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They say an ounce of prevention is greater than a pound of cure. We must have been sick the day they taught that lesson.

While we’re usually fairly careful planners, we were so blinded by DIY porch plans and nail polish-colored paint that we didn’t actually locate the studs in our porch ceiling before we built this sucker. (We had every intention to do so, we just didn’t. Rather, we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best – since surely there are a studs that’ll work somehow!) But since you can’t safely hang a porch swing without studs, Kim and I spent the better part of America’s birthday performing ceiling surgery.

The initial plan was to locate the studs with our pair of stud-finders, drill in the hooks and be done with it. Unfortunately, the aluminum roof fascia and the 1/4″ plywood ceiling underneath it rendered our stud-finders useless. We half-heartedly drilled a few pilot holes where we thought the studs should be, but were left disgruntled and confused. Below, we had already begun pulling down the porch roof in frustration:


This revealed the (non-structural) plywood underneath and allowed the stud-finder to get a good reading. This also confirmed that the studs were a maze of bad spacing and poor placements. We continued by pulling down two of the ceiling panels and were (extremely!) careful as to not destroy them since we planned on reusing them later. Once those were out of our way, I used a combination of a cordless circular saw and a multi-tool with a wood cutting blade to remove a large rectangular part of the plywood.


And (of course!) this confirmed that the studs were poorly placed, and we would need some additional bracing. There’s a 24″+ gap between the front of the house and the first stud, and there’s no stud at all perpendicular with the house on the left side, which we’d need to mount the swing. Otherwise, you can imagine that our 5′ swing would be pushed all the way to the right, which would look ridiculous. The good news is that there were a few more stud-ly options to choose from on the right:


Looking into the roof, it turned out the studs were actually pretty far apart (as opposed to typical interior studs that would be spaced 16″ on center):


Had we used the angled corner stud as one of our support beams, we would have ended up juuust too close to the front porch railing. There was, however that almost perfectly placed stud running perpendicular to the front of the house (on the right), but it needed to come out an extra 2″ or so to keep the swing a safe distance from the porch railing, which should be at a minimum of 2′. To remedy this, we cut down an additional 2×4 to the same length and married it from both sides to the existing stud. A right-angle drill came in incredibly handy in this tight space!


For the end of the swing that completely lacked a stud, we used two joist hangers and cut the another new 2×4 to length so that it fit perpendicular to the existing structure.


Below, you’ll see how it looks when fastened securely in place at the same distance from the porch railing as our new “married” stud on the opposite side.


Now, we have studs spaced apart properly for what we need, and at the right depth from the porch railing! In our case, these newly added studs are 31″ from the railing, while also giving us plenty of wiggle room from side to side to situate our swing. As we do, I tested approximate strength by hanging off of each new stud. Vargo tough!


After the studs were in place, we took some careful measurements with a carpenter’s square and made some light pencil marks along the side of the house for reference. We then fastened the plywood “skin” back in place.


When it came time to bring it all together, we wanted our swing to be a safe distance away from the railing (once installed, our swing is a 2′ distance), and we secured the lag hooks an extra 2″ or so wider than the width of our swing to avoid scratching the fresh paint job. Ours are 64″ apart for a 60″ wide swing: On a side note, you can see a couple of those extra holes during our initial “investigation-gone-wrong”!


The verdict? Strong enough for a CC! (Actually, it’s probably strong enough for 10 CCs and 10 Jacks!)

Everything went back together pretty seamlessly overall, however, it’s far from perfect. (Perfect from far!) Overall, we ended up with a very sturdy swing attached to a slightly (aesthetically) imperfect ceiling. No worries though. It’s only a band-aid until we can replace the entire ceiling with stained tongue and groove next summer. I mean, we can dream, can’t we?

  • angela - July 10, 2014 - 7:45 AM

    Love, love, love it and when you replace the ceiling it will be extra amazing!

