Miniature Porch Swings for Dolls: How to Make Your own Doll furniture
Mini Porch Swing for Dolls
Porch swings are a timeless classic and the miniature versions are just as enjoyable. Whether you are a chlild or an adult, these mini porch swings are perfect for displaying your dolls, stuffed animals, or just for decoration.
The miniature porch swings are fairly simple and inexpensive to make yourself. They can be made from any scrap wood you have lying about the garage. We like to make ours out of old pallets, but you can use most types of wood.
Here are simple instructions on how to make your own miniature porch swing.
Wooden Dowels - For the more experienced wood worker, you can pre-drill holes and use dowels and wood glue to attach the framing and wood slats for the swing.
Rope/Ribbon - Since the swings are for dolls, you can substitute chain with rope/twine or decorative ribbon to attach the swing to base.
Here is a list of the materials used to make the porch swings shown in the pictures:
- Eye Hooks
- Chain (smaller links are best)
- Small finishing nails
- Wood Glue
- Stain, Varnish, or Paint
Depending on your skill level and how creative you want to be with the mini porch swing will determine what tools you will need. The basic tools should include:
- Measuring Tape
For the more experienced wood worker you can use the following tools in replace or in addition to:
- Various Power Saws (Table Saw, Miter Saw, Scroll Saw)
Porch Swing Base
- We recommend using slats that are 1/8 inch by 2 inch and 1 inch by 2 inch for the swing supports.
How to Make a Mini Porch Swing
There are really just two steps to making the mini porch swing. There is the porch swing itself and the base it swings from.
To make the porch swing you want to determine the width of the swing itself. Then you can cut the slat pieces all to that length.
The number of slat pieces the swing will need is based on several factors:
- How deep you want the porch swing to be?
- How high should the back support of the swing be?
- How far apart you want to space the slats?
After you have cut all your slat pieces, you will then need to cut four pieces to make the swing support. These pieces will hold the slats together and also connect the bottom of the porch swing to the back support.
It is best to lay out the slat pieces exactly how you want them spaced and then cut the support pieces to fit the length. Repeat the process for the back support of the porch swing.
Depending on your experience level, you can either use finishing nails to gently nail the ends of the slats to the supports, or for the more experienced, you can drill holes in the slats and supports and use wood glue and wooden dowels to secure in place.
You will then need to nail the back support of the swing to the bottom of the porch swing. Line up the back of the swing to the bottom and nail (or use dowels) the supports together on either side.
Mini Porch Swing Frame
Swing Base Frame:
The base frame that the porch swing hangs from is simple to make. There is more than one way to make the frame, so be creative.
We use what we call the basic T-frame. The T-frame is basically that, two T-shaped bases that are flipped upside down and then attached by a single support beam.
You want to make sure that the T-frame bases are big enough to support the swing and the doll. A good rule of thumb is to have the T-base be as deep as the swing bottom itself. So however, long your swing supports were, you can cut the T-base to be that length.
The height of the T-frame base should be at least 1.75 to 2 times that of the height of the back of the swing. Remember, the swing is going to be hanging from the frame so you want it to have room to swing and not be hanging on the ground.
You can use screws, finishing nails, or wooden dowls to secure the T-frames together. The last part of the T-frame base is to cut the swing support that will connect to the two T-frames together.
The length of the swing support beam should be at least 1.25 to 1.5 the length of the porch swing. You want to make sure there is enough clearance on either side of the swing so it can easily swing back and forth.
Decorative Chain Swings
Attaching the Swing to the Frame
Now all that's left is to attach the porch swing to the frame. Simply insert eye hooks into the porch swing, two at the top of the back supports and then two more on the seat supports.
We like to put the eye hooks in between the first and second slats on the outer edge of the porch swing seat. This helps keep it balanced.
Length of Chain
The length of chain is dependent upon the size of the swing and how far you want the swing to be able to swing back and forth. We recommend first testing the length with a piece of string or yarn just to get a feel for the length you want.
Once you have the determined the length you need, use the string or yarn as a guide and measure out the length of chain to match the length of yarn. Some chains may require snipping. Be sure to discard the link that was snipped.
Insert one end of the chain around the eyehook at the base of the swing and the other end on the eyehook at the top of the swing. Do this on both sides of the swing.
Balancing the Swing:
Now that you are ready to attach the swing, you will want to make sure to attach the chains to the frame at the same length on each side. This will be trial and error.
Simply hook the two chains to the eyehooks on the support beam, one on each eyehook.
Allow the swing to hang freely and make adjustments as needed until the swing is balanced on both sides and sits the way you want it to.
I like to hang the mini porch swing with the front of the swing a little higher than 90 degrees.
This allows the doll to sit back in the swing and is less likely to fall forward out of the swing.
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