Learn how to make a comfortable porch swing for summer!
Recently I was at a friend’s place and he got this bright idea of us hanging out at the porch. Before this, the idea of porch swing had never crossed my mind before maybe because of how basic it looked and felt. But on this day, the idea couldn’t just leave my head.
We sat there the whole afternoon swinging back and forth sipping on some lemonade as the kind afternoon breeze swept across our faces. The feeling was heavenly that I could not bear going another afternoon without it. So, I got the bright idea of setting up my own swing and capturing the best views. Making your own porch swing is a wonderful DIY project for your yard and garden, it also makes a great place to relax and enjoy the summer!
I had to make my own
As soon as I got home, I measured out the size of my porch. Of course you don’t want a swing that takes out the entire space and since this is a DIY, you can make it as small or as big as the space you have available. While measuring out, you need to make sure that you have enough space about two feet or more left on either side so you can get that swing.
Pick out your wood beam and because this is where you will bolt the hardware. I would advise you go for a 2’×6’ wood beam that should be able to hold at least 500 pounds. After you have this in place, consider the view (it is very important!) while the lush green of the lawn is quite calming being in a location that allows for some fresh air will be a great plus.
With regard to the swing, you might want to do a little bit of digging to find the one that works best for you. Even though the function is the same, the design is usually different. I have come across designs that range from traditional wood resin to wicker, metal bound, and even wood palette DIY projects! There is also a plethora of colors and shapes to choose from.
Unless you don’t mind having to go to the store multiple times to grab an item you missed, I suggest that you write everything down. Stainless steel, screw-in hooks, screws, eyebolts and S-hooks are the ones that you should not forget. You can also throw in some chain connectors and heavy duty chains (you will need about four of these) that are about 7 feet each. If you have a drill and bit kit make sure it is fully charged.
Photo: The Cottage Journal
Get down to it…
Attaching the swing hooks is the science in the project. I had to take mine down a couple of times before I figured the best way to position the hooks. The hooks are best installed when they are at least 4” wider than the length of the swing. This way, the weight is distributed more evenly and the chains don’t rub against each other. Also when drilling the holes, you need to use a drill bit that is one size smaller than the hooks so they stick when you drive them in.
Once the hooks are on, the rest is more of a cake walk. You just attach the chains. If you haven’t done this before, most swing manufacturers will come with a manual to help with the direction. Make sure that all the chains are secure.
Photo: Design Chic
Hang up your Swing!
When all the chains are in place, you will need to ask a friend to help you hang the swing. Grab a ladder so adjusting the chains when the need arises is easier. For the best results I recommend the swing to be about 19” off the ground. If you would like to have it fit in with your home’s decorating, consider sewing some cushions to size as well as some throw pillows!
Customize with a Wood Router
I noticed a neat trick at my friends place. He had used a wood router on the back rest of his swing to curve out some interesting shapes. I bet the shapes were designs from his kids. It is a great way to give your swing a personal touch and even involve your kids in the project. It is always fun.
If you happen to have a wood router, this is something you can easily do, you can also check out the the buyer guide (available at Best Wood Router Reviews – The Nutty DIY Guide) if you have been thinking of getting one for this and future projects.
Once all the hard work is done, it is time to relax and test out your swing. Grab a cup of tea (and maybe a newspaper) sit back and start kicking your legs. The swinging motion should be with you in no time.