Building the Swing Ride


  • Cardboard carpet tube (often free from carpet/flooring suppliers)
  • Hammered, silver metallic spray paint
  • Yellow spray paint
  • Optional: painters tape
  • 2” thick rigid insulation foam
  • Jig saw with fine tooth blade
  • Colored duct tape
  • Circle punch (scrapbooking tool)
  • Holographic scrapbook paper (with adhesive back is ideal)
  • Large Styrofoam ball (Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or JoAnn’s)
  • Medium diameter dowel rods
  • Small diameter dowel rods
  • Red latex house paint
  • Paint brush and roller
  • Blue spray paint
  • 11x17” heavyweight paper
  • Swing template from Decorating Made Easy (CD-ROM)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Rotating Christmas tree stand (ours was purchased online here)
  • Dowel rod to fit Christmas tree stand
  • Scrap lumber
  • Screw gun & screws


1. Spray paint a cardboard carpet tub with silver metallic spray paint. Wrap with colorful tape (or painters tape and then spray paint again, then remove tape) to get a "barber pole" effect.

2. Trace a hula hoop onto 2" foam TWICE to get 2 matching circles for the swing ride. Cut these out with the jig saw and line them up so they fit together. Glue together, paint, and then hide the seam with colorful duct tape. (This gives you a 4" thick foam circle.) Embellish with holographic circles (cut from scrapbook paper) to resemble lights.

3. Trace the diameter of the outside edge of the carpet tube and then transfer it to the center of the 4" circle. Cut all the way through so that it can fit snugly around the carpet tube. Slide into position on the top third of the carpet tube.

ball4. Paint a 10" Styrofoam ball (or as large as you can find). Press it down onto the top of the carpet tube to mark where it needs to sit. You'll likely need to "carve out" a place for it to fit over the tube. I used a paint can opener for that and it worked quite well.

5. Paint varying lengths and diameters of wooden dowels and then push them randomly into the Styrofoam ball all the way around... these will look like spikes. Position the ball (with spikes) on top of the carpet tube.


6. Paint long, thin dowel rods (2 per swing). Print the template from the CD-ROM in the Decorating Made Easy book and create as many swings as you need from heavyweight paper. Decorate as desired. Hot glue 2 rods to each swing and then carefully press them into the bottom of the 4" inch foam circle. Tip: Push the rods in at an angle to make the swings look as if they are moving fast.


7. Find a dowel rod roughly the same diameter as a Christmas tree and screw it into the tree stand with the provided screws.

8. Trace the inside diameter of the carpet tube and then transfer it to a scrap piece of wood. Cut out with a jig saw then screw it to the top of the dowel rod (think “T”). Slide the tube over this and as the rod turns in the tree stand, so will the whole carpet tube!



  1. Jo says

    Do you have a templet for the coaster car used for pictures at the events you posted? would love to make one, thanks.

  2. Melita Thomas says

    Sorry, Jo, that was something designed especially for our Preview Events and we do not have a template for it. However, we do still have a few Flash Drives from Previews available with a video walk-through on how to make your own coaster car. Contact Tiffany Francis ( or 1-615-277-8184) to order. You can also simply add straps to the VBS 2013 Tabletopper ( to make your own "wearable roller coaster" for photo opps!

  3. Kristina says

    My Decorating Made Easy does not have the swing template. Am I missing something? Is it called something else?

    • Melita Thomas says

      It's with the clip art. You'll find it listed as "swing_template." To access clip art, close out of the program that automatically runs when you put the CD-ROM in your computer, then open the disc's contents. You'll see a folder for clip art and a folder for PDF files. Open the clip art folder and from there you can download the "swing_template" as either an .ai, .jpg, .eps, or .png file. A .jpg file will work just fine... just be sure to print it onto 11X17-inch paper to get the right size template.

  4. Ginger Edmonson says

    Found a big styrofoam ball at Michael's for $19.99(!), so I used my phone to find a 40% off one item coupon to make buying it palatable.

  5. Jamie says

    I have the clip art and I have the template for swing but It doesn't say how big it should be. I don't want it to be too big but I don't want it too small either. Any help?

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