Turning a Barbie Playset Hammock into a Sophisticated Miniature Prop

Barbie Playset Hammock Customization Before and After

Earlier this year, I became obsessed with macrame--- probably because it is such an easy craft to incorporate into a busy lifestyle. Working full-time while raising two young children has left me with little time to pursue passion projects. You can create an entire macrame project in very little time with very few supplies. So for whatever reason, I became fixated on creating a miniature macrame hammock to use in doll dioramas. It went fairly well. My initial attempt yielded a hammock that was too narrow and that I had no idea how to hang compactly into a doll diorama.

 1:6 Scale Miniature Hammock Prototype.

Fast forward 2.5 months, I approached the hammock project again feeling confident that I could use the parts from the Barbie Hammock Furniture & Accessory Set to achieve my vision. Besides the hammock from the playset, I used the following supplies:

Macrame Hammock Supply List: Foam Macrame Board, T-pins, and Macrame Cord

  • Foam Macrame Board

  • T-pins

  • Macrame Cord


First, I removed the cloth from the plastic bars. I lost one of the support feet for the frame so hopefully all of this work will not be done in vain.

Cloth removed from hammock

I found the wood to look too unnatural so I decided to spray paint it brown then dry brush it to bring out the wood grain details. The last step in this process was to seal it with Mr. Super Clear.

Spray Painted, Dry-brushed, and Sealed Hammock Frame.

 Next, I cast the initial Lark's Head Knots onto the Plastic Anchor.

Initial Lark's Head Knots cast onto the Plastic Anchor.

After developing more skills since the initial prototype, I learned how to increase the width of the hammock without adding more Lark's Head Knots to the plastic anchor. I achieved this by adding two cords with horizontal clove Hitch knots. This effectively added four more working cords to the width.

Macrame Cord added to the hammock rope anchor

 Then, I separated four cords on both ends to later create the border of the hammock. I used alternating square knots to create the main section of the hammock cloth.

Knotting the macrame cords into the main hammock cloth

I used the T-pins and the grid on the foam macrame board to evenly space each knot for a professional finish. You can get the same results by using a corkboard, sewing pins, and a homemade spacer to attain even spacing.

Closeup view of evenly spacing out the knots with the grid and T-pins.

I used the original cloth to check that I was reaching the appropriate length. I intentionally stopped a bit short because the end would need to be finished with a different knot later on. Also, it's better for it to be too short than too long because the cord can be stretched and made longer but if it's too long, then it will not hang on the frame properly.

Checking that the knots reach the same length as the original Hammock cloth.

Next, the partitioned cords needed to be incorporated into the main piece by creating the border of the hammock. This was done by inserting one cord through the mesh and tying a square knot. I repeated this step evenly down until reaching the end.

 Creating Border Knots of main Hammock Piece.

At this point, the hammock could be closed off at the end with a single Clove Hitch Knot.

Closing the Hammock off at the end with a Clove Hitch Knot.

Almost done! Since I effectively added four cords, that meant that all of the hanging cords would not fit comfortably onto the other plastic anchor. I fit them on by tying a clove hitch knot with every other cord onto the plastic anchor. So half of the cords were attached and the other half were hanging free.

Attaching the end of the Hammock to the Placstic Anchor.

I secured all of the hanging cords together by creating one row of square knots. Lastly, I trimmed and unraveled the hanging cords to create a decorative fringe to finish off the piece.

Unraveling the Cord to create a decorative fringe to finish off the piece.

The other side felt unbalanced, so I added fringe to the opposite side.

Add Fringe to the opposite end to create balance.

This project took a couple of days to tweak and account for the drying time of the spray painted frame. See the completed hammock project below. I am super pleased with the results!

Completed Hammock Project!

Despite missing a support foot for the frame and breaking one of the plastic anchors last minute (I used super glue and hot glue to fix), the hammock successfully carried the weight of my dolls and the heavier macrame cord AND looks great as a custom piece.

Back View of Barbie Doll enjoying the ocean view while relaxing on her hammock.

Barbie Doll Relaxing in a cool garden and laying with her arms behind her head on a hammock.


Does this project inspire you to learn macrame or to realistically customize doll playsets? Please leave your thoughts below!

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Hi Renee! I encourage you to try it out! There was a huge time gap between my first prototype and the final blue hammock. However, I really wanted to make it work and I made it happen eventually. You never know what you can do until you try! ;)

Fable-ous Finds

The end result looks fabulous! I love that blue color. I love hammocks (in real life), but the ones available aren’t really my style—too modern. This one looks great, maybe I will try it myself.


Thanks, Erin! I’m so happy that I inspired you to get started! :-)

Fable-ous Finds

This was an interesting read, the detailed instructions give me just the right amount courage to start my own play set.


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