Introduction: Eno Camping Hammock DIY Knock-Off

Picture of Eno Camping Hammock DIY Knock-Off

Camping is one of my all-time favorite pastimes. Growing up in Colorado, this meant long family drives to national parks with a pop-up camper in tow or treks into the mountains for weekend backpacking adventures, with surrounding views of the Rocky Mountains.

In Florida, most camping I've found is far from those picturesque peaks --overcrowded campgrounds full of satellite-tv-equipped trailers are peppered along alligator-ridden rivers--but the Sunshine State also has a beautiful network of spoil islands. These small, vacant refuges are accessible only by boat and are free for the nightly mischief of camping. One of my first times to the islands, my friend Rani and I canoed out with a boat full of firewood, beer, vegetables wrapped in foil for fire cooking, and the other trappings of camp life. While I was setting up the tent, Rani quickly hung up two super-cool Eno camping hammocks she had bought for the occasion.

The evening was spent laughing and telling scary stories while we swayed in our hammocks, and I knew that I wanted a comfy hanging bed of my own for return trips. Upon seeing the $65 price for an Eno Double-Nest Hammock like Rani had, I decided to see if I could make one for less.These instructions are suitable for anyone who can use a sewing machine to sew lines that are mostly straight. This is an easy DIY project and my total cost was around $25 (the fabric was on sale, yay yay yay). I'm sorry to say that I get bored of sewing rather quickly, so I make a lot of lazy shortcuts. Luckily this is a very forgiving project.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

Tools:

- Sewing Machine

- Scissors

- Ruler

- Lighter

- A book in your favorite book size

Materials:

- 3.5 yards rip-stop nylon in main color (green)

- 3.25 yards rip-stop nylon in accent color (blue)

- 6 feet AmSteel Blue rope

- 2 carabiners with an adequate working load

- Glue Stick

- Thread (regular all-purpose works fine)

- Nylon webbing as needed to attach your hammock to trees (optional)

- Elastic headband (optional)

Real Eno hammocks are made with a nylon that is thinner, wrinklier, and can pack down a bit smaller than rip-stop nylon, but my local fabric store does not carry a wide variety of outdoor fabrics. They do have a half-dozen or so colors of rip-stop.I found AmSteel Blue rope, nylon webbing, and carabiners at a nearby boating supply store.

Step 2: Sewing the Body of the Hammock

Picture of Sewing the Body of the Hammock

Cut a quarter yard off the end of the green nylon so that it is 3.25 yards long.

Cut two 14.5" pieces out of the blue nylon so that you have two 14.5" x 3.25 yard pieces.

Sew one of the blue nylon strips to a side of the green hammock body. I found it easiest to sew the raggedy edges of the nylon together with a 1" seam allowance and then trim the seam allowance to 1/2" after sewing.

Instead of pinning the fabric together, it was easier to guide the nylon with my hands. It glides easily into place and saves a lot of time. This is a really forgiving project visually, so I took some lazy-person shortcuts.

To make sure the hammock is durable and looks super classy, I used flat-felled seams to attach the blue and green nylon. They look really complicated but are actually really easy, so don't get nervous if you are new to sewing! Everyone will be impressed with your seemingly incredible skills.

After sewing a blue side strip to the hammock body and trimming the seam allowance to 1/2", it's time to start flat-felling the seam. Trim the green side of the seam to 1/4" inch the entire length of the seam. Then, fold the wider side of the seam allowance (blue) down over the trimmed side (green) so that the edge of the wider side meets the seam.

Because ironing nylon like is a big melty no-no, I used a glue stick to help keep the fabric from unfolding.

Open the fabric out flat and lay the folded seam flat down onto the fabric so that you can see the stitches of the seam and all the raw edges are tucked away inside the fold. Sew the seam down along the folded edge.

Repeat on the other side of the main hammock body with the other blue strip of nylon.

Step 3: Adding a Storage Pocket

Picture of Adding a Storage Pocket

Rani's Eno hammock has a neat little pocket attached to the outside edge. It serves as a container for the hammock and is a handy spot to stash a phone or small flashlight at night. While the pocket might be large enough to fit a mass-market paperback, I don't think it is large enough to fit the trade paperbacks. I decided to make my pocket larger to accommodate the books I like to read.

