The best way to enjoy a summer day is curled up in a roomy hammock with a good book and some cold lemonade, right?
Well, if you have the book and the lemonade, we give you two ways to make your own hammock!
1. The Easy Method
If you’re not interested in building a traditional hammock from scraps, you’ll discover that almost any blanket, sheet, or even big towel can be transformed into an impromptu hammock.
For this, you’ll need a sheet, blanket or towel that’s big and strong enough to support your body size and weight. You’ll also need some durable rope. The rope will be used to suspend the hammock from the anchor points, so make sure to measure the spot before deciding on the length.
Finally, you’ll need two anchor points, which can be anything from hooks mounted in walls, pillars, columns, or even trees.
Now, to make the hammock, follow these steps:
- Bunch up the sheet/blanket and tie it into a knot at each end.
- Use the rope to tie it to each end of the sheet (right under the first knot). Make sure to use a knot that will support your weight!
- Tie the other end of the rope to the anchor points
- Relax and enjoy!
2. The More Complex Method
Now, if you’re looking to create your own DIY hammock, you need to be prepared to invest in the right tools and materials. Also, the project may take some time, so make sure to clear your schedule.
For this DIY hammock, you’ll need the following tools and materials:
- Sewing machine
- Two spreader bars (made from two 1×2 wooden bars)
- Measuring tape
- Power drill
- Manual sander
- Rope – you’ll need durable strands that can be weaved together to support the hammock. You have to decide on the length since this will be used to support the hammock.
- Two metallic rings (large) – which will connect the ropes to the anchoring hook
- Durable fabric – again, you decide the kind of fabric you want, but if you’ll install the hammock outdoors, it’s best to select one that’s resistant to the elements.
- Batting – from a material of your choice
- Bias tape
- Now, here’s how to use all these to make your very own hammock:
Make the Spreaders
Start with the spreader bars and cut them to the desired length. Keep in mind that these will be used at either end of the hammock to support the fabric and lead the clue lines (made out of rope).
Once the bars are cut to the desired length, mark one inch from the end, and then mark every 2.5 inches from there. For each mark you make, you will use the power drill to drill a hole (these will be used to feed the clue lines through the spreader bar).
The holes should be drilled on the narrow side of the bar. Next, sand both bars smooth and put the bars aside.
The Suspension System
Move on towards making the suspension system. For this, you’ll need the ropes and one metallic ring. To know the length of rope you’ll need, get the ideal hanging measurements for your hammock. Next, count the holes on your spreader.
Now divide the number of holes on the spreader by two and multiply the ideal rope length with two.
So, if your spreader has 12 holes, this means you’ll need 6 pieces of rope, each two times longer than the length you need for the ideal suspension conditions.
Take one piece of rope, fold it in half so you have a loop at one end, and feed the loop through the ring. Next, tie the rope to the ring by feeding the other end through the loop, over the ring.
This way, the rope will be tightly secured to the ring, on the loop end and the two strands on the other end will be free.
Repeat this process with each length of rope until you go through all of them. Once you finish with one ring, repeat the entire process for the other one.
Prepare the Fabric
Trim the fabric to the size you want the bed to be, but make sure to cut a slight curve to both ends to create a concave shape. The result should be two pieces of fabric, of the same size and curvature, which will represent the top and the bottom side of the hammock.
Once you have the two pieces, lay one of them on a flat surface (with the wrong side facing up) and pin bias tape on three of the sides.
Next, place the other piece of fabric on top of the first one (wrong side down this time) and make sure the corners are aligned (the bias tape should be sandwiched inside the two pieces of fabric). Once everything is in place, use a sewing machine to sew together the three sides lined with bias tape.
Use the side that remains open to stuff batting inside the hammock casing. This should be a thin layer that provides cushioning and support. When this is done, pin bias tape along this end as well and sew everything together.
Now, you have the three elements that make the hammock:
- The spreaders
- The clue lines (the two rings with the attached rope)
- The bed of the hammock
Start by lining the spreader bars over the ends of the hammock bed. Use the holes you drilled in each bar to mark spots on the hammock bed (use a marker or a pencil).
For each marker, cut a hole in the fabric and hammer grommets to reinforce the fabric. To this for both ends.
Next, prepare to connect the bed to the spreader bar by feeding the ropes through the holes drilled in the bar and through the holes in the bed fabric.
Here are the steps:
- Lay one of the rings on a flat surface and spread out the ropes
- Place the spreader bar at the end of the ropes
- Place the hammock bed right next to the spreader, with one of the ends
- Take one rope, feed it through the first hole in the spreader bar and the first hole in the hammock bed
- Do the same with the second rope, but through the second hole in the spreader and bed
- Tie the ends together and burn the ends of the rope to avoid any untangling
- Repeat the last two steps for all the ropes
Keep in mind, the ropes need to support the bar and the hammock in a horizontal position when the entire structure is hung in a vertical plane.
Repeat the entire process for the other end of the hammock.
Now, your hammock should be ready to be hung on a stand or between two trees!