Hang Your Hammock Indoors




About: I'm working towards a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering. This year I'll be transferring to a university to finish the last two years of my degree. I've been accepted to the engineering program at Ca...

Ok, guys, so I like hammocks. A lot. You should know this from my other instructable. For the last few years I've been sleeping in someone else's bed, which was cool, but I got kicked out and found myself sans bed. I've since been sleeping on my camping stuff in my own place. It's not so bad, it's a small room and a whole bed would take up way too much space anyway, the camping stuff I can fold out of the way futon-style. I like to imagine I'll have people hang out here sometime, and the extra space is/would be nice. Recently I thought about building a frame to hang my hammock in, since that would take up far less space than a bed and be way comfortable, but then the landlady gave me the go-ahead to hang it right from the walls. Nice! This afternoon I made these hangers and got my hammock all strung up. Here I'll show you what I did to achieve this without just screwing a big fat lag hook into the wall.

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Step 1: Gather Materials

We're going to build a couple of wood plates with a hook on them, which we'll screw into the top plate and/or studs in a normal stick-framed wall. The reason for this is because I don't want to put a 5/8" hole in the wall, and it will give me the option of fastening this to two studs in the wall if I want to hang it lower.

First, do some homework. If you're into engineering like me, you should be able to estimate pretty well what kind of loads you'll be putting on these hooks and design accordingly. If you're not, or if you just like to play with online calculators, use this to see what you'll need for hook ratings (it's interesting to note that depending on how the hammock is hung, a 200 lb person can put over 1000 lbs of tension on the lines! Wow!) I found that lag hooks rated at 250 lbs would be sufficient for me.

You'll need:
2 lag hooks (you could also use eye-bolts, but you'll need something like a load-bearing carabiner to fasten the hammock to these)
2 pieces of 2x4 (or something similar) around 2 feet long
some 3.5" (or more) drywall screws
a snack (optional)
wood finish of your choice (also optional)
Probably also a hammock, and some tools. Something with which to cut your lumber, drive the screws into the wall, and drill pilot holes for your lag hooks (bonus points if you do it all with the same tool!)

Step 2: Prepare Lumber

We'll need to cut the 2x4s down to size and drill pilot holes.

Start by cutting the 2x4s down to size. Around 20" sounds good...

Then drill pilot holes for the lag hooks. Some of you might want to measure and make them perfectly centered, but I just eye-balled them. Don't drill them too big, or the threads won't grab. I used a bit just slightly smaller than the shaft of the hooks. You should do the same. I also did mine at an angle to be more co-linear with the force exerted by the hammock, and so that I could get more of the threads in contact with the wood.

Step 3: (optional) Dress Up the Lumber

I didn't want to just screw some boring 2x4s into the walls, even if they are "Top Choice" - it's time to get creative! I had some leftover wheatpaste from a school project (still in progress), and it's been forever since I've done any papier-mache (seriously, who didn't love  that stuff when they were a kid?!), so I decided to get down with some brown paper, coffee grounds, tea leaves, leaf leaves, and wheatpaste. Basically, I glued some compost pile onto the 2x4s. I think they turned out alright, you can put whatever you want on there. How about a paisley bandana or cool scrap-booking paper? Some flora from your locale? Or pictures of your cat, or of you camping in your hammock! Whatever, go nuts, it's your thing

Step 4: (also Optional) Wait for Stuff to Dry

If you painted, stained, lacquered, or wheatpasted your lumber you'll need to let it dry. Hey cool! It's a beautiful day, grab you snack (you have one, right?) and go chill in your hammock!

Step 5: Insert Lag Hooks, Install Hangers

Before you install your hangers (we're almost done! I promise!) you'll need to do some more figuring. Think about how high you'll want your hammock from the ground, and how far apart you want the ends of your hammock. You'll have to consider these two factors when you place your hangers, don't just stick them up on opposite sides of the room! They might end up being too far apart or too close together, or your hammock might hang too high for you to get in and out of comfortably. Having your hammock properly arranged with the right amount of sag will make the difference between the most comfort and less comfort.

So, do you have all that figured out? Got a good spot for your hangers? Good!  Screw your lag hooks into the hangers, making sure they don't stick all the way through the wood. Large pliers may be helpful here. Once everything looks good you're ready to screw in the hangers! I used about 6 or 7 screws per hanger, positioned up high so that the screws go into the top plate, or if you prefer, screw them into the studs. If you tap on your wall with a hammer you can feel where this is, or you can use a stud finder. Don't go overboard with the screws, too many will start to split and weaken the wood. Stagger them slightly if you can, rather than going in a row.

Step 6: Hang It Up!

Alright! You've made it this far, now sit back and enjoy your handiwork. Before you get all the way in your hammock, test it with your weight for a while to make sure nothing will break. I like to get underneath the hammock and hang like a sloth, just off the ground, so there's no great risk of falling too far. Once you're sure everything is copacetic go ahead and climb on in!

I realize this was kind of a quick and dirty project, and there are other ways of hanging your hammock indoors, but I wanted to share what I came up with. I didn't really want to get into suspension and hanging details, those are covered in my other hammock instructable and discussed ad nauseum at the Hammock Forums.I hope it helps! Thanks, and don't forget to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Also, thanks to the mass of people who helped get this thing featured! That's really cool, thanks guys! I'm glad you like it. Again, don't forget to vote for the laser challenge!

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    64 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Fantastic instructable! I have a couple of friends that this tutorial is going to come to them great. Thank you so much for sharing


    Reply 2 years ago

    Not OP, but as an avid Japanese learner and a guitar player... I'd have to say that looks more like a chord chart.


