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Use a drop cloth that is either 8- or 10-ounce weight.

Photography: Seth Smoot

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2013


  • 6-by-9-foot drop cloth

  • Sewing machine and sewing supplies

  • Thirty-six 7/16-inch grommets

  • 1/4-inch cotton rope, 70 feet, cut into two equal lengths

  • Two O rings

  • 3/8-inch rope


  1. Reinforce each 6-foot end of drop cloth by folding over 2 inches and stitching across.

  2. Set 18 grommets along each sewn-down end, spaced equidistantly, starting 1 inch in from edge. (See the following how-to, "Setting a Grommet.")

  3. Tie an end of one 35-foot length of 1/4-inch rope into a knot. Thread unknotted end through underside of first grommet, then through an O ring, leaving approximately 32 inches between O ring and grommet on both sides.

  4. Run rope through top of next grommet, then over and under next two grommets. Repeat pattern as shown, top left, until you have woven through all grommets. Knot rope at opposite end. You may need to adjust slack on rope to achieve even tension. (This is easiest when O ring is being tugged in opposite direction.) Repeat steps 3 and 4 on other end of drop cloth.

  5. To hang, cut 2 pieces of 3/8-inch rope at least twice as long as needed (i.e., double the distance to anchoring post or tree, plus an additional 2 feet for tying off). Hammock will hang lower when occupied, so secure it 12 to 18 inches above desired height. Fold each piece in half, and slip loop under an O ring, then thread ends through loop to secure it.

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