We’re this close to being done with our family room/playroom, but we had one more project up our sleeve–a DIY indoor swing! This simple DIY was also quick and cheap and now it’s officially the most coveted seat in the house.
The corner fireplace (you can see that makeover here) pushed the area rug, table, lights, and toy storage off-centered in the room a bit, leaving the perfect amount of space for a swing we made in under 2 hours–and that includes drying time for the polycrylic.
Solid piece of wood (ours measures 8 1/2 x 23 inches)
25 ft rope
Polycrylic to seal the wood (or paint if you want to go that route)
150 and 300 grit Sandpaper (A palm sander is nice to have, too. We have this one and it’s under $30.)
2 Screw-eyes with Rings
We had this piece of scrap black walnut from, get this, our last home’s countertops! We brought it all this way because we were so sure we could use it for something and now, 3 years later, we finally did! It was just about the perfect size for our swing base. If you don’t have a hunk of black walnut around, another solid wood, like poplar or pine you can get at the hardware store, will work. Get it as thick as you can for lasting strength.
1. CUT TO SIZE AND SAND
Although we liked the 8 1/4″ width of the wood we had on hand, we cut the length down to 23.” It’s roomy for just Greta, but both girls can (and do!) swing together on it together, too. (Check out snapchat right now for a video @juliamarcum before it’s gone!). After it was the size we wanted, we sanded it smooth with a palm sander and 150 grit sandpaper, making sure the corners were slightly rounded instead of sharp.
2. MAKE HOLES FOR ROPE
We made marks for the holes 1.5″ in from each corner, making the rope on each side 20″ apart.
Using a 1/2″ drill bit, we made the holes and gave them a quick sand to get rid of any lingering wood splinters.
3. SEAL (OR PAINT!) THE SEAT
I used my favorite satin Polycrylic. It’s water-based so it dries really quickly, doesn’t yellow and cleans out of my brush with hot water and a drop of dish soap. It’s the best, best, best! I put 3 coats on all sides, sanding lightly with an extra fine 300+ sandpaper in between coats, for an extra-smooth, ultra-protected finish.
In between sealing sessions, I ran downstairs to take photos of Chris getting ready to hang the swing.
4. FIND STUDS/FLOOR JOISTS IN CEILING AND SECURE HOOKS
Using a stud finder, we found where floor joists in the ceiling were. As a tip, ceiling lighting is usually secured to a stud, so that’s a great starting point.
Since the holes in our swing seat were 20″ apart, that’s how far apart our holes in the ceiling were. Chris drilled pilot holes before screwing in the screw eye.
While a regular screw eye would work just fine, we found this one with an extra ring on it and thought it would take some wear off of the rope continually going back and forth, since the ring would be the thing pivoting most.
If you have it, A small paint roller handle (or screwdriver), looped through the eye, makes screwing it into place so much easier.
5. HANG SWING
The last step is actually hanging the swing. The rope we ended up using was a natural looking poly rope I found at Ace Hardware. It was just 59 cents a foot making it about $15 for the 25 feet we bought for our swing.
After cutting it, exactly in half, we strung it through the rings and burned the edges with a lighter which melted the fibers together to prevent fraying.
Then we put each end through a hole in the seat and tied a knot. That’s it!
It was the world’s simplest project and it has provided hours upon hours of entertainment for our girls already, plus! It helped the room to not feel off-centered anymore.
A few measurements of note that might help you decide where you’d want a swing in your home and how many feet of rope you’ll need:
• We have standard 8 ft ceilings.
• Our 6 year old (pictured below) is 52″ tall and the swing seat is 18″ from the floor–a comfortable height for her to get on and off by herself without her feet dragging while swinging.
• It’s 21″ away from the window wall, 57″ away from the couch and 66″ away from the fireplace, which gives them good swinging motion.
This swing is the cherry on top of a seriously enjoyable and rewarding room we can now call done (for now anyway). We’re taking photos of our finished family room and can’t wait to share all the before and afters soon!
Is there a spot for an indoor swing in your home??
FAMILY ROOM SOURCES
Area Rug / Curtains / Chest of drawers for toy storage / Two-toned basket / Round Mirror / Bamboo blinds / Dog painting / Table / Chairs / Pendant lights / P-L-A-Y Letters (spray painted gold) / Globe
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
Last week, Chris and I had the incredible opportunity to travel to London for work. We were invited by Williams Sonoma and William Morris and Co to preview their newest collaboration and the inspiration behind it. It was my first time in London and although it was a quick trip, they brought us all over […]
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