    2 years ago

    Very awesome! Can't wait to try!!!


    3 years ago

    I love hammocks. I have one that you sit in from Mexico. It hangs from a single point. Any idea how to hang it in the middle of a room?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I went to Venezuela in 1991 with a group of kids in a camper exchange program...
    Interestingly, all the hotel rooms we stayed in had metal anchor points for just this idea. (In addition to beds) I slept in a cotton hammock that I purchased there in the market for $20 USD. (It easily sleeps two, and I still use it to this day!)

    They were sort of a recessed metal box with a bar for tying or clipping into. (Obviously these were pro made by some company...)
    Most of the rooms had provisions for at least two hammocks, if not more!

    Something I like about your design: It seems that if you were in a rental, that your setup would cause minimal damage. (Nothing that a touch of Spackle couldn't cure)

    Is this the case?

    Great idea, thanks!!

    7 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    And another point of interest:
    I worked at Lowe's for almost 10 years in the Tools and Hardware Departments...
    Campbell (One of Lowe's suppliers for chain, cable, lag screws, etc.) intentionally leaves vast room for error in their "Working Capacity" limits, specifically for liability reasons.
    Where one chain might say "Max. 300 lbs", its breaking limit is actually somewhere around 1200lbs.
    I'm not by any means encouraging people to test this theory; however I know what I know, and have always used a good dose of common sense...

    The style lags you use in this instructable, however, usually are rated much lower, because of their "open nature" (That is its much easier to bend it open further than it is to break the metal)

    But definitely not in your case. I'd if anything, it would pull out of the wood before opening up under the weight of say, a 200 lb. man jumping on the hammock...

    Again, thanks for the idea! I'm going to do this, for the next time our friends with five kids comes to visit!

    HAL 9000eugarps

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Glad to hear that you'll give this a try, please let me know how it works out!

    Yes, I'm renting a room so I wanted to use a few drywall screws rather than put a 5/8" hole in the wall, but this design also distributes the load over a wider area. I did the math and figured I *probably* wouldn't be loading the hooks more than 250 lbs each, but I know that there's a safety factor figured into the ratings, so if I go a little over it won't break them. I'm actually more concerned about the screws failing in shear, but I'm trying to find more info on their capacities.

    mikecoughlinHAL 9000

    Reply 3 years ago

    Great simple solution for hanging a hammock indoors!

    However, I would highly recommend using something like deck screws and not drywall screws to hang the mounting plates. Drywall screws are not intended to support large loads and can break fairly easily. A full sheet of drywall only weighs 50 lbs or less and is held up with 50+ drywall screws.

    eugarpsHAL 9000

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction


    About screw capacities:

    I was in a position a few years ago where I needed to hack off some DECK screws (2 1/2") that were sticking out of wood. I tried a hacksaw, and got nowhere. I pulled out the recip. saw, and I'll be darned if it didn't take almost a minute to cut each one. (and totally spent my blade)

    Turns out, the metal underneath the coating was gold-colored. Hardened, Grade-8 like metal! I investigated at work with a vendor, and here's the gist of what he said:

    The longer decking screws (say, 2" and above) employ hardened steel to prevent shearing when driving that much screw into the wood. (ever try put a "trash" screw in wood with a drill, just to have the head "twist" right off?)

    Their diameters are generally slightly thicker, too. An 1 1/4" drywall screw might measure 8 ga. in diameter, while longer deck screws can be 9, 10 or even bigger - even more resistance for shearing...

    So, if you're looking for some bomb-proof shear resistance, swap out what you have for 2 1/2" deck screws.

    But personally, I think what you already have is more than sufficient!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    While there are safety factors figured into load capacities, failure begins long before a breaking point is reached. The cables will deform and stretch before actually "breaking". The capacities given are the maximum load without any failure. So, it's really a dumb idea to challenge those numbers..

    HAL 9000chuckyd

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    These hooks are rated at safe working load, not at the failure limit or breaking point. At any rate, I'm not coming very close to the working load limit. As for the "cables," they're actually dyneema (a trade name for ultra high molecular weight polyethylene  and rated at 5400 lb breaking strength, with incredibly low stretch even at 20% of breaking strength. More information about this stuff, including the effects of splicing and knotting, can be found at the Sampson Rope webpage.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    You can see the hammock hooks for sale at MercadoLibre.com (Latin American eBay) linking to: http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ve/MLV-408767849-hamacas-juego-de-visagras-para-guindarlas-_JM


    3 years ago

    Great to hear you are becoming an ME... I am a retired ME with 40+ years in the trade...


    3 years ago

    Great Idea, just beware, Continued use of an HAMMOCK, can make your Back M.D. a very happy & Rich person as well. Correcting CURVERTURE OF THE SPINE, IS NOT CHEAP TO REPAIR.

    However occasional use is perfectly fine. Good Luck

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    That's why you hang the hammock correctly and lay across it diagonally. Like a front sling for your arm, the diagonal about 30 degrees off is about flat if it's done correctly.

    People in south/central American countries sleep in hammocks their whole lives without excessive problems, it's actually more comfortable and more correct support than most beds.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Actually, there is a special way to lay in hammocks that is just as comfortable, and will keep you back perfectly safe:

    Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 9.34.00 a.m..png

    3 years ago

    Can this same method be used to hang a hanging chair from the ceiling? Thanks!


    4 years ago

    Thx for your instructable. It was a big source of inspiration! I used 3 inches bolts and the ring is rated for 400 pounds.

    Thx a lot
    If anyone have questions, feel free to ask !