DIY Hanging Lounge Chair

DIY Hanging Lounge Chair @themerrythoughtI know I always get pretty excited about the projects on here but, seriously, this is one of my favorites! I’ve had a hanging chair on my to-make list for months and there are so many gorgeous ones out there but this one just killed me! I decided to make a super basic version inspired by it. Besides drilling a few non-straight holes, (darn round dowels!) it wasn’t too difficult to make.

It’s the perfect seat for some summer lounging, magazine reading, and lemonade sipping. It’s sure to get lots of use around here!
DIY Hanging Lounge Chair @themerrythought What you need:
-Three 1.25″ Oak Dowels
-Two 5/8″ Oak Dowels
-About 20′ of 1/2″ Rope (Make sure weight limit is at least 300 lb.)
Canvas Drop Cloth
-Sewing Machine
-Tape Measurer
Stain (Optional)

How to make it:
-Cut each of the 1.25″ dowels down to 30″ long. (If you want more of a contrast in color from the canvas, I would recommend staining all 5 dowels at this point.)
-On the two 1.25″ dowels for the seat part of the swing, measure 2″ and 3.5″ in from each end and make a mark at each spot. It is very important to keep your dowel still while measuring and make sure the marks are all level, if they aren’t, you won’t be able to slide the 5/8″ dowels through each of the dowels. If you have a dowel jig around, this will be much easier!
-Drill 5/8″ holes through the 2″ marks on each of the dowels. Then drill 1/2″ holes through the 3.5″ marks.
-On the third 1.25″ dowel measure out and drill only the 3.5″ holes.
-Cut out a 48″ x 23″ piece of the drop cloth. (You might want to increase the 48″ side a bit if possible.)
-Along the long sides, fold in 1/2″ of fabric and iron in place. Then fold again and iron. Repeat for other side.
-Straight stitch twice along both of these folds.
-Fold the top and bottom down 3 1/8″ and straight stitch across the bottom of the fold.
-Slide the 1.25″ dowels (with 4 holes) through each end of the canvas seat then put the 5/8″ dowels into the holes drilled for them.
-Once in place, drill a pilot hole where the dowels comes together and then screw them together. Make sure the screw isn’t too long that it comes through the other side.
-Tie a double knot in your rope leaving about 4′ on one side of the knot. Feed the other (long) side up through the other 1.25″ dowel. And then feed that rope down through the hole on the other end.
-Tie another knot under the dowel leaving enough extra rope on the top to make a loop. (You can adjust the length of the rope on top depending on the height from where you will be hanging it.)
-Tie a loop into the rope. Measure to make sure it is directly above the center of the dowel.
-Feed both ends of the rope down through the top rung of the seat (measure to make sure they are the distance from the top dowel) and tie a knot below the dowel. Trim excess rope.
-Take the leftover rope and cut two equal pieces.
-Make a knot in one end of both ropes (leave 6-8″ hanging down) and feed up through the bottom rung of the seat.
-You will bring these ropes up to the top dowel and tie them around the dowel just inside of the rope from the upper rung. I would recommend hanging the swing at the point so it’s easier to make sure it’s level when you’re tying them in place.
-Trim excess rope (You can leave a bit hanging down again if you want.)
-Use your hands to fray the ends.
-Hang on a hook that supports at least 300 lbs.
DIY Hanging Lounge Chair @themerrythoughtDIY Hanging Lounge Chair @themerrythoughtDIY Hanging Lounge Chair @themerrythoughtDIY Hanging Lounge Chair @themerrythoughtDIY Hanging Lounge Chair @themerrythought If you’ve got a lot of crazy boys jumping on it or aren’t quite confident in your crafting skills, just buy one!

