Wednesday, March 15, 2017

DIY Rope Porch Swing

Late last fall, Mike completed one of my favorite house projects to date, my rope swing.  I've been dreaming of one of these since I saw Chassity's on Look Linger Love when I first started following her when I moved to Charleston.  I love the idea of a dreamy outdoor space.  I still need a few more pillows to get to the LLL comfort level, but I am thrilled with the way ours turned out.
We started with this classic porch swing.  It wasn't very hard to put together with all of the wooden pieces and bolts included, but what I didn't like was the metal chain.  We bought this swing with every intention of transitioning it to the rope swing, so we just made sure that we chose one that could fit the diameter of the rope we needed.*
To convert your own swing to a rope chain, you will need the following equipment:
- 3/4 inch diameter twisted sisal or natural manila rope (length: ground to ceiling height x 4)
- electric tape
- 2 eye lag bolts (rated for at least two people's weight*)
- 2 s-hooks

And these tools:
- Dremel
- knife to cut rope
- tape measure
- cordless drill
- stepped unibit
- proper drill bit to pre-drill lag bolt
- bar of soap
- any screwdriver
1. Start by using the Dremel to cut the chain that came with the swing.  Make sure you only cut the chain, not any other hardware connected to the swing.  
2. Cut the rope in two even pieces and wrap the ends in electrical tape so it won't fray.  At a later time, we plan to whip the rope with twine to make it look a little nicer.
3. Measure the width and depth of the swing from hanging point to hanging point.  You will make two holes in the ceiling, as wide as the swing's hanging points and equally in the middle of the swing's depth.
4. When you've chosen your hanging spots, use a drill with a stepped unibit to cut through the vinyl ceiling-liner.  This hole should be just wider than the shank of the lag bolt.
5. Pre-drill a hole into the ceiling/floor joists overhead.  This hole size is dictated by the size of the lag bolt you choose and should be listed on the bolts.*
6. Coat the lag bolt threads with bar soap to reduce friction and heat before screwing them into joists.
7. Screw the lag bolts all the way in by hand, very slowly.  Mike used a screwdriver for leverage to turn the bolt 180 degrees every 30 seconds or so.  Generating too much heart can weaken and break the bolts during installation.
8. Tie an overhand knot on a bight in the middle of each of the two pieces of rope.
9. Hang each knot from the lag bolts, using an s-hook.  To make each knot snug (and as a sanity-check to make sure bolts were secure), Mike swung from each side before proceeding.
10. Now it's time to hang the swing!  Prop it evenly on a chair or table that's approximately at the right height.
11. Run the rope through the holes in all four corners and tie into knots.
12. Finally, release the swing, and go around, adjusting the knots to get the final swing perfectly even.

There you have it!
For the porch details, you can find the matching rocker here, and I am so excited that those outdoor starfish pillows and the round end table are back in stock at Target.  You can also find similar lumbar pillows here and here.  
Obviously, everyone (including Shadow) loves our outdoor spot as the weather is getting warmer!

*Borrowed Heaven makes no representations or assertions on what the proper weight rating is for your individual application.  If you need guidance, please consult your local hardware store.


LHWinstead said...

I absolutely love this - turned out fantastic!!

Lauren Honeycutt said...

Omg I'm so jealous of your porch swing!!! You've got a very handy hubby!

Christina Lea Loves said...

This is awesome! It turned out great and will be so fun to enjoy!

Carly said...

Your house is such a coastal dream! Love the big different the rope made to the overall aesthetic!

Julie said...

Love it!

Rebecca Jo said...

Its just the small changes that gives something such personality! I just adore the swap for the rope!

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

This is amazing! It looks so good!!

elle jo said...

I love your porch swing!! This is where I miss having a porch.

Kate at Green Fashionista said...

So pretty, and loving those pillows! I lol because every time I hear porch swing, I think of the Friends episode when Monica and Ross just start blurting out each others secrets to their parents. "Hurricane Gloria didn't break the porch swing, Monica did!" :-P
Green Fashionista

Chesson | Magnolia+Main said...

Your swing turned out so well! & I'm still loving the color y'all chose to paint the exterior of your house. Now I just need to find somewhere to hang a swing at my house... :)

Jen said...

I am in LOVE with this! It turned out amazing.

Macy V said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! I can't wait to have a porch one day so we can make one of these swings.

Ericka said...

LOVE THIS! I love the look with the rope so much better than the metal chain. If I had a front porch, I would totally want a swing like this on it :)

Karlene Salguero said...

Did you end up using sisal or manilla rope?

Meg Taylor said...

Karlene, We used a sisal rope from The Home Depot - good luck with your project!

Karlene Salguero said...

Thanks! I just ordered a sisal rope and it smells like gasoline. Did yours smell at first and has it reduced? How is the sisal on little girls hands?

Meg Taylor said...

Karlene, I'm so sorry - I don't know why the last comment email got lost. I hope your project went well, and just so you know, the gasoline smell is normal. Ut's kerosene or a similar chemical, and it's used for preserving or making the rope water resistant.

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