Outdoor upholstery takes a hard beating from sun, rain, snow and wind. Metal swing frames typically survive outdoor use, but the fabric just does not. Re-cover a patio swing to turn your worn, but comfortable, patio accent into a fresh, modern and pretty centerpiece for your outdoor living space. This is a fairly quick project that pays off with a significant impact.
Remove the old upholstery fabric. Remove bolts, screws or staples from the back and underside of the cushion to detach the old fabric. Work carefully to preserve the shape of the fabric. Dismantle and remove the canopy from its frame as well.
Check the condition of the foam or batting underneath the fabric. Remove and replace, purchasing the same size and thickness of padding material if mold or mildew is present.
Place the original fabric on large sheets of pattern-tracing paper or directly on your new fabric. Trace around the fabric from your patio swing allowing an additional 3 to 4 inches on each side as an overhang. Trace the patio swing canopy on a large sheet of paper. Mark the position of channels and seams as necessary.
Cut each piece of your porch swing upholstery from your outdoor fabric. Cut pieces from an inexpensive cotton fabric like muslin if you are using a light-colored outdoor upholstery fabric.
Press a hem at the edge of the fabric. Staple into place or use an awl to create a hole for screws or bolts to pass through. Work from the center of one side to the center of the other, pulling the fabric taut and cutting away the excess as needed. Secure each piece of fabric one by one onto your porch swing.
Use your traced canopy pattern to cut out a new canopy for your patio swing. Seam panels of fabric together if necessary, then hem. Stitch long, narrow channels into place, using your original canopy as a pattern.
Reassemble and enjoy your recovered porch swing.