Introduction: Maldivian Style Bamboo Swing Chairs
As summer approaches, thoughts about renovating our terrace or garden come up to our minds. Be ready this spring, with this resistant, durable Bamboo Swing Chairs inspired by Maldives traditional chairs.
Step 1: What Is About Maldivian Chairs?
If you visit Maldives you will be surprised by these chairs, used by locals to seat in the front of their houses or just chill by the beach. Made of steel frame with nylon meshes, they are comfortable and affordable.
So for this DIY project we are going to use premium materials to get back to the old fashion look and get a much more comfortable chair. And to just make it a winner design, it will be swing to get that hammock feeling.
Step 2: Getting Started. What Do I Need?
The materials we are going to use are easily found in your local hardware or renovations store. Here is the checklist to do a couple of chairs :
2 Bamboo sticks of 70-90 mm (2,75-3,55″) diameter, 2,40 Meters (7ft 10″) long.2 Bamboo sticks of 40-50 mm (1,60-2,00″) diameter, 2,40 Meters (7ft 10″) long.20 meters (65 Ft) of rope, 10 mm (0,40″) diameter.A wood saw (electric or manual).A drill with 10 mm (0,4″) and round saw of the same size of the diameter of the smaller bamboo we took, that has to be 40-50mm (1,60-2,00″) diameter.
Step 3: Getting Started: Sawing and Drilling
We are going to saw the big diameter stick in 3 pieces, that should leave you with 6 sticks of 80cm long of each diameter. Sawing it’s an easy process if you have an electric saw.
After sawing all of them, which shouldn’t take you long, you should have something like this:
Don’t bother if they aren’t perfectly even in diameter or length, that’s part of the charm of Bamboo.
For the small diameter bamboo sticks, we will just cut them in two, to have 4 sticks of 120cm or 47 inches.
After the sawing, we continue by drilling a hole side to side on all (6) of the big bamboo sticks, as seen on this image. Around 10cm or 4 inches from the edge will be good enough.
When you are done drilling, save 2 of them aside for later. We are
going to start with the circular saw. The hole will be your guide to know where to use the circular saw on them, so you get symmetrical cuts on both sides. Check this photo:
After this drilling and sawing, you will have some round-shaped
leftovers from the bamboo, save them. We like to give a purpose to everything, and we will further on!
On the small diameter bamboo sticks we are going to do drill holes of
10mm (0,4″) separated by the size of our big diameter bamboo. As one image is worth a thousand words, you will understand it better from this picture :
So at this moment, you should have 2 sets looking like this:
Step 10: Knots and Sliding Knots
If you used to be a Boy scout, this part of the DIY project will bring some memories to you.
Using the sawing bamboo leftovers, pass the rope like this in every corner of our chair :
To adjust the length of the rope before cutting, pass it behind the bamboo leftover as seen on this picture:
To properly cut the rope, attach it first with some tape.
Then perform a simple knot on the top side, ensured by the bamboo leftover that will act as a knot stopper.
Knot it together using this technique :
If during the sawing or drilling process, one of the bamboo cracked, you can reinforce the knot like seen on this picture.
Then for the last two big diameter bamboo sticks, we will attach a rope by the holes we did. The length of this rope will vary depending on your choice and where you are gonna hang up the chair.
To ensure the rope trough the holes, you can use the bamboo leftovers as stoppers or metal ones for even more safety.
Step 18: Choosing and Adapting the Fabric for Our Chair
As a DIY project, you have the total control of making changes to the final result and the fabric is probably the easiest part to adapt to our taste. Decorating our terrace or garden, matching the elements around… There is plenty of possibilities!
In our case we chose an ivory color that matches our coastal design terrace, but also plays around with the bamboo and the ropes. But don’t be afraid of playing with colors and patterns.
Regarding the size, we are going to use a 2,60m x 0,70m (8ft 6.3″x 2ft 3.5″) fabric, this will allow us to remove it for cleaning whenever it’s needed.
If you choose to just order the fabric in your local sewer, you are ready to go by choosing the desired color and giving them the size. If you have a sewing machine at home, these are the steps to follow:
First of all, you have to bend 1cm or 0,4″ over the edge and sew a seam to prevent any fray on the fabric.
Next step will be to sew the two shorter edges together, as seen on this picture.
And we are ready to place the fabric around the bamboo structure and jump to next step. Hanging up our chair!
Step 21: Hanging Up: More Knots and Choosing the Right Height
Depending on your terrace or garden configuration, you are going to need to choose a right spot to hang up the swing chair, so the possibilities are endless. In our case, one of the columns of the porch will do.
The bamboo hanger with the first ropes that will suspend the structure.
To put together the rectangular bamboo frame with the hanging, we are going to use gallow knots. This will allow us to remove the structure and the fabric to clean and put it together in less than a minute.
Step 23: How to Gallow Knot?
Graphic instructions, easy instructions!
For each chair, we need 2 sets of ropes where you will define the
length by the desired height for the top of the chair, and 2 sets with double of that length for the bottom of the chair, that should be up to your knees.
In our case, we used 60 cm (1ft 11″) and 120 cm (3ft 11″) ropes, making hanging knots on both sides.
These sliding knots are easy to open and once we put weight on them, they will close firmly, holding the chair frame in place.
Attach the 4 ropes to the main bamboo hanging bar, keeping in mind that these ropes should be on the inside to prevent any sliding.
Final step, attach the 4 ropes to the frame and pull the knots tight to the corners. Your chair it’s ready to be hanged up.
Step 27: Instructable Completed!
Find here some pictures of our final result, and don’t hesitate to share your own pictures with us, we will post them on our social media!
Hope you enjoyed the process as much as we did when creating this guide and building these bamboo swing chairs up. Add L’Essenziale to your favorites to keep reading about our DIY projects and see the final results on our terrace makeover.
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