The earliest swing sets -- which date all the way back to the fifth century B.C. -- were nothing more than a few slabs of wood tied to a tree in the most basic of designs. Today, however, the outdoor summer staple has evolved to include not only the classic swing but also multi-seat options and elaborate structures complete with fancy rock-climbing walls, spiral slides, and even miniature patios. Although the market overflows with hundreds of different swing set models to choose from, you can always decide to build your own.
Taking on the project yourself will not only save you money but will also crown you king -- or queen -- in your little ones’ eyes as the ultimate hero of summer. Not exactly sure where to start? You’ve come to the right place! Read on to learn everything you need to know to build a swing set, the easy way!
Building A Swing Set 101: Everything You Need To Know
So, you finally made the decision to add a little pizzaz to your backyard with a DIY swing set. Seeing as the world is still fighting COVID-19 and social distancing is of the utmost importance, we applaud you on your decision as this is a great way to keep the little ones safe and healthy at home while still getting a healthy dose of vitamin D. Additionally, swing sets create a spot for kids to stretch their legs and their imaginations, giving rise to hours of outdoor play that is sure to become treasured memories as they grow up.
Building an awesome swing set does take a little bit of time and patience, as well as the right attitude, but once everything is all said and done, the smile on your tiny tots face will make it all worth it. We’re sure you’ve seen some intricate swing set designs all over Pinterest containing everything from princess castles to pirate ships and everything in between -- and if that’s what you’re looking for -- this article is not for you.
Now, if you’re looking to create a top-notch swing set that won’t take you a year to complete -- or even a couple of days, really -- then follow these simple steps below:
Step 1: Gather The Supplies
First things first—gather all the required supplies needed to build your swing set. You will need the following:
- Swing chains
- Swing seats
- A-frame swing set brackets
- One 12x4x6 post (pressure treated)
- Four 10x4x4 posts (pressure treated)
Step 2: Posts and Brackets First
Once you have all the supplies, it’s time to start putting together your swing set!
You will need the posts and brackets first. Make sure you are using pressure-treated wood to help extend the longevity of your swing set.
Lay out the top post, with each end resting on top of a scrap 4x4 post to keep it off the ground. Then, slide each end of the post into their respective brackets and drill the bolts into place. Next, take the 4x4 posts and slide those into their respective brackets (bottom sides, then top), and bolt them in.
Step 3: Bring The Swing Set to a Standing Position
Once all the posts are bolted in securely, carefully bring your swing set into a standing position, and move it where you want it to be.
Pro Tip: If you begin to build your swing set exactly where you want it, you won’t have to worry about dragging it across the yard to move it once it’s been built.
Step 4: Anchor The Swing Set Down
Next, anchor the swing set down. Anchors work really well, but we highly recommended that you actually cement the posts in place.
Note: If you decide to use cement, we suggest purchasing 12 foot 4x4 posts for the legs rather than 10 foot 4x4 posts. This way, your swing is still roughly ten feet high.
Step 5: Hang The Swings
Next up -- hanging the swings! You can order swing seats and chains online or from your local home improvement store.
With SwingTie, hanging up your swings is super simple. All you have to do is hang the tie over the top wooden beam. Then, loop the small ring and carabiner through the larget loop. Pull the small loop nice and tight so that the larger loop slides up to meet the beam. Clip your swing seat to the carabiners, and voila -- you are good to go!
If you’re thinking about adding a disc swing or even a tire swing, the SwingTie Swivel Spinner is what you need. It is the best addition to any swing allowing you to easily spin without the SwingTie Swing Hanger kinking or twisting. The smooth design allows for 360-degree rotation with frictionless sealed ball bearings and can hold up to a whopping 2,000 pounds!
We love SwingTie because it is unbelievably easy to install, strong, durable, and even portable if you want to take the straps with you to hang in a hammock or swing while camping.
Measurements Between Swings:
There are 16 inches from the edge to the first bracket. The brackets for each swing have roughly 20 inches between them (this is for the actual swing -- the two brackets holding the swing up). Then, between each swing, there are about 18 inches.
So from edge to edge, it goes:
- 16 inches -- from the edge to the first swing
- 20 inches -- the two brackets for the first swing
- 18 inches -- the space between the first swing and the second swing
- 20 inches -- the two brackets for the second swing
- 18 inches -- the space between the second and the third swing
- 20 inches -- the two brackets for the third swing
- 16 inches -- the space between the third swing and the other edge.
The total measurements of this swing set are:
8-feet deep x 16-feet wide x 10-feet high
Note: The dimensions, once complete, are 16 feet because the legs are at an angle and stick out past the 12-foot top post. The dimensions are for those that need to fit it in a tight or certain space.
Step 6: Test Your New Swing Set
Finally, your swing set is complete! The only thing left to do is to test it out to make sure it’s sturdy and won’t collapse. Before allowing the little ones to swing, pull on all of the chains, give the posts a little jiggle, and test each seat. If your swing set stays in place and everything feels good, you can then let your little monsters play on their brand new swing set.
A Final Word
Building a swing set can be really tough -- but it doesn’t have to be. Follow the six easy steps above, and you can build an awesome swing set that you and your family will enjoy for years to come.
For all of your swinging needs, check out SwingTie -- the original creator of the ultimate tool for attaching a swing to a tree or post. Whether you’re looking to install a tire swing, saucer swing, or even a hammock, SwingTie has your back!