Many adults across the world remember the gleeful feeling of the wind blowing through their hair as their parents or friend pushed them on the swings. Children beg their parents and guardians for a playground in their own backyard. But, with prices of swing sets going higher than ever, you might be inspired to do this project yourself.
This free DIY swing set plans and materials list will give you a range of different swing sets that you can build depending on your budget, style, and family’s needs. This guide includes the classic A-frame, T-frame, double post, clubhouse, rock wall, slide-attached, tower, pergola, and luxury swing sets.
Of course, you can get creative and add on or change these plans to meet your desires- but at least these plans will give you a practical place to start.
There are many kits available that will help you to complete these plans assuming you can find the basic wood at your local hardware store. Continue reading to begin the project that will transform your backyard into summer’s dream.
Free DIY Swing Set Plans
There are many different types of swing sets that you can build yourself. The most popular include the A-frame models with various attachments like a rock wall, clubhouse, slide, and tower. Other models include the T-frame, double post, pergola, and luxury swing sets.
Without further ado, here is a closer look at these free DIY swing set plans in all of their various shapes and sizes. Keep in mind that you can alter these to fit the needs of your family, budget, and yard. Let’s start with the most popular, and most recommended, the A-Frame swing set.
1. Classic A-Frame Swing Set
The classic A-frame swing set consists of two wooden upside-down V-shaped structures connected by a center beam. You can find these sets with two to three swings depending on the size that you are going for.
A few benefits of building your own A-frame swing set include the simplicity, ease of construction, and easy-to-find swing set components to fit the part. To add the swings and any guards to the A-frame set can be done with relative ease, and it should not add too much to your budget.
I recommend just getting a hardware kit, like this A-Frame Swing Set Hardware Kit (link to Amazon) and then buying the lumber required at a local home improvement store. This way you could build a swing set for under $100 in some cases.
Additionally, the classic A-frame swing set is going to be a pretty simple project to construct and deconstruct. Though it might not be worth the money to move this type of swing set, the memories that go into its construction are going to be well-lived.
A huge plus is that the A-frame swing set is one that is easy to add onto.
If you want to start small and add varying components to the swing set as your children age, then this is the model for you. You can begin by constructing the simple A-frame with the age-appropriate swings attached. Then, add on as your children grow. It is a win-win.
Depending on the size and model you use, you will need various equipment and differently sized lumber. For the most part, the parts will be the same and will include:
- A-frame brackets
- Swing hangers
- Various hardware
- And power tools.
You can get the mounting hardware for an A-Frame Swing Set on Amazon, and here’s a video showing how to assemble this exact kit:
Some other instructions for an A-Frame swing set can be found here.
2. T-Frame Swing Set
The T-frame swing set is another inexpensive alternative. Though the link to this T-frame swing set is for you to check out the product that you can buy from this company, you can easily use their descriptive dimensions to create your own.
Unlike other T-frame swing set plans, this gives the exact dimensions of the model that they use.
A T-frame swing set is also known as a singular post or single post swing set. It is relatively simple and will not take much room in your backyard. The limited space that a T-frame swing set occupies is one of the major reasons that people gravitate towards this option.
Sitting on a single post will rest the cross beam. Two swings generally hang on either side of the vertical beam and are connected on either edge of the “T”. There are differing ways to balance the horizontal version of the T, including adding triangular supports that reach between the connecting points of the horizontal and vertical beam.
Going this route is likely going to be one of the least expensive options considering the materials that you will use.
Likely, the only materials for this option will include the two main pieces of lumber, any connecting supports between the horizontal and vertical beams, and the respective hardware. If you are looking for a very inexpensive and minimalistic approach, then this T-frame swing set might be the right option for you.
3. Double Post Swing Set
If you are looking to go with an alternative simple, minimalist approach, then the double post swing set might be the right option for you. In this option, you will find that two main posts are connected with a horizontal beam over top of them.
This horizontal beam on the double post swing set traditionally hosts two swings, though you can add more if you find that your wood supports this much weight.
More often than not, a double post swing will not have the length that you will need to support more than two swings, or else the horizontal beam can begin to sag.
