Can you think of anything more relaxing than lounging in a hammock and soaking up delicious Vitamin D with a mimosa in hand? There's just something so calming about gently swaying in a hammock. In fact, studies have shown that the subtle rocking motion helps lull us to sleep, making for some of the best, most rejuvenating naps we can experience. With just a few simple steps, you can construct your own rope hammock.
What Type of Rope Should You Use?
Cotton—it's breathable and oh-so-soft. A big benefit of this type of rope is that it's lightweight and contours to the shape of your body very well. However, it comes with a couple of downsides. It's not the most durable material and doesn't dry quickly when wet. If you plan to use this hammock sparingly in areas where it won't be exposed to water, then cotton could be a good choice. Otherwise, you might want to consider other options.
If you plan to use your hammock more often, polyester rope might be a better option. Known for being mold and mildew resistant, it's especially great if you plan to leave it outside on your patio.
When it comes to the premium choice, paracord hammocks are top tier. Paracord is the most durable rope material available, and it seems to have it all. Real paracord is made of seven strong nylon cords, with each cord made up of several smaller woven strands. Sometimes referred to as a "550 cord," it has a combined breaking strength of 550 pounds. It's designed for heavy-duty use, dries quickly when wet and is mold and mildew resistant – all while providing a soft, flexible feel. It touts the best of both worlds, making it the preferred material choice for those who want a long-lasting hammock they can take with them anywhere. Plus, paracord is available in multiple colors and versions, making it great for adding that personal touch.
Rope Hammock Instructions
Since paracord is the top recommended material for rope hammocks, these instructions are tailored for this material type. These instructions can, however, be easily substituted with the rope material of your choice. Depending on the thickness of your rope and the design chosen, the number of rows may vary.
Tie the rope in a loop around a solid object such as a doorknob or branch. Load the netting shuttle with 550 paracord and cut off the excess from the coil. Tie the end of the loaded cord to the rope.
Hold the gauge stick horizontally beneath the loop, behind the cord. Wind the shuttle around the stick, pulling it up through the loop and down to the right side. Secure the rope here with your thumb while tying a half-hitch around the base of the loop, making it snug against the upper surface of the stick.
Continue tying such loops in a series along the length of the stick until you reach a total of 20. Turn the project over so the shuttle is on the left side once again and remove the stick. Thread a dowel through the loops to hold them evenly. Position the gauge stick below the loops and behind the shuttle as before. Create a second row, tying the half-hitches around each of the loops from the first row rather than around the rope. Continue making rows in this manner until you reach a total of 54. Reload the shuttle whenever you run out of paracord.
Cut the starting rope and remove it from your hammock, as well as the supporting dowel and the gauge stick. Measure and cut 40 pieces of cord, each 50 inches long. Tie 20 to the loops at the head of the hammock and 20 at the foot. Drill 20 evenly spaced holes along the length of both wood bars and thread the end cords through them. Tie the loose ends to metal rings, one at each end.
Make two braids, each of three strands of cord, and cut the braid to a length 3 inches shorter than the fully extended hammock. Thread the braids in and out of the loops along the long outside edges of the hammock and through the endmost holes in the spreader bars. Knot them off to hold the braids in place. Hang the hammock as desired.
Emily Vasquez is a Tampa-based freelance writer and creative copywriter. She has written for publications such as Martha Stewart Living, and has worked with brands like Ashley Furniture HomeStore and Chewy. A graduate of University of South Florida with a B.A. in Professional Writing and Rhetoric, she loves writing about all things home, travel, food and lifestyle.