Last summer, I fell in love with Ana White's hanging daybed and put it on my "list". Then a few months ago, I came across this beauty at Life at Firelake Camp. Wheels turning, ideas formulating.... building fingers itching... I have been dreaming about my very own hanging daybed for a year.
This Spring we took on the challenge of getting rid of our scrap wood pile, not at the dump, but by incorporating as much of it as possible into homemade projects. So, we looked over the plans, measured the available space and hauled the spare single mattress down from the attic.
I wanted minimal space around the mattress - so it wouldn't take up too much space on the porch so based on the measurement of the mattress (75 x 37) and the width of the scrap fence boards (standard size from the deck section of the box store) the platform is 82 x 42.
We laid out 6 fence boards across and one on each end to add the length we needed. We built the frame out of scrap 2 x 4s to measure 79 x 40 and laid it down over the fence boards. We screwed in another piece of board across the part where the end piece meets the length pieces and pushed up against the frame to stabilize the ends and we used a jig tool to attach the frame to the platform boards.
We also added a cross piece of 2 x 4 to keep the frame nice and sturdy (my carpenter works quickly and I didn't catch a photo of that, but it's just another piece of 2 x 4 across the middle underneath and screwed into the sides.
We used a 3/4 inch spade bit to drill the holes just inside the corners of the frame, realizing after the fact that it would have been better to drill a small pilot hole from the bottom and then drill the large hole from the top. When the bit came through the "right side" of the platform, it split the wood and pulled off random chips. I used wood filler to smooth out the chips and let it dry.
I have the whole thing a good sanding with 150 grit and my palm sander to make the wood nice and smooth and soft to the touch. I paid special attention to the corners to round out the sharp bits. That way, getting bumped with the corner of the swing will hurt a bit but won't scrape delicate shins. What good is a daybed that bites you when you walk by?
Ah, the rope... if pressed I would have to admit that this manila rope is the main reason I wanted the daybed. It's so rustic and harbour-y. We bought 44 feet so that we could accomodate the 9 foot porch ceiling and the knots at both ends. I had the store cut it in one piece so that whatever was left at the end would be in one piece instead of a bunch of little pieces.
We also bought eye hooks for the ceiling (looks like a circle with a straight screw piece sticking off of it). We located the joists for a good, secure connection - you'll need to use whatever fasteners are right for your situation. A couple of apple crates worked perfectly to prop up the platform at the height we wanted while we secured the ropes. Be sure to put your mattress on the base when you are deciding on height, it makes a difference visually and you want to make sure it's at a comfortable level to get on and off once it's up and running.
I made a nice tight double knot in the end of the rope and threaded all 44 feet of it through the first hole from the bottom, then on a ladder, threaded the rope through the eye hook, pulled the rope taught but not too tight and checked it with a level to make sure it was straight from the platform to the ceiling. Once all the ropes are attached, remove the props from underneath and your daybed is officially hanging! In this photo, it looks like the platform is on a slant - it's actually level, the porch has a bit of a slant for water run off!
You will see that I decided against painting it right away. When it was sanded, the wood was so nice and soft I couldn't bear to cover it up. I am not sure if it looks great in its natural state, but the whole porch and the whole house need painting so it fits right it. I can still paint it at some point.
Now for the fun part, gathering up the pillows, bedspreads and quilts and making it into a bed!
After all the work I could really use a nap!
Many, many hours of swinging at all hours of the day and night, including a mother/sons Crazy Eights tournament, it's holding up beautifully and surprisingly, being treated by everyone with love and respect (I was a little concerned about daybed surfing but so far, so good!)
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