When we were little, our grandparents had a beautiful garden swing. It was our absolute favourite place to spend spring days and summer nights, swinging lightly in the breeze and reading a book, eating a snack, or just enjoying some down time. Every once in a while, we’d get excited and swing as high as our legs could take us from their tree swing too, which stood a few feet away, further down the lawn. No matter which one we used, the swings helped us make some of the best warm weather memories we have, so it only makes sense that we’d want to share that same joy with our own kids now that we have our own porch and backyard trees to work with! Sure, there are plenty of pre-made tree, garden, and porch swings that you can buy in stores and simply hang yourself, but we always get a lot more satisfaction out of the things we’ve made ourselves.
Just in case you love the idea of tree and porch swings as much as we do but you feel like you could use some guidance, here are 15 awesome designs, tutorials, and ideas that will help you get started!
1. Classic rope and wood tree swing
Are your fondest spring memories the ones of afternoons you spent swinging on a classic, old fashioned style swing made from a simple wooden plank and some rope? We loved this kind of swing too and we used the one down on our grandparent’s farm until the rope was just about frayed and needed replacing. That’s why we were so excited to find a tutorial that would walk us through the simple steps of making the same kind of swing for our very own backyard! A Beautiful Mess shows you how to make it happen, as well as how to hang it safely from a strong tree branch so now one gets hurt as they swing, no matter their age or size.
2. Wooden slats and beads swing
Do you quite like the idea of a wooden tree swing but you actually always found that the discomfort of sitting on a hard wooden board usually cut your swinging time short, so you’re looking for an alternative? Then we think you’ll be pretty happy to discover this awesome tutorial from Momtastic! They show you how to cut holes in small lengths of wood and string them onto rope with wooden beads in between. This gives the seat of the swing some movement and give to create a surface that’s a little more comfortable to sit on.
3. Fabric and dowel tree swing for toddlers
Are you very into the idea of making a backyard swing for your kids but you’re actually worried that they’re still a little bit too young to hold themselves up properly on the seat while it moves? Then perhaps you’d be better off making this toddler swing version instead! Kidsomania shows you how to make a safe seat that your little one can lean back comfortably in so they can still enjoy swinging but you have less to worry about.
4. Small kids’ tire seat swing
Have you been very into the whole tree swing idea so far but you remember the one you used as a kid being made from an old rubber tire rather than a piece of wood? Well, lucky for all of us, that kind is probably even easier to make! Just in case you still feel like you need a bit of a hand, however, here’s an awesome tutorial from Surviving A Teacher’s Salary that lays the whole process out in a quick, easy way.
5. Bench style porch swing
If you’re going to spend time swinging this spring and summer, would you rather take it easy and slow and do it with someone you love, just to make conversation and quality time a little bit easier? In that case, we definitely think you should take a look at how Sheryl Salisbury made this double-wide bench style porch swing in much the same way you’d make a regular tree swing with a wooden seat.
6. Awesome DIY skateboard swing
Perhaps your kids are active little dare devils who are always jumping, climbing, and running around, so you’d like to make them a swing that’s a little more unique and matches their level of cool energy? In that case, we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at this totally awesome standing swing made from an actual skateboard! Domestic Bliss shows you how to use a skateboard deck with the trucks and wheels removed as a base, as well as how to secure it with rope and add handles so your kids can hold on safely while they move the swing with their legs.
7. Back porch headboard swing
Were you pretty intrigued by the swinging bench idea but you think that you’d rather make something with a back so you can settle in with a loved one and really relax? Then perhaps this larger swinging bench design featured on The Rustic Pig will be a little more up your alley! Besides telling you how to both build and hang it, they also show you how to make the back of the bench yourself by upcycling an old headboard.
8. Porch swing campfire circle
Are you actually quite handy with a lot of experience in woodworking, so you’re feeling confident in your skills and maybe even looking for a challenge? Well, particularly if you’re also a social person who plans to throw lots of springtime get togethers with your family and friends, we have a feeling you just might be the perfect person to give this porch swing campfire circle a try! Bowhunting outlines step by step how to make and hang the benches, build the frame, and put the fire pit in the centre from scratch.
9. DIY woven platform swing
Perhaps you were intrigued by the idea of a unique tree swing that your kids won’t be able to get enough of, but you’d rather they be able to use it together at once, rather than waiting to take turns while they play? Then maybe this larger swinging platform design is a little closer to what you’re looking for! The Naughty Mommy shows you how to make it using PVC pipes, straps, rope, and some careful weaving techniques. We actually made this one last spring and our kids spent countless shady afternoons reading books together on it while they swung lightly in the breeze. It’s a great place for them to catch a couple fresh outdoor naps as well!
10. Wooden circle and rope tree swing
Do you like the way that single horizontal tire swings are constructed because you think they’re easier for your kids to sit on and hang onto, but you don’t actually have access to a spare tire right now and you were hoping to make it for them this weekend? Then maybe this wooden circle and rope swing would work just as well for you instead! Living Well, Spending Less shows you how to drill a hole in the middle of a wooden stool top and tie the rope just right.
11. DIY bench style porch swing with cup holders
If the bench style porch swings are still the ones that are holding your attention the best but you just haven’t quite seen a design that’s held your attention yet, we’re happy to present one more idea for your consideration! We quite like this tutorial from Instructables for turning a wooden bench into a porch swing because it also shows you how to add cup holders in the arms. That’s a useful idea, since we always have a fresh glass of iced tea in our hands throughout the spring and summer!
12. Cushioned porch swing with rope and pallets
Have you worked hard over the years to establish a sort of rustic chic aesthetic to your home decor and you’re also careful to look for different ways that you can continue that outside of your home and into the porch and yard as well? Then creating new things out of upcycled pallets is a great idea for you! We can’t get over how overtly DIY but also professional this cushioned bench style porch swing outlined on Wild Ruffle is. They show you step by step how to make it happen with thick rope and simple wooden shipping pallets.
13. DIY free standing arbor swing
What if you love the large bench style swings that you’d normally see swinging on a deck or a porch, but you live in a home that doesn’t actually really give you much of a porch to work with? In that case, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how DIY Network made this tree-hanging version of a bigger bench swing instead! This will help you enjoy the rest of your yard beyond just the steps but also keep you nice and cool in the shade when the weather starts to warm up at the end of the spring and into summer.
14. Indoor fabric swing and crash pad
Are you scrolling through these ideas and wishing wistfully that you had the space or conditions to make your kids an awesome swing, but you live in an apartment or townhouse that doesn’t have a yard? Perhaps you’re actually just from a city where the spring is very wet and rather chilly, so you’re worried they won’t get much use out of an outdoor design. In that case, we’d encourage you to consider making this simple, soft sided indoor swing design featured on Teach Me Mommy. Our kids have a blast crawling in and out of theirs like a hammock and throwing themselves onto the “crash pad” that we also learned how to make from this tutorial. Sometimes they even use it for quiet time, napping or reading inside, but mostly they push each other in it and giggle at how it makes them feel like caterpillars inside a cocoon.
15. Upright hammock swing
Are you temped by a number of these awesome outdoor swing designs but you’re pretty certain that comfort is your ultimate goal so you can have some relaxation time this spring? Then we have a feeling this upright hammock swing that makes a very comfy seat indeed might strike your fancy! We actually made ourselves one just like this swing featured on Tauni Everett a number of years ago when we lived in an apartment with a little second floor balcony and we spent more hours curled up reading in it than we can even count.
Have you made another kind of porch or garden swing before that your family loves and uses all the time but that you don’t see here? Tell us all about how you made it or link us to a tutorial or photos in the comments section!