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.

After you build the swing, you’ll be wondering where to get a cover for the crib mattress. We’ve found a great website where you can order a cover in any custom size.

Now let’s build a swing!

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

Before you get started, I recommend grabbing the printable PDF to make your build much easier.

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 27.5 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 its 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 Laura

        Could this set 2 people? Also is there a reason for doing the x’s?? The original design looks easier!!

        June 28, 2020 at 3:48 am
        • Reply Samantha

          Yes, I built it following the directions and my 6’2 bf and I sit comfortably.

          We did not do the X’s as I had ordered the wood and the pieces for the X’s were just too warped to make them work. We may add them later, but currently my bf likes being able to stick his feet out of the hole. If you have large enough side cushions they won’t fall out.

          April 23, 2023 at 1:20 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 Elizabeth

        Love this idea as we have 2 toddler mattresses since we had twins. We also need a smaller swing for our porch do this is perfect! How many people fit on the swing and do you have any idea of the weight limit? Also, guessing you stained or used poly on the wood. What exactly did you do? Thank you in advance for your answers.

        September 27, 2020 at 11:55 am
  • 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 Amy Tilley

        Did you ever post the dimensions for adapting the X’s in the full day bed size swing?

        May 13, 2020 at 7:35 pm
      • Reply Melissa Moore

        any dimensions yet

        May 28, 2020 at 1:48 am
  • Reply Stephan

    Awesome, thanks!

    June 6, 2019 at 4:22 pm
    • Reply Sheri Allen

      Where can I find the rope needed?

      May 8, 2020 at 10:26 pm
    • Reply Samantha

      Hi! Just curious – how do you keep the crib mattress dry? Is this under a covered porch? Sorry if it’s a silly question! It’s beautiful but we only have a pergola so it would get wet from time to time.

      June 5, 2020 at 4:31 am
  • 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 Will Cuniu

        When I went to purchase mission oak it looked much darker than what the picture shows. How has it held up over the past year?

        October 22, 2020 at 11:57 am
  • 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
  • Reply Billy

    Love this design! How much weight do you think this could support. Haven’t decided whether to use rope or chain, but was worried the 1x lumber may reduce the capacity. Thoughts?

    February 10, 2020 at 12:53 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Hi Billy. It’s very sturdy. I know my sister’s has had two grown men on it at once. So that is over 350 lbs. We used 3/4″ rope on hers, but you could go wtih 1″. I personly prefer the look of the rope.

      February 15, 2020 at 6:41 pm
  • Reply Kris

    I can’t wait to build this. I’ve had it open in my tabs for months 😁. Thanks so much for the awesome tutorial and plans!

    February 15, 2020 at 5:46 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Hi Kris. That’s great! You’re very welcome.

      February 15, 2020 at 6:42 pm
  • Reply Stephanie

    I’m having a problem with the measurements of our X’s. Can you please email me?

    April 1, 2020 at 4:32 pm
    • Reply Martha

      Stephanie, I’m having the same problem, the length and angle isn’t quite working for me. Did you figure it out?

      April 25, 2020 at 11:13 pm
      • Reply Amy

        Did anyone ever figure out the CORRECT measurements for the X’s? These measurements are not correct. Seems like several getting stuck here

        May 24, 2020 at 8:52 pm
  • Reply Kyle

    Hello. Love the design and instructions. I do have one question though. I cut the X’s as specified. However, this made the X’s fit on the exterior of the base rather than the interior as shown in the pictures. Are different lengths and angles required to install as shown in the picture? Thanks for the help.

    April 11, 2020 at 2:44 am
    • Reply Sussn

      Thanks this is beautiful. We downloaded the instructions. Any idea how hard it is to find a waterproof pad ?… a crib mattress wouldn’t be very attractive…

      October 10, 2020 at 10:57 pm
      • Reply Henry

        I’m not sure about a waterproof pad. Sorry about that. I do think the crib mattress we used looked quite nice in the photos above.

