How to make your own hammock using a tablecloth

You and your Scouts can make your own hammock using the same high-quality fabric major brands use.

First, purchase a 60 x 126-inch crinkle taffeta nylon tablecloth for as little as $12. Watch the video instructions below and learn to make end channels just like the ones you’ll find in pro hammocks.

Find more detailed instructions here. Making hammocks can be a great patrol activity!

Author Derek Hansen is an Arizona Scoutmaster and hammock-camping enthusiast who first used a hammock at age 14 at the BSA’s Beaver High Adventure Base in Utah. He’s the author of The Ultimate Hang: An Illustrated Guide To Hammock Camping (2011) and the website, The Ultimate Hang


  1. Thanks Derek – I plan to do this with my Scout Troop. You should add a lesson on mule tape and then show how to hang your hammock.

  2. We make our own hammocks out of 4 yards of ripstop nylon and strapping. All it takes is a sheetbend knot at either end and the kids have a hammock. And no sewing. Our Venturing Crew does a lot of hammock camping and this enables each kid–in less than an hour–to have their own hammock.

  3. I can sew just about anything, but I’ll stick with my Tiny Big Adventure hammock that has built in bug netting and comes with tree straps for $34.95. By the time I buy the materials and do the work, my homemade hammock will cost more while being an inferior product. I’d rather spend my time teaching skills needed for advancement and merit badges or taking my Scouts on adventures like paddling or rappelling.

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