DIY Porch Swing with Upcycled Door (and Step-by-Step Instructions)
This chic porch swing combines farmhouse style with an industrial aesthetic. It also has a surprising feature: its base is actually an upcycled door.
Rather than send it to a landfill, Sheila gave new life to a door that was leftover from building the family home. All she needed was Kee Klamp fittings and a little creativity. The final product not only provides extra seating but fits in seamlessly with her sunroom’s decor and serves as a conversation piece.
In this post, we’ll share all the fittings Sheila used to build her porch swing. We’ll also walk you through how to put one together your DIY porch swing.
Take a look:
Sheila’s Porch Swing Project Details
Although home construction can often create a lot of additional waste, Sheila’s thrifty project shows that there are always sustainable solutions to leftover materials.
Using a door as the swing’s base also takes a lot of the guesswork out of planning the measurements. Many standard doors are 80” high x 32” wide, so the final dimensions of the backrest and armrests of Sheila’s swing are 78” long x 28” wide x 26” high.
However, using a door for a swing comes with its own special considerations. Sheila told us:
“We did have to reinforce the door with some steel under the door as it had too much flex.”
Safely hanging the swing also required special parts, as Sheila noted:
“It is hung from the ceiling with heavy-duty hangers and comfort springs.”
Don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar with any of these parts. We’ll recommend some steel reinforcements, hangers, and springs later in this article. We’ll also go over how to use them in your project.
Sheila’s swing is as stylish as it is safe and durable. As we mentioned earlier, her swing combines elements of farmhouse and industrial style, thanks in large part to the upholstery. But there are practical reasons for her design choices, too:
“The bottom cushion I had custom upholstered in a cotton velvet. The other cushions are mostly from Pottery Barn with a few more thrown in. As it is in my sunroom, I decided to go with shades of ivory so I didn’t have to worry about fading.”
In addition, light colors reflect heat from the sun and may provide a more comfortable experience overall.
Sheila’s final design choice was to paint the backrest and armrests. Kee Klamp fittings are versatile enough to use with almost any project, but they do have a very industrial aesthetic. Painting the pipes and fittings helps soften this aesthetic and gives it a more bohemian vibe.
Depending upon the upholstery and paint color you choose, your porch swing can be as industrial or as chic as you want.
Want to create your own DIY porch swing?
To make a porch swing just like Sheila’s, you’ll need an old door, plus all of the fittings and pipe listed below:
- Length: Configurable (Standard 78")
- Depth: Configurable (Standard 28")
- Height: Configurable (Standard 26")
- 1.5 Hours
- Allen Key, Mounting Hardware to Attach Frame to Base
If you’re unsure about how many feet of pipe to buy, we recommend reaching out to our team for free design assistance.
For example, your door may be 30” wide or 36” wide, so you’ll need armrests that reflect the different dimensions. Whatever the case, our team can help make sure you get the exact parts you need so you can start your project with confidence.
You will also need some additional parts to ensure a safe and durable build. We suggest taking a look at the following:
- Two steel brackets
- A porch swing hanging kit with heavy-duty hangers and comfort springs
- Two equal lengths of chain
- Four eyebolts
- Four quick links
- Latex paint and primer, if desired
Once you’ve gathered all of your materials, you’re ready to begin assembly.
Steps to Building the Porch Swing
Even a beginner can build a beautiful porch swing just like Sheila’s, but bear in mind that it does have some time-consuming steps:
- Start by painting your pipe and Kee Klamp fittings in the color of your choice. Note that painting galvanized steel requires special prep work and paint. We recommend taking a look at this how-to article before you begin. Alternatively, we also offer a powder-coating service.
- While the paint dries, install the steel brackets to the bottom side of the door. Be sure to follow the product’s installation guide.
- Insert an eyebolt in each corner on the top side of the door.
- Screw the hangers into a support beam in the ceiling. Attach the comfort springs. Hanging your porch swing will vary from house to house due to the placement of support beams. We suggest consulting a more in-depth how-to article before beginning this step.
- After the paint on the pipe and fittings has cured, you’re ready to assemble the backrest and armrests of the swing. Remember that Kee Klamp fittings have adjustable set screws that don’t compromise on strength, so if you’re unhappy with the placement of your horizontal pipes, you’re free to modify them.
- Secure the Flange fittings of the completed backrest and armrests to top side of the door.
- Attach a length of chain to one of the front eyebolts, then hook it onto the comfort spring before attaching the other end to the back eyebolt. You may need a friend to help hold up the swing while you hang it.
Once you’ve finished hanging the swing, simply add cushions and relax.
Need Help Building Your Own Porch Swing?
Sheila reached out to let us know how she’s enjoying the fruits of her labor:
“The swing is working out GREAT! I love it!”
We hope by now you’re just as excited to get started on your own upcycling project. For those still looking for ideas, this industrial pipe bookcase uses reclaimed bowling alley lanes for the shelves.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to our design team if you have an upcycling project in mind but are unsure how to begin. We offer free design assistance and have helped countless customers bring their unique ideas to life.