In the summer, is there anything better than lying in a hammock? Maybe . . . having sex in a hammock?
I have a friend who has walked this same journey of improving sexual intimacy as I have—only she’s been taking ginormous steps while I’ve been taking baby steps. (You can read her story here.)
She has taken so many giant steps that she has now made a hammock (aka, sex swing) for her and her husband to use. I’m thrilled that she has allowed me to share her instructions and some pictures here.
She figured out how to make this swing by looking at pictures and a video that advertises sex swings. She studied, took notes, and replayed the video, over and over, and she has made something amazing. She insists she can’t sew, but I’m not sure I believe her.
I considered adding this in as a comment on this post, but this is such an awesome project that it deserves to be on its own.
I’ve copied her instructions here for you. I hope I’ve attached the pictures to the right places.
Thank you, belovedalways, for sharing your DIY adventures with us here!
(Edited to add: Scroll down through the comments section to see pics of a swing built using these instructions (with a few changes, which are noted along with the pictures.)
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- this cushionwhich is 20″Wx44″Dx3.5″H
- three sets of these cambuckles(straps) w/easy thumb release buttons
- 2 steel O-rings 3×1 ea w/a 850# load limit ea for 1.49 ea at our local farm & fleet-instead of the D-rings
- I have some of this canvasleft over from an upholstery project I’m working on, so it basically was free for this new project
- 3 yards of velcro for 88 cents ea.
- and a spool of upholstery thread
First, I want to CLEARLY state that I am not a sewer. I am probably using incorrect terms for what I am talking about, so if I’m not making myself clear, just ask and I’ll try to use better terminology. I also may not be doing things the ‘correct’ way, but I am telling you what I did and that it worked.
So here’s my experience….
After discussing it, my husband and I decided that it would work best to cut 8 of the 10′ straps in half. That gave me 8-5′ straps w/an S-hook at the end and 8-5′ straps that were plain. I used a lighter and kind of ‘melted’ all of the raw edges. I just waved it back & forth until I thought it looked smooth and melted. This should prevent all fraying AND it had the extra benefit of making it easy to slide the straps into the cambuckles.
On to the swing–
1) The first thing I did was to lay out my canvas on the dining table. Because I’m a ‘lazy’ sewer, I measured out/cut 21.5×45 inches out of the corner of the canvas so that I only had to hem 2 sides as 2 sides were hemmed by the manufacturer. My hems matched the manufacturer’s hems on the canvas. I’d guess it was 1/4 in of fabric folded twice and sewn w/a straight stitch.
2) I pinned/sewed strips of velcro (the pokey part of the velcro) right along the 45″ hems. I sewed completely around the perimeter of the velcro to make sure it would be as strong as possible. I don’t want it to start coming unsewn after it’s been used a bit so I figured it’d be better to sew it down crazy now than wish I had a couple of months from now.
3) I took 5 of the plain 5′ straps and folded them in half. Measuring from the fold, I marked 10.5″ on both sides w/a sharpie. When you unfold each strap, you’ll have a strap with 2 marks on it 21″ apart which is the width of my hemmed canvas piece. This gave me a guide for where the canvas will lie on the straps giving me equal ‘strappage’ hanging off of both sides. In other words, it will help me center the canvas on the straps.
4) I then marked the canvas base w/a sharpie where I wanted the straps sewn on. Working from the left, I laid the first strap down on the table and then laid the canvas on top of it (hemmed side up) making sure it matched up w/the marks on the strap so I knew it was centered. I put that first strap right at the left edge of the canvas and pinned it. I then put sharpie marks on the edges of the canvas where the inside edge of the strap underneath was (which was an inch in as my straps are an inch wide.) From that line, I measured to the right 9.5 inches and made a sharpie mark at the top & bottom & slid another strap under the canvas, centering the canvas w/the marks on the strap, pinning it and marking the second strap edges on the canvas again. Then from the farthest right mark on the canvas, I again measured over 9.5 inches-centered the canvas on the strap and marked the canvas at the top & bottom again and again pinned it. This is the ‘seat’ side (short cushion area)
5) I then started working from the far right edge. I laid a strap under the canvas right along the right edge, centered the canvas & marked on the canvas where the straps were underneath & then pinned the strap down. I measured 11.5 in to the left from the mark I made and slid the last strap under, centering & pinning it. This is the ‘head’ side (large cushion area)
6) I turned the canvas over and sewed the straps on using a zig-zag stitch. I again sewed the complete perimeter of where the strap and the canvas touched. So down the strap the width of the canvas, turn & over an inch, then up the strap the width of the canvas, turn and over an inch. For each strap.
