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DIY Projects

DIY Swings (Tire Swing, Skateboard, Old Chair, Platform, Trampoline)

DIY Swings (Tire Swing, Skateboard, Old Chair, Platform, Trampoline)

Swinging high into the air on a warm summer day brings back carefree childhood memories of time on the family farm or playing in the yard with neighborhood friends. Rough River Hardware wants to share this fun summer tradition with your children – it’s an easy DIY swing project!

We have collected a few of the more popular swings you can make yourself without costly materials. These swings will keep your kids happy and active for hours. No matter where you decide to hang your swing, be sure to follow all safety precautions to prevent injury.

Find the right tree!

The tree you choose for your tire swing needs to be large enough and strong, preferably hardwood: maple, birch or oak. Choose a healthy tree that will support the weight of the swing and the children or adults who swing on it. Inspect the tree branch for any signs of rot, broken branches or insect infestation that could lead to weakness in the tree’s branches.

The recommended circumference of the tree branch is 8” to safely support your swing. Your swing should be at least two feet above the ground, and at least three feet away from the trunk. Hang the swing far enough away from other structures and large rocks to prevent injury to anyone swinging on it.

If you are hanging your swing from a porch ceiling, eave, pergola, or other structure, make sure the hooks are securely fastened and can support the weight of the swing and everyone enjoying it.

Tire Swing

Materials and tools:

  • Rope
  • Rubber car tire
  • Power drill
  • Ladder
  • Lighter
  • Pressure washer
  • Knot tying skills

Step 1: Choose a tire

How do you know what size tire to use? It’s entirely up to you. The main thing is to choose a tire that still has enough tread so that wires won’t be poking out and scratching your children.

Step 2: Wash the tire

Thoroughly clean the tire with a pressure washer.

Step 3: Drill holes for drainage

It is important to drill some holes in the bottom of the tire to prevent rain water from collecting and attracting mosquitoes.

Step 4: Buy the rope

Calculate the weight of the children and adults most likely to be using the tire swing before purchasing the rope. It should be able to support at least three times the estimated weight of the swing users.

Step 5: Tie the knot

Estimate the length of rope you will need and cut the rope, allowing some extra for the knots you will be tying. It is advisable to melt the ends with a lighter to prevent fraying. Tie a double bowline knot at the end of the rope.

Step 6: Hang the rope

Hang the rope over the tree branch you have chosen, either by throwing it over with a weight attached or by using a ladder. Now pass the other end of the rope through the knot’s loop and pull it tightly, moving the knot up towards the branch.

Step 7: Hang the tire

Measure how far off the ground you want the tire to hang and then tie a double bowline knot around the top of the tire. Tighten the knot to make sure the tire hangs at the height you want from the ground, usually about 12” to 18” depending on the age of your children.

Step 8: Inspect for pests

Once your tire swing is in operation, check it often to avoid any surprises, such as wasp nests or other insects, birds or creatures using it for their home.

Skateboard Swing

Materials and tools:

  • Used skateboard
  • Rope
  • 2 threaded quick links
  • Dowel or broom stick, sanded on ends
  • Cordless drill with 3/8 drill bit
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil marker

Step 1: Prepare the skateboard

Unscrew the trucks and wheels from the skateboard.

Step 2: Measure and drill

Measure two inches in from the sides of the skateboard and drill the holes where you will be pulling the rope for the swing.

Step 3: Cut the dowel

Cut the dowel in two pieces of the same length. They should be slightly wider than your skateboard’s width.

Step 4: Drill holes

Drill a hole in each end of the dowel, about one inch from each end.

Step 5: Cut the rope

Cut the rope in half.

Step 6: Thread and center

Thread the rope through each side keeping the ends of the rope even, and position the board in the center of each rope.

Step 7: Tie knots

Knot the rope over each hole, keeping it slightly loose in case you need to change the height at some point.

Step 8: Create handles

Now add the dowels that will be the handles for your child to hold on to when standing up on the skateboard swing. Tie a knot in the rope before and after each dowel.

Step 9: Level the swing

Attach the rope to the metal quick links. Adjust the knots as needed to make sure your skateboard swing is level.

Chair Swing

Materials and tools:

  • Sturdy chair with arms
  • Rope
  • 2 screw eye hooks
  • 2 chain wire rope hardware loops
  • 3 chain rope clips
  • 1 X 3 board or size to fit your chair’s dimensions
  • Screws
  • Saw
  • Tape measure

Step 1: Find a chair

Find a suitable chair, preferably one with arms. Measure and cut off the chair legs just below the seat.

Step 2: Add a wooden board

Using screws, fasten a piece of wood onto the bottom side of the chair along the front. This will help to make the chair swing more solid to support the weight of a child. Make sure the board is about an inch wider on each side of the chair so you can drill holes for the rope.

Step 3: Drill holes

Drill two holes on the bottom board (one on each side of the chair seat), and two on the back of the chair, for the rope.

Step 4: Add extra lumber

Fasten the eye screws securely into the support. Install another piece of lumber to the wall, ceiling or beam for extra support if needed.

Step 5: Fasten the rope

Fasten the chain wire rope hardware onto the eye hooks.

Step 6: Thread the rope

Pull the rope through the chair beginning with the bottom left hole.

Step 7: Add rope clips

Place the chain rope clips at the top and underneath the chair. Make sure the chair is level, and adjust the height.

Platform or Trampoline Swing

You can make your platform swing with lumber in a traditional square or rectangular shape, or a circle that can be transformed with paint into a large daisy, lady bug or flying saucer. If you have a small saucer trampoline, remove the legs, and use it instead of a wood platform for your DIY swing.

Materials and tools:

  • Lumber
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Rope
  • Lighter
  • Carabiner clips
  • Hooks

Step 1: Drill holes

Drill four holes in the wood, evenly spaced or at each corner.

Step 2: Measure and thread the rope

Measure the rope and make sure it is long enough to reach the tree branch. Pull the rope through the holes.

Step 3: Secure in place

Fasten the top of the rope ends to carabiner clips and attach them to securely installed hooks.

Have fun on your DIY swing this summer!

If you need more information or have questions, visit Rough River Hardware. Our team is always ready to help you with what you need. We're here to assist you in any way we can.

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