This is my first Bed Swing build and I learned a lot from it and so can you.
Make a difference in this world when choosing the way to do things when it comes to building. We can chose to just buy all new materials for our projects or have the choice to use materials that still have a chance to become from what they were to what they can be. New materials are also getting very expensive so using used reclaimed materials is budget friendly and can also add character to what you're building. The money you save can be used for other things like hardware and finishes that will add that special touch in the end and give your project that wow that you're looking.
In this project I call PROJECT SNOOZE I will show you how to build a bed swing made out of reclaimed wood from an old deck I removed about two years ago from my back yard. Not only will I show you how I built mines but I will also show you how to do it using very little money by using what you already have available. I will also give you some other options to consider that will make this just right for you. If you were to buy a similar swing at a store it will cost you around $600 or more not including the mattress or pads and other stuff to complete it.
This bed swing will be good for a porch or to hang on a tree and best of all it will be a great addition to your home or back yard. You will love to use this swing after having a long day at work or if you just desire to read a good book surrounded by nature maybe even just wanting to chill with the kids or spouse outdoors and have a nice ice cold cup of ice tea.
What ever it is you will snooze and not looze but love your newly built Bed Swing.
In this Instructable I really went into detail adding pictures for every steps possible to help with any questions you might have when building your new bed swing. You can build this quick and easy but if you have a question on any part then it should be all there to see and read. I even added optional steps to help you decide on what you would like on your final build.
I've seen many builds posted online that don't go into detail and the purpose of an Instructable post is to have all the information available when you need them so this is why I took the extra time to add the extra info and the steps needed so please read on. I'm only human so if I left out anything please ask. =)
Ok enough with the intro and lets get to the good part.
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Follow me if you please I have quite a few great outdoor projects and tips coming very soon. =)
(Stick man image was created by DonDlc)
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Step 1: GETTING STARTED WITH: MATERIALS, TOOLS AND SAFETY
Disclaimer: Remember that I can not be held responsible for anything you do while doing this project so please be cautious of what you do and how you do it. Follow any manufactures instructions when using what you have and read the directions first when using tools and anything related to this. So please be careful and do this project at your own risk!
Before I start I want to give thanks to the owners of this site for allowing us this privilege to be able to share what ideas we have on this site for all to see and do and for all the wonderful staff that makes this site what it is, a wonderful, positive and great place to spend time while creating and pushing our minds to the next level of creativity. Again Thank you..
First step is to gather up all the materials you have. Remember to reuse re-purpose!
This is my pile of wood I saved from the deck I removed a few years ago. Some of it was painted white but as you can see in the pictures I pulled out some of the best ones without paint. I have 2x6 2x4, 4x4 and some 1x4 that I will be using. The bricks you see are from another project I am also working on now coming soon... ;)
Next you will need some tools, screws and/or nails to make this work.
Here's the list.
Lumber- (It all depends on how long the reclaim pieces you have so quantity will be different and you will have to cut to size)
2x4- About (5 to 6) 8ft pieces unless they are shorter get more..
2x6- (6 to 7) 8ft pieces
4x4- (1) 8ft post unless they are shorter like mines were.
2 3/4" Deck screws,
2 3/4" Nails (optional if not using screws)
1 1/2" screws
1" or maybe larger thin nails (for slats if you use this option) or staple gun
Sheet metal- For Ice bucket and/or Planter (also optional)
Snips to cut sheet metal
Jig saw or a scroll saw or band saw
Miter saw is best or hand saw
Table saw (Optional for cutting lumber into slats)
Drills with hole bits and screw bit for screws (if using nails use a hammer)
Clamps and/or a helping hand
Compass or a circular item to trace a curved arch
Square and pencil
Sander and sandpaper (optional)
For your Finish-
Stain or paint of your choice ( you can leave it natural also)
Sandpaper for edges and if roughing it up for that aged look when painted.
To tie the bed swing it depends on where it's going to be hanging. For a tree or deck you can use rope, cable or chain.
