How To Build A Tepee Swing

This sucker is strong, waterproof, versatile, easily stowed, and simply built for less than $50.

What You’ll Need

Three ten-foot lengths of two-inch-diameter Schedule 40 PVC pipe (about $35).

Stiffer Schedule 80 pipe is okay, too.

Available from most plumbing supply stores (call first)

Three small rolls of colored duct tape

Power drill with 3/8-inch bit

About four feet of 1/4-inch nylon rope

One large S-hook (two if you want the tepee to support a baby jumper)


1. Drill a 3/8-inch hole through both sides of each pipe a foot from one end.

2. Starting just below the holes, wrap the colored duct tape once around each pipe and then tape your way down at an angle, leaving spaces so that the pipe ends up looking like a big candy cane.

Lay the three pipes down side by side, line up the six holes, and thread a two-foot length of quarter-inch nylon rope (or other strong rope) through them. Rearrange the pipes pyramid-style and then tie off the rope into a loop that runs through all three pipes. WARNING: Make sure the knot is secure.

4. Now make a circle of rope about 34 inches around. Loop it around the top of each pole in succession, then feed the remainder of the loop down through the space between the three poles. Adjust size of loop per your needs.

5. Stand the tepee up and spread out the legs tripod-style on a lawn. WARNING: Do not use tepee on hard surfaces — it requires the traction of grass or earth for stability. Make sure the legs are equidistant and placed far enough apart so that the tepee is stable. Hang an S-hook from the loop you made in Step 4. Hang on it to make sure the tepee is rigged right and will support your weight.

6. You’re done. If you followed the instructions correctly, the tepee should safely support at least 200 pounds. It’s perfect for a backyard hammock chair, toddler swing, or baby jumper (use two S-hooks for the jumper). To adjust height, simply move the legs in or out. Now kick back and relax.

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