Porch Swing

When we lived in our tiny basement apartment on Capitol Hill, we had to maximize every inch of space. We had a little patio that was sunken beneath the deck in the back yard, and there was a space that was too low to stand, but just right for sitting. So when the wife (the fiancée at the time) was out of town planning our wedding, I made her this porch swing as an engagement present:


Actually, I presented it as a swing that would go with the porch on a house I would buy for her someday.

If I remember correctly, it took me six hours to build and paint the swing. If I’d had a miter saw and a helper, I could have done it in three. Instead, I was working so fast that it’s a miracle I didn’t lose a finger.

Unfortunately, the fiancée was flying into BWI, so I had to leave to pick her up well before her plane landed. I bought some the lengths of chain and eye-bolts on the way to the airport, which cost the same amount as the rest of the porch swing materials combined. All together, this swing cost me $150 to build, paint and hang. She was so thrilled that she didn’t mind being drafted to help hang it when we got back to the house.

She eventually bought some cushions to jazz it up:


When we moved to SC, one of our prerequisites for a house was a porch that would fit a swing. It wasn’t long after we moved in that I crawled up into the attic and braced for the swing mounts. We let her cat test it for safety:


When I finished the new planter boxes a couple of weeks ago, the porch was finally finished. Everything was designed around the swing:


The other day, the lady driving the ice cream truck stopped in front of our house to tell the wife how much she liked our porch. Sometimes the best compliments come from the strangest places.

Random thought… Thanks to summers spent chasing the ice cream truck in my youth, I hear The Entertainer playing in my head whenever I think of Popsicles and ice cream. And whenever I actually hear the tune playing, I yearn for a bomb pop. Has anyone else been conditioned like this? I feel like Pavlov’s dog.

Porch Swing
Tagged on:             

7 thoughts on “Porch Swing

  • Pingback: In Praise of the Front Porch Swing | Old House Web Blog

  • Pingback: Address Sign

  • July 7, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    I like your swing and I’m thinking about trying to make one like it. Can you help me out with some sizes and instructions? Is it all 2 x 4’s except for the arm rests? Did you use regular, untreated lumber? I even like the color you chose, great choice, even better swing!

    • July 9, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      Thanks, Colleen. I wish I had taken some pictures of the building process, but the wife (then-fiancé) was flying back from a wedding-planning trip, and I was trying to get it finished as fast as I could.

      The while thing is overkill. You could build the same swing with much thinner wood slats and it would still hold your weight. You might not save a lot of money, though. I just happened to get a great deal on 2×4 and 1×4 untreated pine, so that’s what I went with. The paint is oil-based exterior to keep the moisture out. It’ll save you some frustration to paint the lumber before you start cutting and assembling the swing.

      I used 2x4s to make the rectangular braces for the seat and armrests, and I used two horizontal 2×4 slats to brace the vertical back slats. Everything else is made of 1×4 lumber, which is really 3/4 x 1½ inch lumber, which makes no sense whatsoever.

      After it was assembled, I used a jigsaw to cut out the diamonds and the curve in the backrest. Then I sanded it and added the hardware, which was just as expensive as the lumber. The chain, too, is overkill. You could use a much smaller chain with complete confidence. That might save you some money.

      I’ll try to get some basic measurements and take some closer pictures and email them to you soon.

      Thanks for stopping by!


  • Pingback: A Sampling Of My Homemade Furniture | Chad Chandler

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.