To make the pocket, cut a square of each fabric to be 11" x 11". Hem one side of one of the squares--whichever color you wand to be the front of the pocket--by folding the edge down 1/4", then folding again 1/4" to hide the raw edge. Sew along the inner folded edge.

Using a zig-zag stitch, sew the bottom and side edges of the pocket squares together with a generous seam allowance. Leave the top hemmed edge open. Trim the fabric to just outside of the zig-zag stitch, but leave the excess fabric on the open end of the pocket. Turn the pocket inside-out.

Hem one outer edge of the hammock by folding the edge down 1/4", then folding again 1/4" to hide the raw edge just like we did on the pocket. With the nylon, it is pretty easy to roll the edge of the fabric over with one hand while guiding the fabric into the machine with the other. This eliminates the need for pinning the fabric beforehand while still giving a consistent hem.

To hem the other hammock edge, first find the halfway point on the long side of the hammock by folding in half. Mark this with a pin. Lay the hammock out flat and place the pocket centered with this pin. Now stick a pin in the hammock at the front edge of the pocket--this will give you a reminder when you are sewing the hem to sew in the pocket as well. Remove your center-marking pin. Hem this edge of the hammock just like the other side, but when you get to the pocket-reminder-pin, slip the un-hemmed fabric from the top of the pocket into the hammock hem and sew it in. Finish sewing the rest of the hem like normal.

Step 4: Rope Channels and Hanging

Picture of Rope Channels and Hanging

To make rope channels at each end of the hammock, fold down the raw edge of the fabric about 1" or so. Next, generously fold the edge down about 2", trapping the raw edge inside. Sew along the fold inside the hammock three times in a row to make sure the rope channels are extra strong. This is the stitched part of the hammock that is will bear the most stress. Repeat on the other end.

Cut your rope into two equal lengths and burn the ends of the rope to keep it from unraveling. Attach each rope to a carabiner with a cow hitch knot by folding a length of rope in half, feeding the looped end through the carabiner, and pulling the ends of the rope through the loop.

Feed one end of the rope through a rope channel on the hammock, scrunching the nylon as you go until it all fits on the rope and you have enough of the rope end to work with. Tie the two ends of the rope together using a double fisherman's knot (look at that picture, because I cannot even being to use words to explain that rope-mess).

This is a self-locking knot and is very, very strong. Pull the nylon so that the knot is safely hidden in the middle of the rope channel and your carabiner hangs centered above the hammock.

You are done! The whole hammock can scrunch up and fit inside the pocket. I carry along a dollar-store black elastic headband to wrap around the whole thing and keep it secure.

The hammock can be hung like any other hammock. When I am home, I simply hook the carabiners into metal screw eyes that are sticking out of my trees, but out camping I tie a loop at both ends of a strip of webbing, loop it around a tree, and hook onto that.

I hope you enjoy dilly-dallying outside in your new hammock!

Comments

BennettJ3 (author)2017-07-11

I made the hammock! I'm definitely willing to send pictures once I get it hung up. A quick question. I was connecting with an outdoors professional about design, and I tried their recommendation of running a channel all the way around the hammock for more support when sitting on it. However, :/ once I completed it, I realized that with this design it is more of a gear hang sling as it collapsed in on itself (does not spread out like a mattress or flat-panel), but folds in. Any tips? I'm also a bit confused about the different lengths between the two colors. Thanks!

emilygraceking (author)BennettJ32017-07-12

Hi Bennett! This hammock is not intended to be a flat panel type and should fold in on itself like a cocoon for your body. The different lengths of fabric were a result of a measuring error on the part of the store that cut my fabric; after sewing the strips together, I cut the ends to be the same length before sewing the channels for the rope.

Pintaka Riwa (author)2016-05-02

this is so inspiring me! thanks dude huehue

CheriC2 (author)2015-08-09

I have a question, why did you do the two colors and extra seam? Is there a strength advantage or just to resemble the ENO? I have an ENO and am not sure the extra seam and edge does much for it. Actually I think the colors were more a matter of a cheap way not to waste material as they were essentially working on selling to the festival crowds.

Nuonaton (author)2015-08-08

Neat!

wolowskim (author)2015-08-05

How tall are you? Is the hammock plenty long enough for tall people? Thanks!

