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Hanging Daybed

Build this hanging daybed and turn a porch into a restful sleeping place.

Hanging daybed

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Miter saw
  • Cordless drill and driver bit
  • 1/2-in drill bit
  • Random-orbit sander, 120-grit sanding discs
  • Tape measure
  • Caulking gun
  • Hammer and nailset or compressor with 18-gauge brad nailer
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Clamps
  • Electronic stud finder
  • Pliers
  • Latex or nitrile gloves


  • See Project Diagram for lumber required
  • 2-1/2-in deck screws
  • 1-5/8-in stainless-steel trim-head screws
  • 4 - 1/2-in x 6-inch galvanized eye bolts, #43747
  • 4 - 5/16-in anchor shackles, #348298
  • 8 - 1/2-in galvanized washers
  • 4 - 1/2-in galvanized lock washers
  • 4 - 1/2-in galvanized nuts
  • 4 - 1/2-in screw hooks (see instructions)
  • 4 - 2/0 x 10-ft welded zinc-plated link chain, #348444
  • Construction adhesive
  • Olympic Elite solid-color stain, quart, Going Gray

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Project Resources


Turn your pergola, screened-in porch, or three-season room into cloud nine with this hanging daybed. It hangs from four lengths of chain that must be connected to joists or beams with sturdy hooks. Be sure the overhead structure will carry the weight of the daybed plus (just to be safe) two people. If you have questions, consult your local building code official.

Build the Ladder Frame

Step 1

From 2 x 4s, cut the rails (A) and supports (B) to length, cutting the ends of the rails at a 20-degree angle (Project Diagram, Cutting List, Cutting Diagram, and Drawing 1). Using a square, mark the locations of the supports on the inside faces of the rails.

Step 2

Position the supports between the rails and fasten with screws.

Drill two countersunk screw holes through the rails at each marked support location. Position the supports between the rails and drive 2-1/2-inch deck screws.

Good to Know

Use a countersink bit to drill pilot holes through the rails. This will allow the rails to draw tight against the supports when you drive the screws.

Step 3

Clamp the arms to the inside faces of the rails and secure.

Cut the arms (C) to length with 20-degree angles (Project Diagram, Drawing 2) on both ends. Clamp the arms to the inside faces of the rails (A). Drill four countersunk screw holes at each location, add construction adhesive, and fasten the arms to the rails with deck screws.

Step 4

Set the arm fillers on the top edges of the rails and fasten to the arms.

Cut the arm fillers (D) to length (Project Diagram, Drawing 2). Position the fillers on top of the rails (A) with the edges of the fillers and arms flush. The top ends of the fillers should be 1-1/2 inches above the top ends of the arms. Drill countersunk screw holes; add construction adhesive, and drive the deck screws through the fillers and into the arms.

Step 5

Attach the crossbars on the top ends of the arm fillers.

From a 2 x 3, cut the crossbars (E) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Apply construction adhesive, then position the crossbars between the arm fillers (D) on the top ends of the arms (C). Drill countersunk screw holes and drive the screws.

Trim the Frame

Step 1

Use a short scrap board to position the trim.

Cut the arm trim (F) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List, Cutting Diagram, and Drawing 3). Hold a short length of scrap board across the top of the arm/arm filler/cross bar assembly (C/D/E) and clamp the upper inside arm trim in place with the top edge of the trim touching the scrap board (Project Diagram, Drawing 4 and Drawing 5). Drill screw holes and fasten the trim to the arm fillers (D) with 1-5/8-inch stainless-steel trim-head screws. Repeat at the other end.

Good to Know

The cedar we used to trim the daybed has one rough face and one smooth face. We oriented the smooth faces to the outside.

Step 2

Position a second inside arm trim (F) against the bottom edge of the upper trim, drill screw holes, and drive the screws. There will be a gap between the bottom edge of this arm trim and the tops of the rails (A). Repeat at the other end.

Step 3

Screw the outside arm trim boards in place.

Turn the assembly over on a flat surface. Position the upper outside arm trim with the top edge flush with the top ends of the arm fillers (D). Drill screw holes and drive the screws. Add two additional arm trims. Repeat at the other end.

Step 4

Construction adhesive applied to the rail and arm make a stronger daybed.

Turn the assembly right side up. Place the 8-foot-long rail face (G) boards against the sides of the daybed assembly and mark the angle cuts at each end. Cut the parts to length. Apply construction adhesive to the rails (A) and arm fillers (D), position the rail faces on the rails, and nail them in place (Project Diagram, Drawing 5).

Step 5

Apply construction adhesive and nail the arm faces to the arm fillers.

Cut the arm faces (H) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List, and Drawing 3). Making two right-hand and two left-hand parts, cut a 20-degree angle at the bottom end of each arm face. Holding the parts in place, mark the angled cuts at the top ends, and cut them to length. Apply construction adhesive and position the outside edges of the arm faces flush with the arm trim (F). Nail the arm faces in place.

Step 6

Apply construction adhesive and nail the arm tops in position.

Cut the arm tops (I) to length, apply construction adhesive to the crossbars (E), and position the tops with an even overhang all around. Nail the tops in place.

Panel and Hardware

Step 1

Nail the panel to the rails and supports.

Cut the panel (J) to size (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Draw lines on the panel to indicate the support (B) centerlines. Apply construction adhesive to the rails (A) and nail the panel to the daybed frame (Project Diagram, Drawing 6).

Step 2

Mark the locations of the holes for the eyebolts (Project Diagram, Drawing 3). Drill 1/2-inch holes through the rail faces (G), rails (A), and arms (C) for the eyebolts. Sand any rough edges or surfaces of the daybed.

Apply the Finish

Step 1

Apply the stain part-by-part with a foam brush.

Working part-by-part to avoid lap marks as the finish dries, apply stain with a foam brush following the instructions on the can.

Install the Daybed

Step 1

Turn the daybed upside down. Slip 1/2-inch washers onto four 1/2-in x 6-in galvanized eyebolts and slide them into the holes in the daybed. Secure the eyebolts on the inside with 1/2-inch washers, 1/2-inch lock washers, and 1/2-inch nuts (Project Diagram, Drawing 5). Turn the daybed upright.

Step 2

Place the daybed in the desired location, aligning the eyebolt locations with the overhead structure. Elevate the daybed on loose blocks so the bottom is approximately 12-inches above the floor. Drill pilot holes into the joists or beams and install 1/2-inch screw hooks.

Step 3

Measure the distance between the hooks and eyebolts, making allowance for the clevises. Cut four lengths of chain to this dimension. Hang one end of each chain on the hooks and secure the other ends to the daybed eyebolts with shackles (Project Diagram, Drawing 6). Remove the temporary blocking.

Step 4

Place a twin mattress on the daybed and complete the ensemble with a mattress cover and throw pillows.