You know what is better than a hammock chair? Turning it into a hanging hammock chair of course! Welcome to Outdoor Expart, lets dig into this project. A hammock chair is one of those bowl chairs with big cushions that your awesome aunt had at her house that you loved hanging out in.They are incredibly comfortable, and everyone loves curling up in one to take a nap or read a book. However, imagine having one hanging outside under the maple tree, the green light filtering down while you sway in the breeze. Or being curled up in a warm blanket in it, reading a book as it hangs under your front porch while a quiet rain falls. It isn’t a hard project, but there are some things you are definitely going to want to know before you decide to tie ropes to the outside and hang it under a tree.
First up,you are going to want three, fifty-foot rolls of 3/8” rope. I prefer the natural look of sisal but go with whatever you can find locally that makes you happy. You are going to need to unwind the entire length just so that you can fold it back in half to find the midpoint. Once you have it, tie a quick knot to secure it and then set it aside. You’re going to do this to all three ropes so that you are ready to move on to the next step. I guess you could just do them one at a time … but I am more of a complete a step and move on the next step kind of person, but you go ahead and be you, while I am over here folding ropes in half. Once that is done, it is time to reinforce the hanging points that we just created by folding the ropes. You will need three of these handy rope clamp kits that will handle ¼” to 3/8” rope. Once you get it outof the packaging, untie the knot in the first rope, grab the tear drop shaped hoop from the rope clamp kit and place it tightly into the hoop of the folded rope. You are then going to slip the other piece of the kit around both rope pieces right up against the tear drop and try to clamp them down with a pair of pliers without hitting the camera in the process. Well, that is what I had to do anyways, but you probably won’t have to worry about the camera part.
Also, these alligator pliers were probably not the best choice, but they were what I found in my toolbox so it is what I am going with. You are going to need to do this for all three of the ropes, and as you can see it gets easier with each successive attempt. Well it did for me anyways, your mileage may vary. Once you have all of the ropes ready, you need to find a hanging point to use for creating the seat. As long as you aren’t planning to sit in it at this point, a simple plant hook in the ceiling would likely work with a carbineer as shown here. We actually have several hanging points screwed into ceiling joists, so we will be using one of those. You could also hang it from a branch outside, you just need to have enough room to suspend it while you tie the ropes in place on the framework.Tryout the hammock one more time to get a feel for the angle you want to support itat, and then remove the cushion. For the first rope you can go ahead and let the frame reston its original base, it will make it a little easier to get the first ropes set up. Now, you want to attach these in pairs, so that both ends of the same rope are on mirrored supports. The first thing I do is run the ropes through the sections of frame I want to attach them to, and then draw them up into a temporary knot. This gets them roughly inplace, and ready for the next step. I grabbed my tape measure, then decided on the distance I wanted the frame to be from the hoop at the ceiling. For these two I decided on sixty inches, and then adjusted the knot until they were both at the same distance. The first two I started doing here were initially intended to be the back of the papasan, but I ended up deciding later to make it the front. Typically, you will want whatever you designate to be the back of the hammock to be a bit higher than the front, it will make it more comfortable to sit in with your feet hanging out. After matching the distances, I added in a second knot around the same support. Now, if you are in a rush you might think that this is all that you have to do, tie knots around the perimeter of the bowl and everything will be great. It will work for a time, but sooner rather than later you will rip the bottom out of the bowl in spectacular fashion.
These chairs are not designed to hang from the rim, they are built to be supported from the bottom. We can’t quite do that as wedo want it to hang, but we can give it more support. What you want to do is wrap the rope around the support a couple of times between each loop of the thinner circular support,and then tie another knot where the loop intersects the support. Do this all of the way to the center of the bottom of the bowl, then tie another knot in the rope and leave it in place for later. After you have the first support done, move over and do the same thing to the second support. It doesn’t have to match exactly, you are just wrapping it all up so that the load is transferred to the entire chair bowl, not just the rim where it can rip apart. This one should go a bit faster, and just tie it off again when you get the bottom center of the bowl. We will be using that extra rope, so do not cut it off. For the second set of ropes, I am going to do the two that are on the opposite side of the bowl. At this point I still thought that this was going to be the front, but aftertying the first knot and starting to measure it made more sense to hang it a little higher and make this side the back, so that is what I did. These ropes will stretch a little overtime, so it is a good idea to set the chair a little higher. You will probably be using a rope to hang this from anyways, and you can adjust its height that way, you just want to make sure that when you have your chair in place it isn’t sitting on the ground,as that would defeat the entire reason of going thru the trouble of hanging this thing in the first place.
