How to Make an Outdoor Hammock How to Make an Outdoor Hammock

When I think of an outdoor hammock, I think of warm days on a beach vacation. With this idea in mind, I began a personal quest to find such a hammock for my own backyard to de-stress in. Unfortunately, I found myself unsatisfied with what I found commercially available. Sure, stores carry hammocks, but they are all made of harsh nylon materials with a rough edge, held together by straps and Velcro. They simply aren’t what I remember having in simpler times, and are nothing I would want to take a nap in. The creative in me wanted to give it a go as a DIY project.

This article features two techniques for making an outdoor hammock to put in your own yard. The first technique is a bit more complex, featuring grommets and ropes to keep it hanging in the air, while the second method is more simplistic and perfect for the traveling relaxer.

The Grommet Method

A pile of gold grommets on a white cloth.

What you’ll need:

  • 6x9 fabric drop cloth
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric hole punch tool
  • Package of fabric grommets
  • Rope
  • O-ring/carabiner

Step 1 - Begin this DIY by adding grommets to your fabric. Along its shortest edge, fold once, and sew in a line, reinforcing its strength.

Step 2 - Starting an inch from the edge, use a fabric hole punch tool to poke a series of holes, and place grommets in the spaces created.

Step 3 - Repeat this process on the opposite end of the fabric.

Step 4 - Now that your holes are secured, it's time to add rope elements that will let the project suspend in the air. After tying a knot in one end, weave your rope in an over-and-under pattern, leaving slack in every other set. It's this slack which will be bound together and hung at the completion of the project.

Step 5 - After doing the above step on the other side of your fabric, bunch the excess rope from every other grommet, and bind them using a carabiner or an o-ring. Your hammock is now ready for relaxation.

The Bungee Cord Method

A gray cord.

This second method of crafting an outdoor hammock mirrors the first in that it is sewn. However, it utilizes a drawstring method, making it is both easier to create and easier to take on the go.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 large pieces of fabric (in contrasting colors)
  • Elastic cord
  • Sewing Machine

Step 1 -Take two large pieces of fabric and sew them together back-to-back along their edges to make seams. For a professional look, turn it inside out after sewing, as one would if making a pillowcase, hiding the excess material. Sew along the final edge. (This DIY is really interesting in that if each fabric is a different color, what will become the inside and outside of the hammock will be drastically different, adding a cool design element to the project.)

Step 2 - Here we will reinforce the seam. It's always smart for safety purposes to reinforce the seams to ensure they won't break or loosen under weight. In this case, sew along the edges once more.

Step 3 - At each end, fold an inch of fabric and once again sew along the seams. This will form a channel in which your elastic cord will travel through.

Step 4 - As mentioned, run your elastic through each end's channel and tie it with a knot. To relax in your new hammock, simply fasten each end to a tall standing (and sturdy) object and relish in your creativity.

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