The weather is nice outside and you think, 'hmm what can I do today...' Well here's the perfect project! In this instructable is shown how to make an awesome swing out of (you wouldn't guess...) your pants!
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Step 1: Materials
- First of all you need a pair of jeans. I used a short model but you could choose a long one as well if you prefer so.
- I also bought some strong fabric (picture 2) to reinforce the pants. The one I bought stretches slightly so it's more comfortable to sit on.
- To hang the swing in the tree, I chose an 8mm brown rope (picture 3). You can actually choose whatever rope you want as long as it can bare enough weight, you don't want it to snap when you're swinging. It also has to be long enough to be able to reach the branches of a tree.
- To hold everything together I use 3 carabiners (picture 4). These need to be able to bear your weight so pay attention to the specifications when you buy them.
- The last thing you need for the swing itself is a stick to keep the ropes apart (picture 4), otherwise you'll be squished between them. You can use a broomstick or buy something similar in a DIY-shop. The diameter should be large enough to drill a hole where the rope fits through.
- To be able to make a swing out of these materials, I used some small tools such as a
- tape measure
- a sewing kit
- a drill
- a fine and sharp knife
- a fine liner (thin black marker) some chalk
- pair of scissors.
Step 2: Preparation Reinforcing Pants
First of all you start with the reinforcement of the pants. If you wouldn't do this, it would be very uncomfortable to swing and the pants wouldn't be able to hold the weight.
In the first picture you can see the method I used to do this. It's written in Dutch but you don't really need the words to understand the drawing.
- Put on the pants inside out.
- Sit on the reinforcement fabric and cut off the length you need, this will be up until the seem and plus aproximately 20cm.
- Cut off the reinforcement fabric.
- Sit on the fabric again (20cm on each side) and try to imagine this is your swing. In this position, the fabric should be sewn inside the pants.
- Now you need to draw where the fabric will come inside the pants. I first drew some lines on the sides with chalk (picture 4) and tried to do this all the way over the back off the pants. It is important that you don't move the position of the fabric while doing this.
- To make everything a bit cleerer for myself, I went over the lines again with a thin black marker
If you do this preparation well, it will make the rest of the process a lot easier.
Step 3: Sewing Pants
Now you can begin to sew the fabric in the pants, but first you have to cut open part of the seem (this has to be the same width as the fabric which you've drawn in the first step). You can do this with the small scissors from a sewing set or with a sharp knife (picturtes 1 and 2). Try to not cut in the jeans itself but only cut loose the threads.
- Put the pants back on (yes it has to be inside out, yes I know it looks ridiculous).
- You have to put the fabric back in the same spot you drew in the previous steps but this time you have to mark some points on the jeans and the fabric.
- I chose the meeting point at the pockets and the seem. You have to do this so the fabric will ben in the right spot when you sew it and the pants won't be deformed.
- You can now take off the pants and pin the fabric to the jeans (picture 4)
- Now you can sew the fabric to the pants. I chose to only sew the parts that are hidden (inside the pockets) so the pants stay beautiful. I also chose some other points in the middle (picture 5). (I chose thick black thread to sew but you can actually choose any color you like, just make sure it's strong enough)
- The ends of the fabric you can now put in the holes you made earlier (picture 6) and you have to sew this very well. If the pants should break anywhere, it would be here.
In the last picture you can see what the result should look like.
Step 4: Making the Loops
To be able to hang the pants onto something, you have to make some loops out of the rest of the fabric.
- Fold the fabric in half and sew it like this firmly (picture 1).
- Make a loop and also sew this firmly (this is very important if you don't want to fall while swinging).
- Repeat this on the other side.
- Hang the carabiners in the loops (picture 3)
In the last two pictures you can see what it should look like now.
Step 5: Making Suspension System
Congratulations! You're past the hardest part! The only things that are left to do is some measuring and drilling.
You have to make a suspension system so you can get the swing in a tree easily and so you won't be squished between the ropes.
- Measure the width of your shoulders and add 15cm (I used 60cm).
- Cut off a piece of the stick with the same length (picture 1).
- Now measure 5cm from each side and mark this (make sure it's aproximately on the same side of the stick) (picture 2).
- Drill holes in the marked spot, these need to be wide enough so your rope can fit through easily (I used a 10mm drill for an 8mm rope).
Step 6: Making Suspension System
Now you've got the stick with the holes in it, it's time to add some rope. First you'll need to measure how long the rope untill the stick should be. I just took the rope and measured how long it should be from the loops to the top of my head (this was about 100cm). If you don't want the stick to bang against your head when you're swinging, you need to add some more rope to both sides (I added 30cm to each side but you could take less if you want). You also need to add some rope to make loops for the carabiners (about 10cm on each side).
2 times 100cm
2 times 30cm
2 times 10cm
= 280cm (140 each side)
This still is not enough. you also have to add some rope that will come on the other side of the stick. This has to be the distance between the holes (for me this was 50cm), plus some extra to make a loop and some extra space between the rope and the stick (about 20cm)
So if you follow my distances you need to measure and cut off 350cm of rope.
