Hey all this is Travis…Natalie asked me to write up a quick description of our DIY Bed Swing project. This project has been a long time coming, as Natalie has just been itchin’ for a sweet, relaxing, vintage-looking bed swing! She has literally been bouncing this idea off me for several years now, asking me to make one…and when she scored this antique bed frame from a friend (for free) about 18 months ago, I knew this project was going to happen! It has taken me quite some time to think it through AND find time between all the shuttling kids to/from cross country meets and baseball/softball games! I sketched out some plans a couple weeks ago and had Memorial Day weekend in my sights. Nat said, “You think this will take you a couple hours?” I laughed and said, “Hopefully!”
First, I started by measuring and sketching out the project. The bed frame was a queen (which was what Nat was looking for). We knew cutting a queen footboard in half for our side rails was approximately the size we needed to fit the dimensions of a baby crib mattress (Nat purchased a Sealy Cozy Rest Extra Firm crib mattress from Target, which had the dimensions to fit this project at 53″ L x 28″ W). So, I literally started the fabrication of this bed swing by cutting the footboard of the original bed frame right in half with my Skil Circular Saw. I also used this saw to cut down the legs of the bed posts to the height we needed, to properly attach the side rails to the head board…this will vary, depending on your bed frame.
Next, I measured and marked where I wanted the lag bolts to connect the side rails to the headboard. I used my Ryobi drill to make small pilot holes all the way through the posts on the head board and on the marks I made on the cut edge of the new side rails. Once the pilot holes were drilled, I assembled the side rails to the headboard with the lag bolts, washers and a socket wrench.
Once the side rails were connected, I began to assemble the seat of the swing, which was just a large rectangle made from 2’x4’s, with 2’x4′ cross members for support. This rectangle measured 51″ L x 25 1/2″ W. Additionally, to keep the frame sturdy, I cut little triangle blocks of wood from an old scrap of a 4″x4″ post. I screwed these into the corners of the seat frame to minimize any wobbling while I was moving and working on it. This also provided for extra frame support. This had been pre-measured and was then framed according to the size of the inside of the headboard and side rails. Next I cut a sheet of 3/8″ plywood to cover the 2’x4′ seat frame. I used GRK trim head screws of varying lengths to hold this seat frame together, as these screws are self-tapping and won’t split the wood. Additionally, they screw in below the surface of the wood, so no screw heads are exposed. Once this frame was done, I used my Ryobi Airrstrike cordless nailer to attach the seat frame to the 4 corners of the headboard and side rails.
Next, I had two 2″x4″s that were exactly 6″ longer than the whole bed swing frame itself. The weight of the entire swing sits on these 2″x 4″s. I drilled holes 1 1/2″ from each end of the board, on center. These holes would be for the 4″ eye bolts, which would hold the rope that suspends the bed swing. After drilling those holes, I attached the 2″x4″s to the bottom of the swing, leaving 3″ sticking out on each side of the side rails. I attached the 2″x4″s to the seat frame and headboard/side rail posts with GRK Multipurpose screws and trim head screws. Finally, I inserted the 4″ eye bolts into the pilot holes and secured them with a lock washer and a nut.
The last piece of the bed swing, was a 1″x8″ cut to length on my Chicago Electric mitre (chop) saw and cut width on my Ryobi table saw to finish the front of the swing (to hide the 2″x4″ frame and edge of the plywood seat). This was attached across the front of the bed swing, again using (shorter) trim head screws.
Once the swing was assembled, it was time for Nat to work her magic! She started by using wood filler to fill any holes left behind by the trim head screws. Once the wood filler dried, she sanded the areas for a smooth finish, and began prepping for painting. She used Kilz Spray Primer to ensure none of the stain on the original bed frame would soak through her paint.
Once the bed frame was primed, she used her new Home Right paint sprayer to spray coat the entire swing. She painted it with 3 coats of Behr Premium Outdoor “Smoky White” in flat. She opted NOT to use her chalk paint recipe on this project, due to the fact that it was going to be exposed to the elements year round. After the paint had dried (and did it ever dry fast in the Arizona sunshine), Nat used 100 grit sand paper to lightly distress the paint, bringing out even more character on the freshly painted swing!
Once she had finished distressing the swing, we were ready to hang it! I had purchased 1″ heavy duty eye screws and 1″ thick natural fiber rope to support the weight of the swing. I drilled pilot holes into the studs of the porch ceiling, screwed in the eye screws, and began to attach the ropes. The hanging and leveling process took a while, as the knots on the rope settle and pull tight, when weight is added to the swing. But, that pretty much sums it up! We couldn’t be happier and more excited with how this DIY turned out!
And, you will notice that Chester loves to model for a treat! He comes running as soon as Natalie gets out the camera.
Natalie and Hallie frayed the ends of the ropes by pulling apart the threads. Natalie decided to do that for a more “natural” look at the ends of the ropes, to add some character.
Once the ends of the ropes were frayed like they desired, they braided them a little and tied them with a strand from the rope, at the end of the braid…making the braids a little looser than the actual rope twist itself.
Chester had a little haircut in the midst of our project. He loves to be a little cooler for summertime.
Thank you all for stopping by! I loved working on this project with Nat and I hope you all enjoyed following along on IG stories as well.