Step 1

Select Fabric

Select three yards of heavy outdoor fabric. Outdoor fabrics are good for pets because it’s more likely to repel stains and withstand heavy wear. The print I chose satisfied a few conditions: it needed to be able to disguise mud, Golden Retriever fur, and not be overly feminine since it was going in a man’s car.

Step 2

Use Towels as a Liner

In planning its execution, I decided on folding the three yards of fabric in half and sewing it into a sleeping bag-like form leaving on end open.

We have plenty of old bath towels floating around our home, and I decided to use them to line and cushion the entire piece. I layered them in a way to create an almost completely even bed for the hammock. If you don’t have scrap towels around, consider buying a few new towels at a discount store where they are usually priced low. Alternatively, I like using thin memory foam mattresses as dog beds. You can usually source $20 XL twin-sized pieces and fold them to create a cushy pad.

Step 3

Sew Towels Into Position

Initially, it didn’t seem likely that three layers of towels would slide easily through our sewing machine, so I started by loosely hand stitching the layers together with orange embroidery thread. It wasn’t hard, but it took a long while and I wasn’t sure it would be strong enough. Eventually, my curiosity won over and I found myself testing the limits of my little Singer. Excitedly, my machine ate through the thick layers with ease. So, I stitched across the car hammock horizontally in four places.

Step 4

Attach Buckles

The unit has four adjustable points of attachment using parachute buckles (4 at $2/each) and webbing bought by the yard (4 yards total, about $1/yard). By attaching two to each end, the padded piece would hook to the four car headrests making this safety and dog comfort device literally, a hammock.

I attached the webbing by sewing it in place to each end of the hammock, liberally spacing it as I went so that there was plenty of adjustment room.

Step 5

Install the Hammock

Installed, it was inviting and charming and sure to keep the dog safer and more comfortable.