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porch swing

When I think of spring and my childhood, there are a few memories that come to mind. One of them is of the amazing four-seater glider my father built when I was young. It sat next to our row of lilac trees, and for a few weeks every spring, there was nothing more magical than just sliding back and forth on the swing, cutting through the lilac-perfumed air. We kids used it as much as the parents, and it being the only one in the neighborhood, it made our yard quite the star.

If you’re looking for a great project for your yard this year, why not consider bringing that old Southern comfort feel to your yard with a terrific swing or glider? Rocking back and forth, a tall glass of lemonade, a warm afternoon, and a book — it’s the quickest way to feel like you don’t have a care in the world on a warm summer’s day.

Here are a few designs you’ll find for free on the internet:

1. Freestanding arbor swing

Porches aren’t as commonplace as they once were, so if you don’t have the structure for a porch swing, you might want to consider this arbor swing. No need to stay close to the house with this one. It’ll be perfect anyplace you put it in your yard, but since it’s soundly anchored with posts in concrete, make sure you like the spot. Consider sun placement, shade, and you’ll be set for swinging. The free plans are right here.

2. Hanging porch swing

Here are the plans for a familiar sight for all of us — the classic bench-style porch swing. Seating for two, or a handful of little tykes, this old-school bench swing is perfect for all porches.

3. Pallet porch swing

I’m forever in love with the ideas creative bloggers like Sheryl Salisbury have when they’re coming up with upcycling ideas to reuse products in a beautiful, functional way. So, my ongoing love of anything made from a shipping pallet is yet again stoked by Sheryl’s wonderful upcycling of a crappy old pallet into this sleek, gorgeous bench swing. What a simple, easy, stylish, affordable project for folks with a great tree or porch to hang this from.

4. Fancy swing structure with trellis for flowers

This one from Better Homes and Gardens is far more complicated than the pallet porch swing above, but it’s the magical kind of swing that makes you feel like there’s no place you’d rather be at that moment, so if you have the woodworking skills for this one, this plan’s for you.

5. Cape Cod glider chair

This is the most difficult project I’ve found, and it’s definitely for the advanced woodworker with a good deal of time on their hands, but it’s a chair I think I could love for a lifetime. If you’ve got the skills and you want a labor of love that doesn’t have to be permanently rooted in place like the swing structure above, this glider chair’s an ideal project.

 6. Glider bench

A two-seater glider, this one has less ornate work and is a little simpler with the skillset required than the gorgeous Cape Cod glider above. Still, it’s a classic design and a beautiful addition to any porch, and has a slimmer profile than the Cape Cod too, making it more accommodating to tighter porch spaces than you may first suspect.

7. The four-seater canopied glider

Try though I might to find you a free plan for this, the closest I can find to the awesome four-seater glider built by my father and that I loved deeply, this is a plan for sale for $9.95. My father’s was wider, less angled, and painted white, which I think always looks beautiful in gardens, and might be a nice move on this one too.

The plans may cost a few bucks, but if you were to buy a four-seater wooden glider already made, you’d be forking over $1,000 or more for all the models I saw during my research. But hey, it’s got a DRINK stand too! That’s worth $9.95 alone, since on a hot summer day, that lemonade’s too cold to hold.

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Swing right into spring with these plans!

Nothing says “I ain’t got a care in the world” like stopping everything for an hour and just sitting in a swing or a glider, gently swaying back and forth. It’s soothing, relaxing, and it’s a tonic for the demanding pace of modern life, something that harkens back to a simpler time of whiling away the evening on your front stoop, chatting at the passers-by in the night.

If you’ve never experienced the joy of a glider or swing at home, then this is the season to get that one off your bucket list, so you can enjoya whole summer of relaxing.

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Steffani Cameron

Steffani Cameron is a Victoria BC-based writer on a variety of topics. Here on the BuildDirect blog, she specializes in writing about smaller, urban spaces. How do you make the most of your smaller space? How do you decorate it to suit you? And how do you wage the war against clutter and win? This is Steff’s specialty.