DIY Swing for Baby and Toddler in 10 easy to follow steps

This tutorial will show you how to make a beautiful and strong baby swing in just 10 easy-to-follow steps. Your baby or toddler will love it!

I don’t know about you, but I loved swinging as a kid. I think most kids do. I once read somewhere that swinging is great for the development of kids’ brains and that children intuitively enjoy things that are good for their development. I want my kid to enjoy the same pleasures of childhood that I have, and if it aids his development in the process, even better! So, I decided that as soon as my son could sit up straight by himself, I would get him a baby swing.

As it turns out, nice baby swings are rather pricy. I could have gotten a cheap plastic one, but I wanted a nice sturdy one made with wood and fabric. Luckily, I prefer making things myself rather than buying them anyway. So, I looked up different tutorials, tweaked the design a bit, and added some decorative features.

I was afraid it would be hard as I am not sewing proficient, but this project turned out to be fun and relatively easy. I am happy to say the swing turned out great! And it is quite strong. My son loves it! I directly made a second one for my nephew, who also loves it. Both the children still use it (they are 2+ years now) So, there you go. Not only is it fun to make a baby swing, but it is also a great way to aid your kid’s development. You can’t go wrong with this one.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Sturdy, heavy-duty fabric – I used upholstery fabric. You will need 134 by 64 cm.
  • Optional: Lightweight batting (134 by 32cm) – (If you want to add a bit of body to the swing)
  • 1.60-meter-long dowel rod – I went with a thickness of 19mm. You can go a little bit thicker if you prefer. Just don’t make it thinner because you will need room for making holes.
  • Rope – 4 times the length you want your swing to hang at (mine was 8 meters long). Make sure you get a very strong rope of at least 6 mm thick.
  • Two steel Carabiners –They should be strong enough to hold your baby, and then some, to be safe. I think mine can carry about 200 kg.
  • Two hooks, and whatever you need to secure them to the ceiling, dependent on the material of your ceiling (ask in your local hardware shop) – Again, choose the heavy-duty kind.
  • Two zip ties – to keep the carabiners in place.
  • Optional: Beats
  • Other things you need are thread (for sewing), fabric scissors, pins, and sanding paper (I used 120 grit).

Additionally, you will need some tools:

  • Sewing machine (and basic knowledge of how to use it)
  • Drill
  • Saw (hand or electric. If you don’t have one, get your dowel rod cut in the right size at the store as I did)
  • Smoothing-iron

So let’s get started!

This tutorial will show you how to make a beautiful and strong baby swing in just 10 easy-to-follow steps. Your baby or toddler will love it!

Step 1: Cutting the fabric

You will need to cut:

  • 2 pieces measuring 32 by 90 cm. These pieces will form the baby swing seat (the part that goes underneath the bottom in a “u” form).
  • 2 pieces measuring 28cm by 32 cm. These pieces will form the backrest of the swing.
  • 2 pieces measuring 28 by 16 cm. This will be the front part (the part that will be between the legs).
  • If you decide to use batting, you will need to cut one piece of batting for each of the above sections, using the same measurements.

NOTE: Batting will make your seat look slightly sturdier and might be a bit more comfortable. But to be honest, you will need a very good sewing machine to manage sewing through such a thick layer of fabric (especially in step 8). I didn’t manage it with my sewing machine and had to ask my stepmom to use her professional one. So if you are not sure if your machine can handle it, I would advise making the chair without batting. I made my second swing without batting, and it honestly looks just as good.

Step 2: Pinning the smaller parts together

We will start with the two smaller sections: the back section and the part between the legs. You will need to put the matching pieces on top of each other with the right* side facing each other (*the side you want to be seen on the finished product). If you use batting, put the batting on top of the two layers of fabric. So, it will be fabric, fabric, batting. Otherwise, it is just: fabric, fabric. Pin this together.

Step 3: Sewing the small sections

Now we will sew around three of the four sides on each of the sections. Keep a distance of about 1.5 centimeters from the edge and use a straight stitch. Ensure that the side you leave open is the side of 16 cm on the smaller section and the side of 32 cm on the bigger section.

