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How to Make a Rope Tree Swing

Catch a breeze with the gentle back-and-forth motion of this outdoor rope swing. It's like child's play to make.

girl on tree swing made from rope and wooden seat

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Handsaw or miter saw (optional)
  • Drill with a 1-in bit
  • Utility knife
  • Sander and 120-grit sandpaper
  • Screwdriver
  • Matches or lighter


  • 2-in x 10-in x 8-ft board, #46664
  • 46 ft of 3/4-in twisted polypropylene rope, #349194
  • 2 snap links, #348290
  • 2-1/2-in deck screws

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Project Resources


Build the Wooden Seat

Step 1

Have a Lowe's associate trim the rough end from a 2-in x10-in board and then cut two pieces 3 in long and one piece 22 in long.

Step 2

Sand the faces, edges, and ends of all three pieces. Drill pilot holes in each 3-in piece. Glue and screw the 3-in pieces with both edges and one end flush with the end of the seat (Rope Swing Project Diagram ).

Step 3

Mark the locations of the four 1-in holes (for 3/4-in rope). Place a piece of scrap wood beneath the swing seat and drill the holes. Sand around the top and bottom edges of the holes. Then sand to round over all sharp edges and corners on the seat.

Step 4

Apply one coat of primer, let dry, and lightly sand any rough spots. Then apply two coats of paint -- don't miss the insides of the rope holes.

Hang the Swing

Step 1

To keep the rope from unraveling, cut two pieces of rope 5 ft long and heat the ends with a match or lighter until they begin to melt. Thread one end through a hole in the seat from the top and make an overhand knot underneath. Repeat on the remaining hole on the same end of the seat with the other rope on the opposite end.

Step 2

Place a snap link on each seat rope. Measure from the tree limb to the ground and cut two pieces of rope about 3 ft longer than that distance. (We needed about 18 ft of rope on each side). See our video on how to tie a double-bowline knot on one end of each rope (below). Throw the knotted end over the tree limb where you'll hang the swing, pass the other end through the loop, and pull the knot snug against the tree limb. Then tie a second double-bowline and attach the snap link with the swing rope so the seat is about 18 in above the ground. Repeat for the other tree limb rope.

Good to Know

Rope can fray or weaken after continuous use or when left in direct sunlight for long periods. Regularly check the condition of the rope and remove or replace it if you notice frayed or broken strands.