How To Box In A Swing Set: 6 Simple Steps

How To Box In A Swing Set

Swing sets are yard toys that should be set apart from the rest of the yard so today we go through all the steps needed to show you how to box in a swing set.

To box in a swing set involves building a border around the swing set that helps to hold in soft material to soften impacts from falls. Choose the filler and material types that you desire for the border and for the ground cover, secure the proper tools to fasten the border together and you can have this task completed in a day’s time or less.

We’re going to examine the kinds of filler products that are available along with the best material for making a swing set enclosure. 

Here you’ll learn what to look for in the best products for the job, and you’ll also have step by step instructions to guide you through the process. You’re in the right place to learn everything that you need to know about how to box in a swing set.

Things To Consider If You Want To Box In A Swing Set

When planning how to box in a swing set, think about the kind of materials you want to use. There are a lot of different kinds of edging made specifically for building playground borders and they can be used to box in a single swing set also. 

The best are made of durable materials that go together easily to reduce the amount of effort it takes to install them.

Next, think about the type of filler that you want to use for the play area under the swing. Some playgrounds use pea gravel because it is small in diameter with smooth surfaces that move around to break a fall. 

There are also several kinds of playground mulch and even rubber mats. If you’re not familiar with these materials, we’ll give you a complete description of the top-rated products to give you an idea of the benefits that each has to offer and to help you make an informed choice.

Other considerations to be made include the cost of boxing in a swing set, the amount of time it takes to build, will you want to move the location of the swing set in the future, the necessary supplies, tools, and how to prepare the ground before you begin.

Here are the answers to these questions to help you plan in advance.

How Much Does It Cost To Box In A Swing Set

The cost of boxing in a swing set depends on how large the enclosure will be and what brand and style of material you choose to use. 

You can begin building a cost analysis for this project as we move through the necessary tools and supplies to give you an idea of how much you need to budget for the project.

If you’re on a budget, you’ll find that we’ve researched the best tools and supplies that can be found at the most reasonable prices. You may already have some of these things on hand which will cut down the total cost even more. 

If not, we have a few recommendations that can help save you time and money.

Frame It All Garden/Playground Border

One of the most highly recommended kits for building a swing set border is the Frame It All system on Amazon. It does a great job of keeping soft materials around the swing set enclosed. 

This set comes with 16 feet of border material that measures 1.8 x 6 inches. It also comes with 4 anchor joints, 4 composite timbers, hardware and instructions. 

You can create a budget-priced border for under a couple hundred dollars, but there are a lot of factors involved with pricing. If you prefer the top of the line supplies and materials, a border can cost you up to $1,000. This is a project that you can tailor to meet your budgetary restrictions if any.

How Long Does It Take To Box In A Swing Set

If you’re starting from scratch with a bare lot, you’ll need to clear an area and then level the ground which can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day, depending on the condition of the space. 

When the ground is prepared, and you’ve gathered all of the necessary supplies it can take 2-3 hours to put up a border around a swing set.

Supplies Needed To Box In A Swing Set

Here is a list of the supplies that you’ll need to box in a swing set

  • Border materials, e.g. wood plants, pre-made border kit
  • Stakes to secure the border in place
  • Playground chips or another kind of filler

Tools Needed To Box In A Swing Set

The kind of tools that you will need is going to vary, depending upon the type of border edging you decide to use. Very few tools will be necessary once the ground and space are prepared and leveled. Here are the tools that you are likely to need to complete the job.

  • String or powdered chalk to set straight placement lines
  • Tape measure to calculate the dimensions and the length of border material and the square feet of fill material.
  • Rake to level gravel or chips if applicable
  • Mallet to pound in the stakes around the border
  • Saw for trimming border material to the necessary size
  • Power drill for screws if using hardware fasteners to hold edging material in place

How To Prepare The Ground To Box In A Swing Set

If you need to clear the ground, use a weed eater to knock down high grass and weeds.

If you don’t have a string grass and weed trimmer, Black & Decker (link to Amazon) makes an inexpensive model that can help you power through weedy areas. This is an electric model with a 14-inch radius that cuts a wide swath to save time and effort.

To fully remove any leftover weed roots or if the ground is uneven, it’s good to get a tiller to till the ground and rake it smooth, removing any hills and valleys for a flat surface around the swing set and are you want to enclose.

If you don’t have a small tiller or can’t borrow one, Sun Joe’s Aardvark Cultivator (link to Amazon) is a good choice. It can shave a lot of time off of leveling the ground versus hand digging out the high spots.

You’ll also need to compact the ground in the area where the swing set will be placed and all space within the border. We recommend the GoPlus Lawn Roller with Handle Steel Drum on Amazon. It will do the job swiftly and efficiently and it sells for good price. 

When you use a border kit, it shouldn’t take more than a few hours to install the border if the ground is properly prepared.

What Is The Best Material To Put Under A Swing Set

Part of learning how to box in a swing set is finding the right materials for the fill. You’ll find a variety of different materials used for the ground under a swing set, but each has its pros and cons. 

Pea gravel is one of the most common, but in the end, they are rocks and they are hard. Wood shavings can leave splinters. The best material to put under a swing set is rubber mulch. 

This creates a soft surface in the event of a fall and is the least hazardous because they don’t leave splinters and they are much softer. 

NuScape Rubber Mulch on Amazon is one of the best types of playground filler for placing under swing sets. You can also order the mulch by the pallet. It’s available in a few different colors. 

