DIY: Boho Tulum Inspired Macrame Swing

Well you guys... this post has been a long time coming. I made these swings AND took all the videos and photos for a DIY blog post back in August (2017). And I kept meaning to post about it but then it was winter and I thought- who would need to make a macrame swing in for their backyard in the middle of winter? So here we are! This may be the longest I've procrastinated doing a post.

(This was a pic from the day I finished making these. See? It was FALL.)

photo by Chelsea Rochelle Photography

These swings were inspired by our trip Tulum last summer. Everywhere you go there are swings and hammocks. EVERYWHERE. And you'll also find swings as chairs at bars. We had to mimmick the lounge-y-ness of Tulum in our own backyard. We want it to be an oasis!

For more backyard inspiration check out these posts:
- DIY Stock Tank Pool: Everything You Need To Know
- DIY: Faux Cement Tile For Under $200
- 2 Hour DIY Copper and Wood Coffee Cart

For this project, you will need:
- 2"x8"x6' piece of wood
- Rope
- Hammock Hanging Kit
- Sealant
- 3/4 inch Spade Bit
- Drill

This DIY has a lot of steps, so I went ahead and created a video about how to make one of these swings yourself!

Or if you'd like to read the instructions, see the steps below!
STEP 1 // PREPARE THE SWING SEAT.
First, measure your wood to 24 inches, you can make your swing seats as wide or narrow as you’d like, but 24 inches seems to be pretty universal for adults and children.

Cut the wood with a miter saw. If you don’t have a saw you can ask your hardware store to cut it for you.

Next you’ll want to sand all the edges.

Measure one inch from each edge on the corners and mark an ‘X’ where the two intersect.

Take your drill with a 3/4” spade bit attached and drill holes on each corner using the X as your location for starting.

Next I sealed the wood with a Matte Finish. You can paint or stain your seats first if you want to.

STEP 2 // CREATE THE MACRAME PIECES.
Now it’s time to measure your rope. Each swing needs 6 pieces of string in this length. I measured about 260” for 4 of the pieces and the other two I measured about 150”.

(You’ll want to make sure that you string does not stretch. Mine had a little stretch and it made it a little more complicated when attaching the seat. This nylon rope would be best, but if you string stretches a little, it’s not the end of the world.)

This is the kit I bought to hang the swings. You will need this before you start as the carabiners in here will be the base of the actual swing. We are going to take the carabiner that came in your hanging kit and attach the ropes to it. You should have 2 carabiners per swing.

Fold the short piece of rope in half and then put the loop in the middle through the front of the carabiner. Then reach through the loop from the back of the rope and pull the front strings through the loop. Repeat this three times on each carabiner.

For the longer outside pieces you will want to fold the rope where the inside piece is about 75” long. This will make the outside pieces way longer than the rest, but this is what you want.

Now each carbabiner should have 6 pieces of rope hanging down. We are going to use the outside two pieces to create the macrame design.

We are using one simple knot over and over again. 

First take the piece of rope that is furthest left and place it over the other ropes creating a ‘4’ shape.

Place the rope that is furthest right over the left string and then under the middle ropes and then through the loop of the ‘4’. Then pull both ropes to tighten the knot all the way to the top.

You will repeat this same knot over and over again until you reach the length you need. The design will start twisting and it’s okay- that’s exactly what you want.

Before you get to the end you will want to know how long your macrame pieces should be. To figure this out you will need to measure from the place you will be hanging your swings to the ground. You will also need to know how high off of the ground you want the swings to sit. Subtract this number from the other and you will have an idea of how long your macrame pieces will need to be. Make sure to keep in mind that you also need to consider the length of the carabiner in that number. 

When you get about 8 inches away from the length you need, stop tying knots and split the ropes into two groups. Braid each group with a regular three strand braid and then tie a knot or two at the end of each. You want to make sure these knots do not fit through the holes in the wood.

STEP 3 // ATTACH THE SEAT AND MACRAME PIECES.
Now it's time to attach the rope to the seat. I wrapped the ends of each rope section with tape so it could more easily fit through the holes.


Once you get the ropes through, tie a knot right on each rope right under the wood. (If you rope has stretch like mine did, you'll want to tie the knot a little loose so you can stretch the swing out a little. You can do this by installing your swing and then sitting on it. It will not un-stretch out so once you've fully sat on it and stretched it out you can adjust measurements accordingly and move to the next steps.) Once you are certain your measurements are right, tie the knot really tight. You may even want to tie two knots.

Next you'll tie the two ropes on each side together. This would be easiest with another person to hold the rope down while you tie the knots really tight.

To make it seem a little nicer we are going to grab a scrap piece of rope to finish. Start by grabbing all the ropes and adding the scrap piece of rope. Make sure that the end of the rope is further up that the knot. Loop the scrap piece upward and grab both of the pieces together. Then start wrapping loose section around all of the ropes. There should always be an end hanging out at the top and a loop hanging out at the bottom.

I wrapped this around about 6 times but you can make it as long or short as you'd like. Once it's as long as you want, take the end of the section you've been wrapping and put it through the loop at the bottom. Then grab both ends and pull. The loop will be pulled up into the wrapped section. Cut the top end off and you should have a pretty neat finish. Trim the ropes to all the same length if you'd like.

STEP 4 // HANG THE SWING UP.
Measure the distance between the holes on each side of your seat to know how far away to hang the hooks from each other. Measure this out wherever you are hanging your swing. Check your packaging to see what size drill bit you need. Drill holes where you have marked. Install the hooks by hand. I used a screwdriver to help twist the hooks in. Once the hooks are in, attach the carabiners to the hooks and you are done!

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