The front porch is a uniquely American invention. It emerged at the beginning of the 19th century as families began to see individual homes as the way to go.
Porch swings were the ultimate accessory to help you make the most of the space and the view.
Front porches and all their extras are now reliving their heyday. To join the trend, read on for three tutorials for the perfect DIY porch swing for your mobile home.
While porch swings have been around since the 19th century, in recent years, pallets have become the trend. People have used them to create all kinds of furniture and other accessories and features for their homes.
Pallet porch swings have a unique look and feel. Depending on how you decorate them, they can suit a wide range of decor themes from modern and minimalist styles to rustic chic.
The tutorial shouldn’t be too difficult to follow compared to ones that you need to build from scratch. Besides this, you could complete the whole project with $30, give or take a bit.
- Two pallets
- Nylon rope (get rope that is rated to support a large amount of weight)
- Outdoor paint or finish of your choice
- Electric or handheld drill
- Wood screws
- 3/8″ eye screws
- Power sander or sandpaper
- Measuring tape
- Stud finder
- Paintbrushes and paint roller
- Drop cloth
- Fabric (optional)
- Pillow inserts (optional)
- Patio pillows with covers (optional)
- Sewing machine (optional)
1 – Cut the backrest
First, you need to prepare the pallets. Keep one of them intact. And cut the other one in half. You will use this to build a backrest.
2 – Sand and paint
Secondly, you need to sand the pallets. Preferably, you should do this outside or somewhere where you can clean up quickly afterward. Lay down the pieces and sand them. Try to remove any dirt or grime and get the surface as smooth as possible.
Put the sanded pallets on a drop cloth. Paint one side of each first and leave them to dry. Then turn them around and repeat on the other side. We recommend that you apply at least two coats to protect the wood.
3 – Build the seat
Now, you should put the seat together. You will attach the pieces using wood screws and some of the rope for additional support.
Begin by drilling holes into the vertical boards of the smaller pallet and into the long back piece of the intact pallet. Drill at least four holes on each piece to make it sturdier. Secure them to each other using the screws.
You want to use the rope to strengthen this bond. At the back in a corner, drill a hole through one of the top boards of the big pallet and one through the thicker support board that is closest to it. And drill corresponding holes in the backrest.
Next, you can lace the rope through the gaps. Afterward, tie the ends into a knot. Cut off any extra length and burn the tips with the lighter to prevent fraying.
Repeat this on the other corner. If you want to make this extra secure, you can secure a rope in the middle, as well. You can also repeat this on the back and bottom of the seat.
4 – Attach the rope
Next, you can attach the main ropes from which you will hang the swing. To do this, you want to drill similar holes to the previous ones. Then, you can lace the rope through both the top board and a thicker support board.
You should drill four sets of these holes in each corner.
But first, only lace the rope through the ones at the back. Thread the line through the top and out the back and knot it. You will attach it to the front once you hang it.
5 – Hang the swing
If you haven’t done so yet, you need to decide where you want to hang the swing. You are going to install two eye screws over which you will loop the rope.
Use a stud finder to locate the ceiling joists for your porch. Ideally, you want to find two that are more or less the same width apart as the length of the seat.
Drill the pilot holes. Then you can screw the eyes in by hand.
Ask someone to hold the seat up for you or place it on something that is more or less at the height you want to sit. Loop the rope through the eye.
Now you can thread it through the holes at the front of the seat and tie it securely, and voila!
Finally, you can buy ready-made patio pillows or make your own.
Porch swing bed
The next project is probably the trickiest of the lot. In this tutorial, we will look at how you can build a porch swing from scratch. In general, this means that it will also take longer than the others.
On the bright side, it will still be rather inexpensive. And the final product will look fantastic.
Our inspiration for this project is a beautiful swing by Plank and Pillow.
Supplies list from Plank and Pillow
- Three pieces of 1″ x 8″ x 8′ clear pine
- Eight pieces of 1″ x 3″ x 8′ clear pine
- One piece of 1″ x 4″ x 8′ clear pine
- Two pieces of 2″ x 3″ x 8′ framing lumber
- One piece of 2″ x 4″ x 8′ framing lumber
- Three pieces of 1″ x 3″ x 8′ knotty pine
- Tape measure
- Wood glue
- Four eye screws
- 1 1/4″ Finish nails
- 2″ Finish nails
- Finish nailer
- Miter saw
- Wood filler
- 3/4″ Rope – Two pieces each over double the height of the porch ceiling
- Stud finder
- 3/8″ Eye screws
1 – Build the frame
The best place to start with this project is building the frame. Use the 1 x 8s. The dimensions for the structure is 39 inches by 77 inches. Cut the planks as necessary to fit these measurements. Connect the joints by using the 2-inch finish nails.
Once this is done, you can add an inner frame for extra support. For the sides, you should use 2 x 4s. Attach them by gluing and nailing the planks to the inside of the frame using more 2-inch nails. It should be flush with the bottom.
