Instant Hammock




About: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output devices. His detailed drawings of traditional Pacific...

Here's how to make a hammock in a minute from a sheet or any big piece of cloth.
It's the simplest method from my "Instant Hammock" article in Make Magazine Issue #9.
I used the program "Avd Video Processor" to make these animated gifs from video.

Now on Know How! Click on the steps above for more details.

Do you like this Instructable? Digg it!. Then check out episodes one, two, four, five, six, and

First bunch up the ends and tie knots in them as shown.
If you don't have much cloth, are skilled with rope, or don't care if you fall you can skip this step.

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Step 1: Tie a Rope to Each End With a Lark's Head Knot

just like this, or tie whatever knot you like best.
If you don't fall it means you did it right.

Step 2: Hang It Up, Get In, and Relax

In utter comfort.
Rachael Norman Demonstrates.
For extra coziness pull the hammock around you like a coccoon.

Step 3: Hammock Workstation for Large Drawings

Saul Griffith uses an instant hammock at MITERS to work on large drawings for a kite he's making.

Step 4: Danielle Smith Triangular Hammock

Danielle rigged up this swell triangular hammock in her yard in Austin TX.
It's a bedspread tied at the corners to three trees.
Her offspring Rhett Applestone gets his relax on.

Step 5: Non Instant Traditional Maya Hammock

In case you'd like to make an elaborate Maya style hammock, here are some notes from 2001.
You should probably buy a hammock to look at (and rest in) before attempting to make your own.

Lauro lives at the entrance to Bahias de Punta Soliman in the Yucatan, Mexico.
He weaves hammocks to pass the time. Here he is at work.
He's using a netting needle just the same as the fishermen use to mend their nets.
The string is thin hammock string which is sold in fabric and hardware stores there.

Step 6: Lauro's Loom

The wooden frame is held together with wedges so he can change what size of hammock he makes. Also so he can remove the hammock from it when it's done.

Step 7: Starting the Hammock

To start out he winds about half the string needed to make the hammock at the top of the loom at 'a'.
Let's call that the "warp" string, although technically he's "twining" rather than "weaving" and it probably has a different official name.
Then he loads up his netting needle with string and starts to wind it around the first two strands of warp string as shown.

Step 8: The Pattern Continues

Wrap another turn of warp thread around the frame and go around and around it with your netting needle. The drawing is a little ambiguous (and rough). It's supposed to look like going around and around, not any other sort of more complicated pattern.

There are many styles of hammock. This style gets you the most hammock for the least string. There are some where you wind your string around three or more warp strings at a time rather than the two shown here.

Step 9: Finishing the Hammock

There are lots of ways to finish a hammock, this is how Lauro did it.
The strings at the very edge are important. If they break it's easy to fall out of the hammock. And hard to get comfortable.

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    101 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I love hammocks. I think they are incredibly comfortable, and I enjoy several of them in my home. I take note of the ideas shown here.

    Thank you for sharing


    Reply 2 years ago

    I've found a king size sheet is a good size for an adult. Your local thrift store has used sheets in fun patterns for cheap, just give em a good wash.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I just found this type of thing on Youtube and tried it between two trees in my yard with a fitted sheet (non-fitted is best though) and some cheap Wally World rope rated at 120lbs. We had three people in there at one time and it held just fine. Lots of weight and it worked wonderfully.

    Going to bye a non-fitted sheet to make it better and probably some stronger rope, just to be safe. Now if only I could find an easy way to set this up inside the house. hmm


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Make a hammock stand:

    ...or put some lag eyes into a couple of studs. Though that might be a little extreme.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    If I were to gather and speculate, I'd figure that was 3-4 yards of fabric... the knots could take up about a 1/2 yard each, depending on how thick the fabric is.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Never mind my parents won't allow this in my room, (they don't want holes in the walls) never the less I made it at a friends house, in his backyard of course.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    build a stand to hang it from


    4 years ago on Introduction

    How do I secure the hammock to my bed room wall.


    Reply 5 years ago

    you could take a zip tie a section of a bit like tying a knot and then put your rope over the zip tie. I haven't tried it but it should work.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    You should try some nylon material, or somethin similar. It doesn't weight much and is very strong.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    If you use a constrictor knot you can skip the knot in the end of the sheet.


    6 years ago

    What's the best material for one? I used a sheet and it ripped and I used a tarp and it was about to rip and I jumped out.

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I'm 220lbs and I used a sheet with no problem. But it was cotton and in live in a humid wet area. I then used a polyester table clothe. It's lighter and takes up much less space when hiking. And it doesn't get saturated like cotton.


    6 years ago on Step 2

    I love this hammock -but- how long should it be for my 7' or other hammock stand? I can't figure out the proportions for length of fabric to the hooks for the stand...