Do It Yourself: How To Make Your Own Hammock With Macreme

Patio and porch furniture for relaxation at home: Instructions, tips and supply list for building a homemade hammock.

There are several different ways that you can make your own hammock and macramé is one of them. It doesn't take many supplies to make a macramé hammock, just two poles for the ends, macramé cording and some strong rope to hang the hammock. You can use two tree branches cut to about five feet long. They should be about 3 inches in diameter and should be straight and strong. The rope you use should be hemp, jute or cotton, but should hold a knot without letting it slip. Nylon rope is not recommended for this particular project, since it does allow the knots to slide or come undone easily. Allow at least 1400 yards of rope for macramé. This should allow enough rope leftover to braid and tie on the hammock for hanging. Hang one of the branches flat against a wall or secured piece of plywood, slightly higher than eye level, parallel to the floor. Secure two eye bolts into the plywood and hang the pole by two ropes, one tied to each end of the pole. Cut the cord for the hammock into 40 pieces, each one being 32 yards in length. Fasten each string, at its midpoint, to the pole. To do this, fold each cord in half and slide the folded side underneath the branch and back to the front, pushing the long ends of the cord down through the loop, and tighten. All of these rope pieces will entangle easily, so roll each one into a ball, leaving a length with which to wrap around the ball. Do this to each length of rope, after it has been tied on to the pole. When finished with this process, you should have 40 loops or 80 strands, evenly spaced across the middle three feet of the pole. Leave a foot on each end of the pole.

The square knot is an easy knot to tie and is dependable and safe for tying hammocks. Grab the first 4 strings on the left end of the pole. Separate the two outer cords from the two inner cords. For easier directions, we'll call the far left rope "1", the far right one, "2", and the two middle strings, "3". Take cord 2 and place it over the number 3 strings, under the number 3 strings, then out and over the number 2 string. Keep the number 3 strings straight and pull the number 1 and number 2 cords up into a tight knot. Finish the knot by taking the number 1 cord and run it under the number 3 cords. Thread the number 2 cord under the number 1 cord, over the number 3 cords, then under the number 1 cord. Pull the number 1 and number 2 cords up tightly as you keep the number 3 cords straight and taut. After finishing these steps, move to the next double cord and repeat the process, until you've done all 40 cords. Follow the same instructions with the next set of knots, but skip the first cord, starting with the second set of strands. You'll make the bed of the hammock about 5 to 7 feet long, but no more than that, or your hammock will sink severely in the middle while you're in it.

When your hammock is the size you want, finish by tying all 80 strings around the second branch. Tie a third row of knots up from the bottom of the hammock and tie the cord to the top branch. Hang the bottom pole parallel to the last row of knots so it can be tied to the hammock. Tie the pole to the top crosspiece with extra cord so that the second staff is parallel to the floor. Fasten the body of the hammock to the second pole by using a half hitch. Start by laying the pole across all of the cords, and then bring the first cord on the right, up from underneath, around the pole and back down to the right side of the cord. Bring the cord up from underneath and over the pole again, this time placing it to the left of the main cord and thread it down through the loop you have just formed. Draw the main part of the cord taut, pulling down. Go to the next cord and repeat the process until you've knotted all of the strings. Now anchor the cords of the bed to the second pole by using the square knot once again. Grab the first four cords on the left and tie two square knots, one after the other. Then tie two knots in the next four cords, and continue knotting four at a time until finished. You can suspend your hammock from eye bolts set into two trees or you can purchase poles for holding your hammock. Make sure that whatever method you use for suspending the hammock, it will hold the weight of at least 2 people. You don't have to hang your hammock out in the yard, though. You can purchase the poles and set the hammock on the deck or front porch.



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