How To Make a DIY Outdoor Swing

As time passes, we refuse to get older. Trust us - there's still a 9 year old little girl in us that still wants a swing to have a little fun, or just take a break from the pains of being a grown up. Before we got too emo about getting older, we caved in to our nostalgic itch and found a way to make the little girl in us happy. With this quick and easy outdoor swing that you can take anywhere where you can find a sturdy enough tree, this is the perfect DIY for those perfect summer day where you just need to swing under a tree. See how we made it in a few easy steps!

Paint the Board

Step 1: Use painter’s tape to create a diagonal line across the wood board. Make sure the tape goes all the way around so you can paint both sides of the swing.

Step 2: With your first color of paint, use a brush to paint across one side only of the swing. Let dry, then paint the other side. Don’t forget the edges!

Step 3: When the first color has dried, repeat the process for the second color. Pro Tip: paint your lighter color first, then your darker color second to make a sharper-looking edge where the paint colors come together. This is because the darker color will cover up the lighter one more effectively that the other way around.

Step 4: Let the whole thing dry completely before moving on to drill work!

Drill the Holes

Step 1: Place a piece of scrap wood underneath the painted board. This is so you don’t ruin any tabletop surfaces when your drill goes through the swing! Measure the center of the swing’s shorter side, then measure at least 2 1/2 inches in from the edge. Repeat on both sides so it’s nice and even!

Step 2: Use a regular drill bit to make a pilot hole in both sides of the swing where you’ve measured and marked. Then switch your regular drill bit to a 5/8-inch paddle or spade bit.

Step 3: Clear away any dust and if you want to you can use sandpaper to lightly smooth out any rough edges the drill caused. Don’t go too crazy though because sandpaper strips away paint.

Mount the Swing Safely

Step 1: With your Axel straps mounted on the tree, pull the rope from the board through the two hooks of the straps and tie them together.

Step 2: Raise the left loop of the start of your knot and loop in the left end of the rope through. Then, loop in the right end of the rope into the loop as well.

Step 3: Once you have both ends looped, pull tight. One end of the rope will be loose, while the other will go through the wood board of your swing. See how you can secure your board next!

Tie Your Seat Knots

Step 1: Insert the rope into the role you drilled earlier. Then, turn the board upside down to secure the swing seat.

Step 2: Under the board, start creating a slip knot by looping the end of the rope to create a circle. Then, grab the end of the rope and insert it into the loop and tighten it.

Step 3: Once you have created the first slipknot, secure the knot by looping in the rest of the end of the rope into the loop that was last created, and pull. This will secure the knot even more.

And just like that, your tree swing is ready to go!

If you like this DIY and are ready to make the best out of summer with this tree swing, show us! We’d love to see your creations, so make sure to tag us @BeMakeful for a chance to be featured!

  • 8 in by 2.5 ft wooden board ours was made of oak- be sure to get sturdy wood at least 1" thick
  • nylon rope rope should withstand over 500 pounds
  • 2 axel straps
  • 2 colors acrylic paint
  • paintbrush
  • painter's tape
  • power drill
  • drill bit
  • wood spade drill bit
  • a sturdy tree branch!