Steps to hang the rope to the stick:
- Fold the rope in half and tie a loop exactly in the middle of the rope (picture 4)
- Put the rope through both holes (picture 5).
- Measure the rope from the end to where you calculated it should be (this was 140cm on each side with my distances) and put a simple knot here (pictures 6 and 7).
- It should now look like picture 8.
- Now you need to tie a loop on each end of the rope (picture 9) where the carabiners will be attached.
Step 7: Finnishing Suspension System
To hang the swing in a tree easily and get it on the right height, I had to develop a system. The problem is that you'll be 'wearing' the swing (pants) an you have to get the rest of the suspension system on the right height. You can do this with a simple accessory.
- Measure 6 cm of stick and cut it off (pictures 1 and 2).
- Measure 1 cm of each end and mark it (picture 3).
- Drill holes of 1cm on the marks (picture 4).
- Now you have to take the rest of your rope (this has to be long enough to throw over a tree branch) and make a loop in the end with the accessory you just made inside (picture 5).
- You also have to add a carabiner to the loop (picture 6), this is where the rest of the suspension system will be attached to.
Step 8: Finishing Touch (optional)
I added some pockets to my swing because I thought it would be nice if you could hide the carabiners. This way you can actually wear the pants without it looking ridiculous. You could also try to make a hole to the existing pockets but I found it easier to add them (so you can still use the existing pockets for other stuff plus you can give your swing a more personal look).
For this you will need:
- Some fabric (I used some fabric that can stretch) you can use whatever colour and texture you want, just make sure you've got enough of it (I chose 2 types because I thought it looked good like this) (pictures 2 and 3)
- sewing materials (make sure you have enough pins or needles to serve as a pin)
- a fineliner
- some paper
You can make the pocket any size and shape you want, the only thing you should keep in mind is that the carabiner and the loop have to fit inside and that the pocket should not be in the way if you hang the carabiners to the suspension system.
- Determine the shape and size of the pocket (make sure the carabiner ans loop fit inside).
- Draw it on a piece of paper and make sure it fits right (picture 6).
- Pin the paper on the fabric (picture 7).
- Use pins to keep the fabric in the right form (you have to fold over the edges so they do not fray but you can cut of any left over fabric) (picture 8).
- Repeat this for the other pocket (make sure they mirror eachother) (picture 9).
- Sew the top edge (opening of the pocket) (picture 10)
- If you use a second kind of fabric or some other decoration this is the right time to add it (picture 11). I have just sewn the upper edge and folded the others over so i could pin them together with the rest of the fabric.
- Now you can sew the pocket to your pants. Make sute it covers the loop of reinforcement fabric (picture 12)
Tadaa! You've got a nice and personalized swing-pants!
Step 9: Making a Bag (optional)
When I was testing the swing, I found it a bit irritating to walk around with the long rope and stick like that. So I came up with a solution!
Normally you won't need any other materials, I just used some leftover fabric from the pockets I made and sewn them together. You can easily improvise this but I will give you the steps I used.
- Cut the fabric in 2 rectangles.
- Fit the two halfs together (kind of like a tennis ball would fit together) (picture 2)
- Sew them together but leave a whole at the bottom (big enough for the stick and some extra room) (pictures 3 and 4)
- Around the opening you can make some holes in the fabric (just like buttonholes) so you can close the bag with some rope (picture 5)
Picture 6 shows the result
How to use:
- Put the rope (to hang the swing in the tree) in the pocket.
- Put the stick (with part of the suspension system) through the opening of the bag and the hole in the bottom (picture 7)
- Pull one of the two chords through.
- Close the pocket
- Fit the loops on the end of the two ropes around the stick so they hold themselves (It could be possible you'll have to adjust the size of the loops) (pictures 8 and 9)
- You can now use the cords to put your bag on your back (picture 1)
Step 10: Enjoy!
Congrats!!! You are ready to swing!
But how exactly do you ask? Here are some easy steps get your swing swinging:
- Put on your swing.
- Find a nice tree branch to swing on.
- Use the carabiner on the end of your rope to put it over the branch (this needs some practice and if you want to swing in higher trees, it might be easier to use a heavier weight).
- Pull down the carabiner and put the rest of the rope through the other hole of the accessory you made.
- Hang the rest of the suspension system on the carabiner (stick with ropes).
- Hoist the suspension system to the right height (the loops of the rope should be a little higher then where the carabiners on the pants wille be).
- Take the rope just underneath the little accessory and make a knot that you can easily undo (the knot will tighten itself and I haven't really found a better solution yet).
- Now hook yourself to the suspension system with the carabiners)
To get the swing down again, you only have to unhook yourself, take the knot out of the rope and pull everuthing down.
I hope you enjoyed making this swing and more importantly, you enjoy swinging!