Swinging into Action

aqua swing collage
I like to curl up on the couch with a cup of hot tea and a small pile of mending. The cats gather ’round as buttons return to their proper place. It’s therapeutic.

Unfortunately my garden swing is too big to bring indoors. So as the sun set on a warm Sunday afternoon, I sat in the garden instead. More specifically, I knelt, squatted and contorted my body around the edges of my damaged swing. You can read more about the squirrel damage here.

torn swing

Busy squirrels make quick work of my swing

I’ve been gathering materials for the job at hand with the following criteria: the repairs had to be cheap and easy. I spent hours on the original swing cover only to see it destroyed by a nesting squirrel. I love all animals, including squirrels and after all, Sunday was Mother’s Day. Mama squirrel is just looking for fluff to line her nest. My goal: restore the swing so that it’s attractive and functional, but with a minimal investment of time and money.

Here’s what I did:

After trimming away the damaged cover I cut the remaining polyfill stuffing till the edges were even. Using the stuffing from a worn out cushion, I filled in the area, then covered it with part of an old tea towel. It was challenging, working my needle and thread around the edges of the swing, but I wanted the stitches to be small and taught. It doesn’t look pretty, but once covered it doesn’t matter.

swing repair with tea towel

Tea towel repair

I used a bit of Nature’s Miracle to clean the rest of the surface stains. Now to make it look pretty again.

I found a cloth shower curtain at a local thrift store. I liked the cheerful print and the fact that it matches my blue end-tables. It took about 15 minutes to make the cover with minimal sewing.

I draped the curtain over the swing, tucking a few inches underneath the built in pillow running along the swing’s top edge. I draped the rest of the curtain over the back. By hand, I took a few stitches through the folds of the swing cover, then attached a couple of ties to hold it in place.

Covering the built-in cushion

Covering the built-in cushion

new swing cover ties

Swing ties for easy removal

recovered swing aqua

Swinging into action

All told, I probably spent a few hours putting it all together and for under $10.

Materials On Hand:

  • polyfill batting from old cushion
  • tea towel from the rag-bag
  • fabric ties made from thrift store remnant

Purchased:

  • thrift shop shower curtain, $6
swing, table and flowers

Ready for relaxing (pot filled with stuffing nearby)

As for the squirrels, I’ve left them a peace-offering. I took all the scraps from the damaged swing, shredded them into small pieces, and stuffed them into an empty pot near the swing.  As I was finishing up, I heard rustling in the bushes, then saw what I think is a baby possum climbing the fence. I called to my boys to grab the camera and they shot a few pics as the little one ambled along the fence. She exited the yard through the lattice. At least she was heading away from the swing.

opossum or rat?

Baby opossum or rat?