Some hardware will need to be consider to attach the swing like eye hooks if attaching on a branch or a deck or other. There are many options depending on where it's going so I will leave that up to you. I wanted to forge my own hardware with iron to hang it but time is short so maybe later (another ible maybe?) but for now I will be using rope and some horseshoes yes you read right horseshoes! Be creative!!
The most important tools you will need to use is your safety tools (PPE) personal protection equipment.
Safety First! Never work without them it can save you an eye, a finger or maybe even your life!
Safety Glasses, face shield
Ear plugs or similar tools for the loud sounds when cutting!
When working with solvents always try to do it outdoors or open windows if indoors and wear an appropriate mask, gloves.
Wearing safety tools is better than having nothing on while working with power tools or any tools.
Wear proper clothing.. And please do not wear any loose clothing like a tie or long hair around power tools.
Pay attention to your surroundings or risk hurting others and if using lumber with nails please be careful not to step on a nails in the lumber.
Please.. Always Work Safe to Be safe!! Getting hurt is not fun at all. Use common sense!
Step 2: Measuring and Cutting the Lumber
This is what your bed swing will look like if you chose not to do the optional sides and optional mattress supports. (The first picture)
(Remember that 2x6 lumber is really 1 1/2"x5 1/2", 2x4 lumber is 1 1/2"x3 1/2" and 4x4 post is 3 1/3"x3 1 1/2" in true size unless specified)
Another point is the size, so please take notice.
I made this with measurements to accommodate a 2 inch cushion that I already have so if you plan on using a twin or full size mattress you will need to add the extra inches to the mattress area. My Pads will measure to 6'x3' 9"x2"thick so add to this size if needed when using a standard size mattress.
Remember when using reclaimed lumber make sure to remove any screw or nails to avoid damaging your tools when cutting.
Cut the two pieces for the front bottom and back bottom for the frame (2x6x 8' 3" long) I cut the ends first to start with a strong clean square edge on all the lumber.
These lumber parts are where you will hang the swing from so make sure it's in good shape to avoid the lumber from splitting or breaking!
This next Step can be skipped if you want a square end and not rounded but don't skip the other steps below it.
Now using a pencil, mark then draw with a compass on one of the bottom pieces for the front, then draw and cut the larger radius on the ends. These are 2 3 1/4" radius from the mark to cut using a jig saw. (this is optional) See pictures
Now draw the smaller radius for both sides in the center. These are 2" radius from the 1' 4" mark. Then draw a line 2" from one radius to the other radius See Pictures. Cut out using a jig saw. Don't skip this required step if using a thin mattress pad.
Draw and cut the ends of the back bottom large radius the same way you did on the first piece. See picture.
Note: The back piece don't need the smaller radius and lines like the first piece you cut, just the ends have radius cuts only if you want them rounded. Look at the pictures for better reference...
Step 3: Measure and Cut the Next Pieces..
Here you will be cutting (2x) 2x6 and (7x) 2x4 lumber all pieces are 3' 9" long.
You will also be cutting the 4x4 posts to two different size.
Cut the ends if necessary to get a clean edge.
Grab a 2x6 and measure and cut it to 3' 9" long. Do this again for the second piece. (2)
Now grab and measure a 2x4 and cut it to 3' 9" long. Repeat this again for the other six pieces.(7 total)
Set these aside with the other pieces you cut earlier.
Grab a 4x4 post and measure and cut it to 2' 1 1/2" long. Do this again to have (2) pieces for the rear post.
Now take a square and mark a line 60 degree angle on both pieces then cut using a miter saw/hand saw. See picture
Grab another post and measure and cut then cut it to 1' 8 1/2" long. Repeat this again for the second piece(2).
Now take a square and mark a line 45 degree angle on both pieces then cut using again a miter saw. See pictures
Now we are ready to start putting together the bottom so go get the clamps or someone who can help you hold it together while assembling.
Step 4: Now Let's Assemble the Bottom Pieces.
If you have long clamps then use them to hold the pieces together before installing with screws or nails. If not get someone who can assist.
Get the Back 2x6x8' 3" piece and one of the 2x6 side piece and screw in the (2) 2 3/4" deck screws while holding the piece at the 12" mark. Pre-drill to help screws from splitting the wood. See pictures. Now do the same to the other end.
