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
I love this! I am currently gathering supplies to do this for my daughter for her birthday!
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!
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) ;)
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?
i hate this swing
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!
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).
Hey Julia! Random question – How have the pom poms held up to the sun? Have they oxidized/faded?
Oh my goodness! I love it!! Is it weird that I want to do this in the middle of my living room? ;)
Stop it!!!! Now I have to convince my husband for this!!!
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.
Killer photos! Your photography game is really going strong lately!
How fun!! I love this addition to the family room/play room. You have to be the coolest parents on the block! :)
That is SO COOL! I love the idea :)
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!
Haha I do the same thing when I read!
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.
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. :)
I love this! I really want something like this for my toddler.
So cute and so fun! Good job guys!
Love the swing. Just wanted to note how grow up Greta is looking these days! She’s beautiful.
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!
The pom pom curtains are one of my favorite things about this space!
Wow! I really want to find room for this in my house!
Can you give an estimate on the weight limit on the swing?
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.
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!
Oh I can imagine now the legions going nuts for such a cute, whimsical, stylish, practical DIY. Beautiful! Well done!
I love it! How fun! Makes me sad my kids are too old for this at 13 and 16. :)
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.
We recently painted our study a dark, moody green color. This is after we first painted it a muddy green, then repainted it a blue-gray. I guess what they say is true; third time’s a charm! The journey was worth it, though, because I’m so in love with this glossy green in contrast with the […]
We've been doing this since 2009 and we've posted a whopping 24145+ blog posts and counting. You might need a little help searching, huh?
Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!
Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations
Make yourself right at home
What do you think?