DIY Porch Swing

Imagine lazy afternoons spent swinging on a handmade porch swing.

The Seat

A porch swing is a comfortable place to relax or read.A porch swing is a comfortable place to relax or read.
Pass the lemonade, or count the stars while swaying in the breeze. Although a porch swing project requires some prior carpentry skills, it is well worth the effort. This swing can be hung from any sturdy roof or suspended on a frame. Use your imagination with paint colors and enhance your swing with outdoor pillows or other decor. This is a terrific project for those looking for additional porch seating.

Cut two lengths of 2-by-4 inch pine, each measuring 48 inches. These pieces form the front and back of the seat.

Cut two more lengths from the 2-by-4 inch pine, each measuring 19 inches. These will be seat sides.

Place the two longer sides parallel to each other and 19 inches apart. Put the seat sides in between the long pieces to form a rectangle. Glue the meeting areas together, then screw them together with wood screws.

Cut another 19 inch long piece of the 2-by-4 inch pine, and screw it onto the center of the rectangle. This rectangle is the seat frame.

Cut four lengths of pine decking measuring 48 inches long apiece. These will be seat slats.

Screw the seat slats to the seat frame. Screw each slat onto the frame in three places: the seat support in the middle, and the two seat sides.

The Back

Cut two back supports from 2-by-4 inch pine. Each support should measure 16 inches long.

Cut three pieces of pine decking measuring 48 inches long. These will be slats for the back of the porch swing.

Place the two back supports on a flat surface. Position them so that they are parallel to each other, and 41 inches apart.

Screw the eye bolts through the front and back of the arm supports.

Finishing

Cut two pieces of 1-by-4 inch pine, each measuring 26 inches. These will be the arms for the swing.

Cut four pieces of 2-by-4 inch pine, each measuring 11 1/2 inches. These boards will support the arms.

Place the seat of the chair on a flat surface. On each corner, screw on the arm supports. Line the arms up perfectly with the ends of the seat. Secure each screw with a lag bolt.

Glue and screw the two arms to the top of the arm supports. The arms will overhang a little bit on both sides.

Position the back of the swing between the two arms. Ask an assistant to hold it on a comfortable angle, while you attach it with two lag bolts on each side. Make sure to attach it in the same place on both sides.

Fill any cracks or holes in wood with wood filler. Sand all rough edges of the swing. Apply a high-quality outdoor stain.

Swing Installation

Choose an area on the porch to hang the swing. There should be enough clearance for swing movement.

Screw two eye bolts on each arm piece at equal distance apart. These will hold the chains.

Measure the distance between the eye bolts on each side of the swing. Locate a sturdy beam where the swing will hang and mark this distance. Drill holes in the beam and install the lag hooks.

Hang the heavy-duty chains from the swing. Ask a helper to lift the swing into place.

Things You Will Need

  • 20 linear feet of 2-by-4-inch pine
  • Power saw
  • Wood glue
  • Wood screws
  • 30 linear feet of pine decking
  • 5 linear feet of 1-by-4-inch pine
  • Lag screws
  • Wood filler
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill
  • 4 eye bolts, 3 inch in diameter
  • 4 swing lag screw hooks
  • Tape measure
  • 4 pieces of heavy-duty chain, 8 feet long

Tips

  • Cut the ends of the arms of the swing for a more rounded look.
  • Make the swing more comfortable by adding pillows or cushions.

Warnings

  • Wear safety protection when operating power tools.
  • Assess the integrity of the the porch ceiling before hanging the swing.

About the Author

Susan Patterson is a health and gardening advocate. She is a Master Gardener, Certified Metabolic Typing Advisor and a Certified Health Coach with vast experience working with organic gardening and nutrition. Her passions include sustainable living, organic foods and functional fitness. Patterson has been writing and presenting on health and gardening topics for 10 years.