How to make a kids hanging chair

Project Overview

Equal parts statement design piece and fun play prop, this sweet hanging chair will bring out the kid in everyone. Made from simple lengths of pine dowel and white cord, this hanging chair is a charming way to add another layer of texture to almost any style of covered outdoor room.

Photo credit: Sam van Kan and Larnie Nicolson.

Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Measure up
2 Measure and mark the rails
3 Make your spacers
4 Sand, seal and varnish
5 Attach the cord
6 Add the dowel pieces
7 Tie off the cord
8 Thread it
9 Find the right seat height
  • Step 1. Measure up

    On the 35mm dowel, use combination square to measure two side bars 100mm long, cutting with a mitre saw. To make cord holes, mark along the bars 20mm from either end and in the centre, setting up a drill press with an 8mm drill bit and clamping offcuts to hold the dowel secure while drilling. Use the remaining 1m of dowel as the top bar, measuring 50mm from the ends to make cord holes with the drill press.

  • Step 2. Measure and mark the rails

    To make the rails, measure 200mm along the 30mm dowel to cut with a mitre saw. Use this as a template to make 10 lengths, marking and cutting one at a time to allow for the width of the saw blade. Mark the rails 35mm from the ends to make cord holes as above.

  • Step 3. Make your spacers

    To make the spacers, mark along the 30mm dowel every 15mm. Using the drill press, make holes at every second mark, then use a mitre saw to cut every other mark to make 18 pieces 30mm long with holes at the centre.
  • Step 4. Sand, seal and varnish

    Sand dowel pieces with 180-grit paper and block. To seal, apply two coats of exterior varnish with mini roller, ensuring the end-grain is saturated.

  • Step 5. Attach the cord

    Use scissors to cut two 1m lengths from the 7mm sash cord, threading them through either end of a rail, adding a spacer to each, then continue to alternate rails and spacers.

  • Step 6. Add the dowel pieces

    Work dowel pieces down the cord so the excess is the same at both ends, thread ends through the side bars and secure at top with a figure-eight knot.

  • Step 7. Tie off the cord

    With the remaining sash cord, find the centre to fold it over a 6mm rope thimble, and secure it by tightly wrapping nylon cord from the thimble, working downwards and tying off with a gathering knot.

    Tip: This project uses gathering knots and figure-eight knots to assemble the seat. Search online for easy tutorials on how to replicate these knots.

  • Step 8. Thread it

    Thread cord through holes in the top bar, pushing the bar down to 500mm from the gathering knot, securing with figure-eight knots under the bar.

  • Step 9. Find the right seat height

    Thread remaining cord from the top bar into the centre holes of the side bars, securing with figure-eight knots underneath. Adjust seat height by tying this knot at the length you require.

    Safety tip: Make sure your ceiling fixings are secure enough to support the weight of an adult

Tools and Materials


  • Combination square
  • Drill press with 8mm dowel drill bit
  • Four clamps for the drill press
  • Mini microfibre roller with tray
  • Mitre saw
  • Pen
  • Sanding block with 180-grit abrasive paper
  • Safety equipment
  • Scissors


  • 6mm galvanised rope thimble
  • 300mm length of 1mm nylon cord
  • 900mm length 30mm pine dowel for spacers
  • 1.2m length of 35mm pine dowel for top and side bars
  • 2.4m length of 30mm pine dowel for rails
  • 7m length of 7mm sash cord (cut to length in-store)
  • Exterior-grade clear wood varnish in clear satin
  • 1

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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