How to Build a Swing Set for the Playhouse!

A swing set add on that extends from our playhouse! This swing set can also be used freestanding, without a playhouse.


Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!

Look what Kevin built in one day!

I'm embarrassed, this took me a week!  Here's what Kevin said:

"Started at 1 pm and that was 7 pm. My father in-law helped from about 3 till the end. I should also say that we are both experienced carpenters. That said, I wouldn't let it deter anyone from building one. It's a really nice plan.

Just a few notes. First, our cost came in at just over $600 (we used treated lumber on the deck). Secondly, I am going to be adding some cross bracing on the platform legs to make it more sturdy.

Thanks Ana our kids will have an awesome summer."

You are very very welcome!  Thanks so much for sharing!

I was so inspired by Kevin's (and a few other playhouses) that you have shared that I wanted to post the plans for the swing set arm to the playhouse.  This swingset can also be used freestanding.

It's pretty simple to build and I know you can figure this one out on your own, but since I was already drawing up plans for Grace's playhouse, I thought I would save you a little math and a little time.


You could use this same design to build a free standing swing set too!  I would recommend pulling the ends of the legs out just a tiny bit so that the truss ends do not sit perfectly straight.  By angling the trusses in at the tops, it removes any danger of the swingset collapsing from the side.  Just a tiny bit would be fine, I'm talking a few inches.

Is anyone else thinking a freestanding adult swing or bench?  I would love to see a hanging daybed . . .

Shopping List: 

2 – 12′ 4×4 Posts
1 – 12′ 4×6 Post
1 – 8′ 4×6 Post
2 – 8′ 2×4
16 7″ Bolts, washers and Nuts
Shovel for leveling
1 – Saddle Bracket to connect a 4x to a 2x perpendicular like this one
1 – 4×6 rafter post hangers like this one
2 – 4×4 post cap/bases like this one
Eye bolts like this one

measuring tape
hammer (can be substituted for brad nailer with a nail punch)
safety glasses
hearing protection
General Instructions: 

You will need to find a large area that is level and flat. Make sure you predrill all bolt holes with a bit sized for the bolt. Tighten each bolt with a wrench and periodically check for tightness with use. Check for square and level with each step. Be safe and have fun.

140 1/2" x 110 1/2" Approximate. Dimensions and composition are shown above. In addition, the truss legs are made of 4×4 posts. Composition is preferably an outdoor appropriate wood or wood painted with an exterior paint and properly maintained.
Cut List: 

2 – 4×4 Posts @ 127 3/4″ (Legs)
2 – 2×4 @ 18″ (Top Supports)
2 – 2×4 @ 78″ (Bottom Supports)
1 – 4×6 Post @ 12′ (Swing Header)
1 – 4×6 Post @ 8′ (Porch Header)

Step 1: 

Cut the 4×4 posts as shown above. Lay out on a flat and level surface.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Use bolts to attach the top supports as shown above to the legs. You will need to drill a hole the size of the bolt shaft first and then insert your bolt.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Attach the bottom supports as shown above.

Step 4 Instructions: 

Assemble the swing set as shown above. Use lag screws or bolts to attach the brackets. The swing set does not have to be mounted to the center of the front porch. Make sure the header is level and if needed, dig with the shovel under the legs until the swing set header is level.

Step 5 Instructions: 

You could also install your swing as shown above. If you did not plan for a swing but want to ad one on now, you could also purchase an additional 4×4 post, 8′ long, and attach it to the playhouse deck using brackets, and then attach the header and truss as shown above.

Project Type: 
Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 


great! and just in time, just like you read our minds. The lumber for this is sitting in my backyard as we speak. :-) Thank you! Thank you!

Regarding attaching an additional 4x4 post to the platform base, what type of bracket would you use to attach it?

so if we want to put this in our original plan (I've been waiting to finish some other projects to start this one!), we will use 4x4x8 posts on the corners that the swing will be on? Is that correct?

I would worry about lateral bracing if I was to do this - I would seriously consider adding boards (2x4 would probably do) criss-crossing top and bottom between the top and bottom stretchers on the playhouse on the same side as the swing would go on as the swing, in use, will put a LOT of lateral stress on the playhouse and possibly pull the whole thing down since there really isn't anything much keeping the house from going sideways.

OOh! I definitely see an adult bench swing using your free standing A-frame plans...modified to fit an awning on top! Pretty please!! :)

I love your site My hubby just built the farm house twin bed for my son!! I was wondering if you have plans for a dresser?? thanks

ana, i apologize in advance for this question, but... when you say, "I would recommend pulling the ends of the legs out just a tiny bit so that the truss ends do not sit perfectly straight." do you mean the tops of the "a" should point inward toward the middle of the top bar and the bottoms lean outward? thanks!

This is the coolest web site EVER! I have wanted so long to learn to work with wood, but have never dared to try. I must say you have just the stuff I want to try and I am sooo inspired to actually do something about it!
We have a store near our home that sells some Pottery Barn stuff and when I saw it in person I wasn't super in love with it. I just thought, well, maybe it isn't as good as I thought, but I love the shapes and styles and functional-ness of the stuff the have. I always tell myself, I bet I could make something like that... if I knew what tools to get. I am going to enjoy looking around here!

We're attempting the playhouse with swings this week. I'm surprised the posts are not in this ok? Common with most of kits on the market?

Hi, we are going to build this swingset this weekend in conjunction with a deck and playhouse, but I looked for the saddle brackets today and could not find them in the blue store. Do they go by any other name? The link with the picture is also broken so I could search by sight. Thank you so much for posting so many great plans! Thanks!

Well, FYI, I did finally find the brackets at my store - no thanks to the employees or anything. They are labeled "saddle hangers" at my store and they are not on display. I had to pick up one of each hanger/bracket piece, examine it and say "if only this was big enough to accommodate a 4x it would be perfect." Then I accidently picked up the correct bracket, and propmtly noticed its "saddle hanger" label. Fun Fun. Better luck to someone else with the same problem!

I had the same problem... I couldn't find them nor did anyone know what I was talking about!

Well, I am having no luck on the Saddle Brackets/Hangers or the Rafter Post Hangers... Can anyone direct me to an online store that might have these items? I have everything ready to go up, except these and I would really like to get this project finished before it gets too cold... Also, any recommendations on spacing of the swings?

That's very sweet of you that you have given such a elaborated article on this topic. Swing sets had always been my favorite childhood play. I am willing to have one swing set at my backyard. I will surely try this out and I am sure my kids would love it.

I see this was posted three years ago. Has anyone built it yet?

I noticed the one image at the top does not follow the design, at least for the A-Frame. The plan calls for the beam being below the peak, where the image shows the beam above the peak and the legs of the "A" cross.

I am planning on building just the swing (no play house) and was wondering what the best way to go as I've seen designs with the beam in three different spots now. Above, middle, and below. Which is the strongest? Which is the easiest?

Also, should there be any more supports to prevent swaying side-to-side?

im currently building this plan and mostly coming out well. hard part is finding the right brackets/hangers for connecting the 4x6x12 beam to the A-frame at the end. also needs to be a bit more specific with what bolts to use on the A-frame