Large Modern Porch Swing or Bench

Submitted by Ana White on Fri, 06/24/2011 - 13:56
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Free simple easy to build do it yourself plans to build a DIY porch swing or bench. Features extra wide and deep seat, ideal for napping or lounging, perfect for standard cushions. Plans call for off the shelf dimensional lumber, mostly 2x4s, and standard screw joints. Painted a pretty blue turquoise color, this porch swing is a breeze to build!

With summer now in full swing, I knew we needed a swing plan. Over the last few weeks, I've been doing quite a bit of research, and there are many swing plans available online for free.

But I couldn't seem to find one that is so easy, just about anyone can build it, one so sturdy, you won't be hauling it in every time the wind blows, and one with updated modern styling.

But I really liked this swing from my Pinterest Board, from Southern Living magazine.  And I really suspected that under neath all those beautiful pillows, without the beautiful windows and decorations . . . there is a super simple porch swing, made much like this . . .

blue hanging porch swing
Something you can build in just a few hours, with the most basic of tools, and officially, summer can be in full swing by this weekend.
Have a great weekend!
Dimensions are shown above. Seat is designed to fit 3 24" x 24" cushions, or one 24" wide x 72" long cushion.


Shopping List

6 - 1x6 @ 6 feet long
5 - 2x4 @ 8 feet long
4 - Eye Bolts with Nuts, 3" long
Chains or rope, we used 200 pound weight limit (for four ropes, capacity of 800 pounds)
Hardware to hang to rafters/tree

Common Materials
2 1/2 inch screws
2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

5 - 2x4 @ 21" (Support Joists)
2 - 2x4 @ 72" (Front/Back Aprons)
2 - 2x4 @ 11 1/4" (Arm Fronts)
2 - 2x4 @ 25 1/2" (Arm Rests)
5 - 2x4 @ 18 1/4" (Back Supports)
6 - 1x6 @ 72" (slats)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Build the seat frame as shown above, using either pocket holes set for 1 1/2" stock and 2 1/2" screws, or wood glue and 2 1/2" screws predrilled and countersunk.

Step 2

To the back of the seat frame, attach the back supports, 2 1/2" screws and wood glue.

Step 3

Now the arm rest supports - same thing, 2 1/2" screws and wood glue.

Step 4

Armrests go on top - check and adjust for square.

Step 5

Step 6

And finally the seat slats - start at the front, leave 1/2" gaps, and nail and glue down with 2" finish nails.

Step 7

Now it's time to hang it! We hung ours on an existing playground swing set, but your situation may likely vary from mine. Here is a good article on proper hanging of swings.

On this swing, you will want to hang from the side aprons of the seat frame - that's where the majority of your weight will be. Also, I hung ours at a very slight (approximately 5 degree) back angle, to increase the comfort level.

DISCLAIMER: Build, hang and use at your own risk - We are not liable for personal injury, loss or death from use of swing. See our full disclaimer at bottom of all pages.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. 

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Help Improve This Plan

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Guest (not verified)

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 11:24

Yes, PLEASE! I don't have a place to hang a swing, but really want to build one with legs, freestanding and moveable. This is such a cute bench--perfect!

Michele Villano (not verified)

Sat, 07/09/2011 - 10:17

We have our swing completed! Yay! We can't decide whether to use chain or rope to hang it. We are more concerned with the security of using a rope. What is the best way to make it secure and safe? Rope is definitely more cost effective! Thanks!

Guest (not verified)

Tue, 08/02/2011 - 18:53

just made it this weekend! directions were great! i used longer screws and screws where the finish nails would be and pressure treated wood as this will be hanging in the woods hopefully for years. so sturdy, i think a baby elephant could use it! your site is just the best. my sister is going to make something too!

Gretchen Knobl…

Mon, 08/22/2011 - 18:41

I love this. Everyone loves it. The feeling of calm and peacefulness that you get when you glide back and forth is just awesome! Thanks for making it so easy to accomplish this Ana!

Gina Robinson (not verified)

Wed, 08/31/2011 - 19:53

We have had a metal A-frame in our yard for years, from an old swing..I have been wanting a new swing for it for ever....we found your site and fell in love with the swing...bought all of the materials...even bought awesome cushions for it...then realized the frame is only 73inches wide...which means I guess we have to shorten the swing, :-( ...but how much do I have to shorten it? How much room does there have to be between the edge of the swing and the frame? Where else can I place the eye bolts, so I have more clearance.

Victor Busciglio (not verified)

Fri, 09/16/2011 - 09:04

This is the difference between an impersonal home and one that bears your personal touches and really makes you feel at home. You're doing well and i'm so impressed for showing to us what sometimes people missed from putting more relaxing place at home.

mcfirefly (not verified)

Mon, 01/30/2012 - 13:30

I live in a small apartment with a balcony on which I cannot hang a swing, and it's too small for an A-frame swing support. I'd like to build a glider out of this swing, but the hardware for a glider costs about $70 with everything included, dedicated metal glider hangers, and these hinges that supposedly make the gliding smooth (they are the most expensive part). But why not hang a glider like you do a porch swing, on simple chains? The problem is, I don't know where or how long to make the chains. The length could be easy enough to adjust, if the supporting structures were of the right size and in the right places, but I wonder whether they should match, or perhaps would swing better if offset or if with a slightly different length (saying so in print, I think that the same length and lined up, but not too tight, would be the way to go). The frame to hang it on would be a frame that wraps around the swing, same height that the arms would be, I don't know how much clearance between the frame and the swing should be, and the swing will attach by means of an under-support that could be something like the arms built again under it, although I'm not sure that's strong enough. I am looking at porch gliders and their hanging set-up, and it seems to me that this will be possible, and since the money is not presently available, I have a little time to think about it, but it would be wonderful for summer. So it creaks a little bit, just like a lovely old porch swing! I could sleep on it! Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions about how to do this?