How Can I Recycle or Upcycle My Old Hammock?


So somehow somebody managed to convince you to buy a hammock and now you either put it away for the winter and forgot all about it or discovered you put off “I’ll sort it out later” for way too long, resulting in you pulling out a worn-out looking hammock.

Now your mind is racing, what do you do with this old hammock? Do you sell it? Do you try to fix it/ refurbish it?

Let’s assess the damage

The first step is to establish what type of material has it been made from? That way finding solutions to repairing any possible damage will be much easier.

Things like how to wash the material part are important especially if there’s print involved. Next step, have a look at the technical bits (the pieces that your hammock hangs from), do those parts need repairing, replacing or cleaning?

Some parts are wooden whilst most long term users prefer metal mechanisms, trick is not all those parts as old as they may look need replacement, all they may require is a little TLC.

For wooden hammock stands check out a previous article that’ll help you bring it all back to life. In a nutshell, a simple wipe down with soap and water will clean it up immediately.

What if you got a metal hammock stand?

Wipe it down from dust and dirt and grab a can of your best high-quality all-in-one paint and primer/ rust-proof paint, shake it and spray some onto a clean paint board/ cardboard- something that you’re happy to discard once you’re done and something you won’t mind messing up.

Take a paintbrush, dip it into the paint on the surface you just used and carefully fill in the scratch on your hammock stand. Go slow, be neat and most importantly make sure the colour matches, so it doesn't stand out too badly. (Or you can spray the whole thing for a new and vibrant colour!) Once it’s dry, your stand will be almost new and protected from rust and deterioration for another good few years.

What to do about all that fabric?

Let’s take care of the most important piece- the material making up the hammock.

So this is where a lot of fun can be had, from dying your old hammock material into a whole new fresh style to embroidering a new pattern onto it or doing a fill stitch on an old print that’s fading out, so that you can keep the pattern, only this time it won’t fade off on you.

You can even stitch tassels on the end to cover up any rough edges that may have occurred during prolonged storage.

If keeping the hammock for its original intended use is what you’re after then following these care tips above is for you.

However, sometimes people like to get rid of the old and welcome in something new. There’s a lot you can do with your old hammock without giving it away if you don’t want to, there’s nothing wrong in turning something old into something new and getting a new hammock- styles change, colours develop and sometimes it's ok to get an upgrade.

So how about creating your own modern quilt- take our old hammocks, stitch them together and create a masterpiece, either for your wall in the entrance of your home as a statement piece, as a picnic blanket, or as a kid's playmat.

Do you have kids who love writing on walls instead of good old reliable paper? Then take your hammock material, bleach it white and hang it on a wall, thereafter let the kids go mad. That way your home is kid proof and can easily look like adults do live there when having guests over, you just roll up their wall art and put it away.

Out with the old and in with the new

Not all of us like the thought of hanging onto things once we’ve used them. If you are loving the idea of letting go of your old hammock, there are plenty of charity organisations and shelters that could make use of your pre-loved hammocks and help more humans in need.

Better yet, donate them to flood victims who have lost their homes and have nowhere to sleep. A hammock in between sturdy trees is a whole lot better than the cardboard on a floor.

Just because your hammock is now a second-hand item doesn’t mean it’s meant to lose its charm and function. There’s plenty you can do with creativity and imagination, so go wild.