How do you replace an outdoor swing seat?
I’ve recently been brainstorming on how to fix broken canvas on a porch swing. We’ve had this porch swing for 8 years now. It was something I begged my husband for right after my oldest daughter was born.
I wanted something to sit in and rock my newborn while I enjoyed the summer weather. My husband brought home this one at a great price from Bargain Outlet.
After 7 years of sun rays beating down on it, the canvas had had enough, and the material finally split.
Turns out that finding a replacement canvas is not so easy.
And if you do find a place that makes them, you end up paying for a custom fit that would cost almost as much as buying a new swing altogether. I had already spray painted this swing to hide some rust. We did not want to throw out a sturdy frame, so I did some brainstorming on finding a cheaper solution to fix this. I spent about $30 for this fix, which is much cheaper than a custom canvas or obviously cheaper than buying a new swing altogether.
How do you fix a ripped canvas chair?
So today I’m going to show yo u how I used Polypropylene Lawn Furniture Re-Webbing with a needle and upholstery thread to get this swing back in motion.
Materials needed to fix broken canvas on a porch swing:
- Polypropylene Lawn Furniture Re-Webbing (I used 3 25 yard long rolls of the white – but didn’t use all of the 3rd roll) but later discovered that since my swing is in direct sunlight all day and does not have a cover, I needed UV Resistant Polypropylene. After just one year of use, the webbing that wasn’t UV resistant started to break down – so you’ll surely want polypropylene rated for exterior purposes!
- needle and upholstery thread
Start by cutting off the old worn out broken canvas and throw that out.
I had at one point spray painted this swing to cover some rust spots. Now that the canvas is cut off, you can see the original color that does not match the white. I did not spray paint over the tan at this point, but I wish I had. So if you want to repaint your frame at all, now is the stage in this project to do so.
When I was looking up how to install re-webbing, I found many tutorials about using metal clips or drilling holes and screwing it into the metal. I wanted a seemingly less complicated way to install it, so I simply took one end, folded over about an inch, and wrapped that around the top left side of the metal frame.
I then got out my stapler, and stapled this together to mark where the beginning is and to hold it on temporarily. (later, I took out the staples and replaced it with upholstery thread, but this was an easy way to get it installed first before sewing.)
I then took the webbing and wrapped it vertically around both the back and seat and went back and forth all the way down the swing. A little over half way, I had to staple on a second strip of re-webbing to continue the weaving.
After I completed the vertical back and forth stringing of the webbing, I made a 90 degree turn with the webbing and started weaving it horizontally on the seat. I eventually needed to attach a third strand of webbing.
(Later when I did this again with the UV resistant webbing, I didn’t have to sew so much because it came in a 150 ft long roll.)
Again, I used staples to attach the strands and when I was at the very end of weaving, I wrapped the last strand around to itself and stapled the end (just like the very first attachment) Before I stapled that final strand, I made sure to pull the entire webbing as tight as I could!
I started back at the beginning and re-pulled each row very tight to ensure the webbing was on as securely and as tightly as I could get it.
I did not weave horizontally for the back rest portion of the swing. You totally could, but since most of the weight is held on the seat, I didn’t think you need that extra webbing for the back, especially when it is covered by a cushion. Once I finished weaving and stapling, I then needed to replace the staples with a needle and upholstery thread.
I hand sewed two rows at each of the connecting places where there were staples. I used scissors to bend the staples and pull them out as I was sewing.
I had purchased replacement porch swing cushions about 3 years ago because the originals were in really rough shape. I got mine over on Amazon. Check out their selection if you are in need of replacement cushions yourself.
Once the sewing was complete, and I reattached the swing cushions, I sat down, and enjoyed a cup of tea in the early evening breeze!! 🙂
I had officially rescued a $130 swing for just $30!
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Thanks. I’ve re-webbed other chairs and have been thinking of fixing my swing using webbing. Now that I see how you’ve done it, I ordered the webbing.
Awesome – glad to hear it! Hope it turns out as well as mine did!
Did one 150 roll do the whole swing
Good question Robb – yes – the 150′ foot roll was more than enough for me. I need to find a chair or something to use the rest on. 🙂
Linda Simmons says
I’ve been wanting to do this with my swing. Where do you find the UV Resistant Polypropylene.
