Immediately after hanging our DIY porch swing bed, I realized we had a problem.
Where was I going to put my drink??
I have a water with me at all times and a glass of water + rocking back and forth does not end well. Enter: the porch swing tray table.
I wish I could take credit for the idea, but I got the inspiration from Ballard Designs. I loved that the drink area was fitting for a bottle of water or a glass of wine. How ours latches on is a tad different because we designed it to work well with our porch swing bed design, but overall the idea is the same: a secure place to put a drink and a snack.
Alright, let’s make this DIY porch swing tray table!
- Drill with ⅜” drill bit and ¾” forstner bit
- Kreg jig
- Miter saw
- Brad nailer
- 1×6 (we used scrap from our porch swing build)
- ⅜ x 16 steel brad hole nut
- ⅜ x 1.25” coarse thread hex bolt
- Wood glue
- 1.25” exterior Kreg screws
- 1.25” nails
- 2” nails
How to Build A Porch Swing Tray Table
STEP 1: MAKE YOUR CUTS
Make your cuts according to the cut list below. Everything will be cut out of a 1×6. If you see something with two dimensions listed, you’ll first cut it to match the first dimension and then trim that piece to make it shorter.
|For What?||Quantity||Size (inches)|
|Wine Glass Holder||1||5.5|
|Spacer||2||.75 x 4.75|
|Latch||1||2.5 x 2.5|
STEP 2: DRILL POCKET HOLES
Using the ¾” settings, drill two pocket holes through one side of one of the 3” side pieces.
Then drill two pocket holes in one of the 9.75” top pieces. The two pocket holes should be placed on one half of one of the 9.75” sides. Do not evenly space these pocket holes along the whole side.
(The x’s in the picture below show where the pocket holes should be drilled. You’ll also see poor drawings of what will be cut out)
STEP 3: ASSEMBLE TOP AND SIDE
Using glue and 1.25” Kreg screws, attach the two top pieces together so that you have a solid surface. Then do the same with the two side pieces.
STEP 4: CUT A HOLE IN THE TOP
You can choose to make your hole smaller or larger than ours based on what you want to set on your tray table. We opted to use a solo cup for easy tracing.
Whether you’re using a solo cup or something else, line your object up with the edge of the tray table top and center it up. We measured 3 9/16” in from either end using our multi-mark tool to get the cup centered.
Once it was positioned well, we traced the cut and then cut it out with a jigsaw.
As you’re cutting, the circle should open up off the edge enough to be able to slide a wine glass stem through the opening.
STEP 5: MAKE WINE GLASS HOLDER
Grab your 5.5” piece of wood and mark ~1 ⅞” in from the front edge. Mark 2.75” in from either side to indicate the spot you’ll drill into.
Drill all the way through your wood using a ¾” forstner bit. You can place a scrap piece of wood underneath your board as you drill through to help reduce tearout.
Once the hole is drilled, use your jigsaw to create a slot for your wine glass stem. It doesn’t need to be as wide as the hole you drilled, but make sure it’s thick enough that a wine glass stem can slide through.
Next, mark about ¾” in from the side opposite of your wine glass slot. Using a ⅜” drill approximately ½” into the wood. You don’t want to drill all the way through this time.
Test your hole to make sure it’s big enough and deep enough for the ⅜ x 16 steel brad hole nut.
STEP 6: DRILL HOLE IN LATCH BOARD
Grab your ⅜” drill bit and mark the center (1.25”) of your latch board. Drill a hole all the way through the board at approximately ½” in from the front. You might need to wiggle the drill bit around a little bit to get your hole wide enough to get the hex bolt through.
STEP 7: SAND AND STAIN
Sand all of your pieces down (we used 180 grit sandpaper) and then stain or paint to the color of your choosing. We used Cabot Solid Color Acrylic Stain + Sealer in Pewter Gray.
STEP 8: ASSEMBLE
First, attach your top to your side pieces using glue and 1.25” Kreg screws.
Then use glue and 1.25” nails to attach the spacer boards to the top of your wine glass holder. The top is the side that does NOT have the additional hole drilled in it.
Flip your wine glass holder over and center it up (2.75” from either side) on your top. Use glue and 2” nails to secure it. Be careful not to nail in the exact same spots you just nailed in on the other side!
In the photo above you can see a spare 2×4 between the wine glass holder and the side. That’s the size of the armrest of the porch swing, so we wanted to make sure the spacing worked.
STEP 9: ADD LATCH BOARD
Insert your ⅜ x 16 steel brad hole nut into the bottom of the wine glass holder. We screwed ours in to secure it.
Then screw the hex bolt through the hole in the latch board and screw it into the steel brad hole nut. Tighten it by hand, but not too tight! You want the latch to be able to spin around.
Spin it out of the way and bring your porch swing tray table out to your porch swing. Place the tray on the porch swing arm, twist the latch board around so that it’s underneath the arm, and tighten the nut a little more.
There you have it! Now you know how to build your very own porch swing tray table! It’s a quick project that will take your porch swing relaxing to a whole new level.