As anyone who has had kids knows, at some point in time you will have the framework of a swing that no one has used in years sitting in your back yard.
If they start to look old and rusty, or if some of the pieces have broken you can’t even give it away to another young family.
There are several ways to repurpose that swing and make it live yet another day.
When it was obvious that the grandkids weren’t going to be using the old swing in their yard any more, I tried not to look too eager when I offered to take it off their hands.
If you are like me and like to garden, a swing frame works great as a temporary greenhouse in the spring. I put planks between the two supports on either side of the swing legs to make a shelf for my seedings. I also use lengths of old eavestrough as one long pot to start my plants. Just cap both ends, fill with dirt and they’re ready to plant.
Of course the top rail of the swing is perfect for hanging pots over that shelf in the middle and there’s still plenty of room underneath the swing supports to put more freestanding shelves for plants. I make a couple layers of shelves with some old bricks and boards that I can easily dismantle once my greenhouse is done for the season.
Last, I made a cover for the framework with the wide plastic that you can get on a roll from the building supply store. I took the time to build a fitted plastic cover that slides down snuggly over the frame by using a stapler to “sew” the seams and then duct tape over top to seal the seams and make them strong. It only takes a minute to slide the fitted cover up the sides of the frame so that I can access the plants to water them, but because it is fitted to the frame when it is pulled down, it doesn’t flap around in the wind either.
Now, there’s nothing I like better than something that can do double duty, so I decided to surprise my Sweetheart by sprucing up that swing frame to be able to use it for something else. I gave it a treatment with a wire brush to get rid of the loose rust and paint and then I repainted the whole frame with nice forest green.
It didn’t take me long to whip together a nice wooden bench for two that I could hang from that newly beautified frame. So after my greenhouse is done for the year this spring, I’ll fold up the plastic cover, dismantle the shelves and I’m going to move the swing frame under the apple tree. I’ll attach that bench with some chains for my Sweetheart and me to enjoy the summer evenings on with some tall glasses of iced tea.
Then, when the days start getting shorter again, and the temperatures start to drop, I can just unhook the swing and put it away for the winter, and my framework will be ready to serve once again as a greenhouse next year.