Recycle Old Patio Swing Chair Into New Wooden One

Does this look familiar?

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Cost of Supplies: $45-$50 (worth it because wood lasts a lot longer than fabric!)

Build Time: 2-3 hours


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I see them everywhere…old ripped-up patio swing chairs sitting in people’s yards.  These swings still have a good frame, but the fabric is all rotted away and the swing can’t be used anymore.  Most people keep them around for a while with the assumption that SOMEDAY they will order a new fabric cover for the swing…but then it’s forgotten and eventually the whole frame is thrown away.

I had two of my own rotted-out swing chairs just laying around waiting to be disposed of until one day I decided to fix em up myself!  A wooden swing looks just as good (if not better) and lasts a lot longer than a fabric one does!

(By the way, I ended up selling the swing in the above pic for $120 on craigslist.  That’s a $70 profit for just a couple hours work!)  Think of all the extra money you could make by doing people favors by taking their ‘junk’ swings off of their hands for free, fixing them up, and selling them for a profit!  Cha Ching! 😉


  • Self tapping screws (I used 1 1/2 in long screws but since the metal piping on these frames vary in size, you may want to measure what length you’ll need to screw through wood into frame)
  • 2x4s (I used ten 5ft 3in 2x4s but each swing chair will vary)
  • High quality outdoor spray paint
  • Stain or paint for wood


  • Chop Saw
  • Hand Drill w/drill bits
  • Sander

Remove any old fabric


Spray paint the frame


Measure and cut 2x4s

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Sand edges of 2x4s and then paint or stain

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Space 2x4s out on bench

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Drill tiny pilot holes where your screws will be, making sure to drill through the wood and into the metal tubing.

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Pilot hole: a small hole drilled as a guide for the insertion of a nail or screw, or for the drilling of a larger hole.

When drilling the pilot hole, make sure the drill bit is slightly SMALLER around than the screws you will be using

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Now it’s time to drill countersink holes about halfway into the wood, so that when the self tapping screws are drilled in, the top of the screw will sit below the surface of the wood and penetrate the metal tubing.

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When countersinking, make sure the drill bit you use is at least the same size around or larger as the head of the screw that you are using

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These are self tapping screws

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Drill your self tapping screws into the wood where you drilled the pilot and countersink holes.

As you can see, the screws are all countersunk into the wood and penetrating into the metal tubing.



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35 Responses to Recycle Old Patio Swing Chair Into New Wooden One

  1. kirk says:

    Thanks for the swing rebuild

  2. Stuart says:

    What do you use for the middle of the swing for the seat to support the weight of people? A Metal brace? I don’t see any mention of it.

    • Tee says:

      If you use 2x3s or 2x4s the wood is thick enough to support the weight without a brace…if you use anything thinner like a 1×4, the wood will bend and won’t support the weight very well.

  3. Julia says:

    Love your idea and have a “patient” waiting for this treatment outside.
    Slightly confused though: You used 2x4s and 1 1/2 in long screws . And these screws were long enough to go through the wood and into the metal pipe? How deep are the countersink holes?

  4. Stephen Bliley says:

    I thought to do this yesterday. Would there be more support of I laid the 2×4’s front to back instead of left to right? Would it weaken the metal frame?

    • Tee says:

      Hi Stephen! Unless you use anything thinner, I have found that the 2x4s are really sturdy and don’t really need any bracing. If you are still concerned, I don’t see why it would be a problem to lay the 2x4s front to back. You would have to do a lot more cutting and screwing, but it would give it a different look and be just as cute! If you decide to do this I’d love to see a pic 😉

      • Stephen Bliley says:

        I decided to use steel angle iron to cross brace front to back. I’m using four of those and then going to lay premium deck boards down. The boards are thinner and already rounded at the edge. I’ll post a picture when I’m done. It was good too see that someone had also thought of this, since I was looking for a picture of a completed one.

  5. Stephen Bliley says:

    I want to share my pictures with you. I finished mine. Just waiting for the boards to dry and then stain it.

  6. Rhonda says:

    I have a swing that lays down flat that the cushions rotted away . I always wanted to fix it with would . I just never knew how to and your instructions are going to help me so much . Thank you.

  7. kevin says:

    Can we use 2* 6 instead of 2*4 , Or that 2*4 are better ?

  8. Aimee says:

    Finished ours! It looks awesome! Thanks for the idea!

  9. Xiomara says:

    What you used in your wood to color it

  10. Roger says:

    Thanks. I was hoping to find someone who tried this. I thought this would work was wasn’t sure how to make it happen. Any ideas for the sun shade?

    • Tee says:

      You know I’ve thought about adding a sun shade but just never did it…as long as there is a shade structure above the swing chair (some don’t have this), I’m sure it would be just as easy to lay and screw in some 1x4s onto the top…

  11. Kim says:

    I have an old swing frame that I just couldn’t throw out in hopes I would figure out some way of making a new seat for it. Saw your post a while back and “WOW!”
    Perfect!! I dug out my swing frame, cut off the ripped canvas, gathered my boards and I’m ready to go!!!! Thank you so much for posting this!!!! Can’t wait to get men finished!!!


  12. Cindy says:

    Your swing looks great and we are going to try out your method. I was wondering if your screws go all the way through the metal pipe or just the top layer. I have seen some that use a bolt that goes through with a nut on the back. I would like to avoid this if it will work without going all the way through.

    • Tee says:

      Hi Cindy!
      I wanted a clean without having to worry about nuts and bolts, so I purchased self tapping screws that only went through the top layer. Hope that helps!

  13. Nicole says:

    Is there a center support

  14. Yvonne says:

    We have two swings but they have fancy curly que under arm bar. Has anyone got suggestion on how we get the boards screwed in with these in the way. They are welded from frame to arm rest with spot welds. They look nice would like to keep but how do we fit in boards and screw them?

  15. Linda Coyer says:

    I currently have two swings that were used in my pool area. I’m moving into an apartment and have offered the larger swing to my neighbor, so she will refurbish it for her yard; with the assistance of your web site. I’m taking the smaller one with me to use on my patio area at my new location. Thank you for showing us how to make this happen and make two friends very happy.

    • Tee says:

      Hi Linda,

      I’m so happy you and your friend found my post helpful! It’s such a shame to waist the whole swing when the frame is still good…enjoy your new swings!

  16. Sierra Juhl says:

    Do you think that using a 2×4 in the center from front to back screwed into the metal frame under the swing seat would work as a support? Just worried over time the wood will bend and warp with no support in the middle at all.

    • Tee says:

      Hi Sierra,

      Sure, I don’t see why not! You could even just make all of your planks go front to back and not worry about doing a brace if you wanted. The planks would definitely be a lot shorter and stronger going this way 🙂

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