Last Christmas, during yet another lockdown, we wanted to do something special for the kids. I had a crazy idea that we could build a DIY climbing wall in an unused alcove. It was a few days of work but well worth it as the kids love it, so here’s how we did it.
You will need:
- CLS Timber for the studwork (we used 38x63x2400mm)
- 18mm softwood structural plywood for the walls (we bought 2 large sheets and cut to size)
- Wall bolts M10 x 50mm (we used BP Fischer FWB wallbolts) – 4 per upright stud
- 50mm decking screws – 8 per upright stud
- strong drill with masonry bit (ours is a Makita)
- Resin climbing rocks with bolts (about 8 or 9 per msq)
- An electric saw to cut the wood
First, measure the height of your area and decide how many upright studs you need. We went for 2 each on the smaller walls of the alcove and 3 across the back wall.
After cutting the wood, we used the masonry bit to affix to the wall with the wall bolts. This was the toughest bit and required some brute strength, especially when drilling into an old concrete support we didn’t know was there!
Then cut the plywood to size.
We then painted the bolts on the uprights and attached the plywood backwards so we would know where the upright supports would be. You can see these red blobs in the picture below.
Next, take down the plywood and arrange the resin rocks in your desired pattern for the climbing wall. Avoid placing them where the upright supports will be as the nuts and bolts will stick out the back.
We used a felt tip pen to mark the holes to screw for the resin rocks.
Drill out the holes. Screw the resin rocks in place.
Use the decking screws to attach the plyboard to the upright studwork.
Climb to the top of the climbing wall to test it before you let the children near it!
Note: We use ours with sofa cushions as crash mats and supervise at all times. Also, wear shoes as those rocks can be hard on feet!