As a task we had to do for school (I study Industrial Product Designing), we had to make a portable swing. A part of making the swing, was making the instructable. So if you want to make a nice swing, you'll have some 100 options (the number of students). I'll be very glad if you choose mine!
Step 1: The needed materials
So, to kick things off, you'll have to get yourself the right materials.
To make it a little easier, I'll give you a list. Since I'm european, all measures will be in metres.
So what do you need?
- 2 aluminum tubes, diametre: 25mm, length: 60cm
- 2 aluminum bars, diametre: 10mm, length: 40cm
- 2 iron pieces in the form of a number eight, like you see in the 3rd picture
- About 20m of rope, diametre: 6mm - 8mm. I recommend 6, it's easier to slide through the holes in the aluminum tubes, and it's certainly strong enough.
- About 10m of strap (the orange one you see in the pictures), make sure it's the right width (between 3 and 4 cm)
- 2 carabiners
- 10 rings (picture 7)
- 4 pinch-things (don't even know the dutch word for it! And I'm a dutch speaking person!), picture 9.
- Enough textile (it's best to choose waterproof textile), to make the surface to sit on and the bag.
- A little bit of thinner rope, to close the bag
- 1 wooden bar, 60cm, diametre: between 3 and 4 cm
And if you've got all that, you can start building the swing!
But always remember: these materials don't have to be all new, think green and reuse materials!
Step 2: The long ropes
This swing is going to be made in 2 major parts. The 'chair' and the ropes. In this part, we are going to do the easiest one, and the one with the least work. The long ropes.
For this part, you're going to need:
- the 4 pinch-things
- 2 pieces of 4,5 metres of rope
- the two rings in an eight form
- the wooden bar
- 2 metres of the strap (mine is orange, yours can be another colour of course!)
At first, you make two holes at both ends (2nd picture).
If you've done that, you slide the ropes through the holes, and you fasten them with 2 of the pinch things (one on each side of course!)
If you've done it right, you should have a bar with 4.5m of rope on each side. The next step is supereasy: you take the strap, make a little hole in it at one of the ends. Then you slide the other end through it and make sure the bar is in this loop you've created. If you've got it nice and tight, you make a knot close to the bar, so that the strap can't get off the bar. You see how it's supposed to be in the third picture. The use of this one will become clear in later steps.
If you want to hang the swing in a tree, the height needs to be adjustable. And for that, you're going to need the eight-formed iron things (picture 4).
So, you take the end of the rope, and slide it through the small hole, and immediately after that you slide it through the large hole. with the end, you make a loop and at last, you fasten it to the edge of the last hole, with one of these pinch-things. You can see it the fifth picture.
If you've done all right, the result should look like the last picture.
Step 3: Making the sitting area
So, for this part, you're going to need some things.
- The strap: 5 times 56cm
- The 10 rings
- A piece of textile that measures 53x26cm
- Sewing stuff
The first step is very simple. You take a piece of strap and slide two rings over it. Than you melt both ends together (or sew them together, but that's a lot of work!). You repeat this until all straps are done.
If you've got these five things, you take two rings and you pull them in opposite directions, so that there is a tension that arises in the strap. Because of this tension, you'll get one thick strap (two halfs lying onto eachother).
Then you sew those together. You should do this with each strap.
After that, you have to sew them onto the textile, make sure the rings are not under the textile. And you also need to make sure that the distances between the straps are the same.
Step 4: The frame
In this step, we're going to make the frame, in which te textile will be hanging.
First, you take the two tubes of 60cm. You make a hole in the middle, on about 5,5cm of each side. When you've done that, you make the frame by putting the small bars in the holes, you should have a rectangle form.
Then you take your textile and you lay it down in the frame, on the place where it should hang in a few steps. You make two holes (pretty close to eachother) for each ring coming out of the textile. Look to the third picture to see what I mean.
And then, up to the next step!
Step 5: Finishing the sitting area
Now, this is the last part of really making the swing.
You take two pieces of rope of about 1m and with each piece, you weave one of the tubes to one side of the textile. Make sure you have about the same length coming out of all four tubes.
Then you take another two pieces of rope, 1,5m each this time. You make a knot, and at one end, you should have a loop, on the other side, you should have two equal ends. Than take a carabiner and hang it onto the loop. both ends, you knot to one of the ropes on the side of the swing (picture 5). The best knot to do this is the one you see in picture 4. Very easily made.
So now, you can get you stuff together and go try it in the woods!
Step 6: How to hang the swing in a tree.
At first, you should find yourself a proper branch.
If you found the good branch, you take the wooden bar with the ropes and the strap and throw it over the branch. You grab the strap and pull it down to the point where the ends of the rope and the bar equal eachother.
If you've done that, you take the ends of the ropes and put them over the wooden bar and between the ropes tied to the bar. then you pull those down, to the point where the bar hits the branch. You can see it in the first picture, if you watch closely. Then you take the actual swing (where you sit on), and hang the carabiners on the loops of the ropes hanging over the tree. The swing will be hanging. You just need to put the little aluminum bars between the big ones. Adjust your height and enjoy you swingtime!
To get the swing together, you just release the ropes from the carabiners and pull the strap, the wooden bar will come down supereasy. Roll everything up (image 3,4,5) and go! If you want to, you can make a little bag for it (last image).
Step 7: Small things
At last, this is fully optional, you can change a few things.
All the cut ends of rope, will fray out. To conquer that, you can just melt the ends a little bit.
For the bag, you can integrate a little rope to get the bag closed.
Step 8: Thanks!
Thank you so much for being interested in my swing!
Hope you enjoy swinging!