RayH3 (author)2015-06-10

I'm going to try this in the coming weeks! Do you think it would be possible to sew a channel into the storage bag so that you could use a length of cord as a cinch?

emilygraceking (author)RayH32015-06-16

Absolutely! You will have to alter the way you attach the pouch to the hammock in order for the channel to end up at the top of the pocket, but it is definitely possible. If you figure out the best way to do that, I would love to see your process.

CosmicBrambleclaw (author)2015-06-02

possibly going camping at a friend's farm in a couple weeks, definately going to try to make this by then :D

JonettaD (author)2014-12-11

I have a quick question, when you cut the two 14 inch blue pieces, you should have extra fabric left over correct? I just want to make sure I am measuring this correctly before I make any mistakes. Also, if there is extra fabric what is it used for and does your hammock fold up and fit into the pocket you made to put the book in, or did you make an extra little bag?

emilygraceking (author)JonettaD2014-12-11

Yes, there is extra fabric left after cutting the blue strips. You can use the excess fabric for another project. The hammock does fit into the book pocket all scrunched up--I stuff it in the pocket, which is a generous size for the hammock, and wind an elastic headband around the bundle to keep it in place.

JonettaD (author)emilygraceking2014-12-12

Ok awesome thank you so much! Also, would it be possible to use paracord instead of Amsteel blue cord? I think it will work, but I can't find the Amsteel Blue cord unfortunately.

emilygraceking (author)JonettaD2015-01-21

Sorry for the delayed response. Some people do use paracord for hammocks, but paracord does stretch so it can be difficult to get the right height for your hammock.

etolar (author)2014-12-11

Ok thanks so much! I'll try to take a picture and put it on here if I get it to work out.

etolar (author)2014-12-10

Ok, but assuming I am using an old parachute to make this, and I don't know how wide your bolt of fabric was. Approximately how wide is this?

emilygraceking (author)etolar2014-12-10

That sounds super cool! I would love to see a picture when you finish. The green fabric is approximately 60 inches wide before sewing.

etolar (author)2014-12-09

I may have missed it, but what is the width of your main piece of nylon (the green)?

emilygraceking (author)etolar2014-12-10

The width of the green nylon is just the standard, off-the-bolt width.

josephdgarfield (author)2014-10-16

Awesome Instructable!!! Thanks for sharing and I love your witty commentary! I don't have a sewing machine or sewing skills but I can see how if I did this would be doable by following your instructions.

Darthorso (author)2014-09-03

Congratulations on your #mikehacks winning! :D

emilygraceking (author)Darthorso2014-09-04

Thanks! Congrats to your great hack as well.

Darthorso (author)emilygraceking2014-09-04

Yay! :D

IamGutter (author)2014-09-04

Congrats on your win! I really need to improve my sewing skills and this would be a great project to get that done. Plus, who doesn't love a hammock?!?

emilygraceking (author)IamGutter2014-09-04

Thank you so much! If you can sew a straight-ish line on your sewing machine, you can make this hammock--no fancy-pants skills needed! I would love to see how your hammock turns out if you get around to making one.

BikeHacker (author)2014-09-03

Love the puppy pic!

TrollFaceTheMan (author)2014-08-30

I love Puppies Q_Q

jessyratfink (author)2014-07-25

I love this!! Especially the fact that you made the pocket bigger to accommodate a book :D

You are so kind! In my opinion books are the second most important ingredient to successful hammocking.

What's the first?

The hammock of course!

I figured it was but didn't want to assume. Thought maybe the hammock was a given and a margarita was next. :) Had to ask.

Oh, that is a good point. Margaritas can tie for third with a good cup of tea.

justbennett (author)2014-07-28

Gilead was really a good book.

I was given Gilead as a wedding gift (we "registered" for guest's beloved books) and adore it. Such a lovely novel.

A_Zombie_Killer (author)2014-07-28

Great Job!

hdmotorc (author)2014-07-27

Nothing better than sleeping in a DIY hammock.

BLR_RAVI (author)2014-07-25

very nice..and well written..useful indeed

emilygraceking (author)BLR_RAVI2014-07-25

Thank you!

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Bio: Quirky gifts, colorful paintings, detailed drawings, silly graphics--I do it all.
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