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!

Ten Reasons Why Seashells Are Enchanted

I’m still in the throes of harnessing my inner beeyotch (the lady who slammed on her brakes and made a u-turn in front of me got a taste of that new me) but I took a teensy break to ponder the oft-asked question: Why do I love seashells?

1. Just like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. Some are almost perfect twins, but there’s always an individual characteristic if you look close enough.

2. Unlike a snowflake, they don’t disappear.

3. They are all beautiful in color and shape and size.What a treasure!

4. Shells can be worn as jewelry.Abalone necklace with rope work, earrings, pearl bracelet, necklace of polished shell pieces

4. There is appeal in their symmetry and asymmetry.fairshells

5. For me, seashells impart a tangible tactile and visual state of bliss.

6. Shells give birth to episodes of intense creative passions. This is my most recent seashell bouquet; an organic interpretation inspired by a froggy vase acquired at a local thrift shop that helps victims of domestic abuse.newfrogvase

7. Once upon a time, a seashell housed a living creature.

8. Cowry shells were used as currency in China.cowry shell

9. If you love to collect dust, start collecting seashells! They are a dust magnet, prolly their only negative trait.

10. A small grain of sand–a foreign body–inside a seashell grows into a magnificent pearl.  A pearl is an annoyance to the shell,  just exactly like the way I am oftentimes an annoyance to my son!white-pearl-in-oyster     

Instead of Flowers, How About an Enchanting Seashell Bouquet?

Today is super hot and humid but I went to Pilates anyway, and saw a friend of mine who’s a nurse and she always has a handful of non-latex gloves or figs from her tree for me and I trade her tomatoes and cucumbers and clary sage seedlings, so it’s a win-win for both of us.

I’m really excited about all my clary sage seedlings; I have about 100 of ’em that look very healthy but will have to wait for the weather to cool down to put them in the ground. Here in So Cal, October is our spring, and that’s the best time I have found to plant natives.

So I have all these seashells, right?  Prolly thousands of them, collected by me or presented as gifts, and I’m not super creative like everyone on Etsy and Pinterest, but I do like to embellish almost everything with shells and rocks.

I was looking for a new project and somewhere saw a bouquet of seashells and starfish and thought that it looked easy enough to re-create, so I did!

How to make the seashell bouquet:
1. Get craft sticks of all sizes; I even used chopsticks
2. If you don’t have a glue gun, get one! I can’t live without mine, that’s for sure. For this project, you don’t have to be perfect, obvs you need to use more glue for the heavier starfish
3. If you want to use florist’s foam,that would be a good idea; I didn’t do that here, but I did fill the vase with paper

Voila! Here’s the finished product. This vase is at the bottom of our stairs up to the second level and is the first thing you see when you come in the front door.