A porch swing adds a sense of relaxation to your porch or decking area, especially for your kids.
Also, a porch swing can be a fun project that looks great on almost any type of porch if you’ve got some basic power tools and knowledge of how to use them.
Are you considering a DIY porch swing? Great, we’ve got you covered.
But before we dive into the details, if you’re considering purchasing a porch swing online, I’d recommend checking out this best porch swing review guide by Royal Hammock Headquarters. I found it recently and thought it was pretty helpful.
OK, let’s swing right into it…And please excuse the bad puns!
Measure the Space Where You Want to Install the Swing
This part will determine the length of your porch swing. Consider how tall the back of the seat and how deep the seat will be.
Top tip, measure the back and seat of a chair that you are comfortable with and base your sizes on that. Here are some ideas for common sizes of chairs if you’re not sure.
Choose the Materials You’ll Use for Building Your Swing
As long as the parts are strong and thick enough to support the weight they’ll carry, birch, juniper, cypress, fir or cedar will work equally well. However, redwood will be the ideal option for a lot of projects. Do not use treated yellow pine.
You can look at a range of old, reclaimed and restored teak wood furniture items for more inspiration.
Gather Materials, Fasteners and Tools
Set up a Table to Work on
You can create a makeshift table using a pair of metal sawhorses with a sheet of plywood. However, any surface that’s flat offers a work-space. Make sure that it has the height that you’re comfortable with.
And most importantly of it, make sure to keep all other items (including yourself!) out of harms way when you are cutting. It’s too easy to get a piece of clothing caught up in the saw.
Frame the Seat and Seat Back
Any durable 1x or 2x material would work. A lot of people use 2×6 tongue-and-groove since it improves the stability of the porch swing.
For this design, you need to have 3 long pieces for the primary framing. You can use cedar logs that are kiln-dried. This material is great for a lot of outdoor application since it is pest-resistant and weather-resistant.
These characteristics also mean that you’ll find this kind of material on a lot of outdoor bin-stores, for example the ones that we reviewed previously.
Cut the Pieces to Length
First, build the frame of the seat. It is just a big rectangle made by joining 2 short sections of cedar with 2 longer sections. You can use mortise-and-tenon joints for the seat.
You can create this by using a unique system of tenon cutters and forstner bits. First, using the tenon cutter, sharpen the end of one log. Next, cut a corresponding hole where the 2 pieces will join using a forstner bit and a strong ½’’ electric drill.
Assemble the Frame and Back
Assemble and secure using exterior screws after every piece is cut and drilled. Repeat this step for the other side of the bottom frame. Build the back using the similar method of forstner bits and tenon cutters.
Here’s how that looks on a video:
Set the vertical supports for the back into the seat’s rear brace. Utilize a log for the upper back brace. To fit over the vertical support, make sure it is mortised. Using exterior screws, secure every joint.
Basically, the armrest is an “L” that is anchored into the vertical back supports and outer frame of the seat with the similar mortise-and-tenon joinery.
Make Two Armrest and Armrest Supports
In short, the armrest would be around 18-20 inches long and 8 inches high. For the armrest supports, cut two wedge-shaped boards about 13 inches long. It should be tapered ¾ inch on one end and 2 ¾ inches on the other.
For the actual armrest, cut two more boards 22 inches long. For the armrest itself, it should be tapered on one end from 1 ½ inches to complete width in 10 inches.
Fill in the Seat and Back
To hold the seat material, screw or nail a 1x support together with the inside of the bottom frame. Cut the material of the seat to the correct width and secure it to the frame. Do this process for the back of the seat.
Attach the Hardware
To fasten the swing to the chain, you will need four connection points. In addition to that, to fasten the chain to the porch, you will need another two connection points. Pre-drill and insert large hooks or screw eyelets into the backrest and seat frame. Attach anchors or hooks to the hanging location and run a chain between.
Outside of the Porch
Maybe you want to build this swing but not on your porch? You could attach it between trees or make some posts that just sit on your outdoor decking area.
In this case, you will probably still want some shade and weather protection overhead. If you want to get a parasol, this could sit over the top of your porch swing to give extra protection.