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Make Your Own Backyard Rope Swing: DIY Tutorial

Make Your Own Backyard Rope Swing: DIY Tutorial

When it comes to having some good ol’ fashioned fun, the backyard rope swing is at the top of the list.  What makes them even better is how simple they are to make!  Today, we will walk you through how to make a rope swing, including the supplies you will need and the rope swing knot you will be a pro at tying by the end of this DIY tutorial!

Making Your Own DIY Rope Swing: What You Will Need

A Sturdy Tree Branch

Before you go through the work of learning how to make a rope swing, you will want to be sure you have got a sturdy tree branch to work with!  There are a few general rules to keep in mind when choosing a tree:

  1. Choose an “established” or sturdy tree.  Hardwood trees like oak, maple, and sycamore are ideal, whereas evergreens, birch, willow, or ash are best avoided.
  2. The branch holding the swing should be at least 8 inches in diameter.
  3. Check for dead branches, cracks, splits, or decaying spots.  This could indicate a diseased or dying tree and is not a recommended option for your tree rope swing.

The Right Rope

When it comes to building a tree rope swing, you will want a durable and weather-resistant rope that is also easy to knot.  Twisted Promanila is a great choice that mimics the look and feel of a Natural Manila Rope while withstanding the elements at a better price point than natural manila rope!  You can also use a Hollow Braided Polypropylene Rope! We recommend choosing a rope with a diameter of at least 3/4”.  The seat should sit roughly 24” above the ground, so choose a rope that is going to be long enough to accommodate this.  In most cases, a 100’ rope will work.

Other Materials

  • One 2”x10”x8’ board (for your seat)
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Two Carabiners
  • Hand Saw
  • Drill & 3/4” bit
  • Lighter or Matches

6 Steps for How to Make a Rope Swing

 1. Build the Seat
    • To build your DIY rope swing, start by trimming off the rough edge of the board with your hand saw.  Then measure and cut a 36” piece. This will be your seat.
    • Next, you will need your reinforcement blocks that will sit underneath the swing on each end.  To make these, simply cut two 4” blocks.
2. Attach the Reinforcement Blocks
    • Once all your lumber is cut to the proper dimensions, and you have chosen the side you want facing up, flip the board over and position the reinforcement blocks on the underside of the seat so that the two short ends are smooth.  Secure in place with hammer and nails.
3. Drill the Rope Holes
      • Using your drill and 3/4” drill bit (if you are using a 3/4” rope), make two evenly spaced holes through the seat and reinforcement blocks.
    4. Attach the Rope to the Seat
        • To start, cut (2) 5’ strands of rope. Next, take your matches or lighter and heat all ends until they begin to melt.  This will keep the rope from unraveling.  Once your ends are melted, thread the ends of the ropes into their respective holes, creating two “hoops” from which to attach the carabiners.
        • Once your hoops are created, it is time to secure them!  You can do this by tying off the rope hanging underneath the swing using the bowline knot (AKA the rope swing knot).  Once your rope swing knots are secure, you can clip on your carabiners to each rope.
      5. Prepare the Rope That Will Hang Over the Tree
          • Next, prepare your rope for attachment to the tree.  A good rule of thumb is to give yourself 3’ of slack for tying knots, choose a tree branch that is about 15’ from the ground, and give yourself 3’ of slack for knot tying.  When making your calculations, remember that you will be leaving roughly 2’ of space between the ground and the seat.
          • Once your rope is cut and at the length you want, tie one end of each rope into a double-bowline knot.  Then, toss the knotted end of the rope over the branch, and pass the other end of the rope through the knot hole.  Tighten until the knot is in place on the branch and repeat on the other side.
        6. Attach Swing to the Tree Ropes
            • Once your ropes are in place, take the hanging ends and tie another double-bowline knot on each.  Once secure, attach your two carabiners to the ropes end. Now you are ready to enjoy your swing!

          Stay Connected

          From learning how to make a rope swing to tutorials on how to tie a bowline knot, SGT KNOTS is the best place to find the inspiration and Knot Tutorials you need to tackle all of your DIY projects, and we want to see how they turn out!  Be sure to share your DIY rope swing results with us on Facebook (SGT KNOTS Supply Co) and Instagram (@SGTKNOTS), and visit the SGT KNOTS Blog to stay up to date on the latest DIY and knot tying tutorials!


          Rope Used in Featured Image: Twisted Dacron Polyester Rope
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