        October 10, 2020 at 11:54 pm
  • Reply Tim

    Hi, Thanks for a terrific article. Do you have a mattress brand/model you prefer? Or perhaps it doesn’t matter? There are so many on Amazon with different specifications and price points that my heads is spinning. Thanks, Tim

    April 14, 2020 at 5:23 pm
  • Reply Jennifer

    May I ask where you bought your wood? We are having a hard time finding white pine that’s isn’t “knotty”.

    April 24, 2020 at 9:13 pm
    • Reply Henry

      I found mine at Home Depot. You can also find it at Home Depot.

      April 25, 2020 at 2:39 pm
  • Reply Tarah Rudd

    Do you have a pdf of this?

    April 25, 2020 at 5:24 pm
  • Reply John

    Why did you decide to go with pine, instead of cedar or another, more durable hardwood? I’m planning on building this soon and am curious about your thoughts on type of wood selection (aside from cost.) Thanks!

    April 30, 2020 at 2:07 pm
  • Reply Amanda Ledington

    My husband is currently building me one for mother’s day. I’m so excited! Thanks for the great tutorial!

    May 2, 2020 at 4:45 pm
  • Reply Tami Chisholm

    Where did you buy your rope?

    May 5, 2020 at 5:58 pm
  • Reply Joe Burnham

    Hey, I’m not sure how this site works but my wife put me on here, whoever built this, do you have this exact build but for a twin sized one, and blueprints for it?

    May 8, 2020 at 3:09 pm
  • Reply Eric

    Thanks Henry,

    Had to modify your plans just a touch. Mainly because I’m a novice carpenter. You made me look like a hero to my wife. I moved the supports 90 degrees. So the holes are in the front and back for the rope. Then I widened the top a little, so I could run the rope through the wood. The rope in the front looks awesome!!

    May 15, 2020 at 11:24 am
    • Reply Kim

      Can you send a picture with the rope in front?

      July 26, 2021 at 3:57 pm
  • Reply Nick Rainey

    From start to finish, this tutorial helped me finish this on a Saturday. Now we are staining it before putting the poly on it. I struggled with the ‘X’ Braces as it states in the tutorial, but most of this came from a single error I made reading the plans. When installing the 1×3 ‘L-shapes” on the corners, make absolutely sure you pay attention to which way the “L’s” go. You will have a 2.5 inch side and a 3.25 inch; the 2.5 inch sides face front and rear as picture. This oversight changed several of my cut lengths and the top rail width. Overall, this was a mistake I could work with and am extremely happy with the finished swing!

    May 25, 2020 at 11:40 am
  • Reply Sarah

    Hello! I am about to build this- could you clarify how you secured the X sides in the middle? I understand nailing the ends- but what is the best way to ensure the middle pieces stay in place? I’ve only done this style with a kreg jig so I am not sure how to do this with just nails.

    May 29, 2020 at 6:37 pm
  • Reply Ben M.

    A few suggestions. First, you should be more detailed in your description when nailing the corner posts to the bottom frame. I put mine on essentially upside-down. This only became a problem when adding the 1×3 cap. The post underneath stuck out. I had to modify with left over 1×4. I see it in the illustration but a written description would be helpful to those following along. Secondly, building this entire swing according to the dimensions has led to an issue. My wife and I cannot find a mattress to fit. The inside dimension of the crib is 50 1/2”. Most baby mattresses are 52” long. Were you using an old mattress? Otherwise, it would be helpful to update this to match the availability of the current mattress lengths.

    June 1, 2020 at 10:48 pm
    • Reply Erin

      Thank you for this- I was wondering the exact same thing!!! I was researching the option for mattresses to fit and couldn’t find anything! What did you end up doing?

      June 23, 2020 at 4:50 am
  • Reply Wife-of-a-carpenter

    Where did everyone get their mattress? Any specific brand? Or coil vs foam mattress?? Too many options on Amazon.

    June 3, 2020 at 2:22 am
    • Reply Roger

      Any crib mattress will do. Does not need to be expensive one.

