Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Step by Step DIY Hammock

We've been talking about making a hammock for the deck since last summer, and this week we finally got around to it. Below are the full instructions for those of you who want to give the project a shot.

What You'll Need:
2.5 to 3 yards of heavy canvas fabric
Grommet tool and at least 20 grommets
2 hardwood beams 1.25 inches thick x 2 inches wide x length of your hammock's width
Drill & 1/2 inch drill bit
100 feet of quarter inch cotton rope
2 large metal "O" rings

Step 1: Select a fabric
I choose a very heavy weight canvas fabric and bought 3 yards. We knew that ours would go under a covered porch, so I did not worry about waterproof fabric, but if yours will go outside in the open, check out the outdoor upholstery fabrics. Make sure it is extremely durable and heavy duty to handle all the weight it will support.

Step 2: Sew the ends
I folded the ends over 2.5" inches and ironed them to keep the fold down before folding them over a second time. I ironed again, then sewed the hem. The double fold has two advantages: 1) it creates a stronger edge for the grommets that will eventually be added, and 2) folding over twice hides the rough edge of the fabric. You can also add a separate strip of sturdy fabric or even board inside the hem for additional reinforcement.

The side with the showing fold will be the bottom of your hammock. I did not sew the length of the fabric because it had finished selvage edges and was already about the right width for a hammock.

Step 3: Measure and mark grommet holes
I wanted to use 11 grommets on each end, so I made my measurements to ensure even spacing, then marked the grommet locations with a marker on the bottom side of the hammock fabric.

Step 4: Cut holes for grommets
The simple grommet tool I bought couldn't cut through three layers of canvas, so instead I cut the holes myself with an Xacto knife. The holes will be covered by grommets, so they don't have to be perfect.

Step 5: Add grommets
Follow the instructions that come with your grommet tool to add your grommets or - even better - watch this YouTube video. Setting grommets is not difficult, but I found the quick tutorial to be very helpful. Use grommets with a 1/2" center hole or larger.

Grommets have front and back sides, so make sure you are placing them correctly on your hammock.

Step 6: Make your wood beams
The wood beams threaded through the string at either end of your hammock keep it open so as not to close on you like a cocoon when you get in.

Cut two hardwood beams to the length of your hammock ends and drill 1/2" holes in the beam to match up with your grommet spacing. The thickness of the beam should be at least an inch, but the width is up  to you. Most hammocks have a beam that is somewhere around 2-5" wide. We sanded the beam after cutting and applied a few coats of polyurethane for protection.

Step 7: Add the hammock string
We chose to make a board with hooks to string our hammock because it makes the process easier, but you can string without a board. Simply find a hook or knob that your O ring can hang on as you loop the string, and secure your hammock fabric to the ground with books or other heavy objects so it does not move while you're threading the string through the grommets.

To start, cut your string into two 50' pieces, then set your hammock fabric on the ground, right side up, and place your wood beam with 1/2" holes on top of the grommets. Again, the weaving is not complicated, but it is easier to watch a video. We used the one below. The only thing we did different is instead of just looping the string on the board hooks, we looped it through our hammock grommets and wood beam on each pass as well (see my pictures below for a better visual on this).

Here are a few pics of our weaving process:

Step 8: Weaving the string
This step is optional. You can leave your string loose on the ring, or tie a smaller piece of string around the bunch to hold it together. Josh wanted to get fancy, and was excited about the weaving tutorial in the video shared above, so we decided to give it a shot. Again, check out the video for full instructions.

When your weaving is complete, remove the string, fabric, and ring from the board, then repeat the process on the other end of your hammock.

Step 9: Hang the hammock
We screwed two a heavy duty hooks into the beams on our deck, then hung the O ring on the hooks. Use heavy duty chain and a carabiner to add length if necessary.

Step 10: Enjoy!


  1. I love this! Your step-by-step guide is so helpful and well done.

    Years ago we had a hammock from Pawleys Island located in a spot where I could watch the sun set over the mountains near us.

  2. Thanks for the clear instructions--Looks very comfy, good job!

  3. You should sell hammocks on your Etsy site! Your hammock looks really good!

  4. this. is. AWESOME!! The husband has been wanting a hammock for forEVER... this would be a "do-able" project for him and the boys. :)

    And I agree with "anonymous" -- you *should* sell these on your Etsy site. (I guess that would be, depending on the time/cost involved....)

    { Pinned to Pinterest ... }

  5. Oh Claire that's amazing! The braiding on that rope is just awesome!

  6. Thanks for the kind words Jane, Carol, Anonymous, Teresa, & Marie! Now that we have the board we may make a few more for gifts for friends and family.

    Jane - Your old hammock spot sounds wonderful!

    Teresa - So glad this may be helpful for your husband & kids! It really doesn't take too long - can be finished in an afternoon.