    Angela @ Number Fifty-ThreeReplyCancel

  • Laura @ Rather Square - July 10, 2014 - 9:11 AM

    Nice save! It would have been a shame to have your pretty new swing come crashing down before you got to enjoy it.ReplyCancel

  • Alison - July 10, 2014 - 10:05 AM

    That dog is adorable…ReplyCancel

  • Joanna @ TheNestbook - July 10, 2014 - 12:24 PM

    DIY can be sooo trying at times. But it’s so worth it in the end when you look at a completed project and know that you did it! Your swing looks beautiful. And your dog seriously could not be cuter (or more photogenic!). :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 10, 2014 - 4:14 PM

      You’re right – even though we were kicking ourselves, we are SO HAPPY to have our swing! CC agrees.ReplyCancel

  • Erin Haslag - July 10, 2014 - 2:26 PM

    It’s gorgeous!! Love the choice of navy and the pillows.ReplyCancel

  • David Vargo - July 10, 2014 - 3:02 PM

    Great job! Good from far or “your eye won’t go there”.ReplyCancel

  • ten - July 14, 2014 - 10:26 AM

    Oh my gosh! That last photo of CC is perfection! :)ReplyCancel



Remember when I said we had a front patio update, only to run into issues at the eleventh hour? (I mean, it’s DIY! Naturally.) Well over the holiday weekend, we were able to tie up the loose ends, and now we have a new, pretty porch swing to show for it! (As for the road block, we’ll be sharing those details and how we course corrected this week; if there’s a will, there’s a way!)

You all know we’ve been teaming up with Ace Hardware (thank you, Ace!), and most recently, they’ve added a new line of OPI nail colors to their Paint Studio! In a nutshell, together with Clark+Kensington, OPI has released 18 colors in 3 collections – The Wild Heart, The Romantic and The Artist. When Ace asked us to give one of these colors a go, Scott and I both landed on Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine! – part of The Romantic line – as the perfect contender for our swing project. The not-quite-black felt rich and fancy (ooh!), and we wanted something bold that could still be paired with colorful plants and pillows. To say we’re thrilled with the color and the exterior Clark+Kensington paint would be an understatement! Our OPI choice is hands down our new favorite black. It’s truly stunning!

For the swing itself, we used these plans from Ana White, but as we do, we made a few minor alterations to better fit our needs. While her plans are for a 6′ swing, we shortened ours to 5′ and did a step or two backwards (keep reading below!). Ana’s instructions are simple and effective, so we’ll simply share our supplies and cut list for a smaller swing. Don’t be alarmed by the hefty supply list – hanging the swing was the most complicated part of the project – but more on that later (!).

5 – 8′ 2x4s
6 – 6′ 1x6s

(1) 2 – 15′ pack of chain, 340 lb working load
(2) 4 – 1/4″ quick links, 880 lb working load
(3) 4 – 5/16″x4″ eye bolt w/ nut
(4) 8 – 5/15″x1.5″ fender washers
(5) 4 – 5/16″ coarse nylon lock nut
(6) 2 – 5/16″x4″ Screw hook lag thread
(7) 2 – 2.5″ S Hooks


Tape measure
Compound miter saw (for making cuts)
2.5″ wood screws
2″ finish nails
Countersink bit
Nail gun
Wood glue
Wood filler
Sandpaper / electric sander
Exterior paint / paint sprayer
Safety glasses

4 – 2×4 @ 21″ (support joists)
2 – 2×4 @ 60″ (front and back aprons)
4 – 2×4 @ 18.25″ (back supports)
2 – 2×4 @ 11.25″ (arm fronts)
2 – 2×5 @ 25.5″ (arm rests)
6 – 1×6 @ 60″ (back and seat slats)

Before diving in, we got started by going through our cut list and having all the lengths ready to go. As I mentioned above, Ana’s instructions are so easy to follow, and once we had our seat frame built, the rest of the steps tumbled into place effortlessly. Normally we’d be proponents of using our Kreg jig and creating pocket holes for the support joists, however, we nixed that and just used wood glue and 2.5″ screws from the outside. (Honestly? It was because we didn’t have shorter screws on hand for the pocket holes!) Whenever we used a screw, we prepped it with our countersink bit so we could hide them later.


With our seat frame built, we moved on to the back supports using a good dose of wood glue and 2 screws in each 2×4.


This is the point where the tutorial suggests moving on to the arm rests, however, we opted to install the top slat for the back first, as this would allow us to build the arm rest and have it rest snug against said slat. If we were to do it the other way around, we feared that we could be ever-so-slightly off, meaning that the top slat would need to sit lower (and allowing the back support to be exposed at the top) or the arm rest wouldn’t be high enough.


With the arm rests in place, we used our nail gun to secure all of the 1×6 surface slats, starting with the second back slat and then moving to the seat. A dab of wood glue along the seat and back supports were applied – you know, for good measure.


