After a long, cold winter, the prospect of spending a lazy summer afternoon on a front porch swing is quite enticing. However, the cost of buying a pre-made swing is high and may deter you from making the purchase. Making your own porch swing is a less-expensive option and requires little effort. Using old doors or those purchased from the hardware store, you can create your own swing and be relaxing in it before the weekend is done.
Cut two doors into a 21-by-49-inch piece for the swing’s back and a 19 1/2-by-49-inch piece for the swing’s seat, using a circular saw. The width depends on the door you choose. Use a solid wood door, not a hollow core door. Cut two pieces of door measuring 19 1/2-by-1 inches to create the arms of the swing. Sand all cut edges with medium-grit sandpaper.
Place the seat piece flat on your work surface. Set the back piece on its width side and place it flush against the back edge of the seat. Apply wood glue where the pieces meet. Make sure the edges are flush and secure the two pieces together, using 4-inch wood screws. Put the screws through the back of the seat back into the edge of the swing’s seat. Place one screw every 6 inches.
Turn the swing onto its back so the seat is perpendicular to your work surface. Place the arm pieces against either side of the swing. Align the arms so they rest against the back edge of the swing’s back and the bottom edge of the swing’s seat. Apply wood glue where the pieces meet. Secure the arms in place by inserting a 4-inch wood screw through the arm pieces into the edges of the back and seat piece. Space the screws every 6 inches.
Insert a 4-inch-long eyebolt into the side of the swing’s arm. Place the bolt through the arm into the swing’s seat, 2 inches in from the back edge. Place a second eyebolt directly above the first, 2 inches below the top edge of the arm. Place a third eyebolt through the arm into the swing’s seat, 2 inches in from the front edge. Place a fourth eyebolt directly above the third, 2 inches below the top edge of the arm. Repeat the process on the other arm, using four more 4-inch-long eyebolts with the same spacing.
Drill two pilot holes into the ceiling of the porch where you want to hang the swing. Place the pilot holes into a cross beam if possible. If not, insert a wall anchor into the holes. Wall anchors expand when you insert a screw into them, holding the screws firmly in the ceiling. Twist a 4-inch eyehook into each of the two pilot holes.
Place a 4 1/2-inch carabiner on the end of a 40-inch length of black, rust-less garden chain. Attach the carabiner to one of the four eyebolts on the bottom edge of the swing. Feed the other end of the chain through the eyebolt above it. Repeat the process with three more carabiners and four more 40-inch lengths of rust-less garden chain, using the other three sets of eyebolts.
Bring the two pieces of chain together on one side of the swing. Feed a 3-inch S-hook through the top link of the two chains to secure them together. Repeat the process on the other side of the swing with a second S-hook.
Attach the other end of each S-hook to another link of rust-less garden chain. The length of the chain depends on what height you want the swing hanging. Attach the two lengths of chain to the eyehooks inserted into the porch’s ceiling.