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There’s something about porch swings on a breezy spring day that just puts you in a good mood. Swinging back and forth while soaking in the good weather just seems to melt all your worries away. Why not capture that feeling more often by creating your own porch swing?
You don’t need a huge porch or crazy DIY skills. Follow this easy tutorial to make your porch swing dreams a reality!
Alright, let’s start DIYing!
- Miter Saw
- Kreg Jig
- Table Saw (if you don’t have a table saw, I’ll let you know which wood to buy instead)
- Nail Gun
- Electric Sander
What You’ll Need
- (5) – 1x3x8 common pine boards
- (2) – 1x4x8 common pine boards
- (3) – 2x4x8 common pine boards (or 2x3x8s if you aren’t using a table saw)
- 1.25″ outdoor Kreg screws
- 2.5″ outdoor Kreg screws
- (4) – 3.5″ long 3/8″ lag screw with washer
- Wood glue
- 60-120 grit sandpaper
- Stain (we used Valspar Exterior Stain + Sealer in Pine Park)
- 42×18″ cushion
*if you are not using a table saw, replace your 2x4s with 2x3s. Your edges will be somewhat rounded, but the overall look will be similar.
Easy Porch Swing Plans
Step 1: cuts
We recommend making cuts as you go through the project rather than cutting them all upfront. This way you can double-measure as you go along. The measurements provided are what we used, but you might find that yours will vary from ours.
Please note that we squared the edges of all 2″ boards using a table saw. The final measurements are listed in parenthesis next to the board size on the cut list.
If you’re interested in exactly how to cut each board and 3-D mock-ups of every step, my friend Ashley from Handmade Haven turned our porch swing tutorial into awesome printable plans.
Step 2: assemble the back
Assemble the back of your porch swing using glue and pocket holes. Make sure to adjust the placement of your pocket holes when switching between 1″ boards and 2″ boards. The different thicknesses will require different placement and screw sizes.
Attach the 1×3 support in the middle of your porch swing back using glue. If you want to add extra security, use pocket holes on either end of the 1×3 to screw into the 2x4s.
STEP 3: add bottom supports and slats
Start with installing your supports. Place the bottom frame upside down on your table with 3-5 of your slats placed. These do not need to be attached, just in place to use as a spacer.
For the two supports on the edges, glue and screw your boards into place. You can also use pocket holes, but we thought it was quicker to just screw them in. For the two supports in the middle, attach them using glue and pocket holes. You want the supports to be equally spaced, but they do not need to be exact.
Flip your bottom frame over and glue and nail the slats in place on top of the supports. The top of the slats should sit flush with the top of the frame.
Step 4: add decorative arm slats
We eyeballed the spacing on these. The top one should line up with the top of the arm supports. The other one can be equally spaced between the top board and the bottom frame.
To install, use glue and angle your nails. Be careful when nailing in your boards! You want the angle to be enough to attach the boards with the arm supports, but not angled enough for the nail to pop out the side of your arm slats.
Step 5: attach your armrest
Attach your armrest to your arm supports using glue and nails. Only overhang on the front and outside side.
Step 6: Sand and stain
Sand and stain your porch swing before assembling further.
Step 7: Attach the back to the base
First, you need to position the back at your desired angle. Try to find a happy medium between a recline and not leaning so much that it pushes the cushion over the edge.
Once in position, drill two pilot holes on each side. Then screw in your lag screws to secure the back in place. Don’t forget to add your washer and be careful not to over-tighten or you might break your lag screw!
Now that you have your porch swing finished, it’s time to hang it up! You can find our full tutorial on how to hang your porch swing right here.
And don’t forget your cushion and pillows! Here are our top choices:
We would LOVE to see your photos. Send us (or tag us in) a picture of your porch swing on Instagram and feel free to reach out with any questions!