Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Break Tree Swing Project

Hi Everyone! I hope you are enjoying the nice spring weather. We are on Spring Break and decided to take on a fun project...
T  R  E  E   *   S  W  I  N  G  S 
Disclaimer: We are not professional builders, the following should be used only as a guideline, not detailed instructions for building a tree swing. 
Look for two trees spaced 12' - 16' apart. Anything larger then 16' will require a custom beam that you won't find at your local hardware store, you will have to order. The tree trunks should be at least 12" in diameter. Make sure the ground is safe, look for large rocks, slopes, etc... 
Supplies include: 3 16' 2x6 pressure treated beams, 12" 1/2" bolts, (6) large washers, swings with chains (we got ours from Home Depot), heavy duty eye screws, wood glue, 3" outdoor screws. Tools include: drill, saw, 2 ladders, or in our case, 1 ladder and a tractor front loader, vices, wrench set 1/2" long drill bit.
Measure your beam to go at least 12" on center from both trees. Our 16' beams were perfect, the trees were about 14' on center. You will use (2) beams that you will glue (we used gorilla wood glue) and screw together to create a 4" think beam x 6" wide.
Cut (4) 36" 2x6 beams for your support beams. You will glue and screw (2) of the support beams. Trim the corners for a decorative touch (looks a little tuscan to me).
After glueing the beams in a S shape from end to end, we put the beams together and screwed them about every 18" on two sides of the beam.
You can sand the cuts to make the edges smooth.
You should now have (2) 36" 4x6 support beams and (1) 16' 4x6 swing beam. Careful with the large beam it will take two people to lift. We used an 8' height to the bottom of the swing beam. Measure a couple times to make sure you have it correct.
You will now pre-drill the top bolt using a 1/2" long drill bit. Place your first support beam on the tree, and partially screw in your top bolt along with a washer. Use a level to ensure beam is correctly placed, then drill your second bottom hole and screw your second bolt in along with a washer. Ensuring you keep it level. 
Use a string level to place your 2nd support beam. We measured from the top center of the support beams. Once you have located the 2nd beam, repeat the above steps to install the 2nd support beam.
Next with two people, carefully lift your large swing beam on one side and find a way to hold it in place, while you lift the other side of the beam. We used the front loader of the tractor, so we knew it wouldn't go anywhere.
Double check everything is level and secured.
Drill 1st hole on one side, and screw in your bolt loosely.
On the opposite side drill your 2nd hole. We chose to drill a couple holes on one side opening the hole up creating a space for the bolt to slide a few inches in case the trees sway a lot. 
Our new family member, Bentley, watched on as we built the tree swings.
I can't remember if I mentioned this or not, but our new home sits just under 5 acres. We definitely needed a tractor, and it was a lifesaver in this project.
Add your swing hardware, we left plenty of space between the swings, so the kids wouldn't hit each other swinging. 
The kids LOVE their new swings.
We may add another beam on the opposite side, purely for decorative reasons. Hmm, it could end up looking like the top of a pergola.

I have always wanted a swing set for my kids, so a big thank you to my husband for helping me make my vision come true. 
Thanks for visiting! xo, Liz
Linking Up With:
Wow Us Wednesday
Swing Into Spring Party


  1. Hi Liz! You are a woman of many talents!! What a wonderful idea! Your new family member is a cutie! Hope your kids enjoy their new swings!!!

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for visiting and for the sweet comment. :)

  2. What a fabulous idea! I love your moss covered trees! And Bentley.....what a cutie!!! That looks like hours and hours of fun for the kids and parents too! Great work!!
    xo Kris

    1. Hi Kris,
      Thank you! :) I love those moss covered trees, too! Thanks for visiting, sweet friend. :)

  3. Oh my gosh Liz Bentley is a cutie!!! What a great idea with the your moss covered trees!

  4. This is such a wonderful place for kids to grow up..... How lucky are they to have a tree swing!!! :)
    hugs x, Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

  5. That is the perfect, perfect swing set, Liz. SO much better than all those commercial sets you see-and so much less expensive, too. It looks great and like a bit of childhood heaven! xo Diana

  6. WOW! Those trees are to die for! Looks like hours of memory-making will take place here =)

  7. Great swings and the girls will enjoy them for many years to come.
    I am in love with Bentley! OMG what a cutie....I hope you will post about him from time to time.
    Have a great day with your girls

  8. What a great idea! I'm sure the girls will enjoy many hours of fun out there. Bentley is adorable! He has such a sweet face!

  9. Such a fabulous idea. I wish I had lots of trees in my yard. Your girls must love this. I hope you are having a great day.

  10. How creative and fun! What a great way to kick off spring break!

  11. Hi, Liz! What a wonderful idea! I know the girls will be enjoying the new swing for a long time to come. Little Bentley is sooo cute! :)

  12. Awesome idea, Liz! I've never seen a swing set done like this! I know your girls will make lots of memories while enjoying time out there!

  13. Liz,

    We recently purchased a wooded lot next to our house and on it I saw two trees I thought would be perfect for a swing. I googled "swing set built in trees" or something like that and found your page and you guys were our inspiration! Thank you for laying out your design and method. It's the first project like this I've ever done. I just finished ours this weekend and now the kids ask to go swing before they leave for school in the morning and when they get home in the afternoon and after dinner and before bed. Totally makes it all worthwhile.

    We ended up using 20' 2x6 Redwood Beams and 10 10" 1/2" lag screws. The thing is insanely sturdy.

    Just wanted to share the final result and let you know how much I appreciated you taking the time to document the process.


  14. Looks great! Do you remember how long the bolts were and did you having any trouble getting them all the way in the tree?

  15. It looks great! Do you remember how long the bolts were? And did you have any trouble getting them all the way in the tree?


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