Today you’ll learn how to make hanging hammocks for your pet rats using rectangles of felt material. These hammocks are simple to make, inexpensive, and fairly durable. Best of all, no sewing is required!
If you have rats that don’t really enjoy hammocks, you may want to give these a try – the felt provides a firmer, more supportive surface than other hammock materials. My two boys who have no interest in traditional fleece hammocks (which are very saggy under the rats’ weight) like these very much.
Included in this tutorial is a detailed explanation of how to use a simple grommet kit purchased from Joann Fabrics. If you prefer video instructions, there are also many good tutorials available on Youtube.
Supplies and tools:
- Felt rectangles, 2
- Grommets, 4
- Hammer or mallet
- Clips or cord for hanging
In this tutorial, I’m using 8.5” x 11” rectangles of felt purchased from Joann Fabric for about $0.33/per sheet. Grommet kits may be purchased from most fabric or craft supply stores for around $4.00. For clips, I use either shower hooks or small carabiner clips; you can also use a length of rope or cord to hang your finished hammock.
Step one: Layer the felt.
Layer the two sheets of felt, one on top of the other. In this photo, the gray sheet of felt just happens to be very slightly smaller than the orange.
Step two: Grommets.
You’ll be placing one grommet in each corner of the hammock. If you already know how to use a grommet kit, skip to the end!
Begin by cutting a very small incision in the first fleece layer. You want it to be big enough for the grommet to fit through, but just barely.
Here’s a close-up of how tiny that incision should be.
In the same spot on the second layer of fleece, cut another small incision. To mark where the cut should be, you can lay the first piece on top of the second and use a felt-tipped pen to make a dot.
Each of your grommets will have two pieces – a long piece (this will be the front or top of your finished product) and a short piece (the back or bottom of your finished product).
Here’s a picture of your full grommet kit – including a hard plastic disc, a metal bolt, and a long and short piece.
Take the long piece, and poke it through the top of the first layer of felt as shown.
Here’s a picture of the back of the long piece poked through. You may need to gently pull and tug to widen the hole and fit the grommet long piece through.
Work the second grommet through the second layer of fleece as shown.
Take the short half of your grommet piece, and set it on top of the long as shown here.
Pinch the grommet to keep it together and place it top-side-down on the black disc.
Place the grommet bolt on top of the grommet as shown (on the back side of your felt hammock) and gently tap with your hammer.
This is how your hammered grommet will look from the back. See how the long piece has been flattened by your hammering and now pins the felt between the grommet layers? Nifty!
Here’s the front side of the finished grommet.
Step three: Add clips and hang.
That’s it! Now you can add your shower curtain clips (or other preferred method) and hang the finished hammock. It really doesn’t get easier than this!