How to Make a Hammock Chair
Hammock chairs are the latest trend in casual, comfortable seating. Also called hanging chairs, they are stylish, relaxing and bring a bohemian, laid-back vibe to your home. The best part is, they're easy to DIY! Unlike traditional outdoor hammocks, these hammock chairs take up much less space so you can hang one in your living room, kid's room, porch or wherever you want to relax after a hard day's work. You can even hang one outside from a sturdy tree branch! In today's how-to blog, we're going to teach you how to make this stylish and fun hanging chair.
We made our fabric hammock double layered for extra strength and so that the grommets would hold well. We chose a stylish Sunbrella® Upholstery Fabric and paired it with a budget-friendly cotton duck fabric for the backing layer to lower the cost of supplies. The great part about using two layers of fabric is that it makes the hammock reversible! Grommets along the two vertical sides with rope threaded through them cinch the fabric to create the hammock chair shape.
This is an easy project — even if you're a beginner sewist! Our detailed photo tutorial and written instructions explain each step of the process. You'll be able to follow along and make your own hanging chair in no time! Bonus: You'll also have fabric left over to sew a matching pillow for your hammock chair. Check out our "How to Sew a Throw Pillow" (#300186XHT) tutorial for this easy DIY.
NOTE: This hammock chair is intended for indoor-use only. We used cotton duck for the backing, a natural fiber that will not hold up well in an outdoor environment. If you want to make this project outdoor-friendly, consider using a Sunbrella performance fabric for both sides, which will better withstand the elements.
- 2 yards Sunbrella® Surround Dusk Upholstery Fabric #40584-0001
- 2 yards Nimbus™ Cotton Duck 12 oz. Navy Fabric #122852
- 25 feet 3/8" Spun Classic 3-Strand Polyester Rope (10mm) White #102368
- Turned Lag Eye Bolt 5/16" x 3" (Stainless Steel) #120657
- Quick Link 5/16" (Stainless Steel) #120764
- #2 Plain Grommet & Die Set 3/8" (Brass) #26302
- Barry King Mallet Hammer #68563
- V-69 White UV Bonded Polyester Thread #20235
- #16 Round Point (Sharp) Needle #857
- 2" dowel rod approximately 3 feet long (we used poplar; must be a hardwood to support human weight)
- Drill and 1/2" drill bit
- Fabric scissors
- Sewing pins
- Chalk or fabric marking tool
- Tape measure or ruler
- Sewing machine
Hammock Chair DIY
1. Cut a 53-inch square of each fabric. Layer squares together with right sides facing and fold in half. Position the folded edge on your right.
2. Measure 10 inches along the top edge from the top left corner and mark with chalk. Measure and mark 1 inch in from the bottom left corner.
3. Connect marks with a straight line.
4. Cut along the chalk line through all four layers. Unfold but leave the fabric layered.
Here's a cutting diagram to help show the shape and cut lines of our hammock chair.
5. Stitch along both diagonal sides and the shorter top edge with 1-1/4-inch seam allowance. Reverse-sew at the beginning and end to lock stitches in place. Using pins will help keep the fabric layers together while sewing.
6. Clip the top corners to reduce excess bulk. Be careful not to cut into seams. Turn the hammock right side out.
7. Along the open bottom edge, measure 1 inch in from the fabric edge and mark with chalk.
8. Fold the hem inward along the chalk line. Match up the second fabric layer so both fabric hems are folded inward and lined up. Pin the hem layers of both fabrics together.
9. Stitch along the diagonal edges with a 1-inch seam allowance and along the top and bottom with a 3/4-inch seam allowance. Reverse-sew at the beginning and end to lock your stitches in place. Start and stop stitching along the top and bottom edges 1 inch in from the corners.
10. Lay the fabric assembly on your work surface with the striped side down. Make chalk marks on the navy side 1 inch from the top and bottom edges and spaced 5 inches apart along the diagonal edges. You should have 10 marks along each diagonal edge. These are the placement marks for the grommets.
11. Center grommets over marks and install. Follow the grommet installation instructions on the back of the #2 Plain Grommet Die Set kit (#26302).
12. Measure and mark two holes 2 inches and 4 inches from each end of the rod. Drill 1/2-inch holes in the dowel. Make sure the holes are lined up so the rope hangs correctly.
13. Fold the rope in half. Tie a knot at the top to form a small loop. Attach the Quick Link to the loop for hanging the hammock in a later step. Thread both ends of the rope through the holes spaced 4 inches from each dowel edge. Tie knots below the dowel to determine how high the dowel will hang from the ceiling.
14. Thread both ends of the rope through the grommets on each side. Bring the rope ends back up through the holes 2 inches from each edge on the dowel and knot the ends. Adjust knots as needed to achieve desired height and to make sure the dowel rod is straight. Cut off any excess rope. Optional: Use a hotknife to prevent the rope ends from fraying.
15. Install the Turned Lag Eye Bolt into a load-bearing beam in your home or other structure that can support human weight. Your hammock is ready to be installed! Simply attach it to the eye bolt via the Quick Link attached to the hanging loop.
Your hammock chair is done! Now it's time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Where will you hang your hammock chair? Did you enjoy this DIY project? Let us know what project you'd like to see us tackle next. We love receiving ideas from our customers!
Modifications for More Strength & Higher Weight Tolerance
The hammock we made will hold up to 225 lbs. We have received several customer requests for a stronger hammock that can hold around 300 lbs. The modifications below are what we recommend for upgrading the necessary hardware and materials to support more weight.
Please Note: The suggestions below have not been tested by Sailrite. Sailrite will not be held liable in the event of injury or hammock breakage. Make these modifications at your own risk.
1. Replace the Plain Grommet Kit used in the blog with #2 Spur Grommets 3/8" (#26309). Spur grommets are much stronger than Plain Grommets and will hold more weight. If using Spur Grommets, you will also need to purchase spur grommet installation tools (#18203) and a hole punch (#121387).
2. Purchase a hickory dowel rod 2 inches in diameter and 3 feet long. Hickory is the strongest hardwood on the market so there would be no potential fracturing or bowing.
3. Instead of tying a knot in the rope at the top and having the hammock hang from one eye bolt, installing two eye bolts in the ceiling will halve the weight each eye bolt is holding. So you’ll need two turned lag eye bolts and two Quick Links to hang the ends of the hammock. You’ll want to make sure you’re installing the eye bolts into load bearing beams in the ceiling.
The rope, fabric and thread used in our hammock tutorial are all strong enough, so those don't need substitutions.