Because we used a countersink bit for all of the screws, we were able to easily cover them up with wood filler and a good sanding. Since this is an outdoor swing, we didn’t go overboard sanding every square inch, rather, we worked on any rough areas or frayed edges. In total, I think we sanded for all of 20 minutes.


We’ve used Clark+Kensington in the past, but we’d yet to try their exterior line – and color us impressed! We went with the satin sheen, which worked really well with our color, Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine! (We had to pick the longest paint name, right? But isn’t that the fun in choosing your nail colors, too?) We also opted to use our spray gun since there are so many edges and hard to reach gaps, saving us time and a lot of energy. All said and done, the sprayer barely used a half gallon – it covered beautifully!


The chain attaches to the swing using every item in the swing chain list above, with the exception of the screw hook lag threads, which are for a stud in the ceiling:



The tutorial for our style of swing creates a really low back, which is ideal for layering on pillows. Without pillows, depending on your size or height, it will hit you mid-back. However, we like that we can sling our arms across the top, and the extra deep seat is perfect for laying down and stretching out (which I’ve been happily testing out daily!). Side note: You might notice that our patio floor has a new color! We were on a roll this weekend – literally, ha! Details on that later as well!


If you’ve skimmed this whole post and became distracted at every photo of our CC girl (believe us, we understand), read this: We went into our swing project somewhat blindly, assuming that installation would be straight forward. It was not. Before starting a thing, we absolutely encourage you to check the support beams that’ll be holding your swing and have a plan. I mean, this is so obvious, right? We made a lot of assumptions beforehand, and this little disclaimer comes from our own error in not doing so ourselves. (I suppose we were just really excited to get going!) But! The good news is that we found a solution! Scott will share that with you this week (for anyone else who might be thinking, well, bummer! I don’t have a plan!), so until then…

… How about a giveaway?  To celebrate the launch of the OPI color palette , we’ll be giving away a $100 Ace Hardware gift card to one lucky reader! The giveaway runs through this Friday, July 11th at 5pm CST, and the winner will be announced within this post by Friday evening. Simply enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck and happy entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


We’re excited to be collaborating with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel! Ace has provided us with compensation and the materials necessary to complete this project (hey, thanks, Ace!), and all opinions are our own. CC is an added bonus.

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design - July 8, 2014 - 6:52 AM

    It’s perfect and with the perfect model! SO cuteReplyCancel

  • Susan Hitt - July 8, 2014 - 7:23 AM

    I recently found your blog and I love if! How much do you think you guys spent on materials? My porch could really use something like this!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 8, 2014 - 8:59 AM

      For our 5′ swing, you could expect somewhere between $60-70, but with paint, it would be around $100. Not bad for a beautiful piece of furniture! We already had all the tools and nails/screws, so you might want to factor that in as well.ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Adventures of a Dog Mom - July 8, 2014 - 8:15 AM

    Love the swing it looks great and I like that you can add pillows! I love OPI nail polishes and just so happen to have Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine! in my collection, it’s a great color.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 8, 2014 - 8:59 AM

      It’s an awesome color! I’ll need to get it for my nails now too :)ReplyCancel

      • Amy - July 8, 2014 - 12:08 PM

        Oh my gosh, NONE of this post made sense until I read this comment!! I was thinking “why in the world would you buy specially tinted nails for your project… can’t you just paint over the nails?”.

        My head was so firmly in DIY Land that even if you had said “nail polish” I still probably would have been scratching my head wondering what it meant to polish a nail!ReplyCancel

        • Kim - July 8, 2014 - 12:24 PM

          Oh, man!! Haha, I can totally see how talking about “nails” can get so confusing!ReplyCancel

  • Jen - July 8, 2014 - 8:36 AM

    Thanks for sharing this project. I love the look of this bench and I think I want to add legs and make it a free standing bench vs a hanging swing.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 8, 2014 - 9:00 AM

      During our installation turmoil, we did actually consider adding 4x4s for legs – so that’s definitely an option! In the end, we held on and pushed through. We’ll share what happened and how we fixed it this week!ReplyCancel

  • andee - July 8, 2014 - 8:49 AM

    I have to admit I got a little distracted by the cute model : ) I think my dogs would be afraid to jump up on a swing!ReplyCancel

  • Laura @ Rather Square - July 8, 2014 - 9:03 AM

    What a great place to hang out on your porch with a drink or two and watch the neighbors go by. :) Love how it turned out!ReplyCancel

  • jenn aka the picky girl - July 8, 2014 - 10:22 AM

    I just tried Clark+Kensington for the first time today. I bought it two weeks ago, Calypso Beat, this gorgeous berry, magenta-ish color (I hate pink) and started painting a MCM piece of furniture this morning before work because I couldn’t wait any longer. It is…drop dead gorgeous. I cannot wait to get home and slather on another coat.

