Are you thinking of making a DIY porch swing?
Is this something you can do easily even if you’re a beginner?
Or is it better to have some building experience if you’re going to try a project like this?
A porch swing is not too challenging to build, and even if you’re a beginner you should have no trouble figuring out how to go about this type of project by following the guide listed below. Although you will need to know how to use some tools to accomplish this task, the skills required are entry-level ones.
Of course, making anything yourself takes time, patience, and effort. Be sure you have plenty of time to set aside to complete this job, and ensure you have enough money in your budget to buy good-quality materials without cutting corners on anything.
This project should be able to be completed without help, but it will go faster if you have a second person to assist you. It’s up to you to choose whether or not you want to work on it by yourself, however.
Follow the steps in the guide we’ve put together below to help you get started building your very own porch swing.
- 1Begin by making your lumber cuts. Cut one of the 1x4x8 pieces in half and leave the other two whole. Cut one 2x4 to 21-9/16” on an angle. Cut one into three 16” lengths. Cut the remaining three in half. With one of the halves, cut two 12” lengths and one 19-1/2” length. Cut the remaining two halves into four 18” lengths. Alternately, you can have the hardware store do this for you.
- 2Set up two 48” 1x4x8 pieces to form the front and back of the swing frame. Set up the 18” lengths between these two boards, 14” apart from each other, to form the slats.
- 3Drill 1-1/2” pocket holes in the slats and attach them and then drill the pocket hole screws into place. Secure with wood glue to complete the frame.
- 4Drill pocket holes into your 16” boards and attach them to the remaining 48” board using screws and wood glue. This will form the back of the swing.
- 5Drill pocket holes into the diagonal pieces you cut earlier and attach them on an angle to the horizontal boards on the swing back to add support.
- 6Use wood glue and pocket screws to attach the back of the swing to the front swing seat frame. Make sure everything is flush and level and that all screw holes are facing the back of the swing.
- 7Using your 48” 2x4 pieces, attach the four seat slats about ½” apart from each other on the swing seat frame using pocket screws and wood glue.
- 8Build arm rests by attaching one 12” piece to the front of the swing on either side. Then attach one 19-1/2” piece to connect the front of the arm rest to the back of the swing. As with all the other steps, use pocket screws and wood glue to attach these securely.
- 9Double-check all screws and add any in locations that may need extra support. Be sure to let the wood glue dry before continuing.
- 10Finish, stain, or paint the swing, depending on your preferences. Choose something that will look nice with your existing porch décor and furnishings. Remember that paint will need to be touched up more often than stain. Do not leave the wood natural, as it is likely to cause splinters and will not hold up well to the elements or to pests.
- 11Screw in the mounting hardware to the arms and back of the swing and attach the chains.
- 12Attach the remaining mounting hardware to the roof of your porch, making sure to select a durable support beam for this.
- 13Hang the swing using the chain and enjoy!
Build a Stand
What happens if you don’t have anywhere you can safely hang your swing? In this section, you can find out how to make a simple stand for your DIY porch swing needs. Keep in mind that there are many different variations of swing stands out there, and if you’re looking for something affordable, it is probably much cheaper to buy a metal frame from a store instead of building your own.
However, if you prefer a challenge or you’re looking for something that will match your DIY swing perfectly, then building your porch swing stand is a great option. Take a look at this guide to help you get started on the path to putting together the perfect stand for your new swing. This is a great way to utilize your swing even when you don’t have a covered porch you can easily hang it from, or when your porch isn’t strong enough to support it.
- 1Cut the 4x4 pieces of lumber to the height you want for your swing.
- 2Use the circular saw to make several small cuts in one side of the 4x4 pieces, then use a hammer to break away the end corners. Use a chisel to smooth out.
- 3Attach pieces of lumber cut at an angle to provide support on either side of the swing legs.
- 4Screw a 2x6 piece of lumber across the front and back of the bottom of each leg for even more support.
- 5Repeat the process from before of cutting small notches in the support beam piece and then hammering out the larger notches you’ll use to attach it to the swing legs. Secure these pieces together using the interlocking notches as well as screws.
- 6Check that everything is level before continuing.
- 7Attach short angled pieces for support on the front and back of both corners of the swing stand.
- 8At this point, you can choose to finish the frame hang your swing from it as-is. You may also want to build a roof using 2x6 pieces of lumber and slats meant for porch roofing. This is optional.
- 9When finishing the frame, be sure to stain it before hanging your swing. If you will be painting it instead of staining it, remember that you’ll probably need to touch up the paint job yearly to keep it looking nice.
As you can see, it’s not too hard to build a porch swing on your own. Just be sure you take your time and ask another capable adult for assistance if you need to. With a little planning and patience, even a beginner should be able to complete this job. And don’t forget to try making the stand listed above, too! If you don’t have anywhere safe to hang your porch swing, a stand is a must for your new place to sit.