Diy swing hanger

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Swing Set or Playset Swing Hangers Comparison

A picture is worth a thousand words.....or maybe more than a 1000lbs in this case. Below are the two most common swing hangers that are used in building today's swing set or playset.

Standard Swing Hanger

This swing hanger is rated at 250 lbs per hanger.   There is one bolt hanger per chain and two per swing position.    Therefore it should easily hold up to 500lbs without any problem.  (Assuming the chain, swing and beam can accommodate that weight as well)



Heavy Duty Swing Hangers
(Iron Ductile)

This setup is made up of two bolts and one iron ductile swing hangers.  Each hanger can accommodate 800 lbs and there are two per swing position, one for each chain.    More than 1,500 lbs can be easily accommodated, but usually the limiting factor is the swings' chain or the swing itself.    If adults are going to use the swing,  it is recommended that these heavy duty swing hangers also be used.


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Make an easy and affordable A frame swing set with hardware sets, pressure treated lumber, and these free DIY wooden swing set plans!

girl smiling on swing set

When our daughter outgrew her toddler-size swing set, we started looking around for an upgrade. 

I was really disappointed with the cheap metal swing sets that were really the only ones in our price range. 

So we decided to build an A frame swing set with lumber from Home Depot and hardware sets from Amazon.

Here’s how it went and how to do it yourself!

DIY A Frame Swing Set Hardware

swing set bracket hardware

The first step we took was to find a set of brackets. 

We ended up ordering this A-Frame Swing Set Bracket Set for $65.99 on Amazon. 

We were super happy with how easy it was to use and that all of the hardware was included. 

swing hanging hardware

Next we ordered three sets of swing hangers since we already had two swings and a set of bars from our other swing set. 

There are tons of different swing hangers to choose from on Amazon. I just suggest finding one that has a weight limit well above what you think you will need. 

The first set we looked at only had a weight limit of 115 lbs. – that was definitely not going to work!

In total we paid $36.08 for the three sets of hangers since I was able to find them on Amazon Warehouse at a big discount. 

blue swing

Last, if you don’t already have swings and bars like we did, you will need to order those as well.

I like these affordable standard swings from Home Depot. 

saucer swing

At some point we’d love to upgrade to a Saucer Swing like this one! 

You can choose any variety you’d like and make a custom swing set just for your kids.

threaded metal rod

The last bit of hardware we ended up buying for the swing set were 2 ft. threaded metals rods like the one pictured above. 

We used these to anchor the swing set to the ground because the feet were lifting up if anyone went big on the swings!

They only cost about $2.50 each so we were happy with the price. 

ground anchor for swing set

Our anchors have corroded after 2 years but are still doing the trick. 

My husband drilled down through the 4 x 4 at a angle then pounded the metal rods into the ground with a sledge hammer. 

He attached a washer and nut to the end of the bolt to hold it in place. It was a cheap solution to the feet lifting up that didn’t require us concreting the legs in place!

Actually you’ll also need a handful of decking screws to attach the 2 x 4s to the A frame, so add that to your shopping list if you don’t have any hanging around. 

A Frame Swing Set Lumber


piece of pressure treated lumber

Here’s a breakdown of the pressure treated lumber you will need for this swing set:

receipt with cost of lumber

When we made our swing set lumber was SO much cheaper than it is now!

Our total cost for lumber for this project was $77. It’s roughly double that currently. 😳

Free DIY Wooden Swing Set Plans

free DIY wooden swing set plans hand drawn

Since I don’t have any fancy drawing software, you’ll have to make do with my hand drawn plans for putting the swing set together.

But hey, they are free so you can’t be too upset LOL. 

Click here to download the free DIY wooden swing set plans as a PDF. 

measuring for the swing hanger locations

The most challenging part of building the swing set ended up being deciding how far apart to attach the swing hangers. 

We decided that 18 inches was the best distance to have the pair of hangers apart from each other. So we placed them as far apart as we could while keeping them a safe distance from the edges. 

drawing that shows swing hardware for DIY wooden swing set plans

Here’s another drawing that better shows the placement of the swing hangers. 

We decided on 8 ft. 8 inches for the length of the legs, but when my husband helped build another swing set with a friend, they made the legs 9 ft. long. 

So that is really up to how tall you want it. 

Assembling the swing set is easy once you have all of your materials and tools gathered. 

Be sure to attach the swing hardware before you assemble the frame. This will make your life so much easier. 

Also, we built the A frame on the ground then walked it up, which took two people. Just something to keep in mind!

DIY A Frame Swing Set Tools

man with drill assembling swing set

It’s always a good idea to know what tools you will need to gather before you start a project. 

Here’s what you will need:

  • Drill with appropriate bits to drill holes and attach hardware
  • Chop saw to cut ends of the 4 x 4s and 2 x 4s
  • Wrench to tighten nuts on anchors
  • Tape measure
  • Small ladder

A Frame Swing Set Cost

kids on swings

Here is the cost breakdown for our DIY A Frame Swing Set:

  • Swing set brackets = $66
  • Swing hangers = $31
  • Lumber = $78
  • Metal rods for anchors = $10


We were super happy that we kept the cost under $200 for a swing set that will last the rest of our daughter’s childhood. 

Keep in mind that if you don’t already have swings or other accessories you will have the purchase those as well. 

Also consider that the cost of lumber may be significantly higher due to supply/demand issues. 

I hope you found this post helpful if you are interested in free DIY wooden swing set plans or trying to build your own A frame swing set. 

Any questions? Please leave a comment below or send me a message on The Frugal South’s Facebook page!

