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These pathetic garden swings: what to do?

These inexpensive garden swings look charming inside the home improvement store. But a year or so after you put it up, you could be faced with a hundred or so pounds of rust and rot. And then what?During these lovely spring days, your thoughts may turn to buying an inexpensive metal garden swing with a charming fabric canopy.

I have one short piece of advice for you: DON’T DO IT!

Pictured here (bottom) is one of these swings I spotted on a SoCal balcony. The metal is rusted. The fabric is rotted and torn. And it’s not because of abuse. My own inexpensive swing (top) deteriorated in just a couple of years and I finally took off the rotten canopy.

Now I’m wondering what to do with it. I thought I might sew a new canopy, but I seem to be allergic to my sewing machine. One idea is to get some of that webbing that you use on lawn furniture and weave it back and forth over the top to create some kind of shelter.

Any more ideas? If you’ve replaced your rotten canopy with something, please, please e-mail a photo.

And if you’re tempted by one of these cheap models as you stroll through a garden section this spring, please take my advice, and do not yield to that temptation. Otherwise you’ll be looking at a mess like this in a few short years. And that’s what’s called living unsustainably.

You’re better off getting an all-wood swing, or paying more for a high-quality swing with a long-lasting material like Sunbrella.

Any suggestions for my poor, pathetic swing?


4 Comments on These pathetic garden swings: what to do?

  1. LOL, I just picked up one of these metal swings from my neighbor who was throwing it out. The canopy is useless and the seats are ripped, but I’m just sure that I can salvage it somehow. There is someone in MS that makes a wood seat to replace the fabric. I like the idea of using bamboo for the canopy….hmmm Still searching for ideas!

  2. lil_gaucha // April 8, 2008 at 10:22 am // Reply

    My neighbors made a new shade from that bamboo screen stuff you can get at the hardware store. They strapped it down with zip ties. (they’re yard has a tropical theme, though, so it doesn’t look completely out of place).

  3. Check out these guys – they might be able to help.
    I can’t remember where I came across them, but they are redoing our patio chairs right now.
    http://www.patioguysinc.com/

  4. My daughter in laws swing lasted one summer. Says a lot for the quality of those things.
    I say recycled the metal and buy a large umbrella with a really sturdy cast iron base. Then you can move the shade where ever you wish. But remember to buy a velco strap to wind around the umbrella so the wind doesn’t open it back up during a storm. Mine ended up on the roof twice buefore I got smart!!!

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