  7. Jan-- The old hammock location looks amazing!

  8. Hi,
    I love your blog.
    be amazed at your home.
    I dreamed of being a host to a day like this.:))

  9. This is a great tutorial! :) I am "halfway" through with the project, using your instructions. I need to get an O-Ring, so now I'm sitting here itching to finish and can't! :/ I'll definitely build the jig, as it looks like it really helps with the overall construction.

    Thanks for the detailed instructions!!!!

  10. I tried this project and unfortunately 50 feet of rope per side was not enough, ended up using twice as much.. Great tutorial though

  11. What kind of thread is best to use?

  12. This is great! Really detailed and helpful. How much fabric would you need to make a double hammock? And how much longer would the wooden beams be and how much more rope would you need with that change?

  13. Brilliant. Very descriptive, fantastic images & video. Looks fantastic & so easy.

  14. خدمات منزلية جيدة تحل لك الكثير من المشاكل المنزلية التي تكون مزعجة لكم مثل تسريبات المياه التي تظهر بالحوائط والاسقف وتحتاج الي
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام تكون متخصصة للحصول علي سبب التسريب بدون تكسير وتخريب فالتعامل مع
    شركة كشف تسربات بالدمام لديها خبرة كبيرة في التعامل مع مثل هذه الاشياء فهذا يحدث مع شركة ركن البيت التي تكون متخصصة في مثل هذه المجالات في السعودية لدينا اشهر المدن التي نقدم بها الخدمة وهي الرياض التي يمكنك التواصل معها من خلال شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض والتي تصل بكم الي قمة الاعمال في مثل هذه الخدمات فلدينا في شركة كشف تسربات بالرياض اهم الفنين والاجهزة الحديثة التي تساعدنا علي انجاز هذه المهام فمن الان لا تقلق بشأن التسربات التي توجد بالمباني الخاص لانك سوف تحصل علي خدمة جيدة

  15. I love this idea! I was thinking that an easier way might be to use 2 Curtains that have large grommets already. I would cut some of the bottom of each curtain off, then stitch them together at the bottoms.

  16. Prime Garden Quilted Fabric Hammock from Bizarkdeal

    This hammock is quite amazing. It is very easy to install and it comes with the chains to hang it up. This is a 13 foot quilted double fabric hammock. The bed length of 6 foot by 6 inches and the width is 4 foot by 6 inches. This is a two person hammock the maximum weight capacity is 450 pounds. It is super super durable and very comfortable to lay in. You have plenty of room to lay comfortably. It does have a matching pillow that comes with it that you can attach easily to the wooden bar that's attached to the hammock itself. This will be the perfect spot to relax after a long day. I could fall asleep so easily in this super comfortable hammock. It is a lovely hammock and really brought life to the corner of my yard. I am so pleased with my comfortable prime garden quilted fabric hammock.

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  18. Thank you for sharing this! The way you laid it out was easy to follow! I got my material at https://www.canvasetc.com/product-category/denier-fabrics-synthetic/ plus they offered 10% off at checkout for new customers.

  19. Hello, What type of thread should I use that will be durable for a hammock? Thanks!

  20. شركة "العالمية" لخدمات الكشف عن تسربات المياه وإصلاحها بحفر الباطن, لدينا أفضل المتخصصين والفنيون المحترفون القادرين على إعطاؤك كامل الدعم بسرعة عالية ولديهم القدرة على التعامل مع جميع مستويات كشف تسربات المياه ومشاكلها وإصلاحها بدقة عالية, يستطيع طاقمنا معرفة موقع التسربات سواء كانت التسربات داخل أو خارج المنزل, سواء كان التسرب ناتج عن إنفجار خطوط الأنابيب الرئيسية خارج المنزل أو داخلهِ, أو كان التسرب ناتجاً عن تسرب الصنابير أو خطوط إمدادات المياه من الأنابيب الداخلية ويمكن التعامل بمنتهى السهول وإتخاذ الإجراء الملائم والمناسب لمشكلتك, نحن في
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بمكة نقدم لك أفضل الخدمات إصلاح وتغيير وإستبدال جميع الأجزاء التالفة, سواء كانت هذه الأجزاء خاصة بالمطبخ أو الحمام أو الحديقة ويتم إيقاف تسرب المياه.
    ِشركة كشف تسربات بمكة

    الدليل السعودي للإعلانات

  21. Great tutorial, thanks! Ive been practicing the clew knot and have used 50’ pieces. The total length is approximately 3’ from the O ring to the grommets, and i only have enough for 8 strands...9 if i pull the cord more taut. What is the length of yours? Should i make mine shorter, or use a longer cord? Thank you...also, what brand seeing machine do you use for heavy fabrics?