Outdoor fun for kids does not have to be expensive games. You can make a DIY tire swing in the yard with just a few easy steps. The best part is that you recycle old tires – a great effort to save the environment.
How to do it safely? Try out our two ideas below before the summertime knocks on your door.
In this article:
How To Hang A Tire Swing: Simple Instruction
The simplest design points to a vertical swing tied by a string at the top. This project is beginner-friendly, so we recommend the instruction below for those without much experience.
- A used tire
- Tape measure
- A cigarette lighter
- Ladder (optional)
Estimated working time: 30 minutes – 1 hour
Estimated cost: $25-$50
Look For A Strong Branch
Look around your backyard and find the healthiest plant. Isolated maple or oak trees do best, while fruit trees, softwoods, and evergreens rarely tolerate stress. Make sure the selected tree does not show signs of decay or cracks.
Now watch for branches with a minimum diameter of 25cm. A suitable one is about 2.7 meters (approximately 10 feet) off the surface. It should also extend away from the trunk so you do not bump into the tree while on the swing.
Prepare A Tire
Any rubber tire that does not dry out can work for your project. Pay attention to the treads, which determine the good condition to withstand the human weight. If you do not have one in the garage, go to the tire store and look for a recycled one.
Big tires are not always good, even though they give plenty of seats. It would help to balance size and weight so as not to put too much pressure on the branch.
Then clean the tires both inside and out with specialized cleaners or WD40. A high-pressure hose comes in handy to push all the dirt out and remove stubborn grease stains.
Invest In The Correct Rope
To buy the right rope, you need to determine the maximum weight of the swing user(s) and the tire. Then look for an option that can withstand three times the calculated result.
Subsequently, determine the length based on the branch compared to the ground. For example, a 50 feet long rope is perfect for a 10- to 20-feet distance.
Drill Some Drainage Hole
Since it is an outdoor game, you need drainage holes to avoid water accumulation. This also helps limit mosquito breeding and mess. Install a 7/8-inch drill bit and work on the tire base.
Be careful while working, as the metal threads of the internal structure can interfere with the bit. Note that you may hit a layer of obstruction, thus increasing the force to penetrate.
Place The Rope Over The Branch
Use a ladder to reach the intended branch. Get someone to help you stay safe as you climb. You can wrap the rope a few times around the stem for extra stability. If you do not have a ladder, tie one end of the rope to a small object (for example, duct tape or a beanbag), then toss it around the branch.
Tie The Knots
Secure the top end with a fisherman’s bend or double bowline knot from the ground and pull it upwards. Make sure it is firm, so a square knot is not recommended. It’s worth considering melting the tip; thus, the wire does not fray.
Do the same with the other end of the rope and the top of the tire. But before that, turn the drain hole downwards and assess the distance from the tire to the ground. No one wants to struggle to climb on a swing or sit with one leg dragging on the floor.
Try It Out
Now it’s time for the tests. After working hard on the knots, get someone to test your project. This allows the rope to be stretched and tested for its stress resistance.
Trimming the excess cord and leaving only about 4-5 inches is best. Again, burn the end to avoid fraying. Adding a soft coating underneath the swing reduces damage from jumping or falling off.
How To Make A Horizontal Tire Swing From Tree
The beginning stage of a horizontal tree tire swing is similar to the simple one above – find a sturdy branch and a good tire. However, you will need a few other tools, including:
- Three eye bolts
- Four S-Hooks
- Two galvanized chain
- Three types of attachment hardware (the swivel, the Connection Link, and the Clip Hook).
Attach The Eye-Bolts
Flip the tire vertically and drill three holes in the inner wall to form an isosceles triangle. It is not necessary for absolute accuracy but the more balanced the three points, the greater the stability.
Drill a random first hole and then use the string to estimate the position of the second one. Locate the third position by pulling the rope from the second point so that the length is equal to the actual distance.
Attach a nut and a fender washer to the eye bolt and thread it through the tire. On the inner side, set up another flare washer, a washer, and then a nut, and tighten. Do the same for the two remaining units.
Take one S-Hook and lock it into the eye bolt. You need a large pair of pliers and a lot of strength to close the attached side of the S-Hook afterward.
It isn’t easy to complete in one go since the pliers move only a little each time. Unfortunately, you have to struggle with the same process all three times on eye bolts.
Install The Chains
Now it’s time to work with the chain. You must cut the long string into three equal parts. The length of each depends on your desired height when hanging the tire.
Attach the short chains in turn to the installed S-Hooks. Then, put all the remaining chain ends into the 4th S-Hook and squeeze with a piler.
Attach Top Hardware Details
The main S-Hook requires some hardware that serves an obvious purpose. The installation order of the accessories listed above is as follows: The Swivel> The Link Connector > The Clip Hook. Be sure to tighten the Link Connector’s knob, and the swing is ready to be lifted off the ground.
You end up with only one last material – another long chain. Hang it over the selected branch and slide both free ends into The Clip Hook.
If you have a spare Link Connector, you should use it to gather the two chains and then connect to the Clip Hook. Give yourself a round of applause; you have finally completed an advanced tire swing.
Other Things To Make With The Remaining Old Tires
A tire swing only costs you one old tire, while you, most of the time, have to replace a set of 4. You’re sure to have lots of projects to do with the remaining tires on the way after checking our list:
- Other backyard games: climber, rope or obstacle course, totter, etc.
- Furniture: tire chair & table, rolling storage, etc.
- Gardening tools: plant holder, compost container, hanging flower pot, garden stairs, etc.
What Is The Best Rope For A Tire Swing?
Polypropylene rope – a synthetic compound is known for its durability and good resistance to rot. Other choices include heavy-duty climbing rope and galvanized chains.
How Thick Should The Swing Rope Be?
A swing rope should feature ⅝ -1 inch diameter to support the weight and provide a good grip.
Is Tire Swing Rope Or Chain Better?
A rope goes well with a tree swing, while a chain is good for sets that come with metal eyelets. The metal links can dig into tree branches over time, thus posing dangers to riders.
Making a tire swing in a tree is not difficult or takes a long time, but the process requires some elbow grease. Take the joy of your kids as motivation and roll up your sleeves. If you have little experience or want simple work, go for a vertical swing. However, the horizontal set allows you to enjoy the fun fully.