The double post swing set can be done with a very modern appearance, or you can add a bit of flair to the top of it by adding a pergola-type heading to it. Realistically, this is the styling portion of creating a double post swing set considering this portion of the structure will likely not be adding much support or functionality.
With a double post swing set, you are going to need less lumber than you would on the A-frame swing set, but one more post (obviously) than the single post swing set. Additionally, you will need your swing set kit, hardware, and power tools to create the look of the double post swing set.
Here’s a walk-through video showing how someone built a strong double post swing set.
In depth plans for a double post swing set can be found here.
4. Clubhouse Swing Set
The clubhouse swing set is going to begin making its way into the more luxurious side of swing sets. Not only will you have a place for your children to swing their hearts out, but you will be constructing them an area to fill with even more fun.
Some clubhouse swing sets include coverings to protect from weather and can even be enclosed. This provides the option to place outdoor furniture and other materials inside of it which can be a joy for your children to return to each summer day.
To buy a Clubhouse Style Swing Set Kit (link to Amazon) you’ll probably spend around $1000. But, you can use the plans below to build one yourself for a little less.
Other clubhouse swing sets are not enclosed, but they do still require a covering above them.
Generally speaking, you can follow the same clubhouse swing set plan for an enclosed or an open clubhouse, you just have to attach the type of enclosure that you would like, whether that is with wood or canvas material.
Clubhouse swing sets add many benefits in that they provide your child with another place to explore, talk, and build memories. Instead of being stuck with only swinging, an entirely different world is opened up for your child through their clubhouse.
To construct a clubhouse swing set, you will need more materials than the above-mentioned, simple swing sets.
- A swing set kit
- And power tools
- You will also need the additional materials to add the clubhouse which likely connects to the basic A-frame on your clubhouse swing set
A link to the PDF instructions for building a clubhouse swing set can be found here.
Another option is following the instructions in this video to create a clubhouse swing set.
5. Rock Wall Swing Set
For kids (and adults alike) there is nothing like racing up a rock wall to reach the top of the structure. Fortunately, a rock wall swing set can either be added onto a pre-existing A-frame swing set, or you can choose to make it a part of the swing set plan in another way.
Rock wall swing sets are beneficial for a variety of reasons including that they add another physical exercise opportunity as well as a chance at competition.
Whether your child is racing his or her sibling or friend, or is just timing themselves as they climb the wall repeatedly, there are endless hours of fun awaiting with a rock wall swing set.
Fortunately for you, building your own rock wall swing set is not overly complicated. For the most part, you will just need to make sure that you have multiple layers (like decking) to be able to connect your rock wall from the ground up.
I recommend using decking to create the wall yourself, and then buying this Hand Holds and Rope Set (link to Amazon) to finish up the rock wall.
Rock wall swing sets will require you to purchase the rock wall stones, but they do not necessarily require much more materials than the traditional swing set. You can even make the rock wall from wood, or you can choose another material to bolt the rocks into.
Just be sure to measure the weight limits and instruct your children to play accordingly.
A link to swing plans including the A-Frame and rock wall construction can be found here.
Here’s a quick video showing a rock wall swing set build start to finish.
6. Slide-Attached Swing Set
More often than not, one of the first components that you will find added to a swing set is a slide. For good reason, slides offer quite a bit of repeated fun for children of all ages. This repeatability component that a slide offers gives the thrill to the structure; your child will want to slide down over and over again.
The type of slide that you choose to install should be determined based on your child’s age and decision-making ability.
Building a swing set with a slide attached can go one of many ways. You can choose to attach a simple slide to a pre-existing swing set by adding the appropriate supports. On the other hand, you can incorporate the slide as one of the main features of your swing set and build the other structures around it.
You can even combine the other types of swing sets on this list and add a slide to it for an added flair.
- straight slides
- and vinyl slides
For the materials with a slide-attached swing set, this will really be dependent on the type of swing set that you choose to attach a slide to. Most likely, this will include basic materials like lumber, brackets, a swing set kit, power tools, hardware, the slide of your choice, and its respective supports.
I recommend using the A-Frame swing set above, and attaching a slide to that using one of the many Slide Options (link to Amazon), you could even have a rock wall be the ‘ladder’ to the slide.
