DIY

Easy to Follow Porch Swing Plans

Outdoor Pillow | Lumbar Pillows | Rug | Galvanized Metal Planter |Mattress Cover

Last Fall, I built a porch swing bed for my mother-in-law. I documented the process and posted the tutorial here on our blog.

We’ve heard from a lot of people who have used it to make their own swing, which is awesome! But we’ve also been asked if we had plans for our original swing which was a different design, and was actually the one my mother-in-law ended up with. I built it long before we started this blog, which means I didn’t document the process or take and pictures of being built.

So instead of rebuilding it and taking pictures, I modeled it in Sketchup, which is a 3D modeling app. Using the 3D model, I’ve put together easy to follow instructions so you can build this same swing.

Material List

Wood

  • 3 pieces of 1″ x 8″ x 8′ clear pine
  • 8 pieces of 1″ x 6″ x 8′ clear pine
  • 6 pieces of 1″ x 3″ x 8′ clear pine
  • 2 pieces of 2″ x 3″ x 8′ framing lumber
  • 1 piece of 2″ x 4″ x 8′ framing lumber
  • 3 pieces of 1″ x 3″ x 8′ knotty pine

Like the other swing design, this one is really easy to build. All joints are butt joints and there are no complicated cuts.

I’ll mention it throughout this tutorial, but everywhere that two pieces of wood meet, remember to apply some wood glue.

Step 1: Build the Frame

Start by building the bottom frame out of the 1×8’s. You can find the measurements in the illustration. Glue and nail the joints using 2″ finish nails.

Then add the inner frame for support and something to nail the bed slats to. On the sides use the 2×4’s for extra support since that’s where the eye screws will attach.

Make sure the bottom of the 2×4’s are flush with the bottom of the frame. Then glue and nail them to the inside of the frame using 2″ nails. Use the 2×3’s for the front and back making sure the top is even with the top of the 2×4’s as shown in the illustration below.

Next, cut 6 pieces of 1×3 knotty pine to 39″ long and space them out evenly across the inner frame supports as shown in the illustration. Then glue and nail them in place.

Step 2: Build the Posts

Each post is made of a piece of 1×3 and 1×6 cut to 26 1/4″ long. Glue and nail the 1×3 onto the 1×6 as shown below.

Repeat this 3 times so that you have 4 posts. Then glue and nail them onto the frame using 1 1/4″ nails as shown in the illustration below.

Step 3: Add the Rails

Cut two pieces of the 1×6 to 77″ in length. Glue and nail the first one 3/4″ from the top of the frame. And add the second one 3/4″ above the first as shown in the illustration below.

Next, cut 4 pieces of 1×6 to 39 3/4″ long. then glue and nail them to the sides as shown below.

Now it’s time to add the top to the back rails. Cut a piece of the 1×3 to 77″ in length. Then using the measurements in the illustration below, cut notches out of each end.

Then glue and nail it to the top of the back rail.

For the last two side rails, cut two pieces of the 1×6 to 40 1/2″. Then glue and nail them in place 3/4″ above the second rails. This should make the top edge flush with the top of the posts.

For the tops of the two sides, cut two pieces of the 1×3 to 42″ in length and glue and nail one to the top of each side.

Step 4: Add the Trim

The final step to building the swing, is adding some trim around the bottom. Cut two pieces of the 1×3 to 73 1/2″ and two pieces to 29 1/2. Then nail and clue them as shown below.

To add some stability to the back rails, cut a piece of 1×3 to 17 1/2″ and glue and nail it to the back rails in the middle of the swing.

And that’s it! At this point, you can stain or paint it. Then once your swing has dried, you will need to add the screw eyes. You can refer to the last step of our other swing tutorial to learn how to do that.

Outdoor Pillow | Lumbar Pillows | Rug | Galvanized Metal Planter | Mattress Cover

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56 Comments

  • Reply Jeff

    Hi Henry – in the description on the posts, you mention both 1×3 and then 2×3 (as well as 2×6). I assume the 2x’s are in error there but I think that may also be skewing the wood inventory list as well. You show qty 4 of the 2×3’s but I only see those being used as support on the inside of the frame. Am I reading that wrong?

