DIY Small Animal Hammock Sewing Tutorial

My favorite thing to make is anything that spoils my fur babies. I love creating toys, tunnels, sleeping cubes and hammocks for my ferrets. I find it more rewarding and fun when I make things for them since the department stores over price these items or they don’t have what I am looking for. I have *cough* six ferrets *cough* and I need sleeping hammocks that are big enough to fit multiple ferrets.

You are probably thinking, OMG she has SIX Ferrets! WOW… You can say it, I am a Crazy Ferret Lady.  As a Crazy Ferret Lady, I spoil my ferrets so much that they have their own room but I don’t allow them in the rest of the house. It is very difficult to ferret proof the whole house so I decided to give them their own room. You can check out my other blog: crazyferretladyblog.wordpress.com where I write about my fur babies.

Let’s get back on track.

Gathering Materials:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Walking Foot (optional)
  • Thread
  • Sewing Needle (I use a Stretch needle since I am sewing with Minky/Fleece Fabric)
  • Pins (Quilting pins work very well)
  • Scissors or Rotary Cutter
  • Tape Measure or Ruler
  • Outside Fabric: Cotton or Flannel Fabric – 1/2 yard (cut 18″ x 42″ piece)
  • Inside Fabric: Minky or Fleece Fabric – 1/2 yard (cut 18″ x 42″ piece)
  • Four Metal or Plastic Clasps (Rotational/swivel type is ideal)
  • Four pairs of KAM snaps (optional)
  • 1/2 inch wide Nylon Webbing: Cut four 3 inch long strips
    • Alternate options:
      • buy 1/2″ wide bias tape and cut four 3″ long pieces
      • Or cut four 2″ x 3″ fabric pieces that you can fold and sew to measure 1/2″ x 3″ as the end result.
  • Lighter (optional)

 

Creating Hammock Tabs:

Grab your Nylon webbing (or bias tape), four metal or plastic swivel type clasps, KAM pliers and snaps (optional), and lighter.

I cut four 3 inch strips of nylon webbing then I took a lighter and burnt each side of the Nylon webbing where I cut to prevent the webbing from fraying.

Optional: I attached the male KAM snaps at the ends of each nylon strip.

Then I attached the female KAM snaps about 1 in apart from center to center.

Then I slipped the plastic/metal clasps on the female side (since it has a lower profile) and placed it between the two snaps and then I snapped them together.

Below are the finished tabs. I made a set with plastic clasps and a set with metal clasps since I am creating two hammocks at the same time.

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You don’t have to use snaps to secure the clasps. You can always fold the nylon webbing with the clasps and sew it down. I just started doing this since I ran into a major issue of the clasps breaking.  Just know if you ever place the hammock in the dryer after washing it you risk the possibility of breaking the clasps, which happened to me on multiple hammocks I have made. To solve this issue I thought to use the KAM snaps I had used to make a project a couple of years ago. I still had plenty of snaps left over so I thought that adding these snaps I can remove the clasps before I wash the hammocks. Even if I forgot to remove the clasps one day and one breaks I can easily replace it. Or maybe an easier option to avoid broken clasps is to hang dry the hammocks instead of placing it in the dryer but I like using the dryer since it is faster. 🙂

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Here you can see the broken metal clasp on one of the old hammocks I made. This happened when I placed it in the dryer over time and eventually broke… This was the reason why I came up with the snap idea. Brilliant right?

 

Cutting & Pinning Fabric:

You want to cut the Outside and Inside Fabrics in 18″ x 42″ pieces. I usually cut the Cotton/Flannel fabric first then I pin it right sides together to the Minky/Fleece fabric then I cut the Minky/Fleece fabric. By doing this, the Minky/Fleece fabric won’t shift too much when you cut it with scissors or a rotary cutter and by pinning everything together now you are prepped to sew the pieces together.

 

20170429_150109
This picture shows the 18″ x 42″ cut Cotton/Flannel Fabric (Outside Fabric) that I pinned right sides together on the Minky Fabric (Inside Fabric) that I am about to cut the access off. Sorry, my craft room is a little messy…

 

Sewing:

Now it is time to sew the Outside and Inside fabric pieces together. I sew a 1/4″ seam allowance all the way around (you can always do the normal 1/2 seam allowance if you want), but leaving a 3 to 4 inch gap (not sewn) in the middle of one of the 18″ sides. You need this non-sewn gap in order to turn the fabric inside out.

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Sewing a 1/4″ seam allowance with a walking foot. You can use a regular sewing foot, but a walking foot will help prevent the minky/fleece fabric from shifting easily when sewing everything together.

Now turn the fabric inside out through the 3 to 4 inch non-sewn gap.

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Turning it inside out.

Now you want to straighten out all the edges so the Inside and outside fabric pieces match up on the sewn sides. You are basically “hand iron” the fabric pieces together so you can get the fabric prepped to sew a 1/8 inch edge-stitch. **Note: do not use an iron on minky/fleece fabric. You can accidentally melt it or ruin the fibers. Lets just say I did that a few years ago and it was not pretty.**

Once you hand press the edges pin or clip all around then sew a 1/8 inch edge-stitch. This keeps the two fabrics together and gives you a nice crisp edge.

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Sewing an 1/8 inch from the edge of the pressed fabric pieces.

 

Folding & More Sewing:

Lay your sewn fabric with the inside fabric (Minky/fleece) facing down with the outside fabric (Cotton/Flannel) facing up on the table or the floor. Take one of the 18″ (now 17.5″) wide side and fold it over the top about 10.5 inches. Just like I show in the below picture:

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Now fold over the other 17.5″ side and fold it over about 12 inches overlapping on top of the first folded side by about 4 inches. With both sides folded it will measure about 18 1/2 inches long. ** Note: you can always adjust how much you want the sides to overlap to change the length of the hammock. Depends on your preference.

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Now you want to slide the Hammock Tabs you made earlier in each corner between the folded fabric and pin in place. You want the clasps facing/pointing toward the center.  **Note: The below photo shows the direction the tabs should be facing but the tabs would be sandwiched between the cotton/flannel fabric and not seen on the minky fabric (which the picture shows they are).  I just wanted to show you the direction the tabs should be facing when sandwiched between the fabric.

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This picture is to show the direction of the tabs. Please make sure you slide the tabs in between the folded pieces before sewing.

Once you pin/clamp the tabs in place you want to pin/clasps the open sides. Then you want to sew the open edges with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. After sewing turn it inside out. TADA! You are complete! Below I show one hammock I made with metal clasps and one I made with plastic clasps.

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My fur babies enjoy their new large hammock:

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Ferrets sleeping in their new hammock. So cute!
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Ferret Pile!

I guess you can say the hammocks are Ferret Tested and Ferret Approved.

Thanks for stopping by!

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