String or cord hammocks look complex, but are based on a very simple concept. Every hammock is made up of rows of loops, tied with half-hitches to the rows above and below them. Provided you can tie a half hitch — formed by simply wrapping the rope entirely around the previous loop and tucking it beneath itself — and have a couple hundred feet of string on hand, you can make your own hammock in an afternoon.

Swinging in a hammock is a relaxing way to sleep outside.

Step 1

Tie a three-foot piece of rope in a loop and hang it over a nail in the wall or a doorknob.

Step 2

Load a netting shuttle with thick string, wrapping the string around it until it becomes almost too large to work with. Cut off the free end and tie it to the bottom of the loop of rope.

Step 3

Hold a stick horizontally just beneath the loop, behind the string. Wrap the string around the stick once so the shuttle hangs down in front. Secure the string against the stick with your thumb while tying it in a half-hitch around the rope loop. Pull the knot down tight against the stick, with the shuttle hanging in front once again.

Step 4

Continue the wrapping and half-hitching until you have twenty loops of string evenly spaced along the length of the stick. Carefully remove the stick and flip the row of string loops over so the shuttle is on the left side again.

Step 5

Hold the stick under the row of loops. Wrap and tie another row as before, but performing each half-hitch around the corresponding loop from the first row, rather than the rope starter loop. This will begin to create the famous hammock diamond pattern.

Step 6

Continue this process, flipping the hammock over at the end of each row and working from right to left again, until you have 54 rows. Whenever you empty your shuttle, reload it with another length of string, tie the free end to the string you were just working with and proceed.

Step 7

Cut the rope loop and remove it from the string hammock. Cut 40 pieces of string, each 50 inches long, and tie one to each of the loops on the two ends of the hammock. Drill 20 holes, evenly spaced, through a 33-inch square hardwood rod and thread the strings at one end of the hammock through them. Do the same with another rod at the opposite end. Tie the free ends of the strings at each end through a steel ring and hang as desired.