Sew a Simple Hammock

Sew a Simple Hammock

Nothing says "relaxation" like a hammock. It's surprisingly easy to make your own, too. No sailor knot skills needed! 

Sunbrella fabric is rugged, weather-resistant, and comes in a wide array of colors and patterns. Decide how wide you want your hammock to be. Our Sunbrella ranges in width from 46 to 60 inches. Get three yards of Sunbrella to be sure you have enough length.

To sew a hammock, you will need:

  • 3 yards Sunbrella
  • sewing machine with heavy-duty needle
  • heavy-duty thread
  • about 50 feet of nylon rope, at least ⅜-inch thick
  • Sunbrella binding (optional)
  • straight pins
  • ruler, yardstick, or tape measure
  • chalk, marker, or fabric pencil
  • clothes iron
  • fabric scissors
  1. Decide how long you want your hammock to be. Measure your fabric carefully and cut it. 

  2. Set your iron to “synthetic.” Fold the long edge over ¼ inch and press carefully with the iron. Fold it over another ¼ inch, enclosing the fabric edge, and press again. You can add a few straight pins after pressing to hold the folded layers together. Repeat on the other long edge.
  3. Sew the folded fabric down. If you used pins, pull them out as you go so you don’t sew over the pins; you can break your needle that way.

OR: use Sunbrella binding to cover the long edges of the material. Using binding gives you the opportunity to coordinate or contrast with your hammock material. Fold the binding in half and press with iron.  Pin in place along the long edge of the material and stitch in place.

  1. Make casings for the ropes: Working on the short end of your material, fold it over ½ inch and press. Next, fold the short end over 1 inch and press. If the fabric wants to unfold, use straight pins every couple of inches to hold it. Repeat on the other short end of your fabric.

  2. Stitch your fold in place, sewing along the inside edge of your folded fabric, so that all layers of fabric are stitched through. Repeat on the other end. Don't sew too closely to the folded edge, or your casing will be too narrow for the rope. 

  3. Thread about 25 feet of rope through the casing on the hammock's end. Pull the rope so you have an equal length of rope on each side of the hammock. Repeat with a second length of rope on the hammock's other end. If the rope doesn't want to go through the casing, try running a large safety pin through the rope's end; the pin gives you something solid to pinch and pull through the fabric as you work the rope through the casing. 

If your boat has a wakeboard tower, you can hang your hammock on it. Wherever you choose to mount your nifty new hammock, be sure the supports can bear your weight. Be safe and have fun!