Cocoon Treehouse




About: I'm just a teenager that loves to craft and play violin!

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Total cost: $145.33
Total Building Time: One day


Step 1: Supply List

For the cocoon:

For the rope ladder:

  • Two Ikea Rope Ladders (recently discontinued; but any rope ladder will work) - $19.99 each
  • Four 1/2" diameter lag screws, 8" long - $4.11 each
  • Eight 1/2" diameter washers (two washers per lag screw)
  • Twenty four 1/2" diameter locking washers (use six washers as spacers per lag screw)
  • Two 1/2" diameter eye bolts, 12" long- $3.21 each



Total cost: $145.33

Total Building Time: One day

Step 2: Pick the Site and Draw Your Plans

Find the spot for your cocoon tree house. You will need two tall trees near each other. In our case, the trees were 6 feet apart.

Draw your plans, and determine the desired height. We suggest setting the height according the age of your children.

Step 3: Assembling the Ekorre Swing

Use the 5/8" polyethylene rope to lace the Ekorre swing according to the instructions provided by IKEA. You can find the assembly instructions here. When you are finished lacing, make sure both sides of the rope are equal and of the desired length. Make sure to user a rope rated for at least 250 pounds.

Step 4: Lag Screw Assembly

Use galvanized lag screws to anchor the Ekorre swing to the trees. Be sure to use galvanized screws instead of stainless steels, as they are much stronger. Use screws of 1/2" or greater diameter.

Our lag screw assembly consists of one washer, followed by red swing bracket, followed by a second washer, and finally by 6 locking washers (see picture). The locking washers are used as a spacer, providing space between the bracket/rope and the tree trunk.

You will need two lag screw assemblies, one for each tree.

Step 5: Drilling Mounting Holes

At the desired height (16 feet in our case), drill a 6" hole in each tree. If you are using 1/2" lag screws, use a 3/8" drill bit.

Step 6: Mounting the Screw Assemblies

Torque the lag screws into the drilled holes. You should have about 2" of space between the bracket and the tree trunk.

Step 7: Hang Your Cocoon

Once both lag screw assemblies are mounted, your Ekorre swing (cocoon) will hang free. If the cocoon is not centered between the trees, simply adjust the rope at the brackets.

Step 8: Assemble the Ekorre Rope Ladder

Assemble the Ekorre rope ladder. Depending on the height of your cocoon, you might need from than one ladder. We used two ladders.

Step 9: Attaching the Top of the Ladder

Two feet above the cocoon seating height, install a pair of eye screws into one of the trees. The eye screws are needed to provide spacing between the tree and the ladder steps. The eye screws should to be leveled, and 16" apart from each other (step width).

Continue by mounting two lag screw assemblies, approximately one foot above the eye screws. These lag screws are used to hold the red brackets that come with the Ikea ladder. The lag screws should be installed leveled, and in apposite sides of the tree. They should be perpendicular to the lag screw used to hold the cocoon.

Step 10: Securing the Bottom of the Ladder

At the bottom of the opposite tree, install lag screws to secure the bottom of the ladder. Use the same lag screws, washers, and red brackets as used in the previous steps.

Step 11: Climbing Up to the Cocoon

The pictures above show how to safely climb the rope ladder and sit in the cocoon. The cocoon needs to be no further than 1 foot way from the ladder, allowing the child to use a squatting position to enter and exit the cocoon safely.

Step 12: Adding a Pulley and Bucket System

Climbing a rope ladder requires both hands. Therefore, it is difficult to bring items up to the cocoon. To solve this problem, we installed a pulley and bucket system, which we use to bring books and other items up and down.

Step 13: Enjoy Your New Cocoon Treehouse!!

Step 14: Don't Forget to Vote!

Thanks a lot for reading!

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    32 Discussions


    4 years ago

    I ADORE this idea. If I can ever afford this I will totally do it. Thanks for sharing.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Cool! May adapt this, because I don't have enough money for this (nor do I want to spend this amount of money on this!), but it's a fantastic idea for those who don't want to build a full blown tree house.


    4 years ago

    Good instructable! I really liked the pictures. :-)


    4 years ago

    I like this but am concerned about the lock washers. Having them against the tree bark may not cause them to compress and thus not be effective. If the tree bark is craggy or soft this would be the case - I think. However, if you place an additional washer against the tree (on the end) you sandwich the washers between metal and they will clearly do the job.

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    This is actually a misconception! "Lock washers" do not actually perform any sort of special purpose to lock down anything.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Lock washers prevent nuts from backing off from bolts through vibration. They do work when used appropriately.

    I agree that they won't do much for a lag screw used how instructed. jdonato is right, there needs to be a hard surface to work with.