Now get the front piece with the center cutout facing up and place on the 12" marks and place two screws in on both sides. This was done while in a standing position (in the picture) to ease the assembly. Now you have a box frame.
Now you can add the inside supports for the mattress/pad.
Now get a 2x4x3' 9" long you already cut for each left and right side for the mattress support. Attach using 2 3/4" screws to the 2x6 frame. See picture
Mark the center of the front and back pieces after measuring and add one piece of 2x4x3' 9" you already have cut and attach to the center using two screws on each ends. Then from the center mark on the frame measure 12" to the next support position then another 12" from that mark to position the next support. Do this on both sides then attach the 2x4x3' 9" pieces to the 2x6 frame using two screws each. See pictures
Next place the 4x4x2' 1 1/2" longer post with 60 degree cut facing the front using two screws in the inside frame and two screws from the bottom back of the frame. Do this for the other side also. See pictures
Next add the smaller 4x4x1' 8 1/2" post with the 45 degree angle cut to the front using two screws in the inside of frame and two screws from the outside front bottom frame. Note:Face the angle cut from the right post to the inside facing the left and the same must be done to the other post from the opposite side facing to the right side. See picture
Now to cut the armrests and backrest pieces.
Step 5: Here You Will Measure and Cut the Rear Backrest and the Two Armrests
Now that the frame and post are complete the backrest and armrest are next.
Grab some 2x6 and cut two pieces to 7' 0" long. Then on one board mark the 5 1/2" mark to one side to find the center for the radius. With a compass draw the radius from the center mark then repeat the same for the other end. See pictures
With a jigsaw cut the ends on the radius lines.
To attach both board pieces together, cut three pieces of 1x4 lumber to 10" long and attach them to the back side with the eight 1 1/2" screws.
For the middle 1x4 mark the center, then from the center measure 1' 6" for the next piece on both sides. Center the 1x4 pieces and screw in the eight screws, four on the top board and four on the bottom board with the 1 1/2" screws. See pictures
Next cut the two boards for the armrests on 2x6 lumber for each sides to 3' 6 5/8" long, then mark the two corners to make the radius lines to cut a 1" radius. See pictures
Next you will place the RIGHT side board on the miter saw and adjust the angle dial on the front to 22.5 degree and the back dial you want to put it on a 20 degree angle. Make sure you get this right so double check that you have the RIGHT side board before cutting and check both dials for the correct angles. Now cut from the corner. See pictures
Do the same for the LEFT side board and move the dial to the left side on the 22.5 degree mark, then cut the piece off. See pictures
Next step the backrest and armrests will be attached to the posts.
Step 6: Attaching Backrest and Armrest
Here you will attach the backrest to the 4x4 using a single screw on each end to temporarily hold it in place so you can mark both armrests positions. See pictures
Now that the backrest is on, place the armrest on the proper side on the posts angle using clamp or helping hands and mark the position of the backrest so you can place the screws from the back before placing this on the post again. Remove and do the same to the other armrest. See pictures
Now remove the temp screws and attach the armrests to the marks made on the backrest and have your helping hand help you with the section while screwing from the back(do this on both sides), then place all three piece that is already screwed together on the posts and attach using the temporary screws you had and add another screw next to it. Also add screws into the front posts. See pictures
After this sand any sharp edges on the swing with sander or sandpaper.
Then at this point if you're using a thick mattress you wont need the optional slats on the next step.
You can stop here and add the rope or chains to hang it as is or paint, stain or treat the wood if needed before hanging.
The next step will give you the option to add slats for thinner mattress pads, for side tables and/or a removable planters or ice buckets for you drinks. So lets scroll...
Step 7: Your Options Before Hanging the Bed Swing..
Here I will give you the option to add slats if using a thin mattress like I did.
If you really want it to look and function even better then follow any of these next optional steps. Look at the pictures on the rest of the steps before deciding on what to add next. Ok lets continue..
If you're adding a thin mattress the you will need slats to help support the mattress pad or you can also use webbing or even a piece of plywood. I used slats so I will show you how I did this optional step..
