Making the Hammock Body
Fold 2 inches down on all sides of the fabric and sew to make an even hem. Thread all of the fabric through your steel ring, overlap the ends of the fabric by a good 3 inches and sew together.
Fold the fabric in half, and then holding the ring high, figure out the width of the bottom of your hammock. Measure that length, mark it on both sides, and sew two seams on each side. The baby's mattress will fit in between these double seams. It should be between 12 and 20 inches wide.
Take your yard of fabric or use a pillowcase and decide how wide and long you want your baby mattress to be. If the base for the mattress you sewed into the hammock material is 12 inches wide, your mattress should be, too. The length is up to you, but should be at least 30 inches long. Once you have created a slip cover for this small mattress, fill it with foam or an old thin pillow, then quilt it.
Take your wooden dowel and figure out how low you want the hammock to hang. Measure about 12 to 14 inches from the top centered ring, more or less according to the distance you want between the dowel and the baby, and sew on some ribbon, string, or some kind of tie, 12 to 14 inches down from the ring on each side to attach the hammock to the wooden dowel.
Tie the hammock onto the dowel very tightly. Make sure it is well-attached and that there is no chance for the knots to come undone.
Installing Your Baby Hammock
Drill the hook into the ceiling. Do this right so that the ring can safely support the weight of the hammock. Attach the spring to the hook.
Decide how low you want your hammock to hang and attach a length of chain to the spring with a carabiner or quick link.
Attach the length of chain to the original ring at the top of your baby hammock with a carabiner or quick link.
Things You Will Need
- 3 to 4 yards of strong fabric
- 1 yard of ribbon or thick string
- 2-foot-long wooden board or dowel
- Steel ring
- Carabiners or quick links
- Ceiling hook
- 1 yard of fabric for mattress, or a pillow case (optional)
- Foam, at least 12 by 30 inches (optional)
Organic or unbleached muslin is a great fabric to use. But you may also choose a fabric whose color or design you like. Just make sure the fabric is strong and of good quality.
You can use a baby-changing pad as the mattress and sew a cover for it. You can also use a baby bassinet mattress.
Pillowcases are great sheets for this mattress.
Tie your hammock to the wooden dowel securely.
Drill the hook into the ceiling securely.
Set all the stuffed toys that will go into the hammock in a single file. Measure the length and width of the line the toys form. Cut a piece of mesh fabric twice as wide, and the length of the line plus 50 cm (20 inches).
Lay the mesh fabric flat, then gather one end of it neatly in your hand. Tie the end of a piece of nylon rope, 30 cm (1 foot) long and 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) wide, in a tight double-knot around the gathered fabric 2.5 cm (1 inch) from the end. Form a loop in the rope, 2.5 cm (1 inch) long, near the end of the fabric and tie the rope in a knot at the base of the loop to secure it. Cut off the remaining rope.
Repeat step 2 with the other end of the mesh fabric. These are the loops that will hang the hammock.
Choose a corner in the room where you want to hang the hammock. Lay a tape measure on the ground to measure a distance between the two walls equivalent to the length of the hammock. Use a pencil to make small dots on each wall where it meets the tape measure. Measure the distance from the corner to each end of the tape measure, adjusting your dots until each is the same distance from the corner.
Decide how high you want the hammock to hang. Measure that distance upward from each dot near the floor and draw a dot. Place the pointed end of a metal wall hook at each dot and twist it clockwise until the threading is completely in the wall.
Hang the hammock on the wall hooks by the loops at either end and place the stuffed animals inside. Erase the pencil marks from the wall.
Hang the hammock out of a child's reach if you don't want him pulling toys down from it. For practical use, hang it at eye level for the child.