How to Build a Crib Mattress Porch Swing

Since posting my original porch swing bed tutorial, I’ve gotten a lot of requests for a smaller version. Bed swings are large since they are made to fit a twin mattress, and they do take up a lot of room on a porch. So it’s understandable that someone would rather have a smaller swing.

My sister-in-law has also been wanting a swing for her front porch, and after measuring, it’s not quite deep enough for a bed swing. So this was a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. I could build a swing for my sister-in-law, and document the process for a tutorial.

Let’s get started. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Finish Nailer
  • Tape Measurer
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Stain
  • Wood Filler
  • Miter Saw
  • Sand Paper
  • 1 1/4″ Finish Nails
  • 2″ Finish Nails


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

As always, I try to keep my DIY tutorials simple so they’re easy for anyone to do. All joints are butt joints using wood glue and finish nails.

Plans and Instructions

The first step is to build the frame out of the 1×4’s. Here I used the 2″ finish nails.

Next, I added 2 pieces of the 1×2 to the inside of the frame on each end. I placed these 3/4″ from the top as seen in the diagram below.

Then I added a 1×3 in the middle. These three pieces will support the boards that form the seating underneath the mattress.

I then cut 4 pieces of the 1×6″ to 50 1/2″ in length and glued and nailed them onto the seat supports.

I cut 8 pieces of the 1×3″ to 20″ in length to make the posts for each corner of the frame.

Two pieces make up one post. I applied a bead of glue down one edge.

Forming an “L” shape I placed the other piece of 1×3 on top of the piece with the glue. After making sure the edges were perfectly lined up, I nailed the two pieces together with 2″ nails.

Once I had all four posts made, I glued and nailed them to the frame using 1 1/4″ nails.

After all four posts were nailed and glued in place, I added the top rails. These are cut from the 1×3’s. See the image below for placement and lengths.

Making the side X’s was the most difficult part of building this swing, but having me provide the angles and measurements should make it easier for you.

Each X is made of 3 pieces of 1×3.

The first piece is the longest. I cut each end of this piece at a 59 degree angle as shown in the diagram below.

The next two pieces are identical. I cut one end at 59 degrees and the other at 31 degrees.

After I cut all six pieces, I glued and nailed them in place as seen below.

Next I added the back rail, which I cut from a piece of 1×4.

I then cut all three pieces for the top caps for the sides and back of the swing. For this I used 1×3’s. I cut the ends where they meet at a 45 degree angle. See measurements and placement below.

For some added detail, I added trim around the bottom of the swing. I cut four pieces from the 1×2 and glued and nailed them in place.

Then I added one more piece to the back for added support. I cut this piece from the 1×4.

On all the other swings I’ve built, I’ve always used eye screws to connect the rope. But I thought I would try something a little different for this one. Instead of the eye screws, I used two 2×3’s nailed and glued to the bottom of the swing as shown below.

Then using a 3/4″ drill bit, I drilled a hole though each one for the rope to run through.

After I drilled the final hole, I sanded and stained the swing. After I get this swing put up at my sister-in-law’s house, I’ll write a tutorial on how to hang a swing, and include some more shots of this swing in it’s completed form.I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found it helpful! And by the way, here are instructions on how to hang a swing.

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  • Reply Becca

    Wow! I found this post just in time as we were headed to HD to buy materials it dawned on my that our front porch may be too small. We also have a crib mattress sitting in our closet from our toddler so win-win! Can’t wait to follow along for how to hang the swing. Thank you so much for these posts!

    May 11, 2019 at 4:44 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Hi Becca. That’s great! I’m glad it’s going to be a help to you. Good luck making your swing!

      May 11, 2019 at 5:57 pm
  • Reply lara

    Quick question I know with the bigger size you were able to find the cover at wold market is there anywhere that you could find the toddler size without breaking the bank or would this have to be a custom job for the cover:(? I also cannot fit the bigger one on my porch so grateful for your post.

    May 12, 2019 at 10:02 pm
  • Reply Rob

    Thanks for this post. I am about to start the project. It’s exactly what we want for our front porch. I’ve read thru the instructions and would like to clarify the size boards for the first step. Do you build the frame with 1 x 3’s or 1 x 4’s? Thanks in advance for your reply.

