How to Make a DIY Cat Hammock
The whole time I was designing my cat tree, I knew one of the feature accessories would be a cat hammock. I was aiming for something mostly enclosed, since my cat like hidden cubby areas where she can see out, but nobody can see her.
When I was thinking about how to make this, I thought of box cushions, which I've actually written about twice. If I sewed a hammock the same way I'd sew a box cushion, but without the bottom plate, it should create a mostly enclosed swing.
I also wanted a pillow bottom to entice the cat to actually use the hammock. My cat is iffy about the human hammock chair in my office; I was going to go through all the hassle of making this hammock, I wanted it to actually get used. Anything I could do to up that probability would would help.
Note: This blog contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive compensation (at no additional cost to you.) I only recommend products that I personally use and love, and any support helps keep this little blog going!
- Fabric - I used a bleached drop cloth for the outside of the fabric, and JoAnn's Sew Lush fabric for the inside pillow portion, but pretty much any heavy-duty fabric should work.
- Grommets/Grommet Kit - This was my first time using a grommet kit, and despite watching numerous videos, I used it wrong and ended up with a bunch of deformed grommets. Opps. Better luck next time.
- Pillow Fluff - I cut up thrift store pillows and take the fluff out of them to save money, but polyfil purchased from your local craft store works too.
- Sewing Machine and Thread
Know the cost of your project before you start with our FREE Project Budget Worksheet. Simply click the button below to get your Project Budget Worksheet delivered straight to your inbox!
How to Make a DIY Cat Hammock
Step 1: Measure and Cut Fabric
Determine the dimensions of your hammock. I planned for a 8" x 22" hammock, with a 9" depth. Honestly, the 9" depth was way too much, and makes it difficult for my cat to comfortably enter the hammock, so I'd recommend a 3-4" depth instead.
Cut the inside pillow fabric to be the size of the hammock plus a 1" for hemming. So, for my 8" x 22" inch hammock, so I cut the fabric to be 9" x 23".
For the main hammock portion, follow this formula for the dimension of each edge:
(Desired Hammock Dimension) +2(Depth) + 1 = Dimension of Side
So my two sides were:
(8) + 2(9) + 1 = 27"
(22) + 2(9) + 1 = 41"
Step 2: Cut Corners and Pin Fabric
Pin three of the four sides of the pillow fabric to the center of the hammock, folding the edges under 1/2" to hem the fabric.
Then cut a square the size of your depth measurement out from each corner. For example, I cut 9" x 9" squares out from each corner.
Finally, fold and pin the top edges of the main hammock fabric to create a hem. Don't worry about the raw edges formed from the square cutouts - those will get sewn later.
Step 3: Sew Pillow Fabric and Hammock Hems
Sew the things you've pinned, basically. Make sure to only sew three sides of the pillow fabric, since we still need to stuff the fabric with pillow fluff.
Step 4: Stuff Pillow and Sew Closed
Stuff the pillow with pillow fluff, and pin closed, being sure to fold the edge over to create a hem.
My pillow looks kind of janky at this point (sewing is not really my specialty,) but I figured it probably wouldn't be noticeable by the time the hammock was complete (an I was right!)
Sew the pillow closed.
Step 5: Sew the Corners
Align and pin the corners together, right sides together, as seen in the photo below.
Then sew each corner.
Step 6: Add Grommets
Add grommets to each corner, just underneath the top hem of the hammock. I'm not going to give detailed instructions on this part, since this was my first time with grommets and I totally screwed it up, but there are lots of tutorials and videos on the internet that go into detail. I watched this, and this (for whatever its worth... since I still managed to mess it up.)
Then hang your hammock!
So I mentioned back at the beginning that my hammock was a little too deep - my cat can't test her weight on it easily, so she's hesitant to fully enter it. I might remake it a little bit shorter, since this was a pretty easy and fast project to do.
Regardless, I wanted to get this post out now since I have no idea when I'll get around to making a new hammock and/or fixing this one.
If you found this interesting or useful, I'd absolutely love if you shared it to Pinterest so other people can find it too! And if you're wondering where you should put a cat hammock, check out my DIY Cat Tree for some ideas