Introduction: Mobile Swing

This swing was a project for school, allowing us to explore different ways to connect different materials. The result is a swing that is portable enough to carry in a backpack, weighing in at two kg, easy enough to hang up and take down in a minute, and feasible to make in an hour or two, with the right materials and this guide! Not to mention it is extremely comfortable and adjustable in height.

I spent about €20 on the entire thing, but this can differ depending on what you get from the store and what you can salvage. Everything I didn't salvage, I found in a normal DIY store.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

First off, for obvious reasons, all of the following materials have to be able to carry your own weight, the stronger the better.
  • A wooden broomstick. I got one with a diameter of about 3 cm, 1.5 m long.
  • A rope. Make sure it's a fair bit thinner in diameter than the broomstick, and at least four times as long as the height of the branch you're going to want to swing on. 15 meter seemed plenty for me.
  • A sturdy piece of cloth, sized 60 x 100 cm. In the example, I went with a piece of leather I salvaged from an old sofa.
  • A chain, 1 meter long, and a fastener to close it.
  • Optionally, a piece of plastic tubing to protect the chain from damaging the cloth.

And the right tools for the job;

  • A drill for wood, to pass the rope through the broomstick.
  • A saw;
  • A sewing machine.

Step 2: The Broomstick

The broomstick will provide two parts of the swing, so you can simply saw it in two pieces. Mine are about 45 and 80cm long, with some of the wood sanded off the ends to make it nicer to the touch. The longer part will be supported by the rope at both ends and support the cloth in the middle, so you need to drill a hole through it on each end, about 5-10 cm from the actual end. The short part will be supported by the rope in the middle, so go ahead and make another hole in the middle of that piece.

Don't forget, the rope will be passing through the holes, so make sure they're big enough without risking the wood to break.

Step 3: The Cloth

The cloth is what you'll be sitting on, and what will make the whole so comfortable to sit in. Eventually, it will be supported by the longer part of the broomstick under your knees, and by the chain behind your back. To attach these to the cloth, you can simply sew the cloth to itself, around the broom on one side and around the chain on the other. If you want to protect your cloth from damage by the chain, this is where that piece of tubing comes in. Just shove it around the chain before you sew the cloth around both, or you might sew it too closely to the side. After that, just close the chain around the cloth.

Make sure these seams are strong enough to carry you! Add a double seam to each side if you're not sure.

Step 4: The Rope

As last and easiest step, you can use the rope to connect all the pieces. Pass one end of the rope through one end of the broom, and fasten it with a few loops and a knot. Then the rope passes through the short piece of the broom, which will be used to connect the rope to the chain, and at last fasten the end of the rope through and around the other end of the broom. This also makes sure the cloth stays in place on the broom.

Step 5: Finish

That's it! Now run outside happily, throw the short stick over your branch of choice, adjust the height by rolling the rope around the short stick and put it through the chain to start swinging! Have fun!