DIY Bridge-Style Swing

February 14, 2012 § 6 Comments

I must admit that I am quite proud of this endeavor.  I’ve never been too much of a do-it-yourself-er, mainly because I don’t have the time to dedicate to it.  For example, this latest project has literally been in the works for months.  I posted about it in early November, and even back then I said that I’d been taking way too long in making it.  You might remember the huge bridge-style swing base that I had lying around, waiting to be turned into something amazing.

Lola and the bridge swing base

Well, it’s finally turned into that something amazing!  And I think that this has to be my greatest DIY project yet.  I’m really happy with the finished result.  All in all, it didn’t even take that long.  Putting the whole thing together took approximately two and a half hours in total, which was much less than I’d anticipated.  Working with the sisal rope, however, wasn’t exactly fun: my hands were literally bleeding by the end of it.  But hey, what we wouldn’t do to make our birds happy, right?

As I wrote in the previous post, this swing was inspired by the absolutely beautiful triangle, square, and bridge swings by Les Jouets Rosie, who make the most creative and gorgeous swings on the market.  All credit for design and idea goes to them; they are the original creators of these beautiful swings.  Mine is not even close to as aesthetically pleasing, but I’m proud to be able to say it was wrought by my own hands.  Their swings are so carefully made and so time-consuming that the company hasn’t been selling them for the past several months (maybe even year?) now, and I couldn’t get my hands on one anyway.  So I decided to attempt it myself, especially because there were a few things that I wanted to change about the swing anyway.  I have a strange aversion to dowels and absolutely hate them, so that was the first thing I wanted to get rid of.  To go along with the natural wood base, I also wanted it to be made entirely of natural wood toy parts.  Sure, I sacrificed a lot of the pretty factor, but I’m okay with the result.

step one: making the base more interesting

The very first step was to work with the base.  I added sisal rope in between the “rungs” of the bridge, along with some barky willow wood chunks, in order to provide some more enrichment at the ground level.  These strings also make the bridge a lot easier for my little budgies to navigate, since the rungs and each section are a bit too large for the budgies’ little feet.  I’ve left the center section empty for now, but I might add some strings to it later as well depending on how the birds take to them.

close-up of the sisal ropes

I even took the time to teach myself how to make these very fancy Flemish knots to make the swing more decorative and beautiful!

two strings packed with parts: half-way done!

Here’s the swing at the half-way point.  Step two was to start building up the supporting rope (or the suspension) of the bridge.  I decided on a combination of hardwood honeycomb beads, pine wood foraging blocks, cottonwood, willow, and birch coins, fragrant pine wood pieces, and elm and yucca wood sticks, all strung together on the sisal.

the finished product!

from another angle

And there it is!  I hung it up where the Roller Coaster swing used to be and attached the highway from the Crawler to the bridge.  I’ll probably hang a toy in the center eventually but I want to see how they navigate it first as is.  I’m pretty excited!  It combines a lot of irresistible chews with four foraging blocks as well.  I haven’t gotten a chance to let Lola or the budgies explore yet, but I’ll take some more photos when they do.  Yay!  I think I can safely say that this is my best project ever!

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§ 6 Responses to DIY Bridge-Style Swing

  • Iskra says:

    I really like it!!! I was planning on making a swing like she did for a looong, looooooong time.
    Funny enough, this summer I made a wooden base (I made a triangular one) and it’s still sitting in my basement waiting for me to actually do something with it! I have about 20 lb of willow coins drying down there, also.

    • Coco's Flock says:

      Thank you!!

      Ah, I have a triangular one too that has been “in the works” since the winter of last year!!! I figured the bridge one was more ambitious and I might never get to it if I started with the triangle, so I went ahead and did it first. Maybe I’ll get around to the triangular one eventually too!! 🙂

      • Iskra says:

        You did an amazing job. Lola will have oodles to chew and little ones will have a place to roost if they wish. The construction makes it easy for you to refill the toys how ever and when ever you want. 🙂

        And while on the topic of willow coins, if you wish, once they are dried, I will gladly send you some. Mine are from a “curly willow” ( I don’t know how you call them in the USA) meaning they are a bit harder than the regular willow (with brown bark on it), but not as hard as the red willow.

  • Susan says:

    Wow, great job Coco. Sending you a big pat on the back!

  • Ming-Ming says:

    Coco!!!! That looks amazing!!!
    I’m so jealous of your mad skillz! hehehe!
    Can you show me a close up of these foraging blocks you added??

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