Garden swing – DIY guide and safety instructions

Anyone can buy! Make your children happy and build your own swing. With our instructions it’ll work out for sure.

Build your own swing
© Klaus Eppele –

Off to the garden – child and cone feel comfortable and secure there. Children love to play and swing in nature. The advantage of this play equipment – a swing can also be easily accommodated in smaller gardens and is also used by older children. It is not unusual for mum or dad to take a seat because they suddenly feel like they are back in their childhood days.

Swings are available in different variants in the trade. But if you want to make your children even more happy, simply build the swing yourself. The following tips and hints will help you to delight your offspring soon with a home-made swing.

Where should the swing be?

First select a suitable location for the swing. It is important to make sure that the children are not hindered in swinging because branches, fences, walls, clotheslines or the like are in the way.

“Tip: If a swing is set up, there should be no obstacles within a radius of three to four metres.

The ground for the swing must not be too hard, grass or loamy soil is best. A playground feeling is created when you fill the area around the swing with sand. In any case, it should be a safe and easily visible location.

Safety first!

A board, two ropes and the whole thing knotted to the apple tree – it’s not that easy after all. Safety is a top priority when building playground equipment. Anyone who attaches a swing to the branches of trees should bear in mind that when the swing is used, thrust and centrifugal forces are generated which far exceed the child’s weight. The supposedly stable branch is quickly broken and injuries are pre-programmed.

The swing must not fall over or collapse under the weight of the rocker. They must therefore use stable materials and build particularly solidly. The most recommendable is still wood, because it feels good and also looks good. In addition you do something for the environment with the building of a wood swing, because wood is a lasting, speak renewable raw material with outstanding ecological balance values (see

Once the material question has been clarified, remove all obstacles and create a soft base of floor mats or sand fills. This is especially important for smaller children. The frame should be solid and also be able to carry an adult. Then it is ensured that the swing really holds and also the parents can be a child again for a moment.

Build your own swing – what is needed?

material list

  • four round beams, 3 metres long, 12 centimetres in diameter
  • two round beams, 1.5 metres long, 12 centimetres in diameter
  • a round beam, 2.5 metres long, 15 centimetres in diameter
  • swing suspension
  • finished swing seat or corresponding wooden board
  • swing ropes
  • ten threaded bolts, 30 cm long, 12 mm diameter
  • 20 Washers and nuts M12
  • grit
  • concrete

“Tip: The material is available in every DIY store. When buying wood, you can also contact a carpenter’s shop or a specialist wood dealer.

The tool

  • spanners
  • drill
  • spirit level
  • tape measure
  • wheelbarrow
  • bucket

Building a swing – step by step instructions

Step 1 – Preparatory work

In order to ensure a safe and stable position of the later swing and at the same time to protect the wood from wear, first dig four holes at a depth of about half a meter. The holes should be excavated at a distance of two meters, so that a square is created optically. Now fill about half of the chippings into the holes. You can see the material price for it on

The chain height should not be less than two meters. The seat height should be around 50 centimetres so that the little ones can climb onto the swing independently and leave it again.

Step 2 – Building the frame

Now start erecting the frame. For this purpose, the two three meter long round beams are first laid on the ground and crossed at a height of 2.5 meters. There you attach a continuous threaded bolt as a connecting piece. The bolt is secured on both sides with a washer and a nut. In order to give the resulting V-shape additional stability, attach the 1.5 metre long round beam to the vertical wooden members and anchor it using threaded bolts, nuts and washers. Now you have already finished the first side of the later swing and continue with the assembly of the second side part, which runs identically.

The suspension for the later swing seat is now attached to the 15 centimetre thick wooden beam, which serves as a crossbar. The width of the suspension depends on the dimensions of the seat.

“Tip: Add ten percent to the width of the seat.

For example, if you use a seat that is 30 centimeters wide and is suspended two meters deep, the distance between the two suspension points is half a meter.

The suspension should be particularly stable. The threaded bolts must run through the complete beam and are fastened on the opposite side with nuts and washers. Now insert the round beam into the cross of the two side parts and fasten with the vertical beams.

Step 3 – Position the frame

The frame for the swing is now ready assembled. Now you can turn to the previously excavated holes. There concrete is poured up to the upper edge. Ask another person for help and align the frame of the swing in the holes together. Now some patience is required, so that the concrete can harden well.

” Attention: Do not load the swing until the concrete has hardened completely.

If the concrete is hard, fill the holes up to the upper edge with chippings.

Step 4 – Attach swing seat

Once you have decided on a swing seat that is available on the market, all you have to do is attach it to the appropriate suspensions. If you also want to build the seat yourself, first cut a board to size. This should be 30 centimetres long and 25 centimetres wide. A thickness of five centimeters is sufficient. The board is drilled at all four corners. The holes are provided for the key screws with steel rings at the ends. Attach the ropes to the seat with hooks and connect to the suspension located in the cross bar.

Now you have done it, the swing can be put into operation – but not before you have made a test yourself!

Care tips and handling of the swing

So that the garden swing accompanies your offspring safely through childhood, the wood must be checked regularly. In any case, apply a weather protection and provide the swing frame with an appropriate wood protection once a year. This prevents moisture from penetrating into the wood. If wood gets rotten, it can break easily. Unfortunately, this is not always optically visible. Check the swing before every gardening season and test it for stability.

Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

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