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How to Make an Indoor Swing!

July 12, 2016  —  Written by Julia 

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We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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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.

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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.

How to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves Julia

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.

Materials Needed

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.)
Stud Finder
Drill
2 Screw-eyes with Rings

How to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves Julia How to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves Julia

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.


How to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves Julia

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.


How to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves JuliaHow to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves Julia

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.

How to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves Julia

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.

How to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves Julia
How to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves Julia

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.

How to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves Julia

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.

How to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves Julia

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.

How to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves JuliaHow to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves Julia

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.

How to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves JuliaHow to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves Julia

Then we put each end through a hole in the seat and tied a knot. That’s it!

How to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves Julia

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.How to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves JuliaHow to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves Julia How to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves JuliaHow to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves JuliaHow to Make an Indoor Swing! | Chris Loves Julia

 

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

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What do you think?

  1. Lucy Wright says:

    I love this! I am currently gathering supplies to do this for my daughter for her birthday!

  2. Sara says:

    Hi Julia,
    As I can see this post is a little older but I wanted so ask anyways: where did you get that insanely gorgeous carpet from?

    Is there any chance I can get a similar one for my living room?

    Thanks for your help, p.s. Love that swing idea!

  3. Nicoleta says:

    I love love love the swing idea!! Thinking of trying it out in my first apartment instead of buying a sofa (which is uber expensive compared to this diy) and making it a little larger to be more of a floating daybed. Thank you for the well detailed explanation, needed it badly (left to convince the landlord) ;)

  4. Silvia says:

    Hi! I love your throw blanket with the fringes that u keep on your playroom couch. I don’t see the source anywhere. Can I know where it’s from?

  5. unown says:

    i hate this swing

  6. Lili says:

    Hi! Will def be doing this swing in our playroom. Also, love your blog. Found it when we were searching for reviews of the c&b lounge… we have decided to get it and couldn’t be more excited! Just a couple of q’s: 1. How has your sofa’s material held up to family life? Kids and a dog with a light colored couch makes me nervous! 2. Where did you get this pictured rug?!? I LOVE it!

  7. Cathy says:

    Hi Julia! Love the swing and will add to my house project list so we can have it for our daughter when she’s old enough. Quick question about the carpet though – how has it held up so far? We’re planning to get our entire upstairs carpet replaced and I just got a quote for a similar type of carpet (thanks to you for the inspiration!), but wanted to be certain it’s the right decision before committing. We have a soon-to-be toddler and two pups, both sheds quite a bit (one with black and one with white fur).

  8. Melody says:

    Hey Julia! Random question – How have the pom poms held up to the sun? Have they oxidized/faded?

  9. Oh my goodness! I love it!! Is it weird that I want to do this in the middle of my living room? ;)

  10. Rebecca W says:

    Stop it!!!! Now I have to convince my husband for this!!!

  11. Alison G says:

    I know it wouldn’t be far for them to fall. But I would worry about that board that has been glued, breaking vs a solid board and the knots coming untied. It sounds like your winters are harsh there so what a fun option for indoor play.

  12. Sarah says:

    Killer photos! Your photography game is really going strong lately!

  13. Kristen says:

    How fun!! I love this addition to the family room/play room. You have to be the coolest parents on the block! :)

  14. sharon says:

    That is SO COOL! I love the idea :)

  15. Gretchen says:

    This looks so amazing! Definitely going to make room for this somewhere in my house (and no, I don’t have any kids! Is that ok?). Also, just a side note- now that I listen to your podcast I can’t help but read your blog posts in your voice. Kiiiiinda creepy!

  16. JoAnna says:

    I’m a new follower and just wanted to say, “I think you guys are amazing!” The kitchen you just finished is a perfect example of turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse! I kept looking at the before and after pictures because it was such an amazing transition. Love the swing and it’s on my to do list for my Grandson.

  17. Rebecca says:

    I’ve always wanted to add an indoor swing to one of our rooms – but worry about the long-term wear and tear on the joist/ceiling/drywall. Did you research that? Any advice? I am such a worrier. :)

    • Julia says:

      Haha, floor joists hold years and years of weight from being walked on and are meant to last and hold quite a bit of weight–something we actually DID research before we laid our tile flooring on the entirety of our first floor. So, I guess we’re not in the least bit worried about the swing wearing on it.

  18. I love this! I really want something like this for my toddler.
    So cute and so fun! Good job guys!

    http://www.kellynrivera.com

  19. Chance says:

    Love the swing. Just wanted to note how grow up Greta is looking these days! She’s beautiful.

  20. This room looks like a dream. I know you’ve been on the fence about those pom pom curtains, but they really add the perfect touch of whimsy!

  21. Elizabeth says:

    Wow! I really want to find room for this in my house!

  22. Heidi says:

    Can you give an estimate on the weight limit on the swing?

    • Julia says:

      If you use a plank style board (with the grain running across the length of the swing) you’ll get more strength out of it. I’ve sat on this one with no problem, though.

  23. Evita says:

    Looks great. But the wood can dreak in this direction. And for how much kg are the hooks? Love them, want to use them for another project.

  24. Rebecca says:

    Such a fun project! We did one in our last house, but yours is much prettier. ;) As a side note, when our oldest was 6, she was the same height as your daughter. At almost 8, she’s 55″ and officially 12″ shorter than me. Yikes!

  25. Kari says:

    Oh I can imagine now the legions going nuts for such a cute, whimsical, stylish, practical DIY. Beautiful! Well done!

  26. Dawn says:

    I love it! How fun! Makes me sad my kids are too old for this at 13 and 16. :)

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We believe we should all love where we live.

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