How to Make a Rope Swing

Despite the fact that it’s been 108 almost every day this week, I try to encourage my kids to unplug and play outside as much as possible.  We have a backyard pool and a really great playhouse but I wanted to give my kids something else to play with.

I built a super simple {and cheap} rope swing.

how to make a rope swing

I bought my supplies at Lowe’s: a packaged piece of round pine for the seat, a carabiner, and about twenty feet of natural rope.

Another customer in the rope aisle suggested I use natural rope since it won’t stretch like nylon would and he also suggested I buy more than I thought I needed … great advice since I used almost all of the extra I bought.

how to make a rope swing

My piece of pine already had a small hole drilled into the middle of the underside, saving me from having to measure and find the center.

how to make a rope swing

I drilled a one-inch diameter hole in the same spot and then stained the seat with a natural Minwax stain.

how to make a rope swing

I did a bit of research to figure out the best {and safest} knot to use to tie the carabiner onto the end of the rope.  I ended up modifying a tree-climbing knot that I found.  If you decide to make a rope swing, I’d encourage you to do your own research on the safest knots to use.

how to make a rope swing

I used a carabiner so that I can easily take the swing down and easily put it back up.  I wrapped the rope over a branch and looped the hanging rope through the carabiner.  The swing can be taken down just by opening the carabiner.

how to make a rope swing

Once the rope was hanging in place, I figured out the height I wanted the swing and tied the seat in place.  I pushed the rope through the seat and tied a solid knot under it.

I cut off the excess rope but I did leave a bit of a tail so the kids can pull each other around.

how to make a rope swing

Before I let the kids on the swing, I tested it myself.  I figured if it can adequately hold me, it should be fine for my pint-sized little ones.  I’ll continue to test it as the kids play, just to make sure the knots are holding well.

how to make a rope swing

Luke, Lila, and Tate have had a great time on their new swing and I’m hoping it’ll encourage them to be outside even more.


  1. bj says

    I so admire you for wanting your kids to “unplug” and get out in the fresh air, rip and romp and get plenty of exercise. They will be much healthier for it…body AND mind. Some of my fondest memories are playing outside with friends.

    Your instructions are awesome for making the swing. Wish my grandkids were still little..I’d make them one. :)

    I am a new follower…come over and follow me and maybe we can meet in the middle for a swing on this new toy. :))
    xo bj

  2. { L } says

    That is AWESOME that you made that for them, wow! We bought one very similar on etsy last year but I’m impressed that you made it yourself. :) They are so much fun for kids even though my boys have walked in with black eyes and bumps on their heads more than once from it lol…

  3. says

    Rope swings are the best! My childhood neighbor had a rope swing with a motorcycle helmet as the seat. We had so much fun on that swing!

  4. Lori says

    Thank you so much for the instructions not just simply saying, “I built this great swing!” I’m finding as I’m looking for things for the kids to do this summer that so many wonderful ideas are posting images but very little in the way of instructions. This swing looks like such a great idea!

  5. Shannon says

    What area in Lowe’s did you find the round piece? I have looked everywhere and can’t find it! Thanks!!!!

    • Randi Dukes says

      I’m quite sure I got it back in the area where you can find table legs and trim. Right on the edge of the lumber section. I sure hope that helps!

  6. says

    You are great and this is simple and the best idea.I wish to put Your link on my blog.Hugs from Serbia,
    Cale go …my 3 kids grow and now I have dog