Encourage your kids to get outside and enjoy the spring sunshine by putting together a playground favourite.
To build your own swing, you will need:
- 290mm x 45mm timber seat, pre-cut to 700mm long by timber merchant
- 6mm drill bit
- 18mm drill bit
- 18mm sisal rope, cut into 2 x 5m lengths
- 2 hammock hooks
- Sandpaper, if desired
- Stain, if desired (this will stop the seat from staying wet after rain.)
Here’s a helpful guide to the tools you should have in your DIY kit.
Step 1: Start by taking your pre-cut timber for the seat and measure out the four holes for the rope. You want to put them as wide apart as possible to create stability, but not too close to the edge as it will weaken the timber. I have done mine 40mm from the outside edge and 50mm from the end edge.
Step 2: Drill the holes all the way through. The holes need to be at least the size of your rope. I started with a smaller 6mm drill bit to get the holes accurately placed, then drilled through with an 18mm bit.
Step 3: Install your hooks. I used two hammock hooks purchased from a hardware store. I marked these out and made them slightly wider than my seat, again for stability. These are 800mm apart. Drill your marked hole with the 6mm drill bit, then screw your hammock hooks in using your hands by threading a screwdriver through the loophole for leverage.
Step 4: Trim your rope to length allowing extra for the knots. Thread one end of the rope through the first hole and tie it under the seat. Repeat this with the other end of the rope.
Step 5: Now make a loop knot at the top or midpoint of the rope that will hook over the hammock hook. You need to make sure the rope is even, so you need to tie the knot exactly halfway or the seat won’t sit flat.
Step 6: Repeat steps 4 and 5 on the other side of the seat, pulling all the knots tight. Ensure you wiggle it all as you tighten them again, so the seat sits flat. Unravel the rope below the seat knots and trim with scissors.
Tip: If desired, sandpaper the surface, sides and corners of the seat prior to staining.
Words: Nikki Kettle, Photography: Anna Briggs