Making a Baby Swing- DIT

My husband and I do lots of things together well, but making things together is a kind of newly found joy.  I guess it started with our home, our garden and our baby of course, but actually designing & crafting something together is not something we have really done yet.  Saturday morning we spent nap time together drinking coffee and searching for images of baby swings.  There were lots, mostly plastic, some beautiful wood, some cloth and all kind of shockingly expensive.

We could have probably got one used, but it spurred a fun conversation about design and technique, craftsmanship & quality and of course our shared love of homemade.  I truly admire my husband’s fearless DIY attitude.  He can look at things and understand how they are made, alter them in his mind and tada!! he has made it with his own two hands and more likely than not with things he had stashed away in his shed, salvaged, saved for a rainy day.  For this project we put both our design minds together, rummaged around in our stashes and here is how we spent our Saturday DITing (Doing it Together).

It started with an old pair of Mountain Kakai’s, really nice sturdy work pants, worn, loved and finally ripped above the knee.  I stashed them in the sewing box to fix or transform someday and that day was today.

I basically looked at the swing I most admired and realized it was a basic cross of fabric.

This awesome swing I found on Pinterest from an Australian company called Swingz

I turned the pants into shorts and proceeded to line up, pin and cut the legs of the pants.  I got kind of engrossed so it didn’t photograph this part of the process but I tried to cut as little as possible and use those strong triple seams whenever I could so this swing wouldn’t make me nervous as my little baby swung around 4 feet above our brick porch.  It was a basic bucket seat with sleeves for dowels to slip into so the swing would have a skeleton to hang from.  That is where my husband came.  He drilled the oak dowels, cut and sanded them so they stuck out a bit from the sleeves.  Then he got an old climbing rope slipped it through the sleeves as well, made a few knots, and hung it from a carabiner and big eye bolt in the viga on the porch.  And just like that–there it was……smiles for all!!

We all love the swing and have spent hours playing with it already.  But more than the actual thing, we love being together; envisioning, creating, recycling, using our hands & stashes of saved goods, staying home and enjoying the sunshine……and as we like to say around here ‘Why DIY when you can DIT’?

My Handmade Garden Fence

Well, I made myself a garden fence today…why do I post about it?….  Well because it was fun, creative and free, which are all inspiring to me, I thought they might be to you too.  I know it would have been easier to drive down to Home Depot a buy some easy insert lattice action, but who knows where that wood comes from and who puts it together, and heck why buy when you can DIY.  As I have said before I am also time rich and cash poor…and happen to live 100 yards from river with a generous willow patch…so I really saw no other way than to make it myself.  That and I had a vision of what I wanted and I knew I couldn’t buy it.  I  started with my inspiration.An amazingly beautiful fence on a meticulous farm in Patagonia, Chile we visited a few years back.  It was so tidy, keeping in these perfectly white sheep who were keeping the green, green grass perfectedly trimmed…. we might as well have been in the England…or as we called it Douglandia…but I will save that story for another time.  I also got a little inspiration wasting too much time on Pinterest.  Anyway, with the babe trying to pull himself up by hanging onto the rose bushes, a fence was in order around here. So we went down to the river & gathered a ton of really tall straight willow branches, trimmed off the side & top little branches….until we had nice clean long weaving sticks.  I actually did buy a few stripped cedar latillas which I cut down to 3ft each to use as the posts.  I would have used willow but Joel reminded me cedar was a lot stronger and would resist rot in the wet garden a lot longer than willow would.  I sunk them into the garden about 2 ft apart and about 1 ft deep with a sledge-hammer and then I was ready to weave.This was taken right as I sunk the first cedar posts…….And this was taken when I was down the weave.  It does the trick of keeping Jangy out of the garden and he sure seems to like it pulling himself up on it.His pure delight was more than I could have hoped for.Which made my delight all the more.

If you are inspired to do the same, just a little note– I used way more willow than I imagined I would have, I think there is something like 50 ten footers for a 1.5foot high fence.  Lucky willow is an abundant renewable resource here. Use what you have, the is earth is generous with her offerings if you know how to see them.  Here is a cool link called the Willow Bank for further inspiration