Monday, April 27, 2020

Build Your Own Crib Mattress Porch Swing!

I've always wanted a porch swing! So I decided to build my own! And build it to fit my daughter's old crib mattress that I had sitting in the basement! I used Plank and Pillows tutorial for inspiration and edited it for the things I wanted! This is a Simple Tutorial especially if you opt-out of the x design on the sides. I would rate this a SKILL LEVEL TWO on the 1 to 5 skill scale. 

Outdoor Wood Glue
Kreg Jig (optional) and clamp

2 3/8 Eye Screws 
3/4 inch Rope length 4 times floor to ceiling height
Crib Mattress 

This does not include tools costs

Let's Do It!


Use 1x4's to create a frame. Cut 2 pieces to 26 1/2 inches and 2 pieces to 52 inches. Place the shorter pieces inside the longer pieces to create the box. I used two pocket holes with screws and wood glue on both ends of the shorter pieces to create a very strong base. If you don't have a kreg jig. wood glue and finish nails are ok!


Use 1x2's to create supports. Cut 2 pieces to 26 1/2 inches. Use wood glue and brad nails to attach the pieces inside of the frame with 3/4 of an inch gap to the top of the outside frame pieces.


Use a 1x3 to create central support. Cut a 1x3 to 26 1/2 inches and attached to the center of the frame using wood glue and brad nails leaving a 3/4 inch gap from the top of the board to the top of the frame. 


Use 1x6's to create a base. Cut 4 1x6's to 50 1/2 inches and attach them to the frame using wood glue and brad nails. Space the boards evenly apart with the first and last boards flush to the frame.


Use 1x3's to create L shaped front posts. DO NOT attach them to the frame yet. Cut 4 pieces to 20 inches. Make two L shaped posts by using wood glue to attach the edge of one to the back of the other (x2). Let them sit and dry for a few minutes. 

Once the L shaped posts have dried, attach them to the front corners of the frame using glue and brad nails. Place the shorter side of the L's along the front and the longer sides along the side of the frame.  


Use 1x3's to create L shaped back posts. Exactly the same as the last step but cut 4 pieces to 26 inches.  Create the L shaped posts first with wood glue and then attach them to the back corners with wood glue and brad nails. The short side of the L along the back and long side along the side of the frame.


Use 1x3's to create the sides of the swing. Cut two pieces to 28 inches, attach them to the inside of the front (20 inch) posts using wood glue and brad nails. Use a level to level the piece and then attach the other end to the inside of the back post (26 inch) using wood glue and brad nails. Repeat on the other side.


Use 1x3 to create the back. Cut one piece to 52 inches and attach to the inside of the back posts using wood glue and brad nails.


Use 1x3's to make an X design on the sides. This is THE hardest step. (If you don't feel like tackling the angles you can take one or two pieces and make slats instead.) The X's are made from 3 pieces. The ends of the X's are cut at a 60-degree angles. The first piece has alternating 60-degree angles on both ends and from the short of one angle to the long of the other measures 27 inches. I had to create a jig to get a 60-degree angle with my miter saw (you can watch this video to learn how.).  

The next two pieces have a 60-degree angle on one end and a 30-degree angle on the other with the board measuring 13 1/2 inches from long tip to short tip. Attach the long piece first with wood glue and brand nails and then the shorter two on either side. 

STEP 10:

Use 1x3's and 1x4's to create the back slats. Cut 3 pieces of 1x3 to 52'' and 1 to 50 1/2 inches. Cut 1 piece of 1x4 to 52 inches. Attach the 1x3 pieces to the inside of the back L posts using wood glue and brad nails 1 1/8 inches apart from each other. The 50 1/2 inch 1x3 will be attached where the side arms hit the back posts.

The 1x4 piece is attached at the bottom as low as it will sit before hitting the cross pieces.

STEP 11:

Create a back support piece using 1x3's.  Cut one piece to 26 inches and attach it to the back slats using wood glue and brad nails.

STEP 12:

Creat armrests using 1x3's. Cut 2 pieces 26 1/4 inches long and attach them along the top of the sides using wood glue and brad nails.

STEP 13:

Add trim pieces with 1x3's. Cut two pieces to 5 1/4 inches and attach them to the face of the back trim using wood glue and brad nails.

STEP 14:

Add top finish pieces using 1x3's.  Cut two pieces to 4 inches and attach them to the top of the posts using wood glue and brad nails.


Add finish pieces using 1x2's. Cut one piece to 58 1/16 inches. Us your measuring tape to check your space before cutting. Attach with wood glue and brad nails.

STEP 16:

Create finish trim using 1x2's.  Cut 2 pieces to 23 inches and 2 pieces to 48 1/2 inches. Attach them to the base front and sides using wood glue and brad nails.

STEP 17:

Add Trim pieces to the back using 1x2's. Based on how you centered the back support the measurements will change. So, measure the distance between the supports and posts, cut 2 pieces, and attach with wood glue and brad nails.

STEP 18:

Add 2x3 Studs for hanging supports. Cut 2 pieces to 59 1/2 inches. Attach them to the bottom of the front and back of the base using wood glue and 3-inch screws. Drill pilot screws using a countersink bit before screwing in the 3-inch screws.

STEP 19:

 Add holes to the studs for hanging. Using a 3/4 inch drill bit to drill 4 holes in the center of the overhanging stud ends.

STEP 20:

If you're painting your swing I recommend the extreme bond primer first from Sherwin Williams. And then follow with two coats of their Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel.

If you're staining I would recommend a good outdoor wood stain like this one.

STEP 21:

We set the porch swing on two upside-down 5-gallon buckets (It's the perfect height!). The trickiest part of hanging the swing is finding the support studs in the ceiling, especially if you have metal ceilings like us. We pushed around on the ceilings and you could easily feel the studs.

