Kids need regular outdoor play. They need to be active and get some sunshine to stay healthy and happy.
The simple solution? Build a backyard playground swing set so they can play to their hearts’ content. Plus, it doesn't have to be a huge expense if you DIY.
If you’re new to DIY, there’s an easy way to go about it. Here’s all you need to know, plus a simple plan of action — a DIY swing set for backyard play on a silver platter.
Why DIY Your Backyard Swingset?
Before we get started, let's talk about why you’d want to DIY.
Well, for starters, it's cheaper to build your own swing set than to buy a pre-installed option or have someone install it for you. A swing set installation can cost you up to $2000. If you DIY, you can get everything you need between $300 - $1000, depending on the swings, seats, and lumber you opt for — saving yourself a pretty penny in the process.
Secondly, you can customize your swing set to your family's tastes. If the little ones want a jungle gym, fort and swing set combo, you can give them just that.
What's more, you can tweak the swing set itself without altering the original structure. As the kids grow or their needs change, you can add or remove features, saving you the cost of a completely new structure.
Safety Tips for Making Your DIY Swing Set
Safety is the number one priority when it comes to the kids. Make sure the swing is sturdy and doesn't wobble. Use safe playground surfacing material like wood or rubber mulch as shock absorbers in case of falls — think about adding a rubber mat under each swing set for added safety.
Here are some important safety checks:
- Tug and pull at the swing chains to test it out before you let your kids play.
- Make sure to pick a level area of your yard for your swing set, away from obstacles.
- If you’re using wood planks, make sure they are sanded thoroughly to avoid splinters. Stain or paint your planks beforehand to help maintain their integrity.
- Buy all your supplies from a reputable seller. The last thing you want is a chain to break while your child is in midair.
DIY Swing Set Plans
Basic Wooden Swing Set
Wood is a strong, sturdy, and reliable material for building your swing set. This basic wooden swing set plan can accommodate two swings.
You can adjust the size of your swing set to fit your yard space. You'll even have the option to modify and add extra features like canopies and slides once you have your base in place.
Here's what you need for your wooden swing set:
- Spray paint
- Lumber and planks ( preferably heat and pressure treated) — you'll need one 8-12 foot, 4x6 planks and four 8-12 foot, 4x4 posts. Ordinary planks can succumb to rot and termite infestation.
- Swing hangers (a set of 2 per swing)
- 7-inch galvanized bolts to fasten the hangers
- Bolts and washers (4 of each for each swing) — the size you need depends on the swing set and hangers you’re using. For example, you’ll need 3/ 8" inch bolts for a 5/16" swing hanger set.
- Swing chains or strong nylon rope
- Swing seats
- Swing set brackets for A-frame swing set — pictured below
- 8-foot wood support planks
How to Put Together Your DIY Wooden Swing Set
To make the basic swing set frame, you're going to lay three vertical support beams at an angle to make an A-shape and one horizontal beam across the top.
- First, you need to make the frame. Lay the wooden bars on the ground. Position the bigger beam horizontally with the two smaller beams at either end.
- Slide the ends of the beams into the swing brackets and drill the bolts securely. If you're using a smaller drill, you may need to predrill the lumber.
- Use the galvanized bolts to secure the swing set into position, but don't tighten all the way yet.
- Next, bring the swing frame upright (a bit of heavy lifting here).
- Double-check to make sure the swing frame is straight and all the bars are level. Then tighten the brackets in place.
- Make holes around and beneath each post, roughly 1.5-2 feet deep and 15-20cm on each side. You’ll need an extra set of hands to support the swing frame as you dig.
- Now use your wheelbarrow or cement mixer to mix your cement. Use a ready-made premix cement and simply add water, following the instructions on the bag. Then pour into the holes, ensuring your swing set stays precisely even throughout. You’ll need 2 to 3 bags of premix cement. Wait three to four days for the cement to completely dry through.
If you don't want to use cement, buy some anchors to anchor your DIY wooden swing set to the ground (see picture below).
- Connect the wooden stringers to the side using the screws to form a symmetrical A shape on either side.
- Drill holes on the top post to add the swing seats, using your swing hangers or nylon ropes (be sure to tie the knot correctly if you're using rope). Secure the swing seats in place using the bolts and washers.
- Clean up the area and add a suitable playground surfacing.
And voila! Your swing set is ready for action.
You can make any variation of this simple frame. For example, you can add an additional wooden post on one side and build a fort.
DIY Metal Swing Set
Metal is durable and sturdy. It won’t crack, splinter, or rot. With this metal swing set, you have the option of making the legs diagonal to form a modern A-frame swing design or keep them straight to create a straight-legged frame.
While both are strong, the A-frame provides extra support by distributing weight across four points instead of two.
Here Are the Materials You'll Need for Your Metal Swing Set
- 2 Y-fit swing support brackets
- Digging tool
- Pipe caps
- Nuts and washers
- Swing set hangers
- Wooden stakes for marking holes
- Wheelbarrow or concrete mixer
- Galvanized steel pipes
Constructing Your DIY Metal Swing Set
- Lay the horizontal pipe lengthwise and mark the ends using wooden pegs.
- Dig 1.5-2 feet deep holes where you put the wooden pegs.
- Drill holes through the horizontal cross pipe for each swing.
- Thread in the galvanized pipe from end to end and secure the ends using Y fittings or brackets.
- Tighten your threadings with a pipe wrench.
- Attach the swings to the holes in the top pipes using the hangers, nuts, and washers and securely wrench them on.
- Lift attached frame and position in holes.
- Secure with bricks and cement.
- Allow the cement to dry for 2-3 days.
- Give it a coat of paint and wait for a week or until the swing set is completely dry.
And that’s it; your kids are on their way to some fun memories.
Keep Your Kids Healthy and Happy With Outdoor Play
A DIY swing set will give your children a chance to play outdoors in a safe and secure environment. The kids will love it, plus it's great for their development.
Would you love to DIY your kids a swing set from scratch, but don't have the time?
Head on over the WillyGoat and buy a ready-made DIY swing set. All you have to do is follow the instructions that come with every set and secure it to the ground — it’s that simple.
All DIY swing set plans from WillyGoat are safety tested and come with easy-to-follow instruction; even the kids can help (when they’re not slowing you down).
Turn your DIY swing set construction into a fun afternoon family bonding opportunity.
WillyGoat swing sets are super easy to build. Get your set today and every day will be fun-filled playtime for the children. What are you waiting for?
Contact WillyGoat and get started on your backyard swing set.