I was shocked at how easy this build was! We built not one, but two couch-length porch swings in one afternoon!
Do you have friends where, even if you haven’t seen them in a decade, when you do get together it’s as comfortable and easy as if you’d seen them yesterday?
That’s my friend Jen.
We went to University together and were sorority sisters (go ΚΑΘ!), and had so much fun getting in trouble together.
Life took us different directions – schooling, marriage, kids etc – but we followed each other on social media and touched base here and there over the years.
When Jen reached out and asked if I’d help her build a porch swing for her back deck, I jumped at the chance to spend a day or two reminiscing and laughing together.
That’s what friendship is guys – it’s not constant maintenance (in my opinion), it’s comfort and ease, and knowing that the person is there in the background for whenever you need them. I’m not talking about me here… after a couple of rough years (for us both) I needed her more than she needed me I think.
We used Ana White’s Large Modern Porch Swing Couch building plans, but had to alter them slightly to fit the cushions we were working with.
I’m going to suggest you do this too. Ana White’s plans are perfection IF you find cushions perfectly sized to fit her dimensions. To make life easier, we found the cushions first and then altered the building plans slightly so they’d fit.
Look how happy she is – I just love her!
This has been a crazy year for lumber prices, and I will admit to quite a sticker shock at the price of thick patio cushions – so I should warn you that this project came in at $1,000 CND for two porch swings. (including the cushions of course)
Still 1/3 of what you’d pay on Wayfair, but hefty nonetheless.
Ana White’s free building plans for Large Modern Porch Swing Couch have your purchase list for wood, so click over for your shopping list.
Where we changed things up a bit was in the length of the couch; we set out the cushions and determined the length and depth based on three.
Because our length was slightly longer than the building plans, it meant that we also added an extra support in the centre of the base frame to keep things straight and rigid.
One small extra step, took no time at all and we had enough wood within the stuff we purchased so it didn’t require another run to the store.
We hemmed and hawed over the height of the back for the one-day porch swing; should it be the height of the top of the cushions so that no wood shows? Or, should it be the height you’d lean back at to rest your head against? In the end we just stuck with Ana’s plans – there is a reason why she is the Goddess of DIY you know. 😂
For the most part, I did the cutting and Jen handled all of the pocket holes, so we flew through the build.
Instead of attaching the porch swing arms by screwing in through the back post and down through the top of the arm rest, we added pocket holes on either end and then attached it so that you can’t see any screws whatsoever. This only took a couple of extra minutes, and a double verification for square, but aesthetically it made a big difference.
Once the frame was done, and we double-triple-quadruple-checked that the cushions would fit perfectly, Jen attached the fence boards to the seat and back with deck screws.
We used a fence board as a spacer between each seat slat to allow for water drainage. The swing back is spaced with a 2×4 so that the arm of the porch swing sits perfectly between.
As you can tell it was no fun whatsoever working together. 😂
After the back and seat boards were on, it was time to add the back reinforcement pieces and voila!
I’ll be honest, I thought building a porch swing would take a couple of days. I had no idea how simple a build it really was.
We whipped through our “tester child” in about 2 – 2.5 hours and even had time to make a second one!
I’m not fibbing when I say we built two full porch swings in less than 5 hours!
These are full, nap-on-the-couch-in-the-shade-length porch swings.
We built 2!!
We even managed to fit both of them, and the cushions, into her truck to take home!
Not only are we building Divas, but Tetris geniuses as well! 😂
Jen got them home and handled the sanding and painting there.
I liked the look of the pressure treated wood, but the paint really does take it up a notch doesn’t it?
Jen has impeccable taste.
This covered porch was made for porch swings wasn’t it? I can’t imagine any other seating here that would look as warm and welcoming.
I was sort of sad that we managed to finish up both porch swings in one afternoon, but Jen has plans for under that window, so we’ll be “playing” together again soon!
Thank you Ana White for, once again, knocking it out of the park!
Have a great one!