Learning how to swing is a milestone in childhood. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of flying up high into the air. Consider this a Report To Duty for your DIY skills – add a tree swing to your backyard! It’s a classic and sure to please any kiddo with a need for movement…that’s all kiddos, isn’t it? 

If you’ve got a sturdy tree with limbs that extend far enough out from the trunk, you’re in luck. Deciduous or Evergreen – any tree will do! Check out these 15 tree swing ideas, complete with step by step tutorials, and learn how to add one to your yard!

Before you get started: Find the right tree!

  • Make sure the tree you’ve selected is healthy and thriving.
  • Pick a horizontal branch, preferably with a u-shaped configuration.
  • Don’t attach your rope too tight, or use tree straps like these to avoid damaging the branch.

Once you’ve selected your tree, you’re ready to get to work. Talk to your kids about what kind of swing they would like to play with or surprise them with a completed project. Let’s get inspired!

Tire Swing

Photo from thespruce.com

Possibly one of the easiest tree swing to DIY, a repurposing craft, and a charming addition to any tree: The Tire Swing! This recycled wonder works well for kids of any age! Even little ones that haven’t quite mastered the playground swings will have fun with this one. It’s still swinging if you’re on your belly, after all! Pro tip: drill a few holes into the bottom of the tire, so it doesn’t fill up with rain.

Find the full materials list and tutorial here.

Plank Swing

Photo from Home Depot

How could we write an article on how to DIY a tree swing without the classic plank swing? Of course, you can’t get any more nostalgic than the original pine pendulum, the lumbar seated board swayer. Using a 36” piece of pressure treated 5/4 pine plank, this swing will accommodate any age of child old enough for the activity, even adults! Plus, after your swing has been around for decades (or you have extra rambunctious swingers) and it needs replacing, it couldn’t get any less expensive to redo.

Visit the full DIY article over at the Home Depot Project Catalog.

Rope Climb

Photo from dukesandduchesses.com

Need something as soon as possible and with little effort required? Hang a piece of rope from a branch. Yep, that’s it. Cold river for jumping in is not required! Kids can climb, swing, and spin to their heart’s content, without ever needing a seat. Tie a few knots along the rope to assist in holding and climbing. Be sure to not tie the attachment too tight to give the tree some space to breath and grow.

Use the instructions here for attaching a single rope to a branch, but instead of including the disc seat, simply tie knots in your rope.


Photo from artofmanliness.com

A climbing ladder is a fun flavor of swing for the monkeys in your life. Using dowels and strong knots, you can make a ladder to hang from your tree branch. Older kids can climb up and over and younger kids can swing around and jump through the rungs. 

Here’s the full guide!

Gym Rings

Photo from instructables.com

Sure, you can swing sitting down, but why do that when you can hang from your arms? Sway with one hand, or two, it’s really up to you! Gym rings keep kids more active than swings with seats. They’re excellent for upper body and core strength, and not to mention, pretending you are an Olympian.

Enjoy these instructions.

One Rope Tree Swing

Photo from teediddlydee.com

A fun variation off the classic plank swing is a one rope swing with a wooden board. This one requires a bit more balance and coordination to keep the board from wobbling or tipping to the side. If your kid needs more of a challenge, they can stand up too! For another fun spin on this project, pun intended, use a circle shaped board for your seat. 

Find the full tutorial here.

Skate or Surf Swing

Photo from littlebitfunky.com

Calling all groms! This one’s for you. Grab an old skateboard or small wooden boogie board to make the seat for this swing. Meant for standing up and riding those gnarly wind gusts, this swing will have your kids feeling like a full on Velzy. With two handles on the side, you don’t have to worry about them getting too off balance. 

Here’s the full guide.

Baby Swing

Photo from themakerista.com

For a project that won’t just impress the babies in your life, but the adults too, go for a completely supported baby swing! If you’ve got a sewing machine at your disposal, this craft is a great way to combine your upholstery skills with your drill-wielding to make a seat for your tiny tot. 

Follow the directions over at this site to get started.

Airplane Swing

Photo from diy.dunnlumber.com

Aim a little higher and take on this challenging woodworking project to build an airplane swing! If your child is an aerial-enthusiast, this swing is sure to please. Give it a snazzy paint job, and it will be all the more dazzling hanging from your backyard tree. 

Head over to the DIY guide here.

Your New Favorite Lounge Chair

Photo from acraftymix.com

When you’re looking to turn a tree-swing situation into more of an afternoon lounge situation, you’ve got to check out this DIY swinging hammock chair. With an extra throw blanket and some rope, you can transform your empty tree space into a spot to swing and relax.

Here is the full guide.

Upcycled Dining Room Chair Swing

Photo from theownerbuildernetwork.co

Turn an old chair into a swing! With this high-backed seat, the dining room chair swing is a nice choice for younger kids that need a bit more support. Add a fresh coat of paint to brighten up the wood or sand lightly and apply a weather-proof sealant.

Head over here to find the instructions.

The Flying Trapeze!

Photo from backyardninjahacks.com

Gymnasts, you don’t need to go to the gym to get your twirl on! Flip upside down for a little opossum time or twirl around for some sweet spins. You can’t beat the free play on a tree trapeze! 

Here’s the guide.

Platform Swing

Photo from thediyvillage.com

A platform swing is a fantastic choice for something in between a plank and a lounging chair. Kids can lay back and enjoy the ride or challenge their balance with active play. This cool DIY includes weaving your own net base, which keeps things comfortable and soft!

Head this way for the tutorial.

Trampoline Swing

Photo from household-tips.thefuntimesguide.com

Go for the platform swing, but make the project a little less intensive by using a small kids trampoline. The base is already squishy and comfy without any weaving required. There is still plenty of space for a little one to lean back and lounge, or play Tigger and have some bouncy-pouncy fun. 

The DIY guide is right over here.

Woven Wooden Swing

Photo from momtastic.com

Dust off your friendship bracelet making skills to get ready for this one. Using slim wooden planks and beads, you can create a much more comfortable bottom than your classic pine board! Though this will be an easy seat for the chill-swingers out there, it might be more challenging for younger kids. Either way, it will certainly be a beautiful addition to any tree. 

Here’s your How To.

Final Comments

You’ve gotten a nice look at a great selection of DIY tree swings! Which one will work best for your yard and family? Enjoy the process of making your own swing…and be sure to give the tree a pat to say thanks for the support 🙂

Check out these other articles for more great backyard ideas!

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