Relaxing in a hammock offers a quality way to enjoy the great outdoors. Suspended in air, the swaying motion is soothing and puts you right to sleep.
A DIY hammock that you create yourself — maybe out of recycled, everyday materials you already have laying around — could be more fulfilling than buying readymade. A comfy DIY hammock is also easy to make.
If you’ve come this far, you’ve likely decided you’re going to try and build a hammock. Let’s explore some options and get ideas for where to start.
Important Details to Consider When Building a hammock
Before you can build a DIY hammock, you have to consider the details of how you intend to use it, where you will use it, and what you will use to make it.
Hammock Height and Size
Before you start, you have to determine the hammock height and size. That isn’t always easy to do, but you can figure it out pretty quickly if you stick to a few fundamentals.
Hammocks are usually between 9 and 15 feet in length (off the shelf), so that is a good range for your DIY planning as well. The width of a hammock is customarily between 4 and 10 feet, depending on if it’s for one or more sleepers. Wider hammocks are suited for more people to enjoy at once.
But even a wide hammock is fine for one individual to use.
Hammocks need anchors at either end, so you need to measure that distance first if you plan to fit one into a predetermined space between two trees. The best hammock size for any span is one that is just about a foot shorter than the space where it’s going to hang.
So if you have two trees that are 12 feet apart, an 11-foot hammock would be ideal. Ideally, a hammock will be about 18 to 24 inches off the ground when it is unoccupied.
Types of Materials to Use
You could use almost anything to design a DIY hammock.
When it comes to the sleeping surface of a hammock, as long as it is stretchy, can bear your weight, and is lightweight, anything will do. Some favorite hammock sleeping surfaces are canvas, drop cloths, rope, ripstop nylon, and even towels or blankets.
Once you have a sleeping surface in mind, you’ll have to figure out how to fasten it to a stand, post, or tree at each end. That will take some ingenuity, but the materials you can consider are common and readily available. Ropes, chains, clotheslines, carabiners, eye bolts, or paracord are all favorite materials for store-bought and homemade hammocks.
Keep in mind that hammocks aren’t really designed to be permanent. So if your design doesn’t incorporate clips, snaps, or hooks, good knot-tying skills will be essential.
If you don’t have trees, poles, or a stand, consider making a DIY hammock stand.
Hammock Uses and Purposes
Hammocks are a favorite of campers for their easy setup and the ability to let you sleep outdoors. But they are also a fun and relaxing diversion near your backyard pool or on your patio. Read a book and relax as you rock on the breeze.
But hammocks also serve some purposes that go beyond pure relaxation. If you’re sleeping in the elements, you don’t want to be on the ground where it may be wet, dirty, or packed with insects and critters. Getting up off the ground is essential for outdoor sleeping.
And hammocks are usually easy to fold or roll up and bring with you on an adventure. With the addition of a tarp overhead, you can remain protected from the rain or even light snow. Just make sure you pack your sleeping bag to keep you warm.
- Think outside of the box when it comes to DIY hammock design. Make it work for you and your surroundings.
- Keep it simple. The more complicated your design, the more difficult any repairs will be.
- Stay light. If you are traveling with or planning to move your hammock around, the last thing you want is something bulky and heavy. Light, portable, foldable, and water-resistant are good traits in a hammock.
Free Hammock Plans to Consider
DIY Simple Canvas Hammock
Martha Stewart offers this simple canvas hammock fashioned entirely from materials you can buy at your local hardware store. You’ll need two sturdy trees and a sewing machine to build it, but with a canvas drop cloth, some grommets, rope, and O-rings, you can be swinging and relaxing in no time at all.
DIY Ripstop Nylon Hammock
Ripstop nylon is a common material in jackets, sails, and kites. This build also requires a sewing machine, but it is easy to make without much sewing experience. The hardest part may be sourcing a few yards of ripstop nylon. But once you have your nylon and some paracord, you can build a supremely lightweight hammock with its own storage bag too.