    April 7, 2019 at 1:22 am
    • Reply Henry

      Hi Jeff. Thanks for spotting that! That was a typo in the post instructions. Only 1×3 and 1×6 are used there. And the 2×3’s are only used for the inner frame. Looks like I had too many 2×3’s and no 1×3’s in the material list. It’s fixed now.

      April 7, 2019 at 1:55 am
  • Reply Fran

    Love this swing! What did you use for the bottom cushion? Is it a single bed mattress?

    April 11, 2019 at 2:42 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Hi Fran. Thanks! It is a standard twin bed mattress.

      April 12, 2019 at 1:20 am
      • Reply Jenna

        What’d you use for an outdoor cover on the mattress? Attempting this over the weekend! Thanks!

        May 22, 2019 at 11:56 pm
        • Reply Henry

          We ordered it from World Market. Good luck building your swing!

          May 23, 2019 at 8:40 pm
        • Reply Eddie Winstead

          Could a person use 2×6 and2x4s instead of the 1xs and still make it work the same?

          September 29, 2020 at 9:14 pm
      • Reply Nicki Pasqualone

        I know you used a twin mattress… but how thick is yours? The World Market cover is around 13″ so I figured I needed a 12-13″ mattress. Thanks in advance!

        August 6, 2019 at 6:13 pm
        • Reply Henry

          Ours is about that size. The cover is pretty snug.

          August 13, 2019 at 6:45 pm
  • Reply Alyson

    Hi there! Beautiful home and swing! Do you remember what size rope and eye screws you used?

    April 22, 2019 at 1:38 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Hi! Thanks! The rope is 3/4″ and the eye screws are 1/2″ diameter.

      May 18, 2019 at 1:14 pm
  • Reply Margie

    yes please would love to know where the ropes can be purchased as well as the eye screws

    May 9, 2019 at 7:51 pm
    • Reply Isabella

      I would like to know this as well!

      May 17, 2019 at 10:25 pm
    • Reply Henry

      You can purchase the rope and eye screws at your local hardware store like Lowes or Home Depot.

      May 18, 2019 at 1:08 pm
    • Reply Dipan

      What size of eye bolt you used?

      July 2, 2020 at 7:08 am
  • Reply Jacki

    Hi! Quick question about the rope. What kind of rope is it exactly? Manila? Does it matter what type we use as long as it’s think enough? And do you have a guide on how to hang the bed? We are hanging it on a porch in FL and the ceilings are stucco so are trying to figure out the best way to hang it.

    Thank you for your help! We LOVE how the swing turned out and can’t wait to have it installed!

    May 30, 2019 at 3:00 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      So glad you’ve found our tutorial helpful!! What you see in the picture is 1″ manila rope, but any rope at least 3/4″ should work fine. Here is a tutorial on how to hang it. https://plankandpillow.com/how-to-hang-a-porch-swing/ Make sure you anchor the eye screws into ceiling joists.

      June 5, 2019 at 1:05 pm
  • Reply Irene T.

    This is a beautiful swing. Would you guess at a weight capacity? Most others I have seen were made of 2x4s, but I like the idea of a sleeker look and less (swing) weight on my ceiling joists.

    May 30, 2019 at 8:19 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Thanks! It’s hard to say what the max weight capacity is, but we’ve had almost 500lbs on it at once.

      June 5, 2019 at 1:01 pm
  • Reply teresa kline

    what is the overall finished size of this?

    June 5, 2019 at 12:14 am
    • Reply Brooke

      It’s 78 1/2″ x 40 1/2″.

      June 5, 2019 at 12:58 pm
  • Reply RY

    Hi guys, approximately how much did you spend on wood material?

    June 6, 2019 at 1:05 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Hi! I built it for around $200.