I’m doing some cleaning and reorganizing in my apartment and I think this beauty might end up in my living room!

xo. Caitlin

  • KristenTuesday, July 8, 2014 - 11:25 am

    Oh my goodness! I love this!! Awesome job! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • gemmaTuesday, July 8, 2014 - 11:29 am

    what an awesome chair! really cool 🙂 I really want to make some furniture myself now…ReplyCancel

  • NanetteTuesday, July 8, 2014 - 8:27 pm

    This is seriously genius!ReplyCancel

  • Alexis @ Persia LouThursday, July 10, 2014 - 5:08 pm

    No wonder it’s one of your favorite projects – it’s AMAZING. I need one right now.ReplyCancel

  • Colleen PastoorSaturday, July 12, 2014 - 6:18 pm

    I’m in love with hanging chairs lately! I’ve been thinking about doing swings in my back yard- but this is so much cuter!ReplyCancel

  • raeover71Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 2:21 pm

    Hubby and I just did this and instructions weren’t real clear.ReplyCancel

    • Caitlin McGrathMonday, July 21, 2014 - 5:19 pm

      So sorry the instructions didn’t seem clear! If you have any specific questions, feel free to email us!ReplyCancel

      • RaviMonday, November 10, 2014 - 5:42 pm

        What is the length of 5/8″ dowel?ReplyCancel

        • Caitlin McGrathTuesday, November 11, 2014 - 12:19 am

          They are 36″.ReplyCancel

  • MaxMonday, July 28, 2014 - 12:19 am

    You guys do realize that’s a “copy” to put it mildly. A nice copy, but still.ReplyCancel

    • Caitlin McGrathMonday, July 28, 2014 - 10:56 am

      Yes, we actually linked to it in the post as our inspiration for this project. We loved theirs, which is why we tried this basic version inspired by it!ReplyCancel

  • CaseyTuesday, July 29, 2014 - 9:00 pm

    What length did you cut your 5/8″ dowels to? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Caitlin McGrathTuesday, July 29, 2014 - 9:11 pm

      The dowels that I bought at Lowe’s were 36″ and I left them at that length.ReplyCancel

      • CaseyTuesday, July 29, 2014 - 9:19 pm

        perfect, thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Brian SeyboldFriday, August 8, 2014 - 8:22 pm

    Having problems finding 1.5 inch oak. All I’ve been able to find is 1.25inch oak and 1.5 inch Pine. Did you have to special order?ReplyCancel

    • Caitlin McGrathSunday, August 10, 2014 - 11:32 pm

      Mine were actually 1.25″ – I just corrected the instructions. I had planned on getting 1.5″ dowels but I decided to go with oak for it’s strength and ended up having to get 1.25″ dowels. The 1.5″ measurement must have still been stuck in my mind when I was writing out the instructions. Thanks for checking!ReplyCancel

  • Brian SeyboldMonday, August 11, 2014 - 1:54 pm

    Awesome, thanks for clarifying!ReplyCancel

  • AmandaTuesday, August 12, 2014 - 8:23 am

    Whew! That wasn’t as easy as I thought it’d be, but I’m soooooooo glad I found your post and tried it. This chair looks amazing hanging next to my fireplace. I even used the excess (drop) pieces from the larger dowels and leftover canvas to make a coordinating footstool. Coolest chair on the block. Thanks so much for posting this, Lady Caitlin!ReplyCancel

    • Caitlin McGrathTuesday, August 12, 2014 - 10:04 am

      Such a great idea to make a matching footstool! Glad it all worked out for you!!ReplyCancel

  • SusanTuesday, April 7, 2015 - 12:38 pm

    Can you use any kind of canvas, and should i double the material to make it strong for adults.ReplyCancel

    • Caitlin McGrathSunday, April 12, 2015 - 10:29 pm

      10 oz canvas was definitely strong enough to hold an adult. But you could always double up if you’re nervous!ReplyCancel

  • Ila Marie Cokonougher BlairTuesday, June 9, 2015 - 8:59 am

    I love it and am going to make one!ReplyCancel

  • TacitaTuesday, July 21, 2015 - 8:00 am

    I love that cushion!! Is it ok to ask where you got it? Thank you!!ReplyCancel

    • Caitlin McGrathTuesday, July 21, 2015 - 9:55 am

      Thank you! I’m pretty sure I bought it at a garage sale a few years ago.ReplyCancel

  • HidayahTuesday, August 25, 2015 - 2:43 am

    Hi! Do you know where can i buy this online?ReplyCancel

    • Caitlin McGrathTuesday, August 25, 2015 - 10:42 am

      We linked to one that you can purchase in the post. It was the one that inspired this project.ReplyCancel

  • SherrySunday, November 15, 2015 - 2:29 pm


    We are doing a homemade Christmas this year and think I’d like to do this. Do you happen to remember the size screws you used in this project?
    And while you said the 5/8″ dowels were 36-inches is that true for the 3-1.25-inch dowels as well? Thank you.