7. Tower Swing Set
Similar to the clubhouse swing set, the tower swing set is another rendition of the classic A-frame swing set with a little added flare. The tower swing set is going to be one in which you attach a lookout tower made of your desired material to the side of the swing set that you are building.
You can make the tower out of a variety of materials, likely including decking or stairs to reach the top.
Another creative option is to use a rope or tire construction to reach the top of the tower. In this case, you will obviously need to ensure that the loose materials are properly bound so that your children can safely climb the tower.
Whatever the material is for your tower swing set, you will likely be constructing it in conjunction with the rest of the swing set, though you can have a tower stand alone if you prefer.
Many people would rather just purchase a kit, like this Skyfort 2 Tower Swing Set Kit (link to Amazon) but you can save some money buying the materials and following the guide below.
The tower swing set is going to add another opportunity for physical exercise as your children (who are old enough to climb) embark on a journey towards the top. Then, their creativity can soar as they point out all of the scenery they are taking in (in reality or fiction).
- You can even install a child’s telescope or looking glass
- A steering wheel
- Or a princess mirror to spice up the tower
- Depending on the story your kids will likely tell
The materials for a tower swing set vary based on the type of tower that you are attempting to construct. More likely than not, though, you will just need to add additional lumber, possibly brackets, hardware, and the associated tower tools that you would like to use.
For a more in-depth guide on the tower swing set, check out this article.
Here’s a cool time-lapse video of a tower swing set being built so you can see what it entails.
8. Pergola Swing Set
If you are looking for a beautiful option for a swing set that will continue to maintain the “adult” vibe in your backyard while still creating fun-filled memories for your children, the pergola swing set is the way to go.
This option, in essence, takes a standard pergola and adds swings to it creating a beautiful design for your yard and a functional piece for your kids.
Building a pergola swing set is going to be one of the longest-lasting projects as it will age with your children without having to be maintained in the same way that other swing sets would be. Additionally, though you will need to level the ground for your pergola swing set, you will not have to place more than a swing mat under the swing set.
In this way, you can still maintain the style of your backyard without having to deal with installing a playground feature.
You can keep the leveled grass underneath and can even remove the swings when the season changes. Then, you can hang twinkling lights underneath, move your outdoor table and chairs, and pull up the portable fire pit for an evening of adult and family fun.
There are not many guides that will provide how to build a pergola swing set, but the concept is pretty simple. Build the pergola of your dreams and then attach two or three swings to it. Here is a great design for a pergola swing set that many people have attempted to replicate.
For the materials, this will really depend on the type of pergola that you aim to build, though you will likely only be adding minimal features after that. Most likely, you will need the lumber, power tools, hardware, and two to three swings. Then, just add your swings securely in the location you desire to place them.
Here’s a cool time-lapse vieo showing a pergola swing set being built.
9. Luxury Swing Set
If you are an experienced DIY-er, then you might be willing to embark on the wildest swing set dreams imaginable. In constructing a luxury swing set, you will be taking components of each of the above-mentioned swing sets and combining them into one massive, luxury swing set.
Building a luxury swing set yourself will be where the payoff truly hits home. Instead of paying thousands of dollars for pre-built swing sets, you can be proud of the hard work and money saved on this DIY project. But it will be a lot of work.
Luxury swing sets can include a variety of components such as:
- A tower
- Rock wall
- Various types of swings
- Monkey bars
- Various types of slides
- And anything else that you and your children would like
This really comes down to a personalized decision on which type of luxury swing set you would like to create as there are so many options out there.
Of course, with a luxury swing set, your materials list is going to be significantly more lengthy than the traditional swing set options, so you might see a higher price tag.
You might also have to pay for the plan since it will incorporate so many other features, but usually these plans should be minimal in cost compared to the base price of the components (like slides) themselves. Here is one option of a practical DIY luxury swing set.
Here are a few free playset plans to look through as well.
Check out this video of a massive swing set play place combo to get some ideas you’d like for your project.
If you decide that you don’t want to go through all the work of getting materials and building a swing set, consider buying a swing set kit. In our Swing Set Cost and Quality article we cover some of the most popular and highly rated sets available. Keep in mind, it will cost a little more than doing everything yourself, but it’s a lot easier.