How To: Make a Tire Swing
Create some outdoor fun this summer—the old-fashioned way—with this easy tire swing how-to.
Sometimes the simplest things can bring the greatest summertime pleasures. Outdoor fun doesn’t have to include expensive, custom-built play sets; you can create instant outdoor entertainment by upcycling an old tire into a one-of-a-kind swing. Read on to learn how to make a tire swing the easy-peasy, old-fashioned way!
How to Make a DIY Tire Swing
This project is perfect for beginners, as you only need a few tools and basic knot knowledge—oh, and you need a tree (a big tree).
STEP 1: Pick the correct tree.
Chances are, if you’re looking into how to make a DIY tire swing, you already have a tree in mind for mounting it. Just make sure that it’s large, healthy, and the branch that will hold the tire swing is at least 8 inches thick. If a tree shows signs of decay or has cracks or dead branches, it’s not suitable for a tire swing.
Other considerations include making sure there’s enough clearance between where the tire hangs and the trunk of the tree as well as the ground. And removing large rocks or other tripping hazards from the area beneath the swing.
STEP 2: Find the right size tire.
Any standard-size passenger car rubber tire will work for a swing, though you could use a smaller or larger tire as long as you factor the weight into your specific project. If you find a used tire, be sure it has some tread left to prevent any wires from popping through the surface and scratching or poking swing users.
STEP 3: Clean the tire.
Give the tire a thorough cleaning with a pressure washer. If you don’t have the right tool, take the tire to the car wash to clean it with one of the high-pressure hoses on the premises.
STEP 4: Drill drainage holes in the tire.
When you’re ready—that is, when you’re satisfied with the cleanliness of the tire—drill holes in the bottom of the tire to prevent water from pooling when it rains. You don’t want mosquitoes to get wind of any standing water! On that note, you’ll also want to check for bees, wasps, and other insect pests each time you or your kids use the tire swing.
STEP 5: Purchase the correct rope.
Determine the maximum weight your tire swing will hold. That includes the weight of kids (or adults) that will use it as well as the weight of the tire you choose. Then select a heavy-duty braided exterior rope that is rated for three times that weight.
STEP 6: Tie a double bowline knot.
Cut a section of rope to the desired length plus a little bit extra for tying a couple of knots. If needed, melt the ends to keep the rope from fraying. Tie a double bowline knot on one end of the rope, making sure to leave a little slack in the loop portion of the knot.
STEP 7: Hang your rope.
Toss the knot end of the rope over the tree branch. If you need a little help, place a softball in a sock and tie the sock to the knot end of the rope; then toss the ball over the branch. Thread the opposite end of the rope through the loop of the bowline knot and pull it tight. The knot will travel upwards until it finally reaches the branch.
STEP 8: Suspend the tire.
Tie another double bowline knot around the top of the tire, tightening it so the tire hangs at the desired height off of the ground.
STEP 9: Test the tire swing.
Have the heaviest member of your family test the tire swing to ensure its strength. You may not want to tell this person why he or she was chosen…
Let your impatient kid swing already. You can cut off the excess rope later. Pat yourself on the back and admire your handiwork from the street, just like the neighbors will.
FAQ About DIY Tire Swings
Got questions about how to make a tire swing? You’re not alone!
How do you make a homemade tire swing?
One of our favorite DIY tire swing ideas is to find a tire, clean it thoroughly, and hang it by a rope from a sturdy tree branch.
What do I need for a DIY tire swing?
First and foremost, you need a tire. You’ll also need some tire cleaning supplies (or clean it at a self-serve car wash), braided exterior rope rated for three times the weight of the tire and swing users combined, and some basic knot knowledge. You’ll also need a sturdy branch on a large, healthy tree.
What kind of rope do you use for a tire swing?
The best rope to use for a tire swing is one that is braided, designed to hold a lot of weight, and rated to withstand outdoor elements such as UV rays, rain, etc.
Kick off your summer staycation by adding a tire swing to your outdoor space. This simple project can add hours of fun and relaxation with minimal effort and expense. Just be sure to keep safety top of mind by thoroughly inspecting the tree and branch that you intend to mount it on, and by selecting rope that is rated for the amount of weight that your specific tire swing will hold.