I am very pleased with the result of my baby hammock!! It was so much fun to make and not at all difficult, once I figured it out that is. I hope that my tips that I am including will help save you time and be helpful.
Sewing the baby hammock gave me an opportunity to think about my third baby and spend some time with him/her in my mind. I am more excited then ever to have my baby hanging from the ceiling beside my bed while I sleep the whole night through!!! Well, maybe not the whole night, but most of it? The baby hammock is supposed to help them sleep because when they move they bounce and sway a bit while the narrow base cradles their little bodies as though they are being held. This is supposed to help with colic as well. Not that I mind holding my babies but I prefer to sleep during the night and cuddle during the day!!
Of course I will not be hanging my baby from the cloths line but it was the best place I could come up with to take it’s picture.
I will place a Kushies change pad over the futon as my sheet. I just love Kushies change pads as they are easily folded up with one hand, they take little space in my diaper bag, they are long, and they have a “water” proof backing and it will make for an excellent futon protector!
This is what you need:
*3 meters of unbleached muslin
*One 6 inch sturdy spring I found at, “Canadian Tire” in the section with ropes, chains and hooks.( Make sure the spring has a closed clasp at the top and bottom.)
*one steel ring
*one to three carabiners
*one or two quick links ( Jason just said it is used to attach two pieces of chain together) (Note, the quick links did not leave a large enough opening to attach the ceiling hook so I ended up using carabiners instead) Quick links are cheeper so if you had the right size I am sure you could make them work.
*a pine board 1″X 3″X 4feet Jason cut it in half so I have two boards for two hammocks. I sanded the edges and filed it to make it feel nice. - Jason drilled a 1″ hole at both ends then he cut out a piece to open the end up which allows the fabric to be pushed into the hole. ( Ties hold the board in place) If you look closely at one of the pictures above you will see how it was done and you will notice that there are also two holes drilled at each end as well. This is because I was/am thinking of threading the ties through the holes to hold it better in place. Right now the holes are not big enough to allow my bias tape to go through. (Note with very little effort I did thread the bias tape into my holes, amazing what can happen when I try.)
(One more thing to add about the wooden board is the actual measurement of the board is 2.3/4 wide, 3/4 thick and 2 feet long but the measurement at the store was 1x3x4. For some reason they don’t label wood with it’s actual true measurement.)
* A hook( I think it was close to two inches going into the stud ) to be installed into the joist of the ceiling by someone who knows what they are doing, like Jason!!
* and a length of chain so you can adjust the height of the hammock
O.K this is what I did.
I used 3 meters of unbleached muslin because according to my friend who is American and lived in New Zealand where my inspiration came from Natures Sway Baby Hammock but is in Canada now, calico is the same thing as muslin in Canada. It is strong and has great ventilation. It was 44 inches wide and I did not hem it.
I put a steel ring on the fabric then made sure the fabric was not twisted and sewed the ends together with a french seam. ( First I put the ring on then thought, “No I will use a carabiner instead of a ring that way I can take it off to wash and won’t have a steel ring banging in the washer” So i took it off. I then discovered that I could not thread the fabric through the carabiner and had to rip out my seams. This took me at least an hour because I was careful not to cut the fabric and muslin is not fun to seam rip. So while I took the seams out I decided to use coloured thread so any more seam ripping would be easier to do and I was more cautious about sewing to avoid the tedious task.
Then I folded it in half and measured 14 inches from the bottom, marked and pinned a line, and sewed two seams side be side ( a double needle would have been nice right around then), then I folded the 14 inch flap over and sewed that seam down twice.( basically I sewed a 14 inch french seam) This way there are three layers of fabric at the base of the hammock. It took me three day’s to figure out the easiest way to do that. I wanted all the seams at the bottom so the seams would not interfere with the ring at the top and I did not want to do any more seam ripping if I made another mistake. So It took me some thinking. I also wanted it to look as close as I could to the Natures Sway baby hammock.
After I had the bottom in, I measured again from the top 13 inches down each side marked and sewed a tie on the outside center of the fabric. My tie is made from bias tape. I wish i had a nice colour tie to match my thread but all I had was white so… This is where the wood will sit and be tied onto.
Now for the futon.
It is made with cotton sheeting( sales woman at the store said it was factory cotton) It doesn’t matter what you use just make a 14 “x 34 ” casing and fill it with 1 inch foam. I used an old pillow that was not being used which worked perfect!!. Then I tied three rows of knots down the center so the edges of the futon will be higher than the center, cradling the baby better and making it more difficult for him/her to roll over. Pretty smart, ah? ( It should be a quilters knot so the knots will not loosen or come out. I would love to tell you how to do that but I don’t think mine are right so you will have to find this somewhere else)
After I had everything in place I added two snaps to the head and feet of the hammock and one snap to hold the ring in place at the top to steady it. I am thinking seriously about adding a button up there instead of the snap or adding another snap.
There you have it your very own baby hammock. And I think it looks very professional if I do say so myself. What do you think? My moms reaction was,” So basically you have no space in your house so you’re going to hang you baby from the ceiling?”
“Yup, that’s pretty much it”
I would love to hear about your own baby hammock that you make, especially if you use the method that I detailed. So leave a comment or add any sugestions to help others when making their own hammock.