7) Remove the S-hook from 8 cambuckles. I cut the strap loop right up next to the manufacturer sewing so that I had about a 4″ piece to work with.
8 ) I laid that 4″ strap piece that’s hooked to a cambuckle under a base strap (those sewed to the canvas base). I snugged the base strap right up to where I cut up by the manufacturer sewing on the cambuckle strap piece. The two pieces overlap the complete 4 inches or so and I pinned them together. Then I sewed using a zig-zag stitch 3X around the perimeter of the 4 inches. AND I then sewed the center of the perimeter. I figure THIS bit will have the most strain on it so I wanted to make sure that there was absolutely no way that it could come unsewn. Ever.
Word to the wise—make sure your cambuckle releases will be facing the correct direction–which is OUT when they are lifted up. Check every single one before you sew the snot out of it because it will be horrible to try to pull that stitching out should you get it wrong. Pin them all, then check them all. Check again to be sure. Then sew them all.
9) Once the cambuckles are added to the base straps, you can slide the 5′ pieces w/the S-hooks in. You slide it in from the bottom of the cambuckle, not the top. If you have it wrong, you’ll know because it will pull right out if you test it with any weight.
10) Then the cushion. After I cut off the tags and ties, I removed the manufacturer stitching between the ‘cushions’. (It’s actually one cushion sewn to look like two) Once the stitching is out, you have a nice dotted line to cut on the cushion. Do it. Then I also cut the fabric where the stitching had been giving me 2 cushions and 2 open ended covers. Pull the cushions from the fabric.
11) Sew velcro (the soft side that you have left from the package) the whole length of both long edges on the bottom of the small cushion fabric. (Or from the open end to the closed end on one side of the fabric) On the larger cushion, you again sew it on both of the long edges, but you stop about 3 inches from the already closed end. In the video it looked like this was to aid in quick removal/re-position of that cushion when you wished to do rear entry.
Another word to the wise–be careful to keep the fabric away from where you are sewing the velcro on. To do this correctly, you would take the fabric completely apart, sew the velcro on and then resew the cushion case up, but as I mentioned, I’m a lazy sewer.
Replace the cushions and zig-zag the open ends shut leaving a raw edge. These two raw edges will face each other on the swing and will not be seen. I am aware that this is not the ‘correct’ way to do this, but I don’t really care as I can see that the edges are not visible when in use. You may certainly do it nicer if you wish.
12) For the leg straps, I used the the 3- 5′ pieces I had left. I sewed an S-hook (which I had removed earlier from a cambuckle strap) on 2 of the pieces by sliding it on, folding the strap over a bit and zig-zag stitching it in place. That will be the top piece that hangs from the O-ring for each foot strap. I then cut one more new strap in half (and seared the edges) as I needed one more 5′ bottom piece. On each of these 2-5′ plain strap pieces, I cut off 6 inches to use to make the stirrup (the piece that goes along the underside arch of the foot) and then sewed a loop on one end of each of the now 4.5′ straps. They each kind of look like a dog leash-flat on one end and a loop on the other. I sewed the stirrup piece onto either side of the loop. I then followed the same instructions above for the cambuckle-removed the S-hook and sewed the buckle onto each 4.5′ strap.
Slide the top strap into the cambuckle (again, from the bottom) and you’re done!
- Screw 2 eyehooks into your ceiling 3 to 4 feet apart
- Add your porch springs
- Add the O-rings
- Hang your S-hooks from the O-rings
I’ve made a washable cover. I bought a body pillow cover made from that really velvety, comfortable polyester cloth w/a short nap that baby blankets are made from now. It’s super duper soft. Anyway, I’m cutting 8 inches from the non-zipper end to use on the stirrups and possibly some cuffs. I’ll sew the soft half of velcro onto the outside edges of the pillow length so it can adhere to the canvas swing base like the canvas covered cushions do. I will properly sew up the end of the pillow so it looks nice since the other end is zippered. The canvas of the cushions are basically already waterproof, so this will just add a layer of comfort and cleanliness as the polyester doesn’t readily soak up fluids.
One other comment. If you buy a premade cushion that’s filled a w/fiberfill form like mine is, you want one that is at least as thick as mine (3.5 in) because it compresses a lot. I’m pretty sure that I will be replacing the fiberfill form in mine before too long with an actual foam shape. I bought a twin bed-sized piece of foam a couple of years ago and will be cutting up that to use. You’d really only need true foam on the seat (smaller side) as that’s where most of the weight is going to be most of the time. Just sayin’.
All images by belovedalways