      June 7, 2019 at 9:20 pm
  • Reply Amanda Kay Harris

    Hi. Thanks for the easy to follow instructions for this beautiful swing. The materials list calls for six pieces of 1″x 3″ x 8′ knotty pine. It looks like the the only place the knotty pine is used is for the six slats supporting the mattress. Since you can get two 39″ pieces out of an 8′ board, shouldn’t the materials list only call for three 1″ x 3″ x 8′ knotty pine? Or am I missing something? Thanks!

    June 7, 2019 at 3:31 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Hi Amanda,

      Thanks for pointing this out. You are correct. I’ve made the change to the material list.

      June 7, 2019 at 9:19 pm
    • Reply Adam Rathbun

      I am planning to build this to hang from a big oak limb outside in the elements. I don’t know much about types of wood but is it correct to assume these materials are only for a covered area? What would I need to do to this wood to use in an uncovered area?

      October 30, 2019 at 2:18 pm
      • Reply Brooke

        Hi Adam. Yes, this wood needs to be out of the elements. You should look at using something like Teak Wood. It will be more expensive, but very weather resistant.

        October 31, 2019 at 2:28 pm
  • Reply Grace

    Hi, I would like to know if the pine wood resist the weathered proof? Ive check the best wood for the outdoor from decay is cedar, so does Pine wood decaying after a year since you have already made one ? Whats the best way to protect the pine wood stays outdoor?

    July 18, 2019 at 10:38 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Hi Grace. If your swing is going to be under a porch and protected from rain, then you should be just fine. None of our swings have ever rotted. Henry always stains them and puts a couple coats of polyurethane on them.

      July 22, 2019 at 1:41 am
  • Reply Heidi Y

    Hi – excited to get started on this! What color stain did you use?

    July 31, 2019 at 9:17 pm
    • Reply Henry

      I used Minwax Polyshades Mission Oak. Good luck!!

      August 1, 2019 at 8:50 pm
      • Reply Colby

        In the photo, the stain looks so much lighter than this stain color (found it at Home Depot) did you just apply it very sparingly? Just love the color here and want to replicate it and getting ready to stain mine next weekend. Thank you for all this info!

        July 18, 2020 at 6:59 pm
  • Reply Jeremy

    Hey guys! Watch size are your eye screws? Thanks!

    October 14, 2019 at 12:33 am
  • Reply Renee

    Hello, I want to make this crib size as my patio isn’t large enough for twin size. Do you have the plans for crib size? Thank you

    November 12, 2019 at 2:31 am
  • Reply Renee

    Renee here again. I see the plans for the crib size one you made, however, I like the design of this one better which is why I asked if you had plans for this style in crib size. I’m not a fan of the X,s on the other one. Thank you

    November 12, 2019 at 2:49 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Hi Renee,

      We don’t have a plan for a crib size version of this one, but you could just adjust the dimensions of this one based on the dimensions of the crib size one. I Hope that helps! 🙂

      November 12, 2019 at 1:53 pm
  • Reply Julie

    Love this swing! Where did you find the larger back pillows in the picture?

    April 11, 2020 at 3:20 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      I believe we found those at World Market, but that was a couple of years ago.

      April 14, 2020 at 1:53 am
  • Reply Sarah Coker

    Hello! Thank you for these easy-to-follow instructions! What color stain did you choose?

    April 14, 2020 at 1:16 am
    • Reply Brooke

      You’re welcome. We used Minwax Polyshades Mission Oak.

      April 14, 2020 at 1:54 am
  • Reply Paul B

    Hi, this looks great and I look forward to building it since there is nothing else to do thanks to Covid :-o.

    I’m a little confused on the dimensions. You note that its 78.5″x 27″ and that it’s for a twin mattress but isn’t a twin mattress 35″ wide? Stay safe and healthy!

    April 17, 2020 at 4:20 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Thanks! I think you might have saw that 27″ in one of the comments. That was a mistake. Sorry about that. You can find all of the dimensions in the tutorial.

