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How to Make a Tire Swing

Mrunal Belvalkar Mar 22, 2020
Tire swings are a sure shot way to enjoy being a small kid all over again and make a boring lazy Sunday afternoon interesting and fun. Find out here how to build a tire swing of your own - it is not difficult at all!
A nice house needs a big pretty garden. A garden is incomplete without a swing! No matter how old we get, we love sitting on a swing. Most people have either a hammock or an elaborate swing in their homes - either in the porch, in the verandah or out in the garden under a big shady tree.
If you want something inexpensive and a lot more fun than a proper garden swing, a tire swing might do the trick for you. These are easy to build, need zero maintenance, and are a lot more fun! They even present an opportunity for your kids to try to experiment with their acrobatic skills.

Requirements to Build a Tire Swing

A Good Tire

This is the very first basic pre-requisite to making a good tire swing. It is best to use tires of big vehicles - truck tires, tires of an SUV, car tires are preferable. Do not use very thin tires, like bicycle tires.
Apart from that, keep the following points in mind -
1. How Old is the Tire? - If you are using old or used tire, the rubber may have gone stiff and cracked. Inspect the tire to know how much it has worn out. You do not want to land square on your bottom as you swing! A safe option would be to buy a new tire; that way you can make a long-lasting tire swing.
2. What Size is the Tire? - Depending on who the users of the swing are going to be (only your kids or all of you, including the adults), select a tire which is the right size. A tire with too small a diameter maybe inconvenient for you to sit on, while a tire with too big a diameter may prove difficult for the kids to sit.

A Good Rope

There are different types of ropes to pick from to hang your tire swing. According to the material of the rope, it may be made of natural fibers such as cotton, hemp, jute or synthetic or artificial fibers like nylon, polyester, polypropylene, etc. Both the types of ropes are long-lasting.
They are both durable, tensile and can bear a lot of weight. Minor considerations may however affect your choice; like the fact that ropes made of natural fibers may degrade when exposed to rain and sun over the years; nylon ropes would hence be preferable.
However, nylon ropes do not knot firmly and the knot can often loosen up and put the person on the swing at the risk of falling down and getting injured; this makes natural ropes seem as the better alternative. Choose wisely.
How about a Chain? - If you are unconvinced by any of the ropes available in the market, you can opt for using an iron chain. It will give you the correct strength and durability. It will never tear or break, and it has enough tensile strength to bear a LOT of weight.
An iron chain could be a better substitute for a rope. However if you use an iron chain you will have to attach hooks or loops onto the tire, and you will have to use the tire horizontally. You will also need a metal frame to hang the swing from. If you do not have one, you will have to get one built in your garden.
If you do not want to do all this, then you would at least have to get a hook nailed into the tree from which you plan to hang the swing. This may seem like a whole lot of work, but it would give you a really good swing!

A Strong Tree

Carefully select the branch from which you plan to hang your tire swing. The tree in itself has to be very strong. The branch should also be strong and should not snap under the weight of the swing or of those sitting on the swing.
The branch should be at such an angle that the tire will hang far enough from the main bark of the tree. If you choose to hang the swing from a swing frame already in your garden, nothing like it. It will be the perfect setting to build a tire swing. One advice would be to go for an iron swing frame, instead of a wooden one. They are more durable.

Steps to Create a Tire Swing

1. Clean the tire with soap and water and clean it from insides as well. Make sure there is no animal poo or chewing gum or any such thing stuck on the tire. You can use a brush to scrub the tire and clean it thoroughly. You can skip this step for a new tire.
2. Next, secure the rope around the tire. If you want to use the tire vertically, a single rope will suffice. If you are going to use it horizontally, use three ropes. (Using just two ropes is not advisable - the tire can flip through 180° if you swing too hard!)
3. If you are using an iron chain instead of a rope, first attach the hooks or loops on the tire. Then hook the iron chain onto the tire.

4. Hang the swing from the swing frame, or a tree, whichever you have decided. Make sure you secure the swing properly. You can put some heavy weight to check before you actually let one of your kids sit on the swing.
You tire swing is ready to swing upon! You can embellish your tire swing in many ways. You can cut out a circular wooden board and place it on a horizontal tire swing. Place a cushion on top of this, and you wouldn't want to get off the swing once you hop onto it!
While using a vertical swing, you can throw a small blanket or rug onto it so that the edges do not poke you or rub against your skin. You can use artificial flower vines to decorate the rope if you have hung your tire swing from - it will make it look natural, and prettier too. Finally, a tire swing can also make an interesting and unique porch swing!
It is a fun thing to try out. You can even carry it along with you if you ever plan to go camping or on an outdoor trip. You can hang it from a suitable tree and enjoy swinging on it.
Do not forget to take your camera along with you on these trips - tire swings give you lots of opportunities to click interesting and funny pictures. Have fun!