Hammocks are great for the backyard, camping, backpacking, when your pregnant and on bed rest, or for turning your large capacity vehicle (in our case our minivan) into a camping vessel, more on that in this post.
We make our own hammocks because:
- It’s cheap (i.e we can’t afford an ENO).
- You can customize the size.
- It’s easy!
There are two different methods we have used for making our own hammocks. Hammock 1 involves a sewing machine, Hammock 2 does not. I’ll cover both. No matter which method you choose, both types of hammocks require:
- A piece of fabric roughly 7+ feet long and at least 3 1/2 feet wide. You can get creative with the sizing. We’ve used sturdy cotton fabric as well as twin sized sheets from the thrift store. Note: make sure the sheet is fairly new, or it might rip through in the middle of the night when your sleeping above your sons head. Just trust me on that.
- Cord, rope or webbing. You’ll need about 2-3 feet for each side. You can buy scraps at REI for pretty cheap. We use tubular webbing or accessory cord.
Hammock 1: The Sewing Machine Method
Step 1: Lay out your fabric and fold the ‘shorter’ end over to make a 4-5 inch hem. You can pin this hem in place or just fold as you sew.
Step 2: Sew the hem using a straight stitch. Then go over the straight stitch with a zig-zag stitch for extra strength.
Step 3: After you have sewn both sides of the hammock thread your webbing through the hem. The easiest way to do this is to tape the webbing to a yard stick (or a fly swatter, that’s what we happened to have on hand) and push the webbing through the hem.
Step 4: Tie a knot in the webbing and repeat step 3 on the other side. Your hammock is ready.
Hammock 2: The No-sew Method
Note: For the No-sew hammock you will also need 3-4 feet of something like this 3mm utility cord.
Step 1: Fold over one of the ‘short’ ends of your fabric to make a 8 inch (non sewed) hem.
Step 2: About 2 inches from the edge of the hem, gather the fabric from both sides. Hold with your fist.
Step 3: Tie a loop with your cord, leaving a 3-4 inch tail (do this before you gather the fabric).
Step 4: Wrap the cord around the hammock where your fist is. Thread the end of the cord through the loop.
Step 5: Cinch the loop down and wrap the cord tightly around the hammock 3-4 times.
Step 6: Tie the two ends of the cord together using your favorite sturdy knot.
Step 7: Thread the webbing. You can thread it through by hand, or the easiest way is tape the webbing to a yard stick and push the webbing through the hem as seen in Hammock 1.
Step 8: Tie a knot in your webbing, repeat steps on the other side. Your hammock is ready.
Good luck. Let me know if you have questions. This tutorial was harder to write up than I thought, if all else fails follow the photos!