Grab some 2x4 lumber and cut a little short of the length on the mattress area. My area was 6' long so I cut them 5' 3/4" long. Now cut the slats about 1/2" thick using a table saw until you have all the pieces needed to cover the area. Thicker pieces will have a better chance of not breaking when sitting on the bed swing. I cut (12) 1/2"inch pieces of slats from 2x4s for this. See pictures
Now place the first piece of slat on the edge and use small 1" nails or longer (or a staple gun/air nailer) to hold on each slat, then measure 4" inch on center for the following slats and tack them down with the nails until you're done. See pictures
Next we will cut more slats for the optional side tables/planter/ice box...
Step 8: More Optional Steps for a Better Bed Swing...
At this point I will make this nice looking swing look even nicer but first I added some wood treatment.
Here you can see in the first few pictures that I am spraying a homemade wood treatment using borax (Making this treatment will be a separate Instructable). This wood is already old and to protect it even more I took the time to do this extra step and protect my project from things that can ruin the wood like the elements, mold, termites, bugs like bees and organism that will rot the wood with time. You can chose to use a store bought wood sealer to protect the wood before staining, painting or just leave it as it is.
Next if you chose to add the tables, planters or ice boxes then these are your choices.
I came up with this idea when thinking on designing the Bed Swing and from what I seen online when searching no one has done this so I was looking forward to seeing how this was going to look when drawing it, and so far it looks so sweet..
You can buy planters that will fit to add to the swing or just make them like I did out of sheet metal. The planters in the stores where ugly, made of cheap plastic and the wrong size for me so I decided that this will work best. follow these steps and after they're done you can build the planter boxes.
First grab some 2x4 from your pile and cut them to 4' 0" long and adjust your table saw in my case to 1/2" or thicker if wanted and cut the 2x4s into the slats for the side tables. Add some pieces of wood to the sides to support the new cut slats in place, then nail them in on posts on both sides. Do this to the others. See pictures.
Place a 2x4 or 1x4 also for support on the ends on each side 3' 9" long and screw them using 2 3/4" deck screws. See pictures.
For Side Table Only- Now place the slats and and nail them into place using small thin nails. Cut and trim slats to fit as needed. See pictures.
Now you have the tables on the side, but for the planter or ice box you will have to cut the slats for the hole depending on the size and shape of the planter or ice box you're using, (I made my planter box and I will show you how next) then add some support before placing it in. You can use 1x4 or 2x4 for the extra supports. See pictures.
To make the planters and ice buckets, I will show you in the next step or skip step if not needed.
Step 9: MAKING THE PLANTERS AND ICEBOX OPTIONS FOR THE BED SWING. (OPTIONAL)
You can look for a planter that will fit in or make one like I did using sheet metal. Here's how!
For this step you will need:
Rivets and a Rivet gun
Sheet metal snips
Drill and 1/8" bit
Gloves and Eye protection
Get some thin sheet metal and measure and cut to 16" wide x 32" long then draw 4" on each side. I used galvanized flashing that is 16" wide but you can use aluminum flashing or any type of metal that will not rust.. This might even work with plastic sheets too. See pictures.
Now cut on one line using the snips, then draw lines to connect each line across on the 4" marks. See pictures
Next with a long board of 1x4 or other place on the line then clamp and bend using your hands carefully not to get cut (You should use gloves when working with sheet metal). Then with a hammer lightly tap the bend to get a nicer bend. Do the same to the other side. See pictures.
Now bend the sides in on the line, next bend the last flap in also. You can use clamps and a piece of wood to help getting a good bend using a hammer again. See pictures.
With the piece already clamped down drill a hole using the same size bit for your rivets and then insert a rivet and rivet gun and then press. Do the same to get (4) rivets on each sides. See pictures.
Repeat these steps for the other boxes and then you're done. (I did 3 boxes, one for the ice bucket and two for planters)
If you want a leak proof box then use silicone on the inside cut edges and rivets. For planters cut some holes for water drainage, no silicone needed.