    Love the swing! It looks navy to me, but it could be the light. Either way, it’s gorgeous.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 8, 2014 - 10:24 AM

      Ooh, I bet that is pretty!

      Yup, it does have a blue tint in the light, sometimes even leaning slightly green! It’s such a rich color. We loved that, since it will go nicely with our front door once we get that painted.ReplyCancel

  • Monika - July 8, 2014 - 10:39 AM

    Love porch swings. You guys did an awesome job (as usual). Now where’s the summer time Shandys for the swing? ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 8, 2014 - 10:43 AM

      Don’t you worry, Monika. We don’t sit on that swing without an adult beverage! It’s almost mandatory.ReplyCancel

  • Rita - July 8, 2014 - 1:50 PM

    Love the swing. I think I would use that color on the wooden chair in our backyard.ReplyCancel

  • Samantha - July 8, 2014 - 4:26 PM

    Love how the swing turned out. I would make one in a heartbeat if I had something to hang it on. I don’t think our lanai would support it…..however we have a huge oak tree out in the front yard…maybe it would look awesome there. Thank you for the directions with pictures, it always helps so much since I’m a visual person.ReplyCancel

  • Nice work guys! This looks awesome and has me scheming a reason to come back to Chicago and give it a try!

    The color looks great! Have you seen the commercials for the OPI colors??? They crack me up. They almost sound fake, like something out of Zoolander. “Now you can have your nail color ON YOUR WALLS!!!”ReplyCancel

  • […] ‘Best of the Blogosphere’ and I hope you enjoy this collection of inspiring DIY ideas! Build a porch swing for enjoying time lingering outdoors spring through fall with Yellow Brick […]ReplyCancel

  • shavonda@ahomefullofcolor - July 14, 2014 - 12:17 PM

    Wow I love this so much! Our new house has a porch and this would make the perfect swing for it. Thanks so much for sharing:)ReplyCancel


This weekend was a busy one, and we were hoping to share a fun and (mostly) simple tutorial for a porch project, but (of course!) we ran into a handful of road blocks in the eleventh hour. So instead, I thought it would still be nice to show you a few new additions to our home – even if they’re still waiting for a little love and final placement.

All (half-finished) house projects aside, we’ve been keeping our eyes open for certain furniture pieces that we know we’ll need when the time comes. We have running tallies of items listed in our phones (a light fixture here, a sideboard there and wouldn’t it be great if a pair of chairs found us?! ), as well as measurements of walls – just in case. You never know when a neon sign will derail your errands or when a flea market run is in order. (We just. can’t. not. go!)

ONE. Remember when we found this dresser in an alley? It’s been living in our bedroom along with this dresser as additional clothes storage until we can set aside time to install an actual closet. (Our room is dresser madness. Madness!) The problem is that we had intended for the former dresser to eventually live in our guest room, but since we’ve been using it daily ourselves, we’ve found that the drawers stick (something fierce). It’s also massive, and we were beginning to have our doubts that it might be too big for our tiny guest room.

Enter this guy!


It was nestled on its side and stacked on top of an end table at a neighborhood yard sale. I almost lost it when I spotted the poor thing, all beat up. Not known as the one to play it cool, I called Scott over, and he agreed that our house should be it’s new home. It’s in rough shape, but my goodness, those lines! Once we can get our own closet worked out, this will be the cutie that lives in the guest room (and the other dresser will likely take a hike). It’ll stash linens, blankets and extra guest toiletries, but there will still be enough room for our visitors to have a spare drawer, too.

TWO. On Sunday, we headed to the summer-monthly Randolph Street Market. From clothes to furniture to antique rugs, artwork and venus fly traps, Randolph consistently knocks it out of the park! So much so, that we found ourselves disassembling this beast and strapping it to the roof of our wagon:


We first mentioned here that we were thinking of turning the little storage room off of our kitchen into a walk-in pantry. Or maybe we’d tear down the wall and enlarge the kitchen? Well, after living here long enough to notice our habits, we have definitely decided to turn that funny space into a mini indoor work room. It’s close to the back door (which means it’s close to the garage), and it’s large enough to hold storage shelving and a massive work bench. This bench! At 3′ deep and 5′ wide, it was made for that room. As soon as I saw it, I got this adorable visual of a happy Scott, sanding down something or other (maybe a plinth for the never ending baseboards? Ha!). It weirdly made my heart swell, and after a round of painless negotiations, it was ours.

