/ / / How-to Wrap a Porch Swing Chain with Rope

How-to Wrap a Porch Swing Chain with Rope

Are you looking at how-to makeover a typical porch swing into something special? Wrapping the swing chain with rope is not only easy, but gives your swing a custom coastal vibe.

Apparently, I must really not like swings the way the home improvement stores make them. Wrapping the chain with rope is just ONE of the things I did to makeover my porch swing. Hey, my name is Porch Daydreamer after all 🙂 I take this porch swinging thing pretty seriously! 

Let’s look at how I’ve modified my swing:

  1. Upholstered the seat
  2. Wrapped the chain in rope
  3. Repainted with a driftwood faux finish 

My porch swing now looks like a very expensive custom swing. It started out as a basic black swing from Lowe’s Home Improvement stores. Don’t believe me? Here was the swing at the beginning of last summer…basic and getting tired looking.

Black Porch Swing

Here it is now…feels like it belongs at a beach house.

porch-swing-chain-wrapped-in-rope-coastal

Post contains hand selected products, with some affiliate marketing links {full disclosure here} 

How-to Wrap a Porch  Swing Chain with Rope

When I started this project, I had no idea how or if this idea was going to work. The rope was very inexpensive, so I thought the worst that could happen is I’m out a few bucks. When I want something I just go for it!

After trying a couple of options, in just a few minutes, I had a plan.  It was EASY, but you do need to be patient with the wrapping. THe good news is it goes fast!

Supplies 

supplies-to-wrap-swing-chain-in-rope

If you’ve been reading my how-to guides, you have probably seen these tools before. I used to work for Rubbermaid in the Tough Tools division and still use them. Great tools, but no longer available. That’s an unemployment story for another time 😉

Total cost will be around $30 for supplies. Not bad right? 

I have a question. Have you ever braided your own or someone else’s hair? If not, that is a principle that is needed to get you through this process. Here is a diagram to help you “see” this before I start explaining! The rope comes apart in 3 sections.

blog_how-to-braid-illustration_large
How-to Braid Hair
Step 1:

Measure the chain using the dress maker measuring tape. Measure it in sections and you’ll see below why I recommend a flexible tape measure.  You will have to measure through the 4 holes on the swing.

Measure the distance from the where the chain is hanging from the ceiling, then from the split. I’m calling those the Y-connectors that go through the arms to hold the swing level. One measurement is for the front part of the Y and one for the back part. 

measure-the-chain-in-sections-with-a-dress-makers-measuring-tape

Write the 3 section measurements down on a piece of paper and ADD 5 INCHES to each piece, so you have enough rope to tie knots and trim. I’m ASSUMING if you measure one side you can use that for both – that worked for me!

You can see the driftwood finish is in process. Come back next week for that tutorial! So you don’t miss it, please consider signing up for my weekly e-newsletter when my face pops up 🙂

slide-tape-measure-through-hole-in-arm
Step 2:

Cut the sections of rope using the cutting pliers. I’d recommend doing this outside because it’s pretty messy.  My kitchen counter and floors were a mess after this project, so I’ll save you the trouble of having to vacuum and dust.Y-Split-black-porch-swing

You will have an identical set (one for each side) of these pieces for a total of 6:

  1. Front Y 
  2. Back Y
  3. Long hanging chain

As you go through these instructions, I won’t be repeating the process for each area but show you the principles for the sections.  So know you will go through the process 6 times!

Step 3:

Begin with the front or back Y and split the rope into 3 sections. Who knew a rope had 3 sections??? This I did, before attaching it to the swing. 

split-the-rope-into-3-sections

Step 4:

With precision, jam the three pieces through latch that connects the hanging chain to the Y-connection. Yeah, just jam them! No skill required. CABLE TIE THE ROPES TO THE LATCH. Sorry, I missed this picture! The cable ties will get covered later.

force-all-three-pieces-into-chain

Step 5:

First, pull one of the 3 rope pieces down flat against the front of the chain. Run it through the hole in the arm and secure it to the eye-hook by tying a knot. 

secure-the-middle-section-of-rope-by-tying-it

Step 6:

Time to get “kinda” braiding. Taking the 2 unsecured pieces criss-cross them over the front, then over the back of the chain. The goal is to cover as much of the chain as possible! Go all the way through the hole by feeding the 2 pieces of rope through. Secure by tying the 2 pieces in a knot around the eye hook. THIS SOUNDS LIKE IT TAKES FOREVER, BUT IT’S QUICK.

criss-cross-ropes-to-braid Tie-to-the-eye-hook-to-hold-in-place

Step 7:

After completing all 4 Y-connection sections, move to the hanging chain. You will obviously need a ladder for this one! Up at the top, follow the SAME process and jam the 3 pieces through a chain link. HOLD IN PLACE WITH A CABLE TIE.