After sewing the different sections, cut the corners, like in the picture underneath, and then turn the sections inside out. Push the corners out with a pencil.

Step 4: Pinning all the parts together

Now we move on to the big section. First, lay one of the larger pieces out, with the right side up, and mark the middle of the long ends with pins (fold the fabric to find the middle). Also, mark the middle of the two sections we have just sewn with a pin.

Now lay the small sections on top of the larger piece of fabric exactly in the middle. The pins should align. Please take a close look at the next pictures to see what I mean. Ensure that the two smaller sections’ open sides align with the edge of the large section. Take the pins you used to mark the middle to pin the small sections to the large section.

Then lay the second big piece of fabric on top of this, right side facing down. Pin it all together.

If you use batting, lay the largest piece of batting on top of all of this and only then pin it together.

Step 5: Sewing the parts together

We will again sew only three of the four sides (about 1.5 centimeters from the edge). The side to leave open is one of the short sides. When finished, cut the corners as we did before and turn it inside out. Push the corners out with a pencil and iron flat. It should now look something like this.

Step 6: Closing the open side and fortify

We still need to close up the open side. Tuck the fabric in a bit, so the raffled edge is hidden from sight. Now sew on top of it to close it.

However, do not stop there. To Strengthen the entire seat of the baby swing, sew around the edges of the large section one more time and around the back and front parts as well. So, everywhere where I drew a purple line on the next picture.

Step 7: Preparing the dowel rods

We still have one more step to go on the sewing machine. But first, we will look at the Dowel rod. Saw the rod into four equal pieces of 40 cm each, or have someone in the store do it for you when this service is provided. This is what I did.

Then we will drill holes at 4 centimeters from the end (I asked my husband to do this part). Make sure the holes are just big enough for you to thread the rope through later. Sand the ends of the rod pieces and the holes down a bit so it won’t splinter.

Step 8: Creating pockets for the rods

Lay the dowel rods on top of the fabric and curl the fabric around them to make pockets for the rods. Like so:

Pin this, pull the rods back out, and sew it. After you’ve sewed it, you can put the rods back in.

This is the step where your machine might have difficulties if you have used batting. Even without batting, it is a thick layer of fabric you have to sew through now. I advise you to use a thick needle and sew slowly.

The seat part is finished!

Step 9: Adding rope and beats

Next, we need to align the holes of the rods so we can thread the rope through them. If you want to use beats as I did, now would be the time to put them onto the rope.

I couldn’t find beats with holes big enough for the rope to fit through, so I used beats that we had on another toy. I just opened it up on the sides with a screwdriver and took six beats. Afterward, I put it back together, and since there are still plenty of beats, my kids won’t miss those few beats. And they look great on the swing.

I also added some wooden rings I found. You can use whatever you like. Just make sure that whatever you use, it is safe for babies to put into their mouths.

Cut the rope into two equal lengths and thread the rope through the holes. A good tip is to put tape on the ends of the rope. This makes it much easier to get the rope through the holes. Also, shortly hold a lighter to the ends of the cut rope so it won’t raffle. After threading through the rope, make knots to fix them. You could dip the knots in glue to make sure they hold.

Step 10: Ad the carabiners

Now we put the carabiners on the ropes and fix them to place with zip ties. Make sure the swing is hanging straight before you fix these. I had my husband attach the rings to the ceiling first to check that everything was straight before I fixed the carabiners with the zip ties.

Now your swing is ready! You can add a nice soft cushion as a backrest. Since the swing is both for babies and for toddlers, the swing might be a bit big for your baby without a pillow.

If you plan to hang the baby swing outside, you could spray the fabric with something that makes it weather resistant or otherwise just store it inside after using it. For safety: never leave your child alone in the swing, and don’t pull on the fabric parts when making the swing go higher. This might buckle the seat a bit. Instead, only pull or push at the wooden parts.

I hope you have fun with this project and with the finished product!

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