DIY Hanging Dock Hammock Plans
If you’re located on the water, there is likely a dock nearby. By taking advantage of the standard design features of a simple dock, this design will suspend you over your favorite body of water with nothing else below you. You will need some lumber, carriage bolts, nuts, and washers to complete the design. And for the construction, you’ll need a circular saw, impact driver, and reciprocating saw.
DIY Hammock Chair
Sometimes you might not want a full-size hammock. Maybe you just want to swing and read a book or enjoy a view. If you don’t want to fully recline in your DIY hammock, this hammock chair is ideal. All you need is a sturdy piece of wood, some fabric suitable for the outdoors, a bit of rope, and a single carabiner.
Related Post: Hammock Chairs
DIY Beach Towel Hammock
Beach towels are perfect for adding a splash of design to your DIY hammock. They are usually bright colored and fade resistant, so adding them to the palette can turn a drab DIY project into a work of art. You will need a sewing machine, additional canvas, zip ties, and strapping made of leather, nylon, or canvas, to pull off this design.
This DIY hammock swing will also require you to build a hammock stand. The directions are straightforward, and completing the work will bring years of hammock swinging to your backyard. Designed more for upright rocking than supine sleeping, this is not a travel hammock. Instead, this project will build a permanent relaxation station for your home.
DIY Lazy Day Hammock
This hammock is a little bit tricky to make as it requires some good, knot tying skills. But with a little bit of patience, rope, a few other common materials, and a sewing machine, you can have your very own hammock. This design also shows you how to incorporate some trim or lace as a fringe.
DIY Baby Hammock Swing
If you want to bring the relaxation of a hammock into your baby’s life, this design is perfect.
It is simple, durable, and easy to make with household tools and materials. It’s not only cute, but a few minutes of the soothing, rocking motion will help put your baby to sleep.
DIY Multicolor Rope Hammock
This design uses two different colored ropes to fashion a modern hammock between wooden dowels. The design requires a lot of rope weaving, but the end result is a stylish, modern, 2-tone hammock that is sturdy, light, and perfect for hanging out.
DIY Double Layer Hammock
This is one of my favorite DIY hammock designs. Its double-layer construction is stronger and less failure prone than a single-ply design. It will accommodate a pad between the layers for comfort, or you can nestle yourself between them to avoid mosquitoes and other creepy crawlies.
DIY Deluxe Hammock System
Gear heads, get ready. Here’s one for you. This DIY camping hammock is infinitely customizable, relatively inexpensive, and offers a really cool look, but it can be time consuming to construct one.
The result is awesome, but the designer is upfront explaining that it took him many hours to make it. This project might be better for the winter before your camping trip, as opposed to the morning of that trip to the mountains.
DIY Canvas Hammock
This canvas hammock is a no-frills option. You will need a sewing machine, rope, and grommets to complete it, but when it’s done, it is a classic hammock design, and its simplicity is elegant.
DIY Quick Hammock Tree Straps
If you already have the makings of a hammock, the hard part could be figuring out how to mount it to posts, trees, or a stand. With this quick tutorial, you can turn a few dollars’ worth of materials into a set of tree straps. And when you’re done, you can either reuse an old hammock or fashion your new DIY hammock.
DIY Fabric Hammock
This DIY hammock is one of the easiest to make, but it does require a sewing machine. Suppose you have some leftover fabric from another project. In that case, the only other thing you will need is a couple of tree straps (easily fashioned from sturdy webbing) and a couple of carabiners. Old backpack straps might work well as repurposed webbing.
DIY Navy Hammock Plans
Hammocks are part of the history for the naval service. Sailors could easily take down and stow a hammock during their daily work details. But when it was time to sleep, they could quickly deploy and hang a hammock. Now you can enjoy a traditional, World War II-style navy hammock. It’s up to you if you want to rock on the sea or in your backyard or campground.
DIY Beginner Hammock
This video tutorial will teach you how to make a cheap hammock that stows away easily. It will fit into a small space when secured, so it is very portable. And the video is a quick watch — only six minutes long.
DIY Hammock Tarps and Extreme Hammock
This is a hammock build that’s suitable for outdoor use even in the winter. It features multiple layers, quilting, and a hardcore design intended to keep you warm even in extreme conditions.