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How-to Upholster a Swing Seat

Love the look of a swing daybed, but don’t have the space? Why not upholster a standard porch swing seat for the same look and comfort!

An upholstered porch swing seat – does that sound odd? I’m fortunate enough to live in a charming southern neighborhood, where most of the homes have a front porch.

We pride ourselves on our beautiful front porches and even have a social hour “Front Porch Fridays” to share them. Yep, porch daydreaming is definitely part of my everyday life!

A Beautifully Upholstered Porch Swing Seat
A Beautifully Upholstered Porch Swing Seat

Making my front porch as attractive and comfortable for my guests as possible is very important to me.  That’s why I had to do something with my aging porch swing.  After living in my home 7 years, the paint on my swing was looking pretty tired.

Honestly, the idea of painting the swing was not appealing and I couldn’t afford to replace it. Plus I love the day bed swings (that cost a fortune) and the look they create.

Black Porch Swing
Swing Seat Before

Then I had this idea pop up in my head. Why not upholster the porch swing seat to revive my swing and get the look of a day bed! I looked on Pinterest for “how-to” and found that this idea wasn’t something others had covered.

Off I went to figure it out…

Upholstered Swing Seat
Upholstered Porch Swing Seat

Upholstering a Seat is Upholstering  a Seat

Fortunately I’ve reupholstered countless chair seats in my life.  It is super easy if you have an electric staple gun and I do! I thought I would apply the same principles to recover my porch swing seat. 

If I messed up, well there is always spackle and paint to fix my mistakes.

The results were WAY better than I thought they would be and the total cost was under $50 (fabric + foam)!  My neighbors and friends gave my upholstery job a thumbs-up too.

They walked by to check on the progress wondering why I was on the floor of my porch, with my head under my swing!

Finished Upholstered Porch Swing Seat
Finished Upholstered Porch Swing Seat

The porch swing seat is now amazingly comfortable to sit on. The upholstery looks so much more tailored and won’t slip and slide around. 

Another bonus is you can pick the outdoor fabric you like versus what is offered in ready made cushions. I call this a great DIY project win!

ick Enjoying the Porch Swing
Mick Loves the New Seat

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10 Easy Steps: How-To Upholster your Porch Swing Seat

If you have ever upholstered a seat before, the technique is exactly the same and so are most of the supplies.

Supplies
    1. Scissors
    2. Tape Measure
    3. 2 yards of outdoor fabric (I used Sunbrella Canvas White)
    4. 20 in. x 48 in. x 2 in. piece of medium density foam
    5. Electric staple gun and staples
    6. Iron

Everything is available from Amazon! I love free shipping with Amazon Prime!

Step One

Cut the foam with scissors to the right width.  My swing is a standard size (purchased at Lowe’s) the seat is 18 in. x 48 in. I left the foam as it arrived at 24 in. and cut it down from 72 in. to 48 in.  Mick likes the leftover foam piece to lay on, so I see creating a DIY dog bed project some day 🙂

Step Two

Staple the foam to the swing seat.  This will hold it in place while you place the fabric. Push HARD to reach the wood through the foam. Staple 3 to 4 times on the front of the swing seat and just under the swing back.

Stapling Foam to Porch Swing Seat

Step Three

Measure and cut the fabric.  Make sure you have enough to wrap around the foam.  I left 16 in. all the way around for wrapping.

Step Four

There isn’t a way, without disassembling your swing, to upholstered between the arm and the back. Fix this problem by taking some of the leftover fabric, fold it into a 1 in. wide strip to attach in that space.  You will need two strips.

Step Five

Attach strips of fabric.  Staple into the foam and underneath the swing.  I cut the extra fabric away underneath and on the foam. Then pushed it down into the hole where the staple is.

Fabric Strip between Arm and Slat

 

Step Six

Wrap the fabric and staple the front and back. Pull the fabric taught and staple UNDERNEATH the seat. You can see the sun is starting to set, so this took about 2 hours start to finish!

Step Seven

Cut the corners out, so you can fold around the back of the swing and the arms. You will have to play with the fabric to get it right and be conservative as you cut.

Step Eight

Fold the raw edge of the fabric under before stapling around the back and the arms. Staple underneath. You can see it won’t be perfect and that’s OK!

Step Nine

Check to make sure everything is taught and smooth.  Add staples in areas that aren’t tight. Hammer in any staples that are sticking out.

Step Ten

Iron the fabric on the newly upholstered seat and place decorative pillows.

Done! Now clean up, pour yourself a cold drink, and sit on your comfy new porch swing seat. Call to your neighbors to come and sit awhile!

Enjoy Your Comfortable Swing Seat

 

Good luck with this project!

UPDATE: I’ve bleached and hosed down the white Sunbrella fabric countless times and it still looks like new!

Here is what my swing looks like today:

Easy Driftwood Paint Finish for Outdoor Furniture

How-to Wrap a Porch Swing Chain with Rope

Happy porch daydreaming!

Please consider following me on Pinterest and Instagram or Facebook for daily inspiration.

Until next time…

PORCH DAYDREAMER

Tracey

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