. To stop it from sliding back get some tape and wrap it at the top of the rope just below the O ring to stop the rope from moving up and down. A little white duck tape did the trick for us in this case. Secure the tape when the bench is at desired angle.
Finished Porch Swing
The only thing left to do is to fill up the wine glasses, kick back and relax.
I hope you enjoyed my DIY Salvaged Porch Swing! Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. You can also shop my front porch here.