A good wooden swing set should last until your kids outgrow it. And then some. If you don’t have grandkids around to make use of the swing set, you may be looking to get rid of it. But before you call the junk haulers to take it away, check out our list of 13 things you can do with your old wooden swing set. There are creative options for repurposing, recycling, donating, and maybe even making a few bucks off of it.
Repurpose Your Old Wooden Swing Set
#1 Turn It Into A Hangout For Teens
If you have teens around that scoff at the thought of playing on your old wooden swing set, you may consider turning it into a hangout. You can do this easily if you have a playset with an existing roof or room. But, you can also use a simple A-frame swing set by removing the swings and covering the frame with a canvas or plastic tarp. Or even wood slats or boards, for a more permanent hangout.
Run an extension cord to some old Christmas lights hung inside. Put a few old pillows on top of some ground cover. You’ve got a cool place for your teens to hang.
This gives your kids a place that feels like their own in the safety of your own backyard. Plus it may give you some much-needed peace by getting the noisy teens out of the house for a little while.
#2 Make A Mini Greenhouse
If you have a green thumb you can turn your old wooden swing set into a little greenhouse. This is simply done with some clear plastic fastened over the frame. You can add potting soil directly on the ground or you can use pots set inside to grow plants that need lots of heat and moisture.
#3 Make A Chicken Coop
You’ll want to check your local zoning and livestock laws before turning your swingset into a chicken coop. If you live in a rural area this shouldn’t be an issue. Adding a few slats or planks to the sides of your swing set frame can be the beginning of your coop. Add some feed, spots to lay eggs, a roost bar for sleeping, and chickens. Pretty soon you’ll be having fresh eggs for breakfast!
#4 Make A Swing Set Garden
Making a garden area under your old wooden swing set is pretty quick and easy. Remove the swings. Add a few wooden slats or boards around the base to make a border. Fill the border with potting soil. You can even use the frame of your swing set to rig up a simple watering system. Plus, you can easily add material to keep animals from digging up your garden.
If you want to grow plants that do best with a trellis, you have the wooden frame already in place. Fastening the material of your choice to the frame is quick and easy. Before you know it you’ll have plants growing up along your swing set trellis. Soon after you’ll have delicious veggies to enjoy.
#5 Start A Compost Pile
With a little bit of work, you can start a compost pile. You can either do this where the swing set is currently, or you can take it apart and use the lumber to make a composting area in the corner of your yard. Compost material can be great for your garden, flowerbeds, and indoor plants. It also helps keep food waste out of landfills.
#6 Make It A Relaxing Spot For Adults
Who says only kids can enjoy swing sets? With a little creativity, you can have a comfortable spot in the backyard for reading, napping, and enjoying the weather. A-frame swing sets are great for hanging hammocks and other outdoor hanging chairs. You can even install a porch swing if your swing set is strong enough. Or, with a little work, you can add an awning to make a shady place to relax in a lawn or deck chair.
#7 Make It A Romantic Getaway
It can be hard to get away and spend time with your spouse. Life is busy, and time often slides by while we’re none the wiser. Turning your old wooden swing set into a little romantic place for just you and your spouse can help you get back to what’s really important. A comfortable outdoor loveseat or porch swing is a good start. Add some mood lighting around the frame, maybe a few candles placed around (real or fake). A bouquet of flowers and a bottle of wine. Pretty soon you’ve got yourself a great spot for date night.
#8 Take It Apart And Make Something New
If you’re looking for a fun and creative project, think about what you can use your wooden swing set for. You can make a chair, a coffee table, an outdoor table, even a bench. You can also use the frame as the beginnings of a shed or a piece of art. Brainstorm and get creative. With a few supplies and a little ingenuity, who knows what you’ll come up with.
Refinish Your Old Wooden Swing Set
#9 Refinish For The Next Generation
Refinishing is a great option if your wooden swing set is still in good shape, but just needs a little work to bring it back to life. A little sanding, maybe some updated hardware, and some wood stain can make an old swing set ready for the next generation. Your grandkids will be excited to play on the old-new swing set.
#10 Refinish And Sell Your Old Wooden Swing Set
If you don’t have a use for it anymore, but your swing set still has some life in it, refinish it and sell it. You may not get very much for it, but you never know.
If you want to get rid of it without the hassle of removing it yourself, here’s an answer. Simply offer it to anyone who is willing to come take it apart and haul it away. While it’s not quite the same as selling it, at least you don’t have to pay anyone to haul it off.
Recycle Your Old Wooden Swing Set
#11 Give Your Swing Set To Charity
While charities aren’t actively looking for old swing sets, it’s worth asking around your community. Maybe a church or an orphanage could use it. Or a local scout troop for a fun project. You can always ask organizations that work with children if they have any need for a swing set.
#12 Give Your Swing Set To Friends Or Family
Ask your friends and family if they have any need for an old wooden swing set. Provided it’s still usable, you may just make some kids (and their parents) very happy. If none of your immediate friends or family can use one, you can always post on social media to see if anyone is looking for some backyard fun for their kids.
Junk Your Old Wooden Swing Set
#13 Have It Removed
If your swing set is on its last legs you may want to have it removed by a junk hauling company. If the swing set is old and unstable enough to pose a danger, junking it is probably your best bet. Unless, of course, you can safely use the wood for other purposes. You’ll often have to pay a fee to have it taken apart and removed, but this varies depending on where you live. Some cities haul away bulk items for free.
Taking Apart Your Swing Set: Tips To Stay Safe
Using proper caution while taking apart your old wooden swing set is imperative. You should always wear proper safety gear such as gloves, goggles, and protective footwear.
You should always start by removing any hardware and accessories possible.
Once the hardware is removed, you can remove the swing bar of the swing set. You’ll probably need a ladder for this. Do not rest your ladder on the swing set frame. The frame may fall or sag when you remove the swing bar. Be aware of nails, screws, or any other sharp objects that may be sticking out of the wood. The legs should be the last things you take apart. This often requires two or more people, especially if the set has been anchored in concrete.
An Important Note About Repurposing Your Old Wooden Swing Set
If you plan on using your swing set to make a garden, greenhouse, or compost pile, be aware of the state of the wood. Most wooden swing sets come treated and stained by the manufacturer. This is to help protect against insects, rot, mold, and moisture.
The chemicals used to treat the wood should not be ingested, even indirectly. If the wood from your swing set will come into contact with the soil that you grow vegetables in, you should consider removing the stain from the wood first. This can usually be done by sanding the wood down.
There’s no shortage of things you can do with your old wooden swing set. Get creative with it. If you want, it can be your next big project. If not, you can always get rid of it easily and quickly. No matter what you decide, make sure the proper safety precautions are taken when removing or repurposing the set.
If you’re looking for your next wooden set, I recommend tough and long-lasting cedar Gorilla Playsets. Not only are they built to last, they meet and exceed ASTM safety standards! Check them out if you want a high quality playset that your kids and grandkids can enjoy!