Pretend this picture is a the top because I wasn’t risking dropping my camera 😉

force-all-three-pieces-into-chain

Step 8:

Take one of the 3 pieces and pull flat on the front side of the chain. Secure with a cable tie near the latch.  This is JUST to hold the single rope piece taught. You can see the cable tie is holding the 2 Y-connector ropes in place “kinda” in this picture.

zip-tie-first-piece-of-rope

Step 9:

REPEAT STEP 6 FOR BOTH HANGING CHAINS. Clip off the “anchor” cable tie (pictured above) and wrap a final cable tie to secure the three pieces in place above the latch.

Step 10:

Finishing touches. Now it is time to cover the cable ties.  Here are all of the locations you will need to cover. 

cable tie positions

Cut enough rope to create a knot around each cable wrapping the rope TWICE and then tying. See pictures below. I’m guessing it took about 6 inches. 

wrap-last-two-pieces-of-rope-around-to-secure tie-two-pieces-of-rope-in-a-knot-to-secure

Step 11:

Snip off remaining long pieces of rope and the ends of the cable ties in all locations using the cutting pliers. You can clip very close on both items. I PROMISE there are cable ties underneath keeping everything secure, but they just disappear after they are wrapped in rope ties. 

tie-rope-strands-around-zip-tie-to-cover-and-clip-endClose-up-of-chain-wrapped-with-rope

Here is the chain from the side. Hopefully, you can see that the reason I started with the single piece on the “face” of the chain is to provide the most coverage when looking directly at the swing. 

Pin It for Later

How-to-makeover-a-porch-swing-chain-with-rope-for-a-coastal-look

ENJOY!

That wasn’t so bad was it! I promise it took maybe 2 hours start to finish mainly because you have to go up and down a ladder. 

I did call in my friend George to help up at the top because I’m a little person. 

He could reach more safely to secure the top with the cable ties. I did the braiding 😉 Thanks George! 

driftwood gray faux finished swing with rope wrapped chains

Shop the Look

Do you have that living at a beach house and sand in your toes feeling when you look at your swing now?

Want to see how my porch swing looks now and have all of the tutorials in one place?

blue-white-rug-pink-pillows-white-dog-upholstered-swing

How-to Makeover a Basic Porch Swing

As my FREE GIFT to you, with email sign-up a detailed paint sheen project guide! 

You will know the right sheen for every project…

free-paint-sheen-download-porch-daydreamer

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Until next time…

Porch Daydreamer

Tracey

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15 Comments

  1. Anyone else have their rope become discolored. My rope is starting to look dingy almost black. Any suggestions on a different rope or how to clean it?

    1. Yes, I’ve had my rope up for a few seasons but like any natural product it will fade/get dirty being exposed to the elements. I’ve sprayed a mixture of 1/3 bleach with 2/3 water and rinsed to help brighten it a bit. The only real solution if you want it to look brand new each year is to replace it. I like the weathered look on my porch.

  2. How much space for clearance would recommend on the sides? I have an L-shaped porch so I’ll have a wall on one side and the porch railing on the other side. I’ve never been on a bed swing so I don’t know what to expect for side movement. Thanks!

    1. Hi, Lance! This is a standard sized swing and 5 feet wide not a bed swing. The swing barely moves from side to side, unless we have straight line gusts during a hurricane. The typical placement is centered between the wall and railing, so you’ll have to measure the space. Best guess is 18 inches on either side is a good idea.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this!! I wanted the aesthetic of a rope for our porch-swing-bed but 1) big fat rope is surprisingly expensive and 2) I didn’t want to hassle with it stretching over time. This gives me the look of rope and the functionality of chain. Dream! Thanks so much!

    1. Lauren, it seems it would but I honestly can’t confirm if it would. It was cheaper to buy the rope I recommend because I could divide it into 3 sections. You would have to really measure and make sure you have enough for 3 to “braid” it.

    1. Hey, Betty! Glad you are going to try it. No, I didn’t and left it natural. It does turn a bit darker, but has worn well through winter and a couple of hurricanes 🙂 I’d imagine I’ll replace it after a few seasons.

  4. Hi Tracy, I am new to your glorious website. This is EXACTLY what I want to do to my porch swing, paint and rope tying. I may have missed but what size rope did you start with when you divided into the 3 parts and braided? i do appreciate your time. Thank you!

    1. Linda, Nice to meet you! So glad you found a resource – I had to make it up as I went 😉 Thanks for pointing out that I linked to the product, but didn’t specify. I’ve fixed it in the description. I ordered 1/2 inch x 100 ft rope, but I had a lot leftover. The next size down was 50ft and I don’t think that is enough, so just realize it’s more than you really need!

      Good luck!

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