How to Make a Replacement Swing Canopy

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Patio swings or gliders with a built-in canopy are popular outdoor furniture pieces, especially for homes that don’t have a covered porch. The attached canopy helps provide welcome shade when sitting on the swing. However, many of these swing canopies from big box stores aren’t made with the best fabric, and after a season or two out in the sun they start to fade and rip. Today, we’re going to show you how to sew a replacement canopy for your swing or glider.

Making your own swing canopy replacement will let you use materials with better longevity and UV protection than what you could buy pre-made at the store, plus you can customize the style and give your swing a new look. For the fabric, we recommend using a durable outdoor fabric. A marine fabric like Surlast or Sunbrella Marine Grade will last the longest. If you want stripes, Sunbrella Awning fabric is a great choice. Or for a fabric with a little more style, Sunbrella Upholstery Fabric can’t be beat. All of these options are sure to stay vibrant in the sun and will offer you protection from UV rays.

To make a replacement canopy, you’ll want to remove the original canopy from the frame (if it’s available) and pattern the new fabric from the old. If that’s not possible, you could follow a similar design to the one shown in the video and take measurements directly from the canopy frame.

In this video, you’ll learn how to pattern the canopy; create pockets, sleeves and valances; and install the binding.

 

Materials List:

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Swing and Canopy Before

All of the materials you need, including excellent, weather resistant fabrics are available at www.sailrite.com.

Have you ever made your own canopy or something similar? Share you ideas and advice in the comments!

4 comments
  1. Randi Ziring said:

    Great post on fabric choices. I am new to outdoor DIY and considering hand sewing an awning for my pergola. I know big challenge. Of course UV protection is important as is fabric strength. We are near a bay with a southern exposure. Lots of sun. I don’t want to install an retractable awning. I was envisioning swells of fabric blowing in the breeze anchored by fishing lores,shells or stones. Any suggestions or helpful hints.

    • Nikki said:

      Hi Randi,

      The properties of Sunbrella fabrics would make them a really great choice for your pergola top. Here’s a link where you can learn more about the different Sunbrella lines: http://www.sailrite.com/Sunbrella-Brand-Fabrics. If you want the most protection, I’d go with Sunbrella Awning or Marine Grade. If you prefer a more fluid look, I’d recommend Sunbrella Sheer or Shadow.

      Good luck on your project, we’d love to see photos when it’s done!

  2. Susan said:

    Thank you so much for this very clear and concise instruction video. I now have courage to carry out this redo and have my in laws canopy back in place for the fall weather ahead. The materials necessary was very helpful considering we live in Florida. Susan

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