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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21 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 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 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 27″.

      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

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