Once you find it, use the 1/4 inch drill bit and make a pilot hole into the center of the stud. Make sure wood shavings come out when you drill. Then screw in the eye screws into the pilot holes- use a long screwdriver through the hole and turn it until tight. We recommend you reinforce the stud beams to be safe!

Then run the rope through the eye screw and down through the hanging holes on the side of the swing. Tie knots in the rope right beneath the stud/hole.

And TA-DA!!! A Beautiful, functional and fun porch swing!!

Please tag me on Instagram @huntersofhappiness if you complete it!! And follow me there to see how I decorate this beauty!!

Monday, April 20, 2020

DIY Starter Tools Lists

I get questions daily about what tools you should buy first as you're getting into 'do it yourself' projects! So, I put together these lists to help you!

It is sooooo important to remember when buying tools that they pay for themselves! Sometimes it seems like they are pricey but when you calculate how much money you are SAVING by doing the project yourself (and then the next and then the next...) they are well worth the investment. For example, I had to buy two big tools on my last DIY project. I was saying how expensive they were when my husband reminded me that we were saving over $2200 doing the project ourself so spending $100 on a tool that made the project doable was very much worth it!

Level ONE- 
I included, in this level, all of the tools that I think are a must-have for your toolbox. A lot of the projects that I have done can be accomplished just with these tools. It would just take more time and effort than if you had power tools.

1. Screwdriver set
2. Adjustable Wrench
3. Utility Knife -- I still use this in every project I do.
4. Stud Finder
5. Level -- I have a 24 inch one and a 48 inch one and use them both in different ways.
6.  Tape Measurer -- I have tried a lot of Tape Measurers over the years and this one is by far my favorite. We have a few.
7.  Hammer
8.  Needle Nose Pliers -- I use these in most bigger projects too. A good pair goes a long way.
9.  Putty Knife -- So many uses.
10.   Caulk Gun -- Can't use caulk without a caulk gun so gotta have it.
11.  Rubber Mallet- You'd think if you have a hammer you wouldn't need one of these but nope. One of my most used tools.
12.  Crowbar
13.  Safety Goggles 
14.  Allen Wrenches

Level TWO-
This level has, what I would recommend, for your first power tool purchases. Almost all the fun DIY's I have done can be accomplished just with the addition of these power tools. They are each a FANTASTIC investment. TIP: Decide on the brand of battery-operated power tools before you begin buying and stick to that brand. That way batteries are interchangeable. It helps SO much during projects and organization wise too.

1. Power Drill -- This is the very first power tool I would recommend to invest in! THIS one is my favorite. I also love THIS pack that includes a hammer drill.

2. Drill Bit set -- Without a good pack of bits the power drill is kinda useless so think of this as a package deal purchase with the drill. I really like THIS set. It has a good variety of tips and most of everything you'll need. I still buy tips and bits sometimes but this is a good start.

3. Miter Saw -- This is the very first saw purchase I would recommend, and what I would buy after the power drill. A lot of people end up buying a handheld saw first because they are less expensive but I would urge you to invest in a Miter saw first! I think they definitely offer more options for you projects wise. THIS is the one we have and I think it is a great deal and have loved it.

4. Shop-Vac -- This isn't really a tool, but once you get into using power tools you will definitely want one of these to clean up the mess. I use it every project and it's a must in my opinion.

5. Nail Gun and Air Compressor -- These go together because you can't really have one without the other and they're the best deals in a pack anyway. THIS is the pack we bought and I think it's for sure the way to go. It comes with both a 16 Gauge (more heavy-duty) and an 18 Guage (smaller finish nailer) and a staple gun. WIN WIN WIN (office reference 😉) This was the last power tool we purchased from this level. A lot of projects you can do the long way with a good old fashioned hammer and you'll be just fine. But, goodness does it make projects wayyyy faster and more fun :)

Level THREE-
This level includes another step up of tools for more advanced projects. They are still not overly complex and things a beginner DIYer can totally figure out. I have some of these but I am still working towards getting a lot of them.

1.  Kreg Jig - I love this tool and there are so many more projects you can do when you add it to your toolset. The Kreg jig for making pocket holes is super easy to use! I just followed the instructions to learn. You will need a drill and number 2 and 3 from this level in order to use it.

2. Kreg Clamp - This holds the Kreg jig in place when you're making pocket holes.

3.  Kreg Screws - This is technically a material and not a tool but the Kreg screws are made for the pocket holes. There is a guide on this pack to know which length to use given the thickness of the wood you made the pocket hole in. Super helpful.

4. Oscillator Tool - This tool is so handy!! You can get different blades and tips for lots of different uses. I used it usually with a blade to trim off small portions of wood in small spaces.

5. Orbit Sander - A sander is often a staple in a DIY toolkit. I only recently got one and it's so nice. It speeds up my least favorite step of any project- sanding. I got a corded one because I've heard the ones with a battery drain really fast. They're also more expensive. I use a little extension cord and the corded one has been great.

6. Circular Saw - Such a great multi-use saw. I don't have one of these yet, but I'm hoping to soon!

7. Corner Clamp - This clamp is a must-have for building builtins, cabinets, benches, really anything with corners. It helps keep a perfect 90 degree when attaching boards together.

8. Jigsaw - These are so much fun!! The perfect tool for doing non-conventional cuts! Don't have one of these, but hoping too!

9. Table Saw- This is my next big purchase for tools and it really opens up your abilities! Table saws along for long cuts. Right now I'm having home depot make my long cuts when I buy things like plywood but when I need to adjust I have to use my oscillator and it takes forever! They definitely scare me because they are the most dangerous of all the power tools I have listed but I will be definitely be getting one of THESE to keep my fingers.

I am probably missing something but there ya go!