Building your own Swing Set: The Essentials

Buying a ready-made swing set may be the easiest way to install your swing for your children, many prefer to create their own. Metal swing sets can rust and deteriorate over the years, but a solidly constructed wooden swing set will last for decades – and there’s something to be said for the satisfaction you receive from creating something with your own hands, especially for your own children’s enjoyment.

If you’re keen to build your own, here’s our easy-to-follow guide to the basic, including all of the essential tools and materials you’ll need to get the job done.


Ready mix mortar:

  • If your ground is particularly soft, you may want to cement in your swing set for added stability. Ready mix mortar is the least expensive way to create a solidly bedded-in swing set, and you can purchase this cheaply from online specialists Wickes, who currently offer 25% off ready mix mortar when buying in bulk

Treated lumber:

One 12’ 1 by 6, or two 6’ 1 by 6

  • Four 10’ 4 by 4s
  • One 12’ 4 by 4

Eight 6” eyebolts and nuts

Sixteen 6” bolts and nuts

Ratchet with socket to fit bolts

Four steel braces

Four swings with chain ready-attached

Eight steel “S” hooks

Four trapezoid steel brackets

Forty-eight 3” nails

A drill

A pair of pliers

A hammer

An extra pair of hands!


First you’ll need lumber to provide stability between the upright legs of your swing set. Use your two 6’ 1 by 6s, or halve your 12’ 1 by 6 lumber for this purpose.

  • Your 12’ 4 by 4 will be your main beam, so drill eight holes along the beam, where you will position the eyebolts to attach the swings. Your first and last bolts should be about 17” from the end of the beam, with a 17” gap between each bolt.
  • Next, drill two holes in each upright and in the side of the main beam. This is where you will position the steel braces in order to securely fix the main beam to the upright leg. Lay the steel braces on the wood first then use a permanent marker to mark out where your holes need to go.
  • Fix your eight 6” eyebolts into the main beam, using washers to protect the beam from the bolt pressure. Position your eyebolts with the eye on the bottom, from which to hang the swings.
  • Your upright legs will be the two 10” 4 by 4s. Lay these on the ground at a 45 degree angle then lay the steel trapezoid brackets on the leg ends and adjust the angle so the bracket doesn’t overhang. Attach your brackets using 3” nails, flip the upright legs and attach brackets to the other side.
  • To stabilise the upright legs, lay your 6’ 1 by 6 across the legs at a point where it fits without much overhang. Attach this support board to each leg using 3” nails.
  • Now it’s time to attach the steel braces. Bolt a steel brace to the main beam using two 6” bolts in the holes you drilled earlier, making sure to use nuts and washers for each. Do the same at the other end of the beam then flip it over to attach steel braces to both ends on the other side.
  • Now fix your upright legs into place with the main beam by bolting the other end of the steel brace to the legs. Use two 6” bolts with nuts and washers, repeating on both sides and both ends.
  • Now your swing set will be able to stand upright, where you can attach the “S” hooks to the eyebolts you installed earlier. Next hang your swing chains from the “S” hooks, using pliers to tighten the hooks to prevent the chains from unhooking.
  • You can now cement in your swing set now, or if the ground is hard enough, simply use tyres to weight down the swing set, making sure you drill some drainage holes into the tyres first.
  • You’re all done and ready to swing!
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