Hi linda – if you look up in the post – I have a link there to what I ordered from Amazon. Hope that helps!
I am going to re-web mine too. Thanks for sharing!
Glad to hear Usha – hope it works out as well for you as it did me!
Doris Plagens says
I wasn’t sure if I needed to screw in the use those grommets to hold in the strap. I plan to order webbing also. Thank you for the directions.
I did not use grommets – I just sewed the webbing around the bar with the upholstery thread. Glad to hear you are going to tackle this DIY! 🙂 Good luck!
Shirley Wood says
This is such a smart fix for a common problem. My parents had one of these and the same thing happened. This post is a Feature pick at the Merry Monday party this week. So glad you shared with us and hope to see you back this week. Sharing.
WooHoo that this was a featured post over at Merry Monday! I love how cheap and easy this fix is rather than having to get a custom canvas made or buy a whole new swing!
Deanna LeBaron says
Thanks for your ideas and pictures. I too, love my swing, which is in great shape, other than the back and bottom material to hold the cushions on. I am a bit nervous about doing it myself–I know I can if I do it carefully–it still is a little scary for me. I love that you don’t fasten it like the webbing on some chairs. I can handle the staples then sewing with upholstery thread. I even thought of duct taping the chair, then adding the cushions!! My late husband would be laughing at me for that one!
You have inspired me to go ahead and do it. Where again did you get the webbing? Are there colors to choose from? Thanks again.
I was totally nervous tackling this myself as well – but if you can sew – then it’s totally easy! My meticulous engineer husband was impressed that he isn’t the one who thought of this solution. 😉 Look at the top of the post for a link to where I got my webbing on Amazon. I believe there should be some different colors – it will depend on what is in stock.
Deanna LeBaron says
How long did it take you to re-web it?
How many ft of webbing did it use?
I needed (3) 39′ webbing strips. I didn’t use all of the third, but I did need 3 to complete this project.
Thanks for this great post! I have had a 2 seater swing for 20 years. I completely reupholstered it once with fabric including the top but it was really more work than I wanted to go through and it needed an uplift again also the swing now sits out under my clematis arbor so fabric really wasn’t an option this time. Bought a 150 ft roll of webbing online not thinking about it not having clips or screw holes to fasten off the new webbing. Was all ready to begin , frame and swing all new paint , and then realized that! You saved me! Thanks!
Lora – so glad to hear that!! I hope it turned out wonderful!!
jan jones says
I’m so glad you shared this! I’ve got a similar swing with the same problem. I knew I could use the strapping, but was unsure how to attach it. Your directions sound so easy. I also have some aluminum frame beach chairs to redo. I hated to throw them out because the frames are so lightweight, making them easy to haul to and from the beach. One question: does your swing fold out to make a flat bed? Mine does, so I am wondering if I should wrap the seat and back separately since the strapping might be too loose when the swing is lying flat.
No mine does not fold out Jan – so I would do what you suggested and wrap the seat and back separately!
Christel Roselle says
I repaired my swing with nylon outdoor camping rope. it looks and works great even when the pillows are not on it.It comes in many colours and is much less expensive than the chair webbing you have to order.
Thanks Christel for the info on the camping rope – great idea!
H9w did you secure the rope? Did you sew it, or tie it?
ALINE WRIGHT says
Do you think you could use some kind of glue instead of sewing?
I personally would not trust any glue on plastic to hold 100’s of lbs of weight!
I am excited to try this!!! Thank you for posting!!!
Yay Andrea – let me know how it works out for you!
Where did you get the camping rope?
I actually didn’t use any camping rope for this project. Are you referring to something else?
I literally have just been repairing my in laws swing and used the webbing as well. I chose to use screws (like you see in some lawn chairs). But I do love the upholstery thread idea as well
Klo that’s awesome!! I would have used screws – but I’m better at sewing that drilling metal! 🙂
Thank you! This really helped make fixing the swing (which the children love), affordable. It was easy enough for even me to do it. Thanks for the time you took to put these instructions together.
Yay Alice – so great to hear! Thanks so much for letting me know!