How to Make a Hammock

Mother Nature supplied the anchoring trees. Everything else you need to make this comfy cocoon of canvas, you can get at the hardware store: a six-by-nine-foot drop cloth, grommets, rope, and O-rings. (Toss a few pillows on the hammock and you might stay in it all weekend.) Use a drop cloth that is either 8- or 10-ounce weight.

Drop Cloth Decorating

Learn how to make a hammock for the backyard using tools from the hardware store: a six-by-nine-foot drop cloth, grommets, rope, and O-rings. Once you create your hammock, there's still work to be done. One of the most important steps in hanging your hammock is setting the grommet. Grommets come in two pieces—a shank and a flat washer. Set grommets on a surface that won't bend when hammered, like a piece of scrap wood.

Cut or punch hole in fabric, slightly smaller than inside hole of grommet shank. Place shank through hole in fabric (with right side facing grommet). Place shank and fabric (shank side down) on round metal setting disk. Shank should rest in circular groove found on top of disk. Place washer over shank, so metal sandwiches fabric. Place setting tool with pointed end inside shank. Hammer to set.

What You'll Need


  • 6-by-9-foot drop cloth (Everbilt Medium Duty Canvas Drop Cloth)
  • Sewing machine and sewing supplies
  • Thirty-six 7/16-inch grommets (Dritz Zinc-Plated Brass Grommets, 7/16")
  • 1/4-inch cotton rope, 70 feet, cut into two equal lengths (Rope King Twisted Poly Rope Yellow, 1/4" by 1200')
  • Two O rings (DANCO O-Rings)
  • 3/8-inch rope (Rope King Twisted Poly Rope Yellow, 3/8" by 600')


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

  2. Drop Cloth How To

    Set 18 grommets along each sewn-down end, spaced equidistantly, starting 1 inch in from edge. (See the above 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. Drop Cloth How To

    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. Drop Cloth How To

    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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