How to Make Hammock Swings

Hammocks conjure up images of lemonade and lazy days spent with a good book. The hammock swing is by no means a new invention. People have been enjoying hammocks of all shapes and sizes for thousands of years. Hammock swings are available commercially in a wide variety of styles, but many carry a hefty price tag. For those on a budget, a practical alternative is a do-it-yourself hammock swing that requires remarkably little skill, time or money to construct. If you can operate a sewing machine and a drill, you can create your own custom hammock that is ideal for a hammock stand or a sturdy tree.

Create this chair using any color canvas.
  1. Pick a well lighted area with a flat working space to construct the swing. Place all the materials within easy reach of the working space.

  2. Paint the four wooden dowels with outdoor quality wood stain. Apply a second coat of stain after the first one dries. Allow the second coat to dry completely.

  3. Drill a hole 2 1/2 inches from the end of each dowel, on both sides. Use a drill with a 1/2-inch drill bit. This will leave you with four dowels, each having one hole on either end. Set the dowels aside for a later step.

  4. Sew a narrow hem around the outside of the canvas to keep the canvas from fraying.

  5. On one of the short sides of the canvas, fold over 2 1/2 inches of canvas. Pin the fold in place, then sew it to create a sleeve. Repeat on the other short end of the canvas. These sleeves will hold the top and bottom dowel in place.

  6. Thread the two short lengths of dowel through the sleeves that you created in the canvas. Place the two short dowels on the flat working space, parallel and about 38 inches apart.

  7. Place the two remaining lengths of dowel over the top of the shorter lengths. Arrange them so they are perpendicular with the short dowels. Line up the holes of the long dowels with the holes of the short dowels to form a rectangle.

  8. Thread one end of the rope through the top right hole in the rectangle. Thread the rope through the hole in the long dowel and the hole in the short dowel. Tie a tight overhand knot under both the holes. Thread the opposite end of the rope through the bottom right hole in the same manner. Tie an overhand knot under both holes.

  9. Repeat step 8 on the left side of the rectangle.

  10. Hold up both pieces of rope so the canvas part of the swing drapes at a comfortable angle. Tie the two lengths of rope together at the top with an overhand knot. Form a loop. This loop is for hanging the swing.


  • Hang the swing from a sturdy location where it will support the user's weight.
  • Check the knots in the rope frequently to make sure they are tightly secured.
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