Since I’ve written three articles on how to build a porch swing, I thought it was about time that I showed you how to hang one.
I recently built a crib mattress size swing for my sister-in-law, and my brother-in-law and I hung it on their front porch. I used it as an opportunity to document the process.
Tools and Materials:
- 3/4″ Rope – Two pieces each over double the height of the porch ceiling
- Drill with 1/4″ drill bit
- 3/8″ Eye Screws
- long screw driver
- 2 five gallon buckets or something similar in height
Here are the steps we used for hanging a porch swing:
Step 1: Determine How Many Screw Eyes are Needed
Eye Screws are what you’ll use to hang the ropes from the joists. For larger swings, like the swing beds that I’ve made, I recommend using four eye screws to support the added weight. But for a smaller swing like the one we hung at my sister-in-laws house, two is all you need.
Step 2: Locate the Ceiling Joists
When hanging a porch swing, it is extremely important that it’s hung from the ceiling joists of the porch. The weight of the swing plus the people sitting on it requires something strong for support.
But locating the ceiling joists can be a challenge, especially if you have a material on your porch ceiling that makes it impossible to use a stud finder. Wood is one of these materials.
Every porch that I’ve hung a swing on has had tongue and groove wood ceilings, which has usually made this step the most challenging. But I’ve found that the easiest way to locate the ceiling joists with these types of ceilings is to look for nail holes in the t&g planks. This indicates where the planks are nailed to the joists.
Step 3: Determine the Placement
Once you figure out where on the porch you want your swing, you then need to determine exactly where the eye screws need to be placed on the ceiling. For a larger swing bed, you should use four screw eyes each placed directly above the corresponding holes on the swing.
Measure between the holes as show below and then mirror those measurements on your ceiling. On our own porch, we had to avoid the ceiling fans. So I placed the eye screws much closer to each other.
Since the crib mattress swing only required two eye screws, we placed them in the middle of the front and back holes.
You should also try to keep your swing at least 24 inches aways from any walls to avoid hitting the walls.
Step 4: Attach the Screw Eyes
Once you have your locations for the eye screws, drill pilot holes for each one.
Next, start screwing the eye screw in by hand. You’ll reach a point when it becomes too difficult to turn with your hands. Take a long screw driver and put it through the eye and turn. This will give you extra leverage.
Step 5: Hang the Rope
Once you have both eye screws in place, fish the rope through each one so that each end is hanging close to even.
Step 6: Attach Rope to the Swing
Find something to sit your swing on that will hold it a couple of feet above the floor. I like to use 5 gallon buckets. This puts it a little higher than it needs to be, but once you use the swing for a while, the ropes will stretch and your swing will be at the perfect height.
Next, fish one end of the rope through one of the holes on the swing, and tie a knot underneath.
Repeat this step for the other hole on the same side, and make sure the knots are snug against the bottom of the swing. Then do the same to the other side.
And that’s it, you’re all done!
Now you can place the cushion and pillows on the swing and enjoy!