Today we’re sharing how to make an easy straw swing set for imaginative play. The toy bunnies are loving this one!
One of my daughters adores the collectable Sylvanian Family toys. They are not cheap, but she has gradually collected a few of the play sets over the past two years as birthday and Christmas gifts and she loves to create elaborate games in her make believe miniature world. I decided to add a DIY swing set to her collection made from paper straws and pipe cleaners so the critters can play at the park.
Now admittedly this is not the sturdiest swing set in the world (it’s quite wobbly), and despite the little ridge at the front of the cupcake-liner seats the bunnies are prone to toppling out if you swing them too high. So it’ not PERFECT, but it WORKS just like a real swing set and we love it. It makes a great STEM activity for kids too, and you could put any toys of a similar size in the seats. Here’s how to make one:
How to make a straw swing set
You will need:
• 7 Paper straws
• 3 Paper straws cut in half (so six half-sized steraws)
• Pipe cleaners
• 2 Cupcake liners (the posh paper cup kind)
• Hole punch and scissors
• Small toys to place in the seats
- Use pipe cleaners cut in half as connectors to create an oblong from two long and two short straws. The pipe cleaners become joiners simply by bending them and slipping one end into the top of one straw and the other end into the top of another.
- Connect two more long straws onto a short side of the oblong shape forming a triangle. Repeat on the other short side.
- Connect the two triangles together at the top with a long straw.
- You will now have a triangular prism shape forming the frame of your swing set, but it will be quite wobbly. Reinforce some of the joins by adding an extra pipe cleaner.
- Cut a piece away from the front of your cupcake liners creating a bucket seat shape.
- Use a hole punch to punch a hole in the top of each side of the cupcake liner.
- Thread a whole pipe cleaner through one hole and twist it to tie in place, then thread a half straw on. Loop the top of the pipe cleaner over the top of the swing set frame and twist around, tucking the end back inside the straw. Repeat with the other side and for the second swing.
Now the toys can go and have some fun!
More DIY toys the kids will love:
• Make an arty bird puppet from recycled paintings
• This Winter ice skating scene using magnetic twirling skaters is so much fun!
• Use a coat hanger to make a pom pom catapult
• Create a dinosaur world in a suitcase (great for travel!)
• These cardboard whirlygigs with free printable template are one of our all-time most popular crafts
Theres lots more ideas on our Craft and Play board on Pinterest too!
To fix the toppling out problem, simply put tiny pieces of pipe cleaner stuck to the inside of the cupcake liner and tie them together when you are ready to swing.
That sounds like a great idea! Yes, modify however you like especially if it works better.
Sharon A Maxwell says
Thank you so much for not only the instructions but the photo helps too! I am 81 years old and found your delightful site! I recently started making cardboard “rooms” (farms/zoos/playgrounds/ doll rooms, etc and give them to children for free). I love your photos (I learn better with pictures.) God bless you for offering these free!
That’s so lovely to hear Sharon. I’m glad you found the photos helpful.