Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sprucing Up on a Budget: Look-like-new cushions

I love my porch swing.  I have always loved going out to swing - it's a place to think, a place to talk, a place to calm babies, a place to enjoy with friends, a place to find a peaceful moment.  Today there was the nicest breeze coming toward the swing from the pond beside us.  Birds were chirping, kids were fishing; it was a beautiful day.

The swing that's on our porch I've had about 8 years.  Before this one, there was my handmade wooden swing in our backyard, which, sadly, had to stay with the house when we moved.  Over the years, this swing had had a lot of use.  Finally, a few summers ago, the cushions were looking so shabby and faded, I turned them over to the opposite side, and they looked OK again for a season.  This spring, they were just too much of a mess to put out again.

I haven't seen many replacement swing cushions for less than $30 a piece.  With 3 cushions to fit my swing, that's too pricey for my budget.  I considered recovering them myself, but even the cost of fabric can get expensive.

This weekend, we were searching for a piece of furniture, and checked out, for the first time, some local furniture consignment stores.  If you haven't been to one, look up a few close to you and take a quick detour on Saturday or Sunday to see what's inside.  Some of the places had great treasures, at great prices.

While we didn't find the piece we were searching for this weekend, I did discover 6 panels of perfect outdoor-swing material.  One side was lined with vinyl or plastic to keep out moisture; the other side was a thick fabric in neutral-colored stripes that would look wonderful outside on my swing!  A pair of 2 panels were only $13.  I ended up buying all 3 sets, because I couldn't tell if I'd need one or two panels per cushion, plus it's always good to have extra for repairs later.

I ended up only using one panel per cushion, so I actually have an entire set (of three) left to use later.  I was so excited with my find.

I decided to try hot glue, for time's sake.  I laid out the cloth on our table, put the cushion on top and began wrapping it like a gift.  Voila!  They look and feel great!  And I only spent $20 on the material I used to cover them ($39 total, but I still have three panels left to use for another project or to save for my cushions in a few more years).

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