    • Caitlin McGrathWednesday, November 18, 2015 - 1:19 pm

      I cut all three of the 1.25″ dowels down to 30″ long. We would love to see a photo of the finished project!ReplyCancel

  • HavenMonday, March 28, 2016 - 10:25 am

    This is so awesome! Any idea how much it costed you?ReplyCancel

    • Caitlin McGrathMonday, March 28, 2016 - 11:07 am

      Thanks! I think it was around $30.ReplyCancel

  • RidgebackTuesday, April 12, 2016 - 7:38 pm

    Hello, I’m getting ready to make this. You say to increase the canvas a bit from the 48″ you specified. What is a “bit”? Should I go 50″, 52″? My canvas is 72″ so I have room to spare just looking for what is best. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Caitlin McGrathWednesday, April 13, 2016 - 9:50 am

      This will just give a bit more fabric for the seat – more of a loop to the seat. You can increase by 2″ or more depending on how low/far back you want to sit. I wouldn’t add more than 10″.ReplyCancel

  • TJThursday, June 30, 2016 - 3:17 pm

    I see that you say to get rope and a hook that will support at least 300 lbs. How did you determine the weight limit of the fabric? Will doing a dual seam like that be enough to hold 300 lbs? I’m trying to get a better sense of how to load-bearing sewing in general.ReplyCancel

    • Caitlin McGrathTuesday, July 5, 2016 - 9:53 am

      The weight limit of the rope is just to make sure that the rope is more than strong enough to hold everything. I haven’t tested mine over 175 lbs in the chair. My seams have held up fine so far but I am far from an expert on load-bearing sewing.ReplyCancel

      • TJTuesday, July 5, 2016 - 1:08 pm

        Thank you for your help!ReplyCancel

  • ErinSunday, July 10, 2016 - 9:18 pm

    Did you have any trouble getting 1/2in rope through 1/2in holes? I’m on the last step and I can’t get the rope through :(. What kind of rope did you use?ReplyCancel

    • Caitlin McGrathMonday, July 11, 2016 - 2:01 pm

      I don’t remember having any trouble. You can try using tape around the end of the rope to keep the ends tight together and then just trim off the taped end once it’s through. I don’t know the exact rope that I used but it was from the big spools of cut by length rope at Home Depot.ReplyCancel

  • dawn jenkinsMonday, August 8, 2016 - 9:16 pm

    Hi there.
    I am not very handy at all. Do you make and sell these? I am looking for a hanging chair for my son’s bedroom. I would love one exactly the same except the canvas in charcoal grey. If you sell, can you let me know how much they cost?
    Many thanks

    • Caitlin McGrathWednesday, August 10, 2016 - 1:27 pm

      Unfortunately we do not make and sell these! 🙁ReplyCancel

  • JulieSunday, November 6, 2016 - 11:28 am

    Super cute, great job! Question for you… I just got a crochet hammock chair and I’d like to make a cozy nook in the corner of my porch BUT I’m not sure what is under the vinyl ceiling on the porch. What did you drill into your ceiling to make yours? It looks the same as my porch but it’s not wood… probably should have thought about all of this first haha. Any advice would be appreciative, the husband thinks it’s a dumb idea so I gotta take it into my own hands 💪🏼

    Thank you!!

    • Caitlin McGrathMonday, November 7, 2016 - 12:46 pm

      There should be framing under the vinyl and you will need to make sure that the hook goes directly into the framing. Not sure exactly how this would work with a vinyl ceiling – you can push up on it to see if you could find the framing, but if there’s plywood underneath the vinyl it might be harder to figure out. You could try using a stud finder but this doesn’t always work either! Hope that helps a little bit!

      Best of luck!!ReplyCancel

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