A Super-Quick DIY Zipline Platform (With or Without Trees!)

Wondering how to build a zipline platform—with ease? (This is Part 2, after the installation of our zipline.)

When we first installed our zipline, we hadn’t even thought about adding a simple zipline platform for it. (We were probably faaaaaaar too excited about the zipline itself to worry about such trivialities. See how we installed our backyard zipline HERE!)

However, as the weeks and months rolled on, the ladder we had to pull out for the kids started to become an eyesore. (Did you know they don’t design utility ladders to be aesthetically pleasing in one’s backyard? Shocker, I know.)

man installing backyard zipline and standing on ladder platform
Here you can see Matt modeling our gorgeous metal ladder, which served as our backyard zipline platform for quite some time.

Thus our need for a DIY zipline platform became evident, and we looked for THE SIMPLEST way to do this!

PS: If you missed our post about installing the zipline itself, you can read that here.


Looking for the Simplest, Quickest Option!

The internet may be full of DIY zipline platform “how to” articles, but we failed to find any that were Simple with that capital S.

So we took a look around at some of the old wood and cast-offs we had from other projects, and found we could easily create our own backyard zipline platform out of those! (Sometimes simplest = no unnecessary trips to Home Depot!)

man building a zipline platform in backyard with two children helping hold up
Two eager helpers assist in the building of our simple zipline platform.

Our #1 tip for a project like this would be to first look around you to see what you can utilize. (Especially with the price of wood soaring like it has been!) Because here’s the thing: so many projects need exact types of wood, sizes, and cuts…

…but a simple zipline platform does NOT need to follow a precise pattern. Hold onto your money and don’t spend it buying pre-made DIY zipline platform plans someone’s trying to sell you! As long as there’s a way for kids to climb up and stand on something before launching themselves into zipline oblivion, you’re golden. Live a little! Make it your own!😄

For example, we found that from our backyard poolside bar project, we had three 6×6″ post pieces leftover. (We kept them in a corner by our trash bins for over a year, knowing they would come in handy someday!) And when we ripped out the old wood cabinets in our garage, we had some old large, flat pieces from that.

DIY zipline platform being built in backyard

These leftover pieces of wood could be combined to make a backyard zipline platform that would work for us!


Keep It Simple!

How to attach the posts to the flat platform top? Simple! All you need is two screws down through the top of the platform and into the 6×6″ post.

closeup of two screws into backyard zipline platform made of wood

The great news is, there’s no need to make this complicated if you don’t want to. Because this is an outdoor, heavily-kid-used platform, you don’t need anything fancy—it’s all just going to get worn down, if we’re all being honest! And the fun they’re having on it is more important that how it looks…

That being said, have no fear—our DIY zipline platform isn’t always going to look mismatched and random…stay with me!

(If you’re serious about saving money on your backyard, you need THIS!)


Building a Zipline Platform Without Trees

Quite often, people want to know “But how do I build a zipline platform without trees?”

The problem is the misconception that you need a tree to somehow support your platform, and this isn’t at all true. Your platform base can be built to support itself, whether or not you’re building a zipline platform without trees! (If you’ve read our first zipline post, you’ll know we installed 1/2 of our backyard zipline without trees!)

For example, our “tree” is really a Mexican fan palm in our backyard, and it’s in an awkwardly-sloped corner of the backyard. We toyed with the idea of building a platform around it, but in the end decided to nix that idea because of the way the girls play around it. (Their “Mud Cafe” is on the other side, and us building a platform around the base of the tree would have impeded that. And no parent whose child plays uninterrupted for hours with something will risk disrupting that magic for all the tea in China!)

backyard zipline platform being built, with drill sitting on top

And so, we built our backyard zipline platform to stand on its own four feet!

Next, we needed a fourth support and a way for the kids to climb up…


Building the Ladder

Because we only had three post leftovers from our backyard poolside bar project, we needed a fourth support. As mentioned before, we decided not to use the palm tree for this, so we took some extra 2×4″ wood scraps and cut one for the 4th support, then three horizontal pieces to serve as a ladder.

closeup of rough wood zipline platform ladder

Because 90% of you will have uneven ground where you want to put your backyard zipline platform, you’ll probably need to do some adjustments to get the platform level.

We did this in two ways:

side view of how to build a zipline platform

This zipline is currently selling for $10 off — buy it HERE!

#1) Shortened the back support closest to the palm tree by sawing it down 1-2″.

#2) Dug down into the ground a bit for two of the supports until the zipline platform was level. (As you can see below.)

closeup of backyard zipline platform posts slightly sunk into ground

You can see how the kids have already started using the area under the zipline platform to play in!😆 (Yes, your zipline platform can also double as a covered play area for your children, something I’ve thought about developing but almost seems unnecessary given the DIY playhouse we created…)

Still to be addressed is the funky cut-out corner from that old cabinet, pictured below.

wood zipline platform with ladder, angled view

Even though you can’t notice it from most angles, we’ll probably do something about it and we’ll be sharing that next week—how we’ll make this backyard zipline platform look a little more cohesive. (Still without spending too much time, effort, and money on it!)

backyard zipline platform being built, mismatched wood colors black and raw wood


Again, in the spirit of keeping everything simple, we didn’t do anything fancy to hide the way this was put together (such as hidden nails or screws)—we simply screwed the pieces into place and congratulated ourselves on not wasting an entire day building this zipline platform!

backyard zipline platform next to tree with kids play area on other side

This zipline is currently selling for $10 off — buy it HERE!

In reality, it took less than an hour!

If you’re serious about saving money on your outdoor projects, you need THIS!

(If you missed how we put in the zipline itself, that post is here.)

Soon we’ll share how we’re painting and sprucing up our zipline platform. Until then, check out this list of our favorite outdoor play swings for kids! (13+ Tree Swings For Kids Under $100!”)

Or you can see what we did for a DIY kids playhouse, how we made the perfect kid-sized desks, or our recent cutting board DIY where the kids got to use power tools!

➜ See The Complete List of our backyard remodel!

PS: Our complete list of every single home project is viewable HERE.

*This post contains affiliate links, which are no extra cost to you but help us keep this site alive!

Leave a Reply