DIY Garden Plan for a Simple Swing

Written by mark morris
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DIY Garden Plan for a Simple Swing
Building a garden swing is a fun and easy project (swing image by Einar Bog from

Swings are fun for all ages. For the young they are the next best thing to flying. For older folks they frequently remind them of simpler times. Having a swing in your yard or garden adds a sense of playfulness. If built from heavy enough materials your swing can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Be sure to choose lumber and ropes that are strong enough to carry the load and test your swing thoroughly before allowing guests to play on it to ensure that it's safe.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 2-by-10 inch lumber
  • Drill
  • 1-inch spade bit
  • 1-inch thick rope, 25 feet

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  1. 1

    Cut your swing seat from a piece of 2-by-10 inch pine. Choose a piece that is free from knots, cracks and splits. Cut the swing 19 inches wide, which leaves the standard width of a chair seat between the ropes.

  2. 2

    Drill rope holes in the four corners of your swing with a 1-inch spade bit and drill. Mark a point 1 inch in from each corner along the long edges and another point 1 inch in from each corner along the short edges. Place a quick square lined up with each of these marks and draw a 1-inch long line along it toward the centre of your seat. You will end up with 1-inch squares in each corner of your seat. Drill your holes on the inside corner of each square.

  3. 3

    Set your seat board on a level, sturdy surface with the area you intend to drill through hanging out over the edge with space beneath. Clamp it to the work surface with a C clamp. Place the tip of the bit on the inside corner of the square and start the drill. Apply light pressure to keep the bit from walking across the surface and drill all the way through the board. Do not force the bit through the back side, to prevent splintering. Sand the seat board thoroughly.

  4. 4

    Designate one long edge of the seat board as the front. Mark it with a pencil. Run a 1-inch rope, 10 to 12 feet long, through the holes in the swing seat on one side. Run through the back hole from the top, underneath the seat board and back up through the front hole. Tie this end back to the original rope from a triangle above the seat board. Tie it in a firm double knot 6 inches above the seat. Repeat the rope threading and tying process on the opposite side.

  5. 5

    Tie your ropes to a stout tree branch, 4 inches thick or more, 8 to 10 feet above the ground. Spread the ropes apart to 20 inches to help steady the swing. Use a small level on the swing seat to determine when the ropes are even. Wrap them around the branch one full wrap and tie securely using a firm double overhand knot.

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