How to build a classic Kiwi outdoor swing

Add a bit of summer fun to your outdoor area with this stylish DIY rope swing.

Resident builder Peter Wolfkamp gives the classic Kiwi beach swing an upgrade in this easy tutorial video.

You'll need:

  • Some rope
  • 2 x slabs of wood
  • 2 x pieces of galvanised pipe
  • 2 x eye bolts
  • 2 x threaded rods
  • 4 x washers
  • 4 x nuts
  • A drill
  • A saw



For this swing, Peter chose to set his threaded rods 100mm (about four inches) in from the edge of the seat. 

Peter explains: "I want to put a washer on my threaded rod before I put the nut on. So, if I drill the smaller hole [for the threaded rod] and then try to drill a larger hole through the same place [for the washer], it'll simply wobble off. So the key is to start with the bigger hole."

Begin with a drill bit that'll create a space large enough to fit your chosen washer. Drill down to the depth of the washer, and then continue using a 12mm drill bit to make an opening for the threaded rod. Repeat with the second slab of wood. You'll now be able to slide your rod cleanly through both slabs of the swing seat.

"But I think just leaving it like that is going to be a bit boring. So I'm going to have a gap in between. I've just got some old galvanised pipe - I'll cut that into a couple of little spacers, and put them in between."

Now, measure up your swing seat and cut the threaded rod to size. (Don't forget to account for the galvanised pipe spacers when you're measuring).

Thread the two rods through the first piece of wood, and secure with a washer and a nut. Then, add your pipe, the next section of wood, and finally secure with your remaining washers and nuts.

Take your completed seat and mark a spot for the rope on each corner.

"Mark the centre of the hole on both sides. Then, drill in from each side to meet in the middle."

Next, simply thread your rope through the holes.


How to build a swing


To protect your swing from the elements, Peter recommends adding a coat of furniture stain.

Using two eye bolts, Peter fixed the swing to the veranda and - done!

Alternatively, embrace the old-school tree swing and firmly tie your swing ropes to a strong branch.


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