Tag Archives: swing

I call that a lawn


As Master W would say (he gets this one from his mama), “Pretty much!”. Pretty much a lawn. If it needs mowing it’s a lawn right?!


Oh I just love our front yard. It’s far from magazine-worthy but it doesn’t scare me anymore. And I’m even a bit proud of it! And the lawn… well it’s not perfect (at all) but I’m proud of that too – we did it all by ourselves! Dirt, grass seed, tlc


There are bare patches, but it’s filling in slowly, and I have high hopes it will get there in the end. My dreams of a weedfree lawn are lying shattered but I’m not crying about it. I’m fine, and to prove it I’ll even show you a picture of the worst patch:


The shady bit under the tree. Perfect for a diy nail box swing, not so perfect for growing grass.

Definitely looks better if we spin around the other way:


More spinning…




Oops big bare patch.

One last request – take a step just outside the gate for a view of the afternoon sun in all it’s warmliness (definitely a word).


That winter sunshine is begging for attention a lot louder than the gate pillars that need plaster and paint, the patio that needs another go with moss, the baseboard that needs painting, the hedge that needs trimming, or the invisible border planting that can’t wait to tidy along the base of the fence and hedge. As for the mud on the drive… that does get pretty loud. Might have to add it to this weekends list.

Let’s hope sunshine is also on the list – it does make winter hibernating so much more pleasant! Enjoy your weekend.

We’re swinging!

I’m pretty sure I mentioned a DIY project for the kids Christmas present? More than a month later I’ll tell you about it shall I?

There are a dwindling number of old nail boxes in Andre’s garage and I’m doing my best to wrangle them out of there for higher purposes. I’ve sidelined three of ’em for my gardening supplies and managed to empty another into a junky old red tub and promote it to chief swing.

As you can imagine, Andre wasn’t having anything to do with it so for once he let me be with the drill and hacksaw, so be I did.

Here’s my supplies for turning one old nail box into the coolest kids swing in the ‘hood.


My first step as paranoia mama was to strengthen all joints with way too many screws. I just want to swing my kids, not take them to A&E.


Then, with chubby legs in mind I measured out some leg holes.


With corner holes drilled I got the coping saw sawing (the least fun part) but halfway down I ran into a problem… ie. the top of the box/swing. Hence the saw blade duct taped between two pieces of scrap timber. Even less fun going with that flexi blade that kept jamming. Still no help from Andre (fair enough… he was busy welding the gate frame). Haha… look at all those screws! It looks like I was trying to bling this swing but I promise it’s all about safety first.


Muttering… perseverance… more muttering…. more perseverance… and two chubby leg holes got done! I filed off the edges a bit so they weren’t all rough and nasty. Those chubby legs are precious.


Aaahh lookee who we have here now for the fun part?! It’s not every day you get to drill through a tree branch. Actually I was just too short for this – I got to swing off the branch instead as an attempt at creating some resistance for the drill to get through.


Two eye bolts later and we have one tree ready for hanging a swing. As ruthless as this method may seem it is apparently the kindest way to hang a swing from a tree. Drilling right through a branch damages it less than tying rope around it. Ring bark is just not nice.


Because this little project (of mine) was so much more awesome than building fences Andre couldn’t give it up now so he carried on with drilling into the swing to attach the rope. Mama’s second safety request was that the rope run twice under the bottom of the swing as backup to those blinging screws. Phew! To provide maximum in-swing room (comfort is second after safety) we opted to run the rope down the outside of the sides, loop it through the bottom corners, across the bottom and up again. Which meant drilling the bottom corners through on an angle…


Which was a bit much for the on-the-way-out cordless drill. Time to bring out the big guns:


Because it’s a skill every DIY dad needs to master Andre chose to splice the rope at the swing end. It’s also stronger than a knot (safety step #3). Splicing by YouTube:


And finally the grand hanging…


And maiden voyage!


Sheer delight! I think she was copying my face!


Update: If you’ve come here via Apartment Therapy or Flipboard, welcome! If you want to see some more DIY projects for kids, we’ve also made an Eames style kids table, an easy sandpit (and again!) and a truly gorgeous play kitchen. Thanks for looking!