How to Recover a Torn Outdoor Swing Cushion

If you already read Recycled, Repurposed, Reborn, and Reformed, you won’t be too surprised to learn that I also hate to RE-place torn, ripped, or worn out things.

Last week, I spent a hot day (in the upper eighties) working on a project and I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.

In the past few years,  I’ve purchased a couple of replacement cushions for the deck swing.

Southern California sun is wickedly harsh on fabric — even though I put the cushions and chairs in the shed when not in use, it weakens, tears, and eventually disintegrates completely like this:

torn cushion

I went to JoAnn Fabrics near 24Hour Fitness in Oceanside and was so happy to discover outdoor canvas material on sale —  half off  the regular price of $19.99 a yard. Yay! I needed approximately 54X70. The sales associates were very helpful and suggested I try fusible bonding web for heavy fabrics and my trusty glue gun for reinforcement areas. Anytime I can fire up that glue gun is a great day! (Also a day for an injury, more on that later.)


                                            Beautiful bright colors!

The fusible bonding needs heat;  I brought the ironing board and my Rowenta on the deck. Yes, it’s leopard covered. Of course it is.

ironoutsideI ironed a sharp crease on all four sides; went upstairs to my craft room and sewed a lovely seam.

sewing machine

Look at that old sewing machine from the 1970s.
It weighs a ton, but works like a dream.

I placed the cushion flat on the deck, spread the material over the cushion, and then turned it over.


Measuring and ironing the fusible bonding all the way around.

stitchless sewing


The webbed fusible bonding for heavy fabric worked better than I thought. This isn’t the most professional looking job, but the material is bright and fresh and way less expensive than another replacement cushion.



I used the glue gun to reinforce the corners and this blister was my reward. 


My research indicated that the temperature of the glue is about 385 degrees, but I swear it felt like I had dipped my finger in the bowels of Hell.

I might go back to JoAnns and get more material to redo the awning to match. Although it’s still in good shape, now it bugs me that it doesn’t match the cushion!

78 thoughts on “How to Recover a Torn Outdoor Swing Cushion

  1. Great job! Isn’t it sweet to design and execute an inexpensive (and attractive) solution to a decorating problem. Hope your revitalized cushion serves you well for many years.


  2. I didn’t know that you knew how to SEW. Looks like you did a good job. It does look like a nice deck there and your fashionable ironing board cover. Sew have a nice Mother’s day with both of them home!


    • My mom loved to sew and we worked together making lots of our own clothes, even pants with zippers, etc. I’ll take some pics of the matching shirts I made for hubs and me, I did a good job turning the collar if I do say so myself!. I had an idea for a clothing line but it never got off the ground except for the name which I own…”Elegant Dreamwear” Let me know if you want to branch out! I have the patterns, just needed to go to the LA garment district and purchase the material.

      On Fri, May 10, 2013 at 9:47 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo


      • That is great that you both enjoyed sewing. Like the idea of matching shirts and bet you did a good job. That is a great name “Elegant Dreamwear”. I use to make wedding and bridesmaid dresses as a sideline in my early 20’s. Ar first I liked it but then got 2 different brides who gained a ton of weight the last month. It was alteration nightmare trying to let them out. At least signal flags don’t gain Will keep in mind for the future if we branch out. Right now staying busy with orders.


  3. I love the new look, so bright and cheery!! And I can totally relate about now having to do the canopy so it matches. One project always leads to another, and another, and another! LOL And I adore that old machine. I learned on my grandmother’s old Singer; between the two of us, it eventually wore out. I no longer have it, but I do have the custom sewing table my grandfather made for her many years ago. It is one of my cherished pieces of furniture. Can’t wait to see your next project!


    • I’d love to see your sewing table–sounds awesome! Yup, hubs agreed that it needs a matching canopy so we’re going to go to the fabric store today. He’s very good at measuring and cutting. I’ll do the actual sewing but he can make it fit properly. right now he’s doing his first surf since getting back on Thursday, so he’s a happy guy.

      On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 6:47 AM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo


      • My sewing table is going to be part of my walk-in closet, so eventually there will be pics. Actually, I could easily do a whole blog post on that table.

        And in my experience, happy guys lead to happy ladies. 😉


  4. Looking good. Love the colours. You are so talented. Seriously. I’m debating whether or not to iron down the pockets on my army pants. Can’t bring myself to do it LOL. I love swing chairs. They are the best.


  5. We have a dog who destroys anything fabric. Last summer I finally bit the bullet and purchased replacement cushions for the swing. It looked wonderful! Then we got the dog. We knew he had separation anxiety issues, but we didn’t realize that he would take it out on any fabric covered item he could get his big doggy paws on. Yes, the dog destroyed the cushions. There was nothing left to salvage. I love what you did for yours and I’m going to bookmark this. The only problem. of course, is that I don’t have any old cushions to cover!


      • He’s doing much better. He was neglected by his previous owner and has some separation issues. Now that I’m not working, of course he’s very happy and content. BRAT!

        Anything that is fabric he would like to think is his chew toy. And yes he has PLENTY of chew toys!


  6. Pingback: DIY Part Two: Outdoor Swing Canopy Sewing Project | Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugboat Captain's Wife

  7. Pingback: The Best of…for #ThrowbackThursday | Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugboat Captain's Wife

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