Terrific Tire Swing

Average rating of 1/5. (2 Ratings)
My rating
  • I love it!
  • I like it a lot!
  • I like it.
  • Just okay.
  • Not for me.
Terrific Tire Swing
Total Time 2 to 3 hours Ages all-ages

An old tire, some rope or chain, a tall tree -- could anything be simpler? The backyard tire swing has been entertaining kids pretty much since backyards were invented. Here's how to set one up right.

What you'll need

  • Used beltless light truck tire or old tractor tire
  • Drill, 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch bits
  • Healthy hardwood tree
  • 3/16-inch playground chain
  • 2 (12-inch) drop-forged eyebolt, washers, and nuts
  • 2 (14-inch) quick links
  • Mulch or wood chips

If you don't have a large enough tree, you can retrofit a wooden swing set for either a vertical or a horizontal tire swing.

How to make it

  1. If possible, find a used beltless light truck tire or old tractor tire (try a junkyard or tire store). Avoid steel-belted tires, whose sharp cords might eventually work their way out of the rubber sheathing.

  2. Drill holes in the bottom of the tire so rainwater can drain.

  3. Choose a healthy hardwood tree such as oak, walnut, sugar maple, ash, or cherry. (Beech, while strong, has delicate roots that resent trampling.) Make sure the branch is straight, forming an L-shape, not a V, against the trunk, and strong -- at least 8 inches in diameter where you attach the swing. It should be 9 to 12 feet off the ground (the higher the branch, the farther you'll swing).

  4. The best way to suspend the tire (for both the swinger and the tree) is with a length of 3/16-inch playground chain. Drill a 12-inch hole through the center of the branch, then insert a 12-inch drop-forged eyebolt through the hole, securing it on top with a washer and two nuts. (If you use rope, choose nylon or Dacron. Polypropylene and hemp don't weather well, and polypropylene can also slip too easily through small hands.)

  5. Drill a 12-inch hole through the top of the tire. Thread a nut, washer, and 3-inch fender washer on another 12-inch eyebolt, slip it through the tire, and thread on another fender washer, washer, and nut. Secure the chain to the two eyebolts with 14-inch quick links.

  6. Spread a circle of mulch or wood chips around the trunk to protect tree roots and cushion falls.

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Learn More.
Most Popular on Facebook