Learning how to make a hammock is an awesome skill that will impress anyone you tell about it. A hammock is one of the oldest solutions when it comes to finding a place to sleep and is said to have numerous health benefits, being able to help provide just the right amount of support for the back and give you a much deeper and more restorative sleep.
And it’s incredible to think that all this is possible with just one very simple piece of fabric, tied between two points.
Of course one of the reasons that hammocks have been around for so long is that they’re so simple to construct, meaning that they could be made without modern manufacturing techniques. So, in theory, they shouldn’t be too hard to build on your own.
Let’s look at how you can go about making your own DIY hammock….
Essentially, making a hammock is going to mean taking a piece of fabric and tying it around two trees. If you had fabric that was long enough, you could really turn anything into a hammock this way.
But for it to be a really suitable option for sleeping and camping, you’re going to need to ensure that the material you choose is strong enough to be able to hold your weight – otherwise, it could tear in the night and leave you with a sore buttock and nasty wake-up call!
When manufacturers make anything like a hammock, they will always make sure that it is able to hold significantly more weight than it would need to be able to hold in theory. Otherwise, it should be able to hold someone much heavier than you!
A good choice is a canvas if you can buy a large amount – and this is what is traditionally used in nautical hammocks! Of course, a lot of people will also want their hammocks to look the part, in which case you should try and pick a material that is attractive and probably that uses some kind of pattern.
Take your fabric and cut it, you will normally want to cut around 225cm by 128cm, which should give enough room for you to sleep on. If you’re trying to be professional about it, then you can sew up the seams as well by turning them in and sewing them down.
Of course, you can’t really just tie your hammock around the tree or you’ll be left with a piece of wound up fabric that will be nearly impossible to climb into! So instead, you’re going to need some way to attach your fabric and what we recommend is that you either use a spreader bar (slightly easier) or you use grommets.
If you use a spreader bar, this will be the easier option but it won’t be as comfortable for sleeping or as versatile. This simply requires you to fold the end back on itself and to sew it down (making sure to use a very strong stitch that won’t come undone under your weight!).
Now you should feed the piece of wood through (you might need to carve this yourself) and then do the same at the other end. This will give you a flat piece of canvas and you can actually tie that at both ends to your tree – especially if you cut a groove of some sort into the ends of the sticks and then wrap the rope around those to prevent it from moving!
Using grommets is a slightly more complex method but it will also give you a more traditional hammock design that will wrap around you when you lie in it to give you a comfortable night’s sleep and prevent you from falling out in the night!
Mark a number of evenly spaced holes where you’ll insert your grommets. We recommend about 20 if you’re going to use the measurements we recommended. Now punch the grommets into place along those marks. You’ll now be able to braid the rope into a harness and the most common type of knot is the clew knot – you can look this up yourself!
From there, it’s a simple matter to attach your hammock via the harness (essentially a large loop). This is the best method for a DIY camping hammock as it will allow you to fold the hammock up small and stow away.
And if you were ever on a desert island, you could do this with large leaves. Although that would probably never work unless your name is Bear Grylls.
You can make your own makeshift hammock straps or use any kind of material to wrap your hammock around the tree – while being careful not to damage the bark.
But it’s usually better to invest in a real hammock strap for this part (check our reviews out here). It’s not cheating, seeing as you still make the actual hammock itself! Alternatively, you could always use a little more fabric.
You can also look into adding more additional features like mosquito nets, pockets or canopies. You can also think about buying yourself a hammock stand in order to show off your hammock creation to all your guests!
Now obviously you can also make your own DIY hammock stand too and if you have any skill with woodwork or with welding, then that’s probably going to be the easy part!
You know what though? It’s definitely going to be easier and give you a lot more option if you try one of our recommended hammock stands. And while you’re at it, why not check out our hammock reviews too?
Sure, it can be fun to make your own hammock but if you want something really beautiful, really reliable or really practical then the professionals tend to do it best. And as you’ll see, they’re actually surprisingly affordable!
Note: if you do make your own hammock then make sure not to hang it too high up for risk of falling and injuring yourself!