In this tutorial, you'll learn how to make a swing/backpack hybrid from scratch.
This is the perfect swing if you want to swing a little bit in your backyard or in the park while you're reading a book, making sketches, writing music, you name it.
The advantages of this design is how little it weights, the adjustability and flexibility of the rope and the fact that when you're done with swinging you can put back together in no time.
Step 1: Materials: What We Will Need.
Here are the things that you'll need in order to make the Backpack Swing.
For the frame:
- a slab MDF
thickness: 6 millimeters
dimensions: 400 mm x 200 mm
- a honeycomb board
dimensions: 400 mm x 200 mm
- a hollow aluminium beam
length: 400 mm
thickness: 25 mm x 25 mm
For the bag:
dimensions: minimum 1300 mm x 600 mm
And of course the most important part:
The rope gets divided into 3 pieces (one of 770 meter and two times a length of 140 meter)
length: 770 + 140 + 140 meters
diameter: 10 mm
Step 2: Making the Frame
(see the notes on the pictures for a step-by-step details)
Step 3: Finishing the Frame.
After you have finished carving out the cardboard and placed the beam inside, you can now glue the MDF slab on top of the cardboard (which is the place where you can see the aluminium beam completely).
Repeat the steps from the previous step and make again a hole in each corner so that the holes of the MDF slab and the cardboard frames' holes run through seamlessly and so that it fits perfectly.
Step 4: The Bag.
Cut the linen textile according to these dimensions and knit them together into one bag (except for part 1. that can be seen on the plan)
Step 5: Overview of the 3 Knots
The swing uses 3 knots to keep the construction together:
The Anchor knot attaches the end of the loop to the rope.
The Loop knot, which forms the loop where we will put the backpack in.
The mini knot, just a basic simple knot to secure the small plank from sliding off.
Step 6: #1A Preparing the Loop.
Tie a basic knot in the rope.
Step 7: #1B Finishing the Loop Knot
This is the most important step in the making of this design.
- First, we will have to make two cuts: at the bottom of the bag and the top part so that we can perfectly put the end of the rope through the aluminium bar inside our bag and then out of it.
- Put the end of the rope through the knot you made in the previous step.
- Grab both ropes at both ends (see the notes in the images above to see which ones you specifically need to grab) and tighten them.
You will now see that the end of the rope is loose and isn't secured 100%.
Step 8: #2 the Anchor Knot
To attach the end of the rope we need to make this "anchor" knot to make sure everything is secured.
Step 9: #3 the Mini Knot
- Cut a circular wooden plank with a diameter of 14 cm.
- Make a hole with a diameter of 12 mm in the middle of the circular wooden plank.
- The first most important thing you need to do is to slide the rope through the circular wooden plank.
- Make a simple loop.
- Put the end of the rope through the loop.
- Tighten the knot by grabbing the end and the other side of the rope and pulling them away from each other.
Step 10: Attaching the Frame to the Bag + Make the Straps
To attach the frame to the bag and make the straps, we need 2 x 135 cm rope and we lay the frame inside the bag, make a cut just big enough for the rope to come through. We put one end in in the top hole and the other in the bottom hole and we repeat this step for the other strap too.
Then, we make a double knot to close the rope.
Step 11: Using the Backpack Swing.
- Get the rope with the circular wooden plank attached to the end of it out of the bag.
- Throw the end of the rope with the circular wooden plank attached to it over a tree branch.
- Pull the end of the rope that has been thrown over the tree branch downwards and anchor the circular wooden plank under the loop knot.
- Remove the circular wooden plank from underneath the loop knot and pull the rope near the bag towards so that the circular wooden plank gets back to you.
- Put the rope back inside the bag.
Step 12: Using the Backpack Swing. (video)
If the previous step was unclear, you can check this video how exactly you need to use the backpack swing.