Wood Seesaw or Teeter Totter

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 06/05/2019 - 10:37
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Make a teeter totter or seesaw for less than $20! You'll just need some 2x framing lumber, a bolt and screws, and our free, easy step by step seesaw plans. 

This project has been built hundreds (if not thousands) of times and beloved by children everywhere.  Build and use at your own risk. 

wood teeter totter or seesaw woodworking plans

Reader submitted photo by  KIMMOPT



teeter totter or seesaw dimensions
Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

2 – 2x4 @ 8 feet long

2 – 2x6 @ 8 feet long

1 – 10” 5/8” bolt with nut and four washers

1 – 1x8 @ 3 feet long

1 – 24” 1” dowel or closet rod

Common Materials
3 inch screws
Cut List

2 – 2x4 @ 96”

2 – 2x6 @ 24” (uprights)

2 – 2x6 @ 36” (long base)

2 – 2x6 @ 24” (short base - both ends cut at 30 degrees off square ends NOT parallel to each other)

2 – 2x6 @ 12” (scrap piece can be shorter than 12” – used for handle)

FROM EACH 2x6 cut one each of the 24”, 36”, 24” and 12” to conserve boards

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Attach long base supports to uprights with lots of screws and glue.

Step 2

Then add the side supports again with lots of screws and glue.

Step 3

Build the seat part by sandwiching the handle supports between 8 foot long 2x4s and attaching with glue and lots of screws. Drill a 5/8" hole in center of 2x4s for the pivot bolt.

Step 4

I used scrap 1x8 boards for the seats, covered in a foam chair pad cut in half and outdoor fabric. I drilled three holes in the uprights with 5/8" bit so the seesaw could be adjustable. The most difficult part of this seesaw was getting the bolt holes lined up. We ended up just making the bolt holes a little larger so the bolts could pass through easier. On the bolt, we put washers on each side of the uprights to protect the finish and for a smoother ride. For the handles, we had extra closet rod dowel, so we just cut to size, and drilled a hole and inserted the rod. We then glued and screwed in place.


Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Lady Goats

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 11:54

When I saw the picture of Grace on your header, I was so anxious to see if there were plans for this! OH YAY!!!! Those girls are 1.) just TOO cute, and 2.) SO happy! I seriously need to find a place for this (and TOTALLY agree that the "safe" TV isn't so safe!).

Danielle Z. (not verified)

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:32

I love this!!! I'm heading to town tonight to pick up lumber to start a new project and might just grab a little extra to do this too! I am wondering if you had to guess, how big can the kids be until they're too big for this?

I have three boys (9, 7 & 5) and I'd hope they'd all get a little use out of this before they're too big. Not holding you to anything, just wondering what your opinion might be??

You're absolutely right! Laying around watching TV or playing computer games all day (my boys' vice) is a heck of a lot more dangerous than any "dangerous" piece of play equipment!


Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:51

This was totally on my list of things to pitch to you draw up plans for. I don't have enough room in my backyard, but we are opening up the cabin this weekend and it would be perfect there!

I love that it is adjustable. I was going to suggest drilling additional holes on the actual seesaw part so that it can be moved laterally. That way one side is heavier say if my 2 year old and my 4 year old want to go together. That would help offset the weight difference right? I was also thinking you could add a little front and back lip to the seat to make it a little safer? LOVE IT


Thu, 05/03/2012 - 14:20

When was the freedom of playing on the Swing set, Teeter totter and marry-go-round so bad? Yeah occasionally you got a bump, bruise and broken bone, but that was the fun of being a KID! You bounced back!

I love this design. Thank you, thank you, and thank you for all of your wonderful plans. Simple things like the dollhouse and outdoor play are bringing back the fun in being a kid again!

I will definitely make this for Papa and Grandma's House for this SUMMER.


Thu, 05/03/2012 - 19:31

Oh Ana, where were you when my children were little...what do you think the weight limit is on this wonderful toy? You never sieze to amaze me. Lucky birthday girl!

Darrell from M… (not verified)

Fri, 05/04/2012 - 08:32

Use a piece of pipe (for a bushing) for the 10" X 5/8" bolt to go through to save wearing of the wood as the SeeSaw goes up and down.

Cindy from Indiana (not verified)

Fri, 05/04/2012 - 09:28

Holy smokes, I love this project!

Hmmm, I never thought to search your site for outdoor play equipment before. Now I am going to have to do that for our daughter - she's 5!

And if you don't have other plans for play equipment, then I'm not above begging for some...hint, hint, hint. ;-)

This turned out great - two adorable girls on a great new toy.

Great job!

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