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How To Make a Garden Swing

illustration of a garden swing

Nothing evokes childhood memories like a garden swing. If hung from an apple tree, you can pick apples at the same time!

If you have a tree with a strong branch there really is no need to buy a swing. It couldn’t be easier to make. All you need is a disc of wood and some thick rope. The branch doesn’t even need to be level.

The disc of wood could be an old chopping board or, if you have a saw mill nearby, a slice of a tree trunk. To prevent the wood splitting, particularly if large children are likely to have a go, it may be worth screwing a couple of batons or a smaller disc to the underside. Clearly any screws must not stick out of the wood!

Then all you need to do is drill a hole large enough for your rope through the centre of the disc. If you have time it’s nice to soften the edges with a bit of sandpaper, but this will happen anyway over time as the swing gets used.

And now for your knot tying skills. This is where that boy scout training comes in handy. To hang the rope from the tree, we have found a bowline knot works best, which is the one shown. To support the seat, any knot will do as long as it prevents the rope from pulling back through the hole.

Over time the rope will stretch, so at some point you may need to add a second knot under the seat. You will also find that when the rope is wet the swing is higher off the ground.

If you want something more relaxing to swing in, try a cotton hammock.