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Playset Plans: How to Build a Swing Set

Searching for playset plans can be a challenging task. With so many different swing set models on the market, the options may seem overwhelming. We’re writing today to give you the same advice we’ve given customers for 24 years: Keep it simple. When it comes to building a DIY swing set, we always suggest the Classic A-Frame Cedar Swing Set (available as a hardware kit here). The design is simple, and so is the construction. Plus, you can never go wrong with a pair of traditional sling swings and a gym ring/trapeze bar accessory in the backyard.

First, we recommend selecting an appropriate space for the swing set. The playset plans for the Classic A-Frame specify a finished product that is about 12 feet wide, 8 feet tall and 8 feet deep. It should be installed on fairly level ground, and there should be about six feet of clearance from obstructions. Be sure to also select a soft surface, such as rubber mulch or a plush lawn.

A-Frame Playset Plans Material List


Classic cedar swing set from Eastern Jungle Gym

When it comes to DIY swing sets, the Easy 1-2-3 A-Frame Swing Set Bracket is an essential.

  • One (1) 4’x6’x10′
  • Four (4) 4’x4’x8′


Hardware and Accessories

    • Twelve (12) 3/8″ x 6.5″ hex bolts, with twenty-four (24) 3/8″ washers and 12 lock nuts
    • Thirty-six (36) 5/16 x 3″ lag bolts, with thirty-six (36) 5/16″ washers
    • Two (2) swing set support brackets (try our patent-pending Easy 1-2-3 A-Frame Swing Set Bracket)
    • Four (4) anchor stakes
    • Two (2) sling swings
    • One (1) gym ring trapeze bar combo swing
    • Six (6) ductile swing hangers
    • Six (6) snap hooks

A-Frame Playset Plans Tool List

  • 1/2″ standard socket, 3/4″ standard socket
  • Standard socket wrench, open-end wrench
  • Electric drill
  • 1/4″ pilot drill bit, 5/16″ drill bit
  • 2-pound hammer, claw hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Step ladder
  • Safety glasses

A Few Important Notes

Before you begin assembling, we want to remind you of two critical steps. First, drilling pilot holes is essential in order to minimize splitting of the lumber. Second, we recommend always installing a washer before driving in a lag bolt.

Additionally, if you plan to use our Easy 1-2-3 A-Frame Swing Set Bracket, keep in mind that the product is designed for kiln-dried wood. We strongly caution against forcing the wood into the bracket. The lumber should slide in easily, and the fit should be snug. If you find your lumber is too large, try planning down to achieve a comfortable fit.

Instructions: Beginning Steps

      • Install the ductile swing hangers. When you purchase a complete swing set from Eastern Jungle Gym, the holes in the lumber are pre-drilled. But if your swing set is a true DIY project, this likely won’t be the case. That means you will have to measure and mark the lumber to ensure the swing hangers are properly spaced. To do this, lay the swing beam (the 4’x6’x10′ piece of lumber) on the ground and start at one end of the lumber. Place the center of the first hanger 18 inches in, on center (OC). Go another 18 inches OC for the second hanger, then 12 inches OC for the third. Measure another 18 inches OC for the fourth hanger, and from there, measure 12 inches OC for the fifth. Finally, measure 18 more inches OC for the last hanger. This should leave you with another 18 inches from the center of the swing hanger to the end of the beam. You should have a total of 12 holes, or six sets of two holes, to accommodate your three swings. The diagram below provides an illustration of the spacing, and may be enlarged by clicking.A-Frame Swing Beam Drilling Diagram for Playset PlansOnce you have marked the lumber, pilot drill the first set of on-center hanger holes using the electric drill and 5/16″ drill bit. Next, insert bolts, with washers, from what will be the top of the swing beam. It may be helpful to turn the wood on its side for this process, as shown in the video below. Once the bolts and washers are in, slide the hanger over the bolts and add washers. Finally, screw on lock nuts and washers, and tighten using an open-end wrench. Repeat for the remaining hangers.

Adding Brackets and Erecting the Swing Set

    • The next step is to install the swing set brackets. Position the beam so the newly installed hangers are facing upward (the opposite of the way they will rest once the playset is fully assembled). Slide one of the brackets onto the end of the lumber until it is flush with the wood. Pilot drill in the designated locations (our brackets come pre-drilled, which makes your life much easier), using the 1/4″ pilot drill bit. Then, use one lag bolt and washer per bracket hole to fasten the bracket. Do the same on the reverse side of the bracket, and then repeat the entire process on the other end of the beam.
    • The side supports must be fastened next. Your remaining lumber (four 4x4x8′ timbers) will make up the side supports. Install these using the same method we provided for attaching the beam to the bracket.
    • It’s time to erect the playset. Once each of the brackets have been secured to all three pieces of lumber, you are ready to stand up the unit. If you’ve been working alone thus far, you’ll need to find another adult to assist with this step.

Finishing Touches

    • Hang the swings.  We are nearing the end of our playset plans, which means it’s time to put up the swings! Use the snap hooks to attach the swing chains to the ductile swing hangers. We typically place the gym ring trapeze bar combo in the center position, but arrangement preferences vary.
    • Secure your swing set with anchor stakes. If you are using our anchor stakes, you will want to position the anchor at an angle and insert it into the ground next to the beam. You can accomplish this by using the hammer cited in the tool list above. Once the stake is in the ground, pound down the anchor until you are able to secure the anchor washer to the bottom of the post with a lag bolt. If you have purchased your stakes elsewhere, we recommend reviewing and following the specific directions for that product.


Now that you’ve reached the end of this blog, we want to congratulate you on successfully completing your project! We hope these playset plans have been helpful and we welcome your questions.


Hanger diy swing

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