Now if you want to make these boxes removable then you will have to build a small frame around each box then tack it in to hold it in place using some 1"x1" lumber so go cut some up out of 2x4s.. or if you want to install them permanent, then tack the boxes in place with nails or use small screws. (Remember that planters will need to drain so add some holes in the bottom for the planter box only.)
That's it!! Hang it up using many different methods and add a mattress pad!! Put potting soil in the boxes and add some plants and/or grass. Add ice in the bucket and put your favorite drinks! Dress it up with nice pillows OR.. You can go to the next optional steps where you can..
Stain it, paint it, add some cool hardware's or make it look like it belong in the viking ages?... The possibility's are endless...
In the next optional step I will show you how to dress up the wood using wood stain and other cool options to age it or dress it so please read on. Recommended!!
Step 10: Final Finishing Options for Looks.. OPTIONAL STEPS
I know I have many extra options but I want to give you an idea of what you can do to make this piece unique and best of all to make it your own piece of art.
Here I will show you how to stain, age the wood, paint it to look aged, and dress it up with some affects and faux rustic look and so on. I will even show you how I added the horseshoes that I mentioned as a hardware to give you ideas for a nice finish Bed Swing..
Color is one way of finishing this bed swing and the colors are endless but there are so many other finishes you can do to make this bed swing look like it was the only one made.
Stain comes in many different shades and sheen but if you're looking for that aged look then beat it!! No don't leave I mean get a thick chain, a piece of brick and beat it to distress it and give it a rustic look before adding stain or paint..
Another thing that will make this swing different is hardware. I will show you my hardware on this swing but you may want to add some different hardware that will please your taste. . So many choices..
For an aged rustic look: Take a few pieces of bricks and hit the wood in the areas you will be seeing. You can beat it randomly to give it that rustic look you desire. Also grab a chain and carefully wack it in different areas but don't over do it. Then stain it with a dark color using a rag and rub it in real good until you get the look you want. You can spray paint some spots with cheap spray paint here and there in a small area at a time where the banged up wood is seconds before staining to give it a look that is over 100 years old.Look at some of the before and after pictures to see what it can look like. See pictures
If you want to paint it a faux aged paint look then lightly paint the color you like then after it's dry rub some sandpaper on the edges to give it a weathered look. You can also get a piece of rag and dip it in some wood stain and rub the areas lightly to give an even aged look to the paint. See pictures
Now look at the difference the finish will make!
For hardware there are many options to look at but it can be easy if you know what you like. I decided since I was press for time due to the contest entry I will have to buy something I can work with without taking too much of my time. I really just wanted to forge some rustic hardware but time was important so for now I will just use what I can. Later I will update with my custom hardware. I came up with the idea that I can hang the swing using horseshoes so I went to the feed store and got these horse shoes which was only a few dollars for a set of four with the idea to drill holes and use bolts and nuts to attach them to the bottom of the front and rear facing 2x6s so here I go... I had the plan to use some brown rope like mania but for now I will use what I have until I get the new rope in the color that will look even better.
Dressing up the bed swing is as easy as making your bed, so dress it, add some pillows and you'll be good to go. If keeping the swing outdoors then get the proper material/covers that are waterproof and UV protected or just remove and store it when you're done using the swing.
Add some tulle from the rope down to make it look more romantic and also keep you protected from any pesky bugs that want to bite you or just bug you out of your mind. Lol
If you want a rustic look then get some burlap and hang it over from the rope, chain or cable to hide it and give the bed swing a cool and rustic feel to it. Add some string lights and now were talking.. =)
There are so many ways to make this Bed Swing the ultimate location in your yard or porch for that romantic place to be with your hubby, wife or the kids or just by yourself... Better yet.. invite friends over and use the ice box feature to keep your invites refreshed while resting in comfort and chatting away...
What ever it is, I know you will enjoy your new Bed Swing and Snooze your way to comfort...
A Bed Swing typically retails over $600 so you just saved yourself a bunch by doing it yourself.
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Thanks for reading, there's more to come!
Created by Pitstop aka Andy
Participated in the
Reclaimed Wood Contest 2016
Participated in the
Outdoor Structures Contest
Participated in the
Beyond the Comfort Zone Contest
Participated in the
Outside Contest 2016