How to Make a Rope Swing

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Many children enjoy spending time lazily swinging the day away on a homemade rope swing. Making one for your kids is easier than you might think. You can use a natural tree branch or a post as the support. If you are using a branch, skip right to the second section.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 in. diameter treated round post
  • Ropes
  • 2 ropes, length depends on height of swing
  • 2-ft. long 2 x 8 board for the swing
  • Eyebolts with nuts and square washers (optional)

Using a Support Post

  • Choose a post that is a suitable length for the tree you'll be using. It should be long enough to allow for about 1/3 of the length in overhang from which you'll hang the swing.

  • Locate a good spot in the tree to place your post. Both ends of the post should rest within the fork of 2 branches. The post also should be placed at a sufficient height above the ground to allow room for the swing. The swing should be approximately 1.5 feet off the ground.

  • Tie the post onto the branches of the tree using the rope. Tie the ropes as securely as you can.

Attaching the Swing

  • If you are using a natural sisal rope, bind the ends so that they don't unravel.

  • Place the ropes about 20 in. apart on the branch or post.

  • Ensure that you are leaving enough room between the swing and the tree when you place your ropes. You also should place the ropes a sufficient distance from the end of the tree branch, which is where branches tend to weaken. For a post, 4 inches or so from the end should suffice.

  • Tie the ropes onto the tree branch or post. Use a round turn and 3 half-hitch knots to secure them properly (see Resources below for guidance with the knots).

  • Prepare your board. Drill the holes into the board, 2 in. away from the ends, and tie the rope directly to it. You also can attach eyebolts, using nuts and square washers on either side of the board. Attach the rope to the eyebolts. Using eyebolts will stabilize the seat.

  • Tie the ropes to the swing using half-hitch knots. If you aren't using the eyebolts, put the rope through the holes in the board, and then tie the knots underneath. Test the knots for strength and durability before using the swing.

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