How to Make & Hang a Simple Outdoor Swing

Add a heavy dose of charm to your pergola or porch with this DIY wood-and-rope swinging seat.

March 05, 2020

Kick off your shoes, relax and enjoy simple summer days on a cozy outdoor swing you can make yourself. Get the step-by-step instructions below to learn how to install it on an existing pergola or your front porch.

DIY Wood and Rope Swing 01:35

Add a relaxing swing to an outdoor pergola in just a few DIY steps.

Supplies Needed

  • 2x10 x 6' treated board
  • 2x2 treated board
  • miter saw
  • 1” paddle bit
  • drill
  • 3” exterior wood screws
  • 50' of 1” twisted jute twine hemp rope
  • scissors
  • (2) 1/2” x 8” eye bolt
  • (2) 1/2" twist lock carabiner
Outdoor Swing

DIY Outdoor Swing

A great project for a beginner, this DIY outdoor swing is the perfect way to bring instant relaxation to your pergola or porch.

Photo by: Shain Rievley

Shain Rievley

Measure and Cut Boards

Cut the 10-inch wide board into two 36-inch-long pieces using a miter saw (Image 1). If you don’t have a miter saw, you can also use a skill saw. Using a 1-inch paddle bit, drill holes at each corner of both pieces of wood, making eight holes total (Image 2). Pro Tip: Place a scrap piece of wood under the boards as you drill to avoid wood splitting as the bit comes through the board. Then, cut the 2x2 board into two 18-inch pieces and cut all ends at a 45-degree angle (Image 3).

Sand and Assemble

Sand all pieces of wood (Image 1). Place the 36-inch boards side by side. Use the 2x2 wood pieces to connect boards together. The 2x2 pieces should be placed inside a couple of inches past the holes you drilled (Image 2). Secure the 2x2 pieces with four exterior screws (Image 3). This is now the underside of the seat of your swing.

Thread Rope

Next, cut the 50-foot rope in half and tie a knot at the end (Image 1). Thread the first piece of rope, starting from the underside, evenly through all four holes on one side of the seat (Image 2). Tie a knot. Leave some excess at ends to adjust once it’s hung. Then, do the same to the other side with the second piece of rope. Watch the video at the top of this article for visual instruction.

Hang the Swing

Following manufacturer's instructions, attach eye bolts to the structure that you will hang the swing from — a pergola in this case (Image 1). Go here to learn how to install as a porch swing. Next, thread all four strands of rope from one side into a twist-lock carabiner. While it’s still open, hook it through one of the eye bolts (Image 2). Then, twist the carabiner until closed. Do the same to the other side of the swing (Image 3). Pro Tip: Place swing on a short ladder to hold the weight while you work on hanging the rope. Once the swing is in place, adjust the rope until the swing is 18 inches from the ground, which is chair height. Cut the remaining rope 6 inches from the knot (Image 4). Fray the ends with your hands to give it a wispy, natural look (Image 5).

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