      July 5, 2020 at 4:47 pm
  • Reply Julia John

    Hello Brooke and Henry,

    Loved the design and I hope I can recreate the porch swing. But I was wondering if this can be hung indoors and if yes, how do I hang it?

    June 16, 2020 at 9:08 am
  • Reply Andy Peroyea

    Thanks for the great Tutorial, I do have one question. What gauge finish nails / brads do you use? Thank you

    June 21, 2020 at 11:04 am
  • Reply Spencer Rudolph

    Hello, I’ve now made two of these swings, and have requests from friends and family for several more. The second time around, the “X” was easier, but still tricky. I would love to know how you did the math to determine the miter of the wood and it’s length? I’m trying to build my skill set and I can’t seem to ask the internet the properly worded question to get the answer to this. Thanks.

    June 29, 2020 at 7:06 pm
  • Reply Roger Croucher

    Thanks so much for providing these great, yet easy to follow step by step plans. The only piece I could not get right were the X’s. So ended up finishing ours out with the same cross pattern as the back of the swing. Also used wood screws instead of nails on ours. The build took about half a day, and had planned to sand and beginning staining the next day, but unfortunately injured my shoulder thus delaying this project for the next few weeks. Happy to say I was able to complete it this weekend and was able to install and enjoy yesterday for the 4th! We love it and thanks again for providing the great detailed plans! Would love to share a pic of our finished install.

    July 5, 2020 at 4:45 pm
  • Reply Elizabeth

    What is the price breakdown for this size vs the twin bed size?

    July 14, 2020 at 7:48 pm
  • Reply Mandy C

    Just built two of these with my Dad. They turned out great! Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

    September 9, 2020 at 11:08 pm
  • Reply Sherrie

    Henry. My daughter wants this crib swing for Christmas. Instead of the X sides she wants one piece vertical and the pieces on either side to go from the vertical center up to the top outside corner – like a V shape with the vertical in the middle. What would the angles be?

    September 23, 2020 at 2:05 am
  • Reply Amy

    This is awesome and just in time. I was looking to purchase one but now the hubs and I can do this project together. Do you have any suggestions for porch size if building the twin size vs. the crib size? Trying to determine what size would be fest for my porch area. Thank you!!!

    October 7, 2020 at 3:20 am
  • Reply keagan vargo

    I think the 1×2 rails need to be 1″ from the top, not 3/4 to fit 4x 1×6’s flush.

    January 20, 2021 at 3:27 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Thanks for the feedback, but 3/4 from the top is correct. 1xs are only 3/4″ thick.

      January 20, 2021 at 3:53 pm
  • Reply Sandra Nick

    Hi! Thanks so much for this design. It’s amazing. Unfortunately, we have a tight space so I was looking to add legs to the bottom of the swing to make it immobile but get the look of a swing. Any thoughts on best way to do this?

    February 22, 2021 at 1:47 pm
  • Reply Charles Keller

    I really want to build this but haven’t seen a solid answer about the crib mattress. Most crib mattresses seem to be 52inches long (normal). If this is not built to hold that mattress, where are the adjustments to make so that it will? I imagine it’s not much, but I’d like to know before I start cutting pieces!!

    April 6, 2021 at 5:32 pm
    • Reply Chris

      These plans fit my graco mattress perfectly. But if you cant get a 51 1/2 mattress just extend any horizontal piece by 1 inch. The X wont line up but those are better done b holding up a piece of bard to the side and drawing a line on the board of where you need to cut. There are a ton of youtube videos showing the process.

      August 16, 2021 at 2:48 pm
  • Reply Mina

    Hi! If you were to use the eye screws, which size would you use? Thank you! I just built this and your instructions made it so simple!

    April 19, 2021 at 8:55 pm
  • Reply Kailey Irwin

    What color of stain did you use? I love it!

    May 18, 2021 at 10:12 pm
  • Reply Josh sample

    I was wondering how much the swing roughly weighed when completed and how much weight do you think swing could hold?/ how much weight have you had on the one you built?

    February 25, 2022 at 12:10 am
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