How to Make a Hammock Out of 550 Cord

Paracord, also known as 550 cord, was developed for use in parachutes during World War II, and is so named for its ability to hold loads of up to 550 pounds without snapping. The cord's extreme durability makes it perfect to use in making your own hammock. You can create a serviceable hammock by knotting together rows of small loops, until you have a net large enough to support yourself while taking a nap in the backyard.

Woman on hammock reading book
credit: Jupiterimages/ Images
Paracord is an ideal material for constructing a hammock.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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, snug against the upper surface of the stick.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

Make two braids, each of three strands of cord, and cut the braid to a length three 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.