We finally did it! Ok fine, we did it almost 4 months ago, and I am finally getting on the ball enough (ish) to write about it. BUT, we finally made a DIY swing for our patio. And I have to say, I am IN LOVE. It turned out just the way we wanted it to, and was also a fun little date night of building a swing in the garage while throwing back a couple of brewskis.
I'm going to go ahead and jump right into this one, because the process is a bit more lengthly than some of my other projects. But don't get it twisted... lengthy and WORTH IT. Oh, so very worth it. You may also notice from the picture that we are sitting on a mattress... and that's not just any mattress. That bad boy right there is a crib mattress. Yep, you read that right. We designed a porch swing around a crib mattress. Because that's what we had. And that's what I do. I make stuff out of stuff that I already have (see here, here, or here if you need any reminders).
Now, you may not have an extra crib mattress on hand, or maybe you want a larger swing. Ours needed to be on the smaller side anyways (as far as porch swings go) because of the space where we wanted it to hang, so a crib mattress was kind of perfect. Plus, I had a perfectly good one being unused in a closet upstairs. So we got to work. The first thing we did is build a base.
We decided to throw this thing together from scratch, but just as a little side note, you could actually just as easily start this process with an already assembled wood palette. A palette would suffice for this if you happen to have access to one, because we basically built a palette. We used 3 treated 2x4s and extra pier boards that we had laying around to make the base.
Once the base was built up, we moved on to the mattress frame. We wanted to ensure that the mattress wouldn't slide around, and so we used select pine 1x3s to frame out an area for the mattress to sit in. We used the same pine 1x3s to create a back to lean against. Our measurements were specific to the size of our particular crib mattress, so you would obviously want to consider the size of the mattress or cushion of your preference. We chose select pine because we knew that these parts would be decorative, and we also knew that we wanted to paint these parts. We knew that the pine would take paint well, and we're also hoping that it will hold up well in the elements (though we are going to take this little baby indoors during the winter, because.. well, we live in ILLINOIS. Enough said).
We also framed the bottom part of the swing in pine (1x6s this time) and 1 inch quarter round. This was all purely for ascetic purposes, and I actually didn't think it was necessary in the beginning. My husband insisted though, and I am so glad he did, because it gives the swing a much more polished look. These parts were painted with outdoor paint.
As far as covering the crib mattress goes, I went to the baby store and got a waterproof crib cover, and also sewed a slip cover from waterproof outdoor fabric. I don't know if you guys remember from this little feller or not, but I am no seamstress. In fact, I would be doing you all a disservice by attempting to teach you how to sew a cushion cover, but there's a nice little tutorial here that might be helpful.
The last and final thing we needed to attempt to do was to hang the thing. So we built a swing, but could it actually hold humans? Well, the answer to that one is yes, but I'll be honest... I have no idea how that was accomplished. Absolutely none. I happen to be married to a math whiz with an engineering background that was up to the task of figuring all that out for me. But it hangs! It hangs, it holds humans, and we love it. So check another one off the list.