Sunday, July 8, 2012

DIY Interchangeable Tree Swing, platform swing attachment

Levi's birthday is Friday, so for one of his gifts I decided to make him a tree swing.  We recently had our bushes trimmed out front (plants grow like crazy in Florida!), and I spotted a branch that I had never seen before that was just begging for a tree swing.
I couldn't decide what type of swing to make, so I chose to add caribeners to the main ropes so that we could clip on any type of swing attachment we want. 

Here is the tree.  Can you see the branch up there?   Those bushes at the base of the tree went wayyy up there and out over the grass blocking the view of it.

Levi's idea on how to hang the ropes:

What we actually did was attach the middle of the rope to a thing of ducktape (only thing handy that was heavy, and easy to tie something to).  Then I climbed up the ladder and chucked it over the branch.  Then took the tape off and put the ends of the rope through the loop and pulled tight.  Did it a second for the other rope.  This made the ropes double thick, and no knots needed way up in the tree.     I would highly recommend 2 adults for this, Levi didn't make a very good ladder holder!

Next I cut the ropes evenly and tied the caribeners to them.   I put them low enough that I could reach them easily, but high enough that Levi can't reach them and I won't whack my head on them if there is no swing attached.

First, we tested it by attaching our hammock.  Here is my view laying in it looking up at the tree.  Pretty nice right?

Then we tried out the platform swing!  Here is how to make your own.

Make your own Platform Swing

You will need: 
- a 2'x2' piece of wood, not sure what kind I got, but its pretty thick and strong.
- rope, I got 1 package of nylon rope that holds 350lbs
- 2 caribeners, again with a high weight rating. 
- something to drill holes with, I used a dremel. 
- outdoor tablecloth, small one is fine.
- some flat thumbtacks and a hammer OR a staplegun
- quilting batting, enough to cover the wood. 
- scissors 

1.  Measure 2" in from each corner and drill holes just big enough to put your rope though.  Levi  helped make sure the rope fit, and he also sat on the wood to keep it still while I drilled.  

2. Cut the table cloth to around 4' square, ours was already that size.  Spread the table cloth out, pretty side down.  Put the batting on top, it should be just a bit bigger than your wood, I used 2 layers.  Wrap it like a present - first fold in each corner, then fold in each side.  Pull firmly and hammer thumbtacks into it to hold everything in place.  Ours only took a few tacks.   I chose tacks because it was the only thing in the tool box that looked like it would work.  Alternatively, use a staple gun.   

Levi hammered!

This is what it will look like when done:

3.  Now use your fingers to find where the holes in the wood were drilled.  Use scissors to poke through the tablecloth enough for you to be able to put the rope through. 

4.  Put a piece of rope through one of the holes and tie a big overhand knot on the underside right under the hole.   Put the other end of the rope down through the hole next to it, but don't cut it or tie it yet.    Now stand on the platform and hold the rope up, to decide how high up you want it to go and then go ahead and tie your knot and cut off the extra.   Do the same with the second side, this time matching the length to your first side.

5.  Tie an overhand knot in the middle of each of those two ropes, leaving a loop for you to clip your caribeners to.     Thats it!

Now test it.

 Yep, it works!

Next I'm going to make use of these that were given to me by a friend today: 
Skateboard swings!

And Levi's outfit?  Its my latest, made with some cute whale fabric.

 Find the Charlie Roll Up Shorts for sale now on my website

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