    May 13, 2019 at 5:37 pm
    • Reply Henry

      You’re welcome. The frame should be 1×4’s. Sorry about that and thanks for bringing it to my attention. I’ve made the correction in the article. Good luck with your swing!

      May 13, 2019 at 5:51 pm
  • Reply Stephan

    Hey, this is a great post, thanks for putting it up!
    Is it hard to adapt the swing side X’s you do here to a bigger swing like you made here:

    Also, where do you recommend getting wood for the project?

    June 1, 2019 at 10:30 pm
    • Reply Henry

      You’re welcome! It would require a little geometry using the dimensions of the bigger swing. When I get some free time, I’ll figure out the angles and lengths.

      June 6, 2019 at 1:55 pm
      • Reply Stephan

        Awesome, thanks!

        June 6, 2019 at 4:49 pm
  • Reply Stephan

    Awesome, thanks!

    June 6, 2019 at 4:22 pm
  • Reply Ashlee

    I think a step was skipped in the instructions….the 4 planks for the seat, the measurements and material. I am guessing 4- 1x 6 @ 50 1/2 inches?

    June 7, 2019 at 8:17 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Yes, you are correct. I’ve added that step to the article. Thanks for pointing that out!

      June 7, 2019 at 9:14 pm
      • Reply JB

        Did you do any sort of flame torching to antique this swing or just sand/stain? Do you mind sharing what stain you used? Thanks

        August 13, 2019 at 2:24 pm
        • Reply Henry

          I just sanded and stained it. I used Minwax Polyshades Mission Oak.

          August 13, 2019 at 6:34 pm
  • Reply Lara

    Love the stain you used could you tell me that brand and color or mixture of colors?

    June 8, 2019 at 8:04 pm
    • Reply Henry

      It is Minwax Polyshades Mission Oak.

      July 30, 2019 at 10:19 pm
  • Reply Jeff

    Very nice swing. Can you please tell me what gauge finish nails you used. Are they 16? Thanks!

    June 16, 2019 at 2:52 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Thanks! They are 16 ga.

      July 30, 2019 at 10:21 pm
  • Reply Bob Huddleston

    I used a modified version of your plans (combined the twin size construction with a crib size mattress), and the results are amazing. Thanks for the detailed instructions. This is one of the nicest pieces of furniture I’ve ever built, and my wife loves it! She made the cover for the crib mattress, and made a couple of pillows also. If you’ll send me an email address, I’ll gladly send some pics of the finished project. Thanks again.

    July 22, 2019 at 1:06 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Hi Bob. You’re very welcome and sounds like you did an amazing job! You can send them to henry at Can’t wait to see it!

      July 30, 2019 at 10:23 pm
    • Reply Jen

      Hi Bob! That’s exactly what I’m hoping to do! Any suggestions for combining to two plans?

      August 18, 2019 at 3:16 pm
  • Reply John

    Henry what a great swing. I made a half lap joint on my x braces but made the rest pretty much. My daughter wanted the back a little higher so modified that a little bit also. Turned out nice, great plan thank you.

    July 26, 2019 at 9:18 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Hi John. That’s awesome! The half lap joint sounds like a great idea. I probably should have done mine that way, but didn’t want to get too fancy. 🙂

      July 30, 2019 at 10:24 pm
  • Reply Ashley

    My husband just built this swing for me and it looks amazing! Thanks so much for the detailed instructions! I was getting ready to order a mattress and cover from Etsy, but am getting a little nervous that standard size for crib is 52 inches in length, but the inside dimensions of this swing are only 50.5. Will a crib mattress fit?

    October 13, 2019 at 7:08 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Hello Ashley! We used a crib size mattress, so yes, it worked! Let us know if you have any problems.

      November 18, 2019 at 7:53 pm
  • Reply Dwayne

    I just wanted to say great job on the detail of this tutorial. I was not sure if I wanted to try this but your webpage had inspired me

    November 15, 2019 at 10:37 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Hello Dwayne! Thank you for the kind words! You should for sure build one and let us know how it goes!

      November 18, 2019 at 7:52 pm

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