I ended up deciding to hang this side at fifty inches from the hoop on the ceiling, making the back of the seat about ten higher than the front of it. You can set a little weight in the bowl to make sure that it is hanging the way that you want it to; I used the old base for that purpose. Once you are sure that everything is the way you want, it is time to tie these ropes to the supports as well. Do the same thing, wrap it around the support a couple of times and then knot it around each intersection of the support and the circular hoop all the way to the bottom. It may come as a surprise, but you are going to do the same thing on the other side as well. I know,you may have been expecting me to switch it up a bit, but not this time. Once you have both of those ropes taken all the way down the bottom of the hoops, it is time to take care of the last pair of ropes. The final two ropes are going to go adjacent to the two supports that make up the higher, rear side of the chair. I tied my first knotting place, but then decided that I had better try this out before going too much further. Each rope is rated for 100 pounds, so the four that are there will be plenty to support me. I tossed the cushion back into it, and then climbed in to give it a go. I shifted around a bit and felt it out, and I was happy with the way it was angled and should have climbed out of the chair to keep going. Instead, I decided that it needed a little more testing, so I tried out another position. After deciding I had milked my break long enough, I hopped out of the chair, removed the cushion and my hoodie. What can I say, I was feeling pretty toasty with it on. There really isn’t any way to make this more exciting, it is just more wrapping and tying the rope on the frame. Can you guess how far down you are going to go with it? If you answered, “To the bottom center of the bowl” you are absolutely correct, give yourself a cookie. These ones should cruise by pretty quickly, as you should have a ton of practice at this point in tying rope to a papasan. Now that we have run the rope down the main supports, we are going to take the extra and come up the front side of the bowl. The extra ropes from the two supports at the back of the chair should crossover and be brought up the remaining two supports that we had not wrapped yet. This time I am just going to tie a knot at every intersection, and then take the extra and knot it up at the end.With all of the last four ropes, I am bringing them in between the supports and just knotting them at each of the loops to give more support where you will be sitting. Once you get to the edge, just wrap it around the frame until you get to one of the existing knots and integrate it into them as best you can. We will streng then that part up later. At this point we are just using the remainder of our rope to add as much support as possible to the bowl. With six ropes hanging down it the entire thing should be able to hold up to six hundred pounds, and you want to be sure that the bowl is up to the task. Once you have all of that done,it is time to take a look at the progress so far. This should give you a pretty good idea of what it should look like at this point. Lots of rope, lots of knots and hopefully lots of support. We are in the home stretch now, and just about done. At this point, you want to take some jute twine, and thoroughly wrap up each of the knots along the front of the bowl. This will help to make sure that none of the rope ends we integrated there will start to come unraveled or untie themselves. It is a bit of a pain in the rear, but it will be worth it in the end. One thing that we haven’t talked about yet really, is to make sure that whatever you decide to support this from , that it is up to the task. It is not just the static load of a person sitting in the chair that you have to worry about, but also the shock load if someone jumps into the chair, or bouncesin the chair, anything that adds more load to it unexpectedly. A drywall anchor in the ceiling will simply rip out, a small screw will break, that kind of thing. As I mentioned we have ceiling anchors mounted directly into ceiling studs, which supports this very well.When we hang it in our maple tree, we use a one-inch sisal rope to run from the three hoops to the branch, just to make sure that it won’t break. It may not seem like falling from a couple of feet up would hurt, but let me tell you it does. Now that you have finished tying up all of the knots, you are finished! Throw the cushion back on there and try it out. Noah loves these things, and will sit in there to take a nap, or read for hours. After he tried it out, we both decided to climb up on there and give it a go. Combined we weigh about three hundred and fifty pounds, and it held us up just fine.
I cannot recommend making a hanging hammock chair enough, they are so popular in our house that I may end up making a second one for the summer just so that there is one available for whoever wants one. Another thing before we go, if you find a frame but not the cushion, you can just fill the bowl full of pillows and use it that way. That is what the first one me made a couple of years ago, and it was very comfortable. What do you think,would you sit in one of these to relax? Let us know down in the comments below. If this is your first time here on Outdoor Expart it would be wonderful to have you follow us! Hopefully digging in to this project with us, will help you digging into your projects. If you enjoyed this article share this with your friends. Thanks again, and we will see you on the next one.