Any parent with a pocketbook has been there. Your child has a "big ticket" item on their wish list you just know it will entail shelling out too much money for a mediocre product they'll grow out of quickly. Setting aside family time to embark on a Do-It-Yourself project is not only a cost-effective and fun alternative, it's something your young ones can appreciate long after the Little Tikes Playhouse has gathered cobwebs and faded in the sun. Don't have any ideas? Learn how to build swing set in the backyard. Sixty minutes and a few power tools are really all it takes.
This swing is not only the easiest to construct, it has that extra cool factor. All you need is an old deck and a tutorial such as this one that offers step-by-step instruction. Materials include the board (buy a cheap one secondhand if not already owned), rope, dowels, lag eye bolts, carabineers (materials can be modified depending on where and how you hang the swing), and a drill. DIY bonus points if dad saved an old skateboard from his glory days of Ollie's and 360s.
Picture a suspended chair without legs and that's essentially what you're creating here. The result provides comfort due to the added back support as well as safety for the little guys who lack balance. Just as you do for the skateboard swing, you'll need to gather the proper hardware to affix to an existing structure unless you intend to make a stand-alone frame for the swing. Otherwise, once you saw off the legs and repaint the wood, you're halfway there. If the chair is sturdy enough to reinforce with screws or tight knots underneath, your finished result will look polished and chic. This approach calls for two-by-fours secured to the bottom of the chair with enough overhang to attach the rope.
If you want to learn how to build a swing set with the family, but find yourself tight on money and time, don't reinvent the wheel. Keep it simple by turning an old pallet into a swing for two (or three!) or go small-scale and try sanding, painting, and sealing a rectangular wooden slab large enough to seat your child. The key is buying heavy duty rope that ensures the swing can withstand sufficient weight. This is a job you can pull off with fewer than five materials (tools included) if you want a basic, functional swing. If you'd rather not leave this one to chance, measure your holes and work through the mechanics of securing the rope before you start anything else.
Learn how to build a swing set that will blow guests away and have them unabashedly overstaying their welcome. While fire pit swings have been popping up on blogs across the web, all sources seem to point back to one man's project. Visit his original message board post for a better idea of how to create it yourself. Just be aware you'll need more than an afternoon to create this Zen-like collection of porch swings.
For a refreshing change to your family's normal Saturday routine, just roll up your sleeves and get to work. The kids will stay busy (even your toddlers can be assigned a "job") and parents sane. Simply find yourself a sturdy tree branch and watch as the family works together to discover how to build a swing set that's bound to invoke giggles and screams of "Higher, Mommy!" for years to come.
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