Wednesday, August 17, 2016

DIY: Hanging Papasan Chair

Over the Summer break my friend re-did her bedroom, inspiring the idea to upgrade my own room.  I did some research for ideas and came across an article for re-purposing a papasan chair. I sold the idea of installing this style of chair to my parents but the tutorial was a bit vague.

Since I learned a few things during the process, I thought I'd share the details so others who want to accomplish the same goal can have a good resource and maybe cut down on a few mistakes that could happen along the way.


First,  make sure you have enough space in your room to fit a papasan chair. This means measuring the space and measuring the chair. I measured the papasan's diameter across and it was 45 inches, it would fit in my room but I knew it would take up a lot of visual space. Another thing to consider is the 'tilt' space. If you want to angle the papasan chair, the space in the room can be a bit smaller.
My mom also measured the trunk of her car to see if the papasan chair would fit for transport if you are purchasing it. We ended up asking a neighbor to borrow his truck.  Measuring is an important first step!

Other items you will need to measure is the amount of rope you will need. Always consider the extra amount needed for knots.


Make a list of materials needed for the project.

  • Papasan Chair Frame (sans stand)
  • Papasan Cushion
  • Rope - We used 25-30 feet of 700 lb rated, Nylon, 1/2 inch rope
  • Box Cutter- for cutting the rope
  • Lighter- to seal the ends of the rope after cutting
  • Hitching Ring with 2 inch Screw Eye (we used 2)
  • Joist/Stud finder
  • Ladder
  • Nail and Hammer (Nail to show the area on the ceiling where screw eye will be installed)
  • Tape (Electric)- For rope management

If you happen to be a girl scout or boy scout, you may  have earned a patch for knot tying. This will come in handy. We used  two types of knots to give our structure stability, which is an important part of the installation process. The weight of a body needs to be supported by the proper balance of the structure.

Another reason to use the correct knot is because the material also has to withstand wear and tear.

We chose 3 evenly spaced points on the chair frame to tie the ropes. We used the Sailor's knot to give these areas the strongest support without damaging the frame. We also used the Blood knot at the base of the hitching ring.

We used 15 feet of rope and tied these 2 ends in at an obtuse angle to the chair frame, creating a triangle at the mid point. We then tied a 10 foot section to the chair frame and the mid point (Lariat Loop Knot) of the 18 foot length rope creating a pyramid. This 10 foot sections made the chair adjustable. We could angle or flatten the chair as we liked. The extra rope at the end of the 10 foot section was used to tie the chair to the hitching ring.


It is important to find a joist in the ceiling to secure the hanging system. A stud finder will dictate where this is. Hammer a small nail into the ceiling to mark the spot where the screw eye and hitching ring will be locate. 

Make sure there is enough room between the wall and the hanging chair before you decide to put a hole in the ceiling. Our joist was a little close so we used a pull system to help keep the chair away from the wall.  This pull system also helps with the stability of the structure by adding another stress point, a place for tension to displace and even out the load.

Secure the rope to the hitching ring with a blood knot and let the fun part begin, decorating your hanging chair.


I bought a neutral, cream colored, plush cushion to fill in the papasan chair for comfort.  I added blue throw pillows, a few stuffed animals and decorative fox tails to make it my own.

Photo Credits To: Chandra Brown

Thanks Dad and Mom for helping me!

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