You need to use 2 x 3s for the front and back. Follow the same process to secure them and make sure they are on the same level as the others.
Afterward, you need to build the slats. To do this, you should cut 1 x 3 knotty pine planks into six 39 inch pieces. Lie each section down flat on the inner frame and space them evenly and follow the same process to attach them.
2 – Build the posts and rails
For the next part, you will start by building a post for every corner. Cut 1 x 3s of clear pine into lengths of 26 ⅜ inches. You need eight of these pieces.
Build an L-shaped structure for each corner by attaching two planks with glue and nails. Secure the posts to the outside of the frame with 1¼ inch nails.
Once this is done, you can move on to the rails. These are horizontal pieces that will connect all the posts.
Start by cutting them to the right size. The three back rails should be 77 inches long and four side rails should be 39 ¾ inches long.
Yet again, you should use nails and glue to attach the pieces. You should secure them to the inside of the posts.
3 – Construct the armrest
For the armrest, you need to cut two pieces that are 41 ⅝ inches long. Here it can get a bit tricky. You have to make a notch at one end of each piece where it will lie against the posts. The gap should be 2 ½ inches long and ¾ inches deep.
Install the armrests by laying the pieces flat on the relevant post.
4 – Add trim and additional support
Start off by installing the trim. These are 1 x 3 planks that you should secure along the bottom of the frame between the posts. Two pieces need to be 73 ½ inches in length, and the other two should be 35 ½ inches. Secure them using glue and nails.
You need to add two types of support – a top for the back and a middle rail.
To do this, you need to cut one plank so that it is 79½ inches long and one so that it is 23⅞ inches long.
Overall, it can be easier to start by attaching the middle rail. Attach the shorter of the pieces vertically across the back. It should rest flush against the trim at the bottom.
Lastly, you can install the top by laying the longer plank flat on the posts at the back.
5 – Hang the swing
To hang the swing, you need to attach two last pieces of plank that are 56½ inches long. You need to secure one underneath the front end of the seat and one underneath the back. Then drill a hole at each end of the planks.
Use the stud finder to locate two ceiling joists. They should be roughly the length of the seat apart. Mark and drill one hole into them and insert an eye screw.
Loop a section of rope over each of the eyes. Lace one end of the rope into the front of the bottom plank and one at the end on both sides.
All that’s left to do is tie knots at the rope ends. Finally, your porch swing should be able to hang.
Pro tip: Place the bed on buckets while you attach the rope.
Repurposed bench porch swing
Lastly, we are going to look at a repurposing project. In this tutorial, we are going to show you how you can turn your favorite bench into your new favorite porch swing.
Overall, this project will be the easiest to complete. There will be the least amount of construction involved. As long as you use a bench you already own, it should be the cheapest, too. You can use almost any type of bench.
However, try to get one that’s not too heavy. The lighter, the better.
- Electric or handheld drill
- Stud finder
- Measuring tape
- Four chains that are three feet long each
- Two screw eyes with 4-inch shaft
- Four screw eyes with 1-inch shaft
- 80-grit sandpaper
- Heavy-duty S-hooks
- Optional: Oscillating multi-tool and metal cutting blade
1 – Remove the legs
Start by removing the legs. The method you use will depend on the type of bench.
If you are lucky, you only have to unscrew them. Otherwise, if they are stuck, you can use a saw to remove wood legs or the oscillating multi-tool to cut off metal ones.
2 – Prepare the bench
Next, you want to mark the positions for drilling on the bench.
The first set should be at the front of the armrests. Mark corresponding holes on the seat underneath. Repeat this step on the other side and just in front of the seat back on both sides.
Afterward, you can drill the holes on the bench’s arms. In the end, the holes should be at least 1 1/2 inches in diameter so that you can thread the chain through them.
Only then will you drill the holes into the seat. Use a bit that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the eye screw. You want it to fit snugly.
Insert the 1-inch screws in the seat.
3 – Prepare the ceiling
Now you can move on to the ceiling. Use a stud finder to find the joists that you want to use.
Preferably, the first should be at least four feet from the porch banister. Measure the length of the bench. Use this figure to find a second joist at a suitable location.
Mark the spots where you want to install the eye screws. Pilot drill the holes. Then secure the 4-inch screws in place.
4 – Hang the swing
Finally, you can finish the job. Put an S-hook through each of the eye screws on the seat of the bench. Connect one end of a chain through the other end of the hooks. Thread each length through the corresponding hole in the arm of the seat.
Put S-hooks into the eye screws in the ceiling as well. Then connect the end of a chain to each.
Sit on the seat to test the height. You can then adjust it to suit your preference.
To finish, remove the extra chain links and clamp the S-hooks closed.
Home sweet home
Front porches and porch swings fit perfectly into rustic decor themes. You should certainly consider it if your mobile home is decorated in the farm or cabin style. It will add that something special and a little bit of magic to your house’s exterior.
For more old school and cozy features to go with your swing, check out these 5 DIY fire pits you can build in your mobile home yard this fall.