      April 21, 2020 at 1:18 pm
  • Reply Lisa

    Thank you for these plans! I convinced my husband we needed one of these and we built it today. He couldn’t believe how easy and straightforward your directions were. It took us about 5 hours. All that’s left to do is stain and hang. On other sites I’ve seen people put a flat board over the supports. After sitting on all the ones you’ve built, do you think that would be helpful? I can’t wait to use mine!!!

    April 23, 2020 at 4:17 am
  • Reply Cheryl Ogle

    My husband made it! Looks great. We did chains to hang it up. Great tutorial! Thank you!

    April 23, 2020 at 4:59 pm
  • Reply Jay Loecken

    Did you sand the pine before assembling the porch swing or did you sand it after it was built?

    April 26, 2020 at 5:42 pm
  • Reply Eric

    I’m curious what software you like most for designing.
    Love the way you able to share the step by step design with all of us!

    April 29, 2020 at 4:40 pm
  • Reply Rebecca Christiansen

    Hi, I have been in love with this swing for almost a year now. My husband was planning on making it for me tomorrow with my kids from Mothers Day. He was pricing it out though and said it was more like $400+ for the wood materials when he looked online at Home Depot. Where did you purchase your wood?

    May 8, 2020 at 8:26 pm
    • Reply Jarrett Montgomery

      Hey, I was gonna ask them a question myself but they don’t seem to be around this post (?).
      I bought all the lumber (pressure-treated Spruce) from a local S&H for just under $120.. $400 sounds WAY too much!
      Does your hubbs have any experience? I ask bc I did not initiall, and spent a while understanding the different kinds of lumber.. and my point is pine should not be that expensive even at home Depot, was he looking at some hardwoods?

      May 16, 2020 at 8:16 am
    • Reply JARRETT MONTGOMERY

      Hey, I figured I would help you out: I got my wood from a local S&H and it was only $120!! Even at Home Depot, I’m certain the wood would be less than 200.. is your husband knowledgeable about WW? I was not and took me a bit to understand what to buy. If he was looking at a hardwood that makes more sense, but I got pressure treated pine for my price, which is more water resistant and should work fine

      May 20, 2020 at 8:16 pm
  • Reply Don

    Thanks for the grunt work on these plans, going to make it easy to make. Question on ceiling eye hooks, why 2 on each end, was this to carry weight or for stability? Again great job and thanks

    May 18, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    • Reply Henry

      You’re welcome. Yes to distribute the weight. But you should place the ceiling hooks directly above the hooks on the swing. I had to place them closer together to avoid the ceiling fan.

      June 15, 2020 at 11:36 am
  • Reply Rich Corner

    Hey Rich and Brooke
    These plans, your website and designs are really great . I am planning to build this version ( with the lowered back) this coming weekend …. And was curious if this design is as comfortable as the others having this slightly lower back?? hopefully my question makes sense
    many thanks Rich Corner

    May 25, 2020 at 9:42 pm
  • Reply Debbie

    The design and instructions are so concise, thank you. Do you think it would work to put the robe through boards added along bottom back and front like you did with the crib size swing? I like the idea of the robe through the board instead of the eye hooks.

    June 15, 2020 at 2:29 am
    • Reply Henry

      You’re welcome. Yes, you can definitely do that.

      June 15, 2020 at 11:37 am
  • Reply Amber Godfrey

    Hi, Brooke and Henry ~

    Quick question on the ropes … in looking at the rope / hanging tutorial (different page / different design), there is a brace bar at the bottom of *that* swing, but not this one, where the ropes anchor in, but I cannot tell where you put the holes to feed the rope through on the actual swing in this design’s photo. Can you tell me where (how?) to place the ropes on this swing at the bottom? TIA!!

    June 20, 2020 at 9:54 pm
  • Reply Mako Grznak

    You said you put 2 5 gallon buckets underneath swing to set height. Pic above doesn’t look that high off deck.

    August 26, 2020 at 3:52 am
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