How to Make a Rope Hammock

This guide shows how to make a hammock, including how to do the knots, the rows and more.

| May/June 1982

There are few experiences more restful than relaxing on a summer's afternoon — while the sun bakes well-being into your soul — in the cradling arms of a good hammock. Of course, the swinging lounges can be very expensive. But, if you can scrounge some 10 to 20 hours of work time and about $20 for materials, you might well be able to tie a netted slumber nest of your own.

Materials to Make a Hammock

To make a one-person hammock, you'll need about two pounds (three, if you want a two-person sling) of seine twine, No. 40 to No. 46, two metal rings 2 to 3 inches in diameter (use welded steel or brass), two hardwood support bars measuring 1-1/2-by-1-1/2-by-33 inches each (make them 48 inches long for the double hammock); a smooth gauge stick that's about 3/4-by-1-1/2-by-12 inches and a netting shuttle.

Then find yourself a comfortable spot with a handy hook, nail or knob to hang your work on, and begin.

Casting a Hammock

You'll first want to cut a 3-foot length of twine, and square-knot its ends together. This is called the starter loop. Hang it from that handy nail or knob, then wind the netting shuttle full of twine and tie the free end of the shuttle cord to the starter loop, using an overhand knot.

Next, take the gauge stick in your left hand (unless you're a southpaw, in which case, simply reverse all the directions given here), and place it behind the shuttle cord, right up against the starter loop. Draw the shuttle up in back of the stick, pass it through the starter loop, then bring it back down in front of the stick. Pull the twine taut, and pinch it against the stick with your left thumb to hold it in place.

Raise the shuttle again — still in front of the stick — and make a half hitch around both strands of the starter loop. Now, pull the twine down in front of the gauge stick, letting go with your left thumb and tightening the half hitch as you do so. Congratulations, you've just completed your first cast-on "stitch!"

12/6/2007 1:21:13 PM

I have a question to those who have already done this model, how far away does each loop need to be? when i did 20 snug loops as instructed above, it only covered about 3 I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong here.

4/26/2007 1:58:13 PM

Hi Andrew. If you still haven't figured out where the pictures are for this page, look at the very top of this page...There is a picture of a woman and a hammock. When you click on this picture, it takes you to a new page showing all the figures talked about in the article. Hope this helps.

4/10/2007 8:51:01 PM

There are no figures displayed along with this article. I've a bag full of cord, finally found a shuttle, and another 6 weeks to create my hammock for my travels on the road! SOS. Does anyone know where these pictures have gone??

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