This post is sponsored by National Hardware. All opinions and product selections are my own.
My kids have been begging for some outdoor swings ever since we moved into our new house. At our old house we had a swing set and at our new house we had the idea of doing some swings underneath our covered patio. We wanted to do them under the patio so that in the summer time and the very hot months in Arizona we can still enjoy them. We ended up doing 3 DIY Outdoor Swings on the covered patio and these were very easy to build, inexpensive and a one day project.
Here are the things you will need to make a single swing.
2″x8″ douglas fir studs cut to 3o” long
Random orbital sander with 80 grit sand paper
Staining and wiping cloths
20′ of 1/2″ braided rope…we got ours here, we chose light grey.
Impact Driver with 3/4″ deep impact socket, or a 3/8″ socket wrench with 3/4″ deep socket.
Drill with 5/32″ drill bit for pilot hole and 3/8″ drill bit for main hole.
Clear packing tape
As opposed to just tying knots and hoping for the best, these 1/2 Wire Cable Clamps which are typically used for metal wire cable, offered a more secure, long lasting, and decorative option to secure our rope.
Since it was so inexpensive, we ordered 100′ of rope in case we made any mistakes we would have plenty left over. There were tons of color options, we decided on light grey.
The kids were so excited about the swings, we put them to work helping to take the stickers off of the hardware to prep them for paint.
After all disassembling all the hardware, we laid them out on a piece of cardboard to paint them on.
This part required some patience. After spraying one side of the hardware, we had to wait long enough to let the paint dry in order to flip over al the hardware to paint the other side. If they don’t dry enough before flipping them over, the paint can stick to the cardboard and will ruin an otherwise beautiful paint job!
After a little thought of how we wanted the swings to look, and using a speed square to make accurate marks, we laid out our hole locations for the hardware. We decided we wanted our clamp to start 1″ from the end of each side of the seat and be 1-1/2″ from the front and back sides of the seat.
After we made the first hole mark we lined up the Cable Clamp to mark the other hole.
Using our drill and a 5/32″ drill bit we drilled a pilot hole at each mark.
Then using 3/8″ drill bit we drilled the holes.
After the holes were drilled we sanded the boards with 80 grit sandpaper and prepared them for staining. We paid special attention to any knots or splinters in the wood being careful to remove and or sand them extra smooth to avoid any splinters when sitting on the swings.
We choose the Dark Walnut Stain. I used a staining pad to stain the seats them wiped them with a cloth.
We followed the directions on the swing hook kit, paying close attention to the pilot hole sizes required, then installed the swing hook kits. We found a metal rod was helpful for leverage when threading the swing hook kits into the pilot holes we drilled in the beam. We decided to space our swings 12″ apart and have a 28″ spacing between the hooks of each seat. This may vary based on the space available and size of seat you want to use.
After the stain and hardware was dry, we cut the rope into 10 foot sections to give us enough extra rope to adjust them up and down as we decided what height we wanted the seats to be off of the ground. When cutting the rope, tape the area to be cut with a few wraps of tape to keep the rope from unraveling after it is cut. When making the cut, be sure to cut down the center of the taped area to keep both ends of the rope in tact after the cut. We then put the cable clamp inside the holes and slid the rope through the cable clamps. We pulled the rope through the clamps until we had 14″ hanging through the end of the clamp. I will explain why in a bit.
We then used a rubber mallet to gently tap the clamps down onto the rope and through the seat.
Once the clamps were through the seat, we added 3/8″ flat washers and some thread locker, and tightened the bolts down to the seat. It helps to tighten each bolt of the clamp a little at a time, alternating between the two bolts to make the clamp compress evenly as it is pulled through the holes and down onto the rope. The thread locker is used to prevent the bolts from loosening during use of the swing. Might be over kill, but is better than a broken tailbone from a bolt that let loose sending someone to the ground!
This is where the 14″ excess through the clamp is utilized. On the longer side of the rope that is ran through the clamps of the seat, we placed another clamp 10″ from the end of the clamp on the seat. We then took the 14″ long piece at the other end of the seat clamps, folded the end over onto itself, and added the other end of the clamp.
We then added more thread locker and tightened the clamp. Again, it is best to tighten each bolt of the clamp a little at a time, alternating between the two bolts to make the clamp compress evenly onto the rope.
Make sure to get the bolts nice and tight to keep the rope in place and secure.
We fed the rope through the eye of the swing hook kit and adjusted each side of the rope to the height we wanted the seat to be and to where the seat was level to the ground. We mounted ours at 24″ off of the ground. This may vary depending on who is using the swing and how tall the swing needs to be for them to be able to get on the swing but still be able to swing without hitting their legs or feet on the ground. With the exception of the 10″ and 14″ lengths, we clamped the rope through the swing hook kit using the same method as in the previous step. The 10″ and 14″ measurements from the seat were only used to create the triangle with the rope where it attaches to the seat, as well where it clamps together to create a stable and secure connection. We then twisted and tied the excess rope to the clamp. This is not a requirement, we just liked the way it looked. Once the rope is clamped, you can cut off the excess if desired. Keep in mind that leaving a few inches extra will allow you to loosen the clamp and adjust the seat height if needed.
I love the way that the gold hardware pops off of the dark wood stain and how the light grey of the rope compliments both the dark wood and rich gold color.
I am obsessed with the way that these three swings turned out and how it transformed this otherwise useless area of our patio into a shaded escape for my kids and family during the blistering summer months here in AZ!
Ryder my little boy loves it too!!
I will later be sharing how I used some greenery and wooden hoops to make this piece of art that hangs near the swings so check out the blog later for this easy and big impact decor.
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xo, Mallory & Savannah