The mulch helps prevent weed growth and it’s one of the safest play surfaces for children. It also repels insects. 

How To Build A Box Around A Swing Set: Step By Step

Now that you have some ideas about the best materials for building a border around a swing set, we’re going to go through the step by step process from beginning to end.

Prepare The Area

The first step is to prepare the ground where the swing set and border will set. Start by clearing the ground of all shrubs, trees, weeds, and rocks.

If there are any trees that you need to cut down, you can speed up the process with a chainsaw for larger trees and shrubs. 

If you don’t have one available, we recommend the Black & Decker 16-inch model on Amazon because it’s powerful for smaller to medium-sized cutting and trimming jobs and it’s reasonably priced.

Clear the weeds with a weedeater to remove as much excess debris as possible.

Next, it’s time to level the ground. The first step in this process is to till the ground to loosen the soil. You may need to go down as deep as 4 to 6 inches depending on how uneven the ground is. 

If you need a more heavy-duty tiller for the job, we recommend the Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator on Amazon. 

This one is under great price and it’s ideal for anyone who lives on uneven ground that requires a lot of soil movement to level ground on the property. 

If the job is smaller, the SunJoe model recommended previously should work fine.

Use a landscape rake to move the soil around and take down the hills and fill in the low spots so you have a level surface. If you don’t have one the Structron 36″ head landscape rake on Amazon is ideal. 

Next, use a manual roller to compact the ground in the area you plan to set the border and the swing set. This prevents settling.

Measure And Mark The Area To Be Enclosed

Take out your tape measure to mark the area that you plan to enclose. You should have a minimum of 6 to 10 feet around all sides of the swing set for child safety. 

If you don’t have one, we recommend the Craftsman 100-foot with a steel blade on Amazon. This is a sturdy and durable tape measure that comes with an easy wind drum for retrieving the tape quickly and easily.

Mark the square or rectangular area using a chalk line. You can do this with a string and stakes if you like, or if you prefer, we recommend the Irwin Speedline Pro Chalk Reel on Amazon. 

It’s more durable than twine because of the steel bland and easy wind drum for retracting the line when you’re through. It comes with a coating of chalk that leaves an easy to read line for placing perfect border lines. 

This helps give you a more effective measure and mark on the ground and it’s at a great price. You can also find chalk refills easily for years of reliable use.

Install The Border

We’ve chosen the Frame It All Playground Border on Amazon for our example material because it’s easy to install and it comes with a lifetime warranty if you register, or a 5-year warranty if you don’t register. 

It’s made of composite material from sustainable sources. Minimal tools are needed to install this border. The cost is pretty cheap for 192 x 1 x 5.5 inches of the border and it comes with the required anchors, brackets, screws, and timbers.

Attach Brackets To The Sides Of The Boards

The brackets slide onto the end of the boards easily. After you slide them on, use a power screwdriver and the included screws to fasten them securely. If you don’t have a power screwdriver or drill with the appropriate bits, you can use a regular screwdriver. 

To save time and effort, we recommend the Skil Rechargeable Cordless Power Screwdriver on Amazon which you can pick up for a great price.

Attach The Lengths Of The Border Together

One bracket is used to join two of the border boards together. Each bracket has a loop that sits on top of another loop of the bracket. 

When you put the boards and brackets end to end, the loops form a tube. Attach the number of boards needed for the area you’re boxing in. 

Drive the included round stakes into the round hole that the two brackets form. This secures them into the ground firmly. 

Use a hammer or mallet to drive them in until they are flush with the top of the bracket. If you don’t have a mallet, we recommend the Tekton Double-Faced Soft Mallet on Amazon that is pretty cheap.

Shorten The Boards If Needed

If you need to shorten a board, you can use a handsaw or an electric handsaw to cut to the appropriate length. As long as the cut is clean you will be able to slide the bracket onto the end of the board and secure it with a screw. 

If you need to make these adjustments and don’t have a saw, we recommend the Black & Decker Powered Handsaw on Amazon.

Adding The filler

Now it’s time for the final step in the process. Although adding a ground covering under the swing set is optional, it can make the area safer for children to play. 

We recommended using Vigaro Cedar Bark Mulch, but you can use any type of playground cover that you prefer. Simply spread the covering so it measures a minimum of 2 to 4 inches in depth and your project is complete.

Raising The Height

If you want to double the height of this border, the Frame-It border is stackable. It is specially designed to simply stack one board on top of the other and secure them with the stakes. This gives you the option of creating a simple low border or going a bit higher if you wish.

Helpful Tips For How To Box In A Swing Set

  • Clear and level the ground before you begin
  • Measure the area and mark it with a chalk line to ensure that the lines are straight
  • Gather all supplies, materials, and tools in advance

Final Thoughts

Our guide is made to show you how to box in a swing set, and to let you know what you need to do this project correctly. Using the right tools and equipment can make the task go faster and easier than trying to just get by or skipping steps. 

There are a lot of border edging products on the market today and choosing the best value for great results can be difficult. This is why we offer suggestions about useful tools, equipment, and supplies that won’t break the bank.

Following these step by step directions will help you to construct an attractive, durable, and functional swing set border that will last for years to come. 

We found the best value among top-rated products to provide you with the resources and tips that you need to complete this project on your own to save the expense of hiring a contractor. 

Drew Thomas

My name is Drew Thomas and I’m the creator of Fun In the Yard, your one stop site for all your outdoor games, sports, party activities, outdoor gear, and lawn & gardening tips.

Related Posts