I have been trying to get all my overdue outdoor projects done this past week. I have been pretty successful. I wish I could tell you that I just love to do these projects, but that would be lying. The biggest reason this project is complete in a timely manner is because friends are coming to stay with us for a few days. This was the motivating factor in my sudden burst of energy to give this swing that hangs from the pergola on our deck a makeover. I don’t think there is anything more motivating to get DIY projects done than having guests to your home whether it be for over night or a party.
This swing is very comfortable, but I wanted to add a cushion to it, not only for comfort, but to add a pop of color as well. I love the upholstered look of cushions, but also love instant gratification and being able to easily make something with fabric without sewing a stitch.
Here is my swing in my garage waiting for it’s makeover. It was covered in a greyish cast of worn off stain and mildew.
I washed it with detergent and mildew remover, then rinsed and let it dry out in the sun. Look at the arm, do you see how it is worn. I won’t have to sand this – it is very smooth. I didn’t paint this it, I used solid color stain that just wears away over time. This was after 3 years outside, except when it stored in the basement during the winter months.
I have found Behr House and Fence Stain the best product for outdoor wood. It holds up beautifully, is easy to apply, and best of all, easy to clean up with soap and water – my kind of product. You can see from this beaten and battered can – that it has been used many times. If you have ever painted with oil based outdoor paint, you know it smells and can take days to dry. When it gets old, it gets chippy and needs to be sanded before painting, not so when you use a solid color stain.
I set the swing up on a table in my garage and gave it 2 coats. I let it dry for 1 hour between each coat.
I then hung it back on the deck under the pergola. This is my favorite place to sit in the evening, especially in the fall when it starts to get cold. I bring out a blanket, some hot tea, and get all snugly and gaze at all the stars in the night sky.
For the cushion: I went to my local Joann’s Fabrics on a day when all the foam was 50% off. I had no idea that it was on sale and was happy to get such a great deal! I needed about 5 feet. Cost was $24.00. It is 2″ thick foam and very dense. To cut it to the exact size I needed, I grabbed the electric knife from my kitchen drawer. (The only other time this knife gets used is to carve the turkey on Thanksgiving.) I have a T-square and measured and marked where I needed to cut.
Super easy to cut foam with an electric knife. If you don’t have one, take your exact measurements to the fabric store and have them cut both width and length for you. Take the excess home to use for another project.
To make the no-sew cushion cover: pretend the foam is a gift box and wrap it as you would a gift, using fabric instead of wrapping paper.
Use large 2- inch safety pins instead of tape. I got mine at the dollar store.
Fold over the raw edge of the fabric and pin every few inches along this no-sew seam to hold the fabric onto the cushion.
Wrap the corners neatly and pull taut and then pin. The width of my foam was almost the width of the fabric. Normally I would like to have a bit more fabric to pull over the side edges, but this works. No one will see the pins.
Flip it over and then it is ready. I placed it on my freshly stained swing. I wanted this cushion to be easy to take on and off. I didn’t want any ties to deal with, so I made sure the foam fit very snugly, so it stays put when I sit on it and easy to grab to take inside when it suddenly starts to rain.