Instead of purchasing a hammock, it is possible to learn how to make a rope hammock at home. There are several approaches to building a homemade hammock, but you can make your own with a little practice. Of course, you will also need the right materials so you can build a DIY hammock that will last for more than just a few weeks or months.
In this article, you will learn some basic and advanced techniques for making a hammock and a DIY hammock stand. If you follow the directions closely, you should have your own hammock setup in no time.
Step One: Get The Materials You Need
You have some choices to make before you start building your hammock. The first question is whether you want to make your hammock out of rope or cloth. If you prefer cloth, then you can either purchase new cloth from an arts and crafts store, or you can recycle an old bed sheet that you don’t plan to use anymore.
Either option can work well. Keep in mind, though, that cloth hammocks will not dry as quickly as rope hammocks.
That shouldn’t matter much if you just plan to hang out in your backyard or on the beach. Still, you probably wouldn’t want to take a cloth hammock on a long hiking camp unless you make it from nylon.
You will also need a gauge stick to make sure you keep your rope in order. A dowel rod works well, but you can use any straight stick that is light enough to maneuver with one hand.
If you plan to hang your hammock between two trees, poles, or other sturdy objects, then you will need sling straps. A good hammock suspension system is important to keeping you safe while you lounge. Don’t opt for cheap knockoffs that could fail. Doing so could mean that you fall to the ground mid-nap. That’s obviously an unpleasant way to wake up! Plus, some types of ground could cause you injury. Even if it’s a short drop, you do not want to fall on rocky terrain.
When buying sling straps, look for options that are made from poly-filament. This type of material won’t stretch when you get into the hammock. There are a lot of sling straps that are made from nylon.
While nylon is great for some things, it will not serve you as well as sling straps. Unfortunately, the material is too easy to stretch. That could mean that your hammock starts in the right position, but slowly sinks to the ground.
If you plan to make a hammock stand, then you will need several pieces of wood. To make a basic hammock stand, you should get:
- Two 8-foot 2X4 beams
- Two 6-foot 2X4 beams
- Two 4-foot 2X4 beams
You will also need some hardware, including:
- Four six-inch 3/8-inch bolts
- Eight 5.5-inch 3/8-inch bolts
- 12 3/8-inch tightening washers
- 14 3/8-inch washers
Of course, you will also need a circular saw and drill.
Once you have all of the items needed for your DIY hammock and stand, you can start the planning phase.
Step Two: Getting Started
When building a rope hammock, you will first need to make sure that you know how to make a good square knot. Practice using two pieces of spare rope. It’s a fairly easy knot once you get used to it, but it may take a few tries before you get it just right.
Once you know how to make a square knot, you’re ready to get started. Cut a piece of twine that is three feet long. Use the square knot to tie the ends together. Voila, you have just created the started loop that will help you make the rest of your hammock. Hang the starter loop from a handy doorknob (a steady tree branch or nail will also work).
Now, use an overhand knot to connect your shuttle cord to the starter loop. Find your gauge stick (the dowel rod) and put it behind the shuttle cord. The closer you can get it to the starter loop, the better your hammock will turn out. Loop the cord around the stick and pull it through the starter loop. Make sure you pull it taut so everything stays in place.
Now, pull the shuttle cord behind the starter loop and around in front of the stick to create a half hitch. Repeat this until you have 20 or so loops wrapped around the gauge stick. If you want to make a hammock for two people, then you should use 30 loops.
Once you have done this, you can make the first row of your hammock. You’ll need to pull out the gauge stick. Assuming that you have done the earlier steps correctly, it shouldn’t fall apart. Still, give it a little support with your free hand to prevent it from unraveling.
Here is where you really start to make a recognizable DIY hammock. At this point, you should have 20 nettles connected to each other at the top. What you need to do is weave the nettles together so you have a crisscross pattern that can support your weight easily. You’re essentially using the rope to make a net.
There are several different patterns that you can use to make a net. YouTube has a lot of useful videos that will show you patterns for different types of hammocks and nets. Most of them start the same way, they just take slightly different approaches to weaving the pieces together. Find one that seems easy to you.
No matter which one you choose, the process will feel a little difficult at first. By the time you reach the end, though, you will have the hang of it. After that, you can make your own rope hammock whenever you want. The second time is always faster than the first.
If you are making a stand, then you will need to cut the wood into the right right proportions. The moist important step is to cut one end of each six-foot beam so it has a 30 degree angle. It doesn’t have to be exactly 30 degrees, but you should try to get as close as possible.
Step Three: Finish The Job
Now it’s time to put everything together and finish the job. If you don’t need a stand, then you are already done. Just finish off the ends and attach them to sling straps. Congratulations! You just made your own hammock at home!
If you want to build a stand, then you still have some work ahead of you. Follow these steps to prepare the boards:
- Drill holes so the angled ends of the six-foot boards will connect with the five-foot boards.
- Position each five-foot beam to around the six-foot beams, making a kind of loose box.
- Connect the beams by adding the bolts and washers.
- Tighten the bolts and washers so the stand is sturdy.
- Build a base for the stand by attaching one four-foot board to each end of the five-foot beams.
If you’re a visual learner, then you may want to visit this site to get a better idea of how the pieces fit together.
Now you just need to add hooks to the stand and attach your hammock. If you’ve ever wondered how to hang a hammock indoors, this is a good option that won’t hurt your walls.
Step Four: Enjoy Your DIY Hammock
You have just finished building your own hammock. If you don’t know how to hang a hammock, then you will want to go outside and look for two sturdy trees that can support your weight. The sling straps will make it easy for you to see how to set up a hammock without hurting the tree.
Now that you know how to make a rope hammock, you will always have a comfortable way to relax. If you want to hang out in the backyard, then you may want a permanent hammock setup that will let you get in and out whenever you want. While it’s fine to leave the wooden stand outside, you should bring the rope hammock inside when it’s not in use. This will help protect it from rain, dew, and insects.
You can also use your hammock on the beach or in the woods. Once you know how to put up a hammock in a wide range of environments, you will feel prepared for any situation. That might mean spending the afternoon snoozing on the beach, or making a safe place to sleep during a night in the woods.
Since hammocks are inexpensive to build, you can always get more rope to practice making them quickly. That way, you won’t have to ever worry about whether you have a place to sleep. As long as you have some rope, you’re at home.