Our back deck has received a LOT of love and attention since we purchased our house back in 2012. We have built our outdoor kitchen, installed a covered TV, painted the deck and now...... we have DIY'ed ourselves a swing bed!
It's 68" x 39" of pure swinging comfort.
The whole set up is quite an upgrade from where we started and the ultimate cherry on top for our deck. Well, the ultimate cherry would probably be a hot tub, but I don't think we can DIY one those, so this is the next best thing.
Here's where we started:
The pergola and original swing came with the house and worked quite nicely for awhile. Then, one fateful day one too many people sat on the swing at one of our parties, something popped and well, the swing became a hazard. Instead of just replacing it with the same ol' thing we decided to try our hand at making a swing bed. We had seen a few swing beds in magazines and on home tours and Brent felt it would be relatively easy to DIY so we decided to give it a whirl.
We got the ball rolling by ordering the over sized swing cushion from The Porch Swing Company. This site had a ton of options in both size and color.
Once the giant cushion got here we headed over to Home Depot to pick up supplies. We bought:
- (2) 4 x 4's to form the cross pieces and main supports of the bed.
- (2) 2 x 4's which we cut into five pieces to create the bridge to the 4 x 4's.
Slats were run across the 2 x 4's to form the seat. Oh, and Brent's brother Scott was a big player in this project, he has good ideas and muscles so in general he is always welcome around our projects.
We went with the slats instead of a solid piece of plywood so water could easily drain through the seat when it rained.
Using a Kreg Jig we screwed the newly formed bench into the 4 x 4's.
With the base of the bed complete, we screwed vertical 2 x 4's on the corners for main rail supports and evenly spaced 1 x 4's along the perimeter.
Scott decided to get creative and give the arm rests a little personality with deep flares as the arms come out. Here he is below perfecting the finished product.
With the arm rests finished they were drilled into the corner supports along with a 2 x 4 across the back.
And to add just one more layer of cool to the arms, the boys decided to create built-in cup holders. We brought down some drink props to identify the cutout diameter we would need and used a hole saw to drill a hole through each arm.
With the swing constructed it was time to paint! Last year we had the deck and surrounding areas painted white and gray and decided to keep with these existing colors for the swing. Because the pergola was white we decided on gray for the swing and got to painting....
While the swing dried, we headed back to Home Depot to pick up supplies to hang the swing from the pergola. We tossed around a couple of different ideas like rope and over sized chain, but ended up coming up with something a little different. We were in the chain aisle when we came across some cable and thought THIS could be cool.
We loved the idea that the cable and associated parts could really bring an industrial vibe to the overall look.
As Brent got everything installed and hooked up, we began to like the cable even more! It's so thin and understated while still providing the weight support we needed. It's perfect!
With the swing hung, it was time to adorn that beast with some pillows. As we looked around at the different options, we quickly realized outdoor pillows can be expensive! So we took our time and dug deep until we found some cool options that weren't a zillion dollars. (I've listed the resources to all of those still available at the bottom of the post.) To keep the pillows looking fresh I typically keep them inside unless they are being used. As for the big cushion, we just let him sit out in the elements all of the time (it's a mold resistant outdoor cushion). He's held up pretty well and he's pretty easy to wipe off before use. We may end up getting a cover for the winter. we will see how it goes.
The whole set up is sturdy, sleek and a mid-day nappers paradise! We have really enjoyed having this little addition on our deck and while the whole process took us about two weekends to finish, it was relatively simple and inexpensive project, which is always a win-win around here.
Resources | Large Outdoor Pillows, Floral Outdoor Pillows, Turquoise Outdoor Pillows, Buffalo Check Pillow (not outdoor fabric), Umbrella, Swing Bed Cushion and Rug.
All photos are my own.