Well, let me clear up some things really quickly, before sharing my next woven wrap activity with you:
- It isn’t a bedsheet or a “cheap piece of fabric.” It is a woven wrap created for the sole purpose of holding babies and toddlers. It was designed to carry children.
- If it’s an “accident waiting to happen” you’re doing it wrong. Use common sense. Use a sturdy table. Test your knot before putting your kid in there. Stay close by, especially if your kids are really young. Take it down from the table when you (er, your kids) are finished playing with it.
- That particular wrap (since I’ve seen people ask in a lot of places) is Ellevill Zara Sun. It’s gorgeous and I’ve since cut it and turned part of it into a ring sling (the yellow sling in the background of the picture below). It has been discontinued for a while, but I’ve heard rumors that Ellevill will bring that color back… I hope so! Because I kind of want it as a wrap again (in addition to the sling, not turning back time).
- If you want to make a hammock OR a swing with fabric store fabric, please DO NOT use quilting cotton or “something from the dollar table at walmart.” A good bottomweight 100% linen will be great, or you can use cotton onsaburg (just make sure it seems thick enough to be supportive, as there IS thin onsaburg out there I wouldn’t feel would be safe).
- I know people have done the hammock thing with an old moby or boba wrap (stretchy wraps) but please don’t. Even though those were also meant to carry babies, they were also meant to ONLY be used with multiple passes over the child, and be on the front of mom where she has both hands nearby. It would be much easier for a kid to flip out of a stretchy hammock than a woven one – and have you ever seen any “real” hammocks that are stretchy material? Probably NOT.
SO! Here is the next AWESOME wrap project. How to make a woven wrap swing! The same tips above apply:
- Make sure you’re using a real woven wrap, or another sturdy fabric I recommended.
- Make sure your hardware is meant to bear weight.
- Always supervise use of the wraps swing and stay close by even if the kid seems “good” just hanging out in it, especially if your kids are younger like mine are.
- Take the swing down when you’re not using/supervising its use. (I actually just move both sides to the same carabiner, so it is still easy to put back up, but inaccessible to the kids and the doorway is usable).
To make a woven wrap swing, you need:
- 2 heavy duty eye-screws. If you aren’t sure about their ability to bear weight, just ask the hardware store people. They can help you.
- 2 heavy duty clip carbines. You can use the kind that screw to secure if you want, but I thought the clip would be easier. Each of these is rated to 250 pounds.
- 4 large rings from slingrings.com . These rings were made for babywearing, have no welding spot (which would rub the fabric and make its fibers weak, in addition to being a weak spot in the ring that could potentially break), and are each rated at 250 pounds.
- A woven wrap or appropriate fabric of your choice. Obviously a smaller length would make the swing higher, and a longer one would have more hanging down on each side.
Install your eye screws into your doorframe or studs, and clip your carabiners onto each one.
Take each end of the wrap and thread through both rings, then back through one of them, just as you would with a web belt or a ring sling. Make sure the fabric remains spread out within the rings instead of folded over on itself or bunched up. Make the rails (edges) a bit tighter/shorter than the middle section, so that the seat will be lower in the center. I made the back rail (in the photos below, the orange one) even tighter/shorter than the front one, so that Anneliese could lean back a little bit and still be supported.
For Joseph, (my just-turned-one-year-old) I put him in it more like a regular hammock, with his head and feet going across the doorframe instead of facing forward. I also stay very close by to “spot” him, which is why there are no photos of him in it. Anneliese likes to do that too, but the regular swing is more comfortable for her since she is taller.
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This post was originally published in May 2013. Updated in December 2015.