How to Make Your Very Own Hammock Chair
Happy Hammock Day! Grab a cocktail and your favorite book, and kick back for some leisure time to celebrate hanging lounge chairs. Whoever created hammocks: Hats off to you! There’s really no better way to relax (or accidentally fall asleep with your book on your face) than sinking into a floating bed. As it turns out, hammocks are a great DIY project, so today we’re going to get out our tools and make one that is perfect for your yard, porch or even your living room. We took inspiration from Angie Diersman and The Merry Thought, and sprinkled in some skills from our Acrylic E-Class. Check out the tutorial below, and then get swingin’.
– 3 1¼-inch dowels, 30 inches long
– 2 ⅝-inch hardwood dowels, 36 inches long
– 8+ yards ½-inch rope (weight bearing 300 pounds)
– 4 1-inch wood screws
– canvas cloth
– fabric paint
– drill with ⅝-inch drill bit, a ½-inch drill bit and a Phillips head drill bit
– tape measure
– fabric scissors
– sewing machine
– paint brushes
– drill press or dowel jig (optional but highly recommended)
First, measure and cut a piece of canvas 23 x 48 inches. You can make it a little bit longer if you want a deeper seat.
- Measure and cut a piece of canvas 23 x 48 inches.
- Wrap the ends of the canvas over your 1 ¼-inch dowel to create a sleeve that fits, remove the dowel and sew in place.
- Paint your canvas as if it were a piece of art for your wall!
- Grab two of your 1¼-inch dowels, then measure and mark 2 inches and 3½ inches on both ends. On the third 1¼-inch dowel, only mark at 3½ inches.
- Using the ⅝-inch drill bit, drill holes at the 2-inch marks on both dowels.
- Switch over to the ½-inch drill bit, and drill holes at the 3½-inch marks on all three dowels.
- Slip your canvas onto the 1¼-inch dowels (the ones with two holes on each end).
- Slide your ⅝-inch dowels into the ⅝-inch holes to create a frame. Drill a 1-inch wood screw through the intersection of each dowel to secure the frame. Make sure they are even!
- The length of your rope will depend on the location you are hanging your hammock. We cut a 12-foot piece of rope to hang from a 9-foot ceiling. Fold the rope in half and create a knot at the fold.
- File the rope through the holes of the remaining 1¼-inch dowel (the one with one hole on each end). Make sure the top knot is lined up with the middle of the dowel with about 1½ feet of rope on each side (from the top to the dowel). Then tie knots in the section of rope that you put through the holes. Next, send the rope through the holes on the top of your frame and tie knots to secure.
- Hang your hammock up on a hook that will hold 300 pounds. Adjust the knots to even out the hammock. Then take a length of rope and file it through the hole in the bottom dowel of the frame. Wrap that piece of rope around the solitary dowel up top and tie a knot. Repeat the process on the other side.
- Step back to make sure the hammock is hanging evenly.
Take one of your 1¼-inch dowels and place it at the long end of the fabric. Wrap the end over the top to create a sleeve, leaving a bit of space so that it is not a tight fit. Then remove the dowel and sew the fabric in place. Do this to both ends.
We’re using canvas, so we figured we might as well paint it :) Either plan out your design or create abstract shapes and paint splatters to create a design that wows. Not sure about your painting skills? Grab our Acrylic E-Class for some tips and tricks. Once you’ve finished your painting, let it dry completely.
Forget the hammock — we might just hang this on the wall!
Time to construct your frame. Grab two of your 1¼-inch dowels, then measure and mark 2 inches and 3½ inches on both ends. On the third 1¼-inch dowel, only mark at 3½ inches. Using the ⅝-inch drill bit, drill holes at the 2-inch marks. Switch over to the ½-inch drill bit, and drill holes at the 3½-inch marks. Slip your canvas onto the 1¼-inch dowels (with two holes). Slide your ⅝-inch dowels into the ⅝-inch holes to create a frame. Drill a 1-inch wood screw through the intersection of the dowels on all four corners to secure the frame.
Pro Tip: It is very hard to drill even holes through the dowels. If they are off, your frame will not be square, so it’s really important that you get this part right. The easiest way to make even holes is to use a drill press or a dowel jig. The drill press will make perfectly straight holes; the dowel jig will do the same thing, but it also will keep them level if you don’t twist the dowel and move the jig down to the other end. That all said, we made ours without the help of these tools and it turned out fine!
For this part, you’ll need to figure out your own measurements. Buying eight or more yards of rope should be enough unless you are hanging your hammock chair from a very high tree branch. We cut a 12-foot piece of rope to hang from a 9-foot ceiling. Whatever the length, fold the rope in half and create a knot at the fold. File the rope through the holes of the 1¼-inch dowel that is not part of the frame. Make sure the top knot is lined up with the middle of the dowel with about 1½ feet of rope on each side (from the top to the dowel). Then tie knots in the section of rope that you put through the holes. Then send the rope through the holes on the top of your frame and tie knots to secure.
Hang your hammock up on a hook that will hold 300 pounds. Adjust the knots to even out the hammock. Then take a length of rope and file it through the hole in the bottom dowel of the frame. Wrap that piece of rope around the solitary dowel up top and tie a knot. Repeat the process on the other side. Step back to make sure the hammock is hanging evenly.
Now go sit on your artwork!
Ready to give this a try? Make your own and then share your photos with us using the hashtags #britstagram and #iamcreative. As always, if you have questions, leave them in the comments below.
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
You X Ventures for Unsplash
Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
Kobu Agency for Unsplash
You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com