For now, the room is a cluster of tools, boxes and paint cans, but we’re counting down the days when we can organize it properly. And while this room’s purpose may not make a lot of sense to some, it’ll be great for making messes in the winter and properly storing paints and liquids that shouldn’t freeze. (Not to mention, it’s going to be life-changing to easily find the sandpaper or wood glue without swearing.) Ooh, it’s going to be good.

Any good summer finds on your end lately? Can we see?

PS… If you’re going to the Randolph Street Market, pre-purchase your tickets online to save some money, or check Goldstar/Groupon for a current deal!

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design - July 2, 2014 - 7:13 AM

    You always find the coolest stuff. Love the dresserReplyCancel

  • Laura @ Rather Square - July 2, 2014 - 8:59 AM

    I do like the lines of that dresser! Will you be fixing it up or leaving it as-is? The only “finds” I’ve had lately are what we’ve been gathering for the kids rooms as we work to set those up before the end of the summer. Many trips to Ikea, searches on Overstock, pinning, planning, etc.

    Good luck with the porch – can’t wait to see the tutorial!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 2, 2014 - 10:16 AM

      It’s in pretty rough shape, so once we’re able to get to it, we’ll have a better idea of whether we can salvage the finish. We’re on the fence, but we’d love to give it a shot!ReplyCancel

  • Kris - July 2, 2014 - 9:48 AM

    Someday I’ll make it to that market! If you ever want a short roadtrip, the Maxwell Street Days in Cedarburg, WI has some great stuff also. Cute town with cute shops also.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 2, 2014 - 9:52 AM

      Oh, we haven’t heard of that one! Thanks for the recommendation!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole S. - July 2, 2014 - 10:01 AM

    Let me know if you need the other dresser taken off your hands…I’ve been looking for one for our guest room. ;-)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 2, 2014 - 2:09 PM

      Thanks, Nicole! Unfortunately, it might be a while until we can get to building out our closet…ReplyCancel

      • Kim - July 2, 2014 - 2:10 PM

        Oh, and it would definitely be a project! Not sure if that’s what you’re looking for?ReplyCancel

        • Nicole S. - July 10, 2014 - 2:37 PM

          Oh, who knows what I’m looking for! All I know in this case is that I’d like a less-deep dresser to fit in the guest room closet. Something with character. One thing I miss about living in LS are the alleys! There aren’t as many in Albany Park for scoring treasures. I tend to choose things I find beautiful and figure it our afterwards. ha!ReplyCancel

  • I really love both of these pieces and am wildly jealous! We’ve been on a drought of new-to-us finds, mostly because we’ve been busy shooting weddings every weekend. Hopefully we’ll get some antique market-ing in over the next few weeks!ReplyCancel

  • Cait - July 2, 2014 - 1:39 PM

    You guys find the best stuff! And I love the idea of a workroom for projects. Color me jealous!

    I feel like the alley dresser could be useful somewhere – maybe in the future workroom, or the studio? Is it big enough to hold painting supplies? It could be cute with DIY leather handles like this or maybe rope? And since you found it in an alley you (probably) won’t be crushed if it gets a little paint on it?

    Then again, how many dressers does one couple really need, right? My hoarding tendencies are showing…ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 2, 2014 - 2:11 PM

      Haha, we SO badly want to get rid of items that aren’t working in this house, so we are ready to de-clutter! We seriously need to set aside some time on an afternoon to shoot photos, list things and start clearing out!ReplyCancel

      • Cait - July 2, 2014 - 2:53 PM

        That makes sense, and I’m sure you’ll have a lot of luck on Craigslist (or maybe even Etsy?). I think sometimes I get overly attached to pieces (like a coffee table my granddad’s friend made that may not be working in our library) or I try to hold onto them “until we find the perfect replacement”. Sometimes you just need to clear out!ReplyCancel

  • Angela Santiago - July 2, 2014 - 11:56 PM

    Love the dresser! Maybe after a few touch-ups, it’ll be even prettier. Same goes to the other piece. Bet they’ll be fabulous!ReplyCancel