How to design your own guitar strap

Updated April 17, 2017

If you enjoy working with leather and are handy with a pair of shears or heavy-duty scissors, you can design your own comfortable and attractive guitar strap. The pattern provided here requires no stitching, rivets, snaps or other fasteners. The adjustable design will work with electric guitars as well as with steel-string acoustic guitars that have a strap button on the base of the guitar. (Clicking on the thumbnails will enlarge the images.)

Cut out a strip for the main shoulder strap that is a 24- by 3-inch rectangle. Round off the ends of the shoulder strap with a semicircular cut. Cut the 1- by 1/4-inch slots (four on each end). Start an inch inward from the ends, and space them an inch apart. If you are using an optional circular leather punch, the slots are created by punching two holes, spaced an inch apart, then slicing out the material between them with a sharp blade, such as an Exacto utility knife.

Cut out two blanks for the connector straps that are 24 by 2 inches long. At one end of each strap, cut out a slot that is 1 by 1/4 inches, placed 1/4 inch inward from the end. Make a diagonal cut from each edge toward the middle, starting at 2 inches from the end and stopping 1/2 inch from the centre of the strap. Cut off 1/2-inch strips from both of the long edges of the strap, starting from the end opposite the slot, and stopping at the end of the diagonal cut.

At the ends of the connector straps that are opposite from the slotted ends, cut out or punch a 1/4-inch circular hole, 3/8 inches inward from the end. Add a thin cut from the inward side of the circle 3/8 inches long. (This slot allows for the hole to slip over the guitar's strap button.)

Thread one connector strap through two of the sets of slots in the main shoulder strap. Thread the narrow end of the connector strap through its own slotted end to form a connecting loop. Thread the connector strap through the slot nearest the end of the main shoulder strap. Repeat the process to attach the other connector strap at the opposite end of the main shoulder strap. (Adjustments to the strap length for the size of the guitar or the person playing it can be easily made by moving the connector straps inward or outward to loop through different pairs of slots.)

Thread the narrow end of one connector strap underneath the guitar strings above the nut of the guitar (a nut is the slotted piece at the top of the neck below the tuning pegs). Pull the connector strap through and pass behind the neck of the guitar, forming a loop around the neck long enough to reach completely around the neck. Cut a tie strip that is 12 inches long by 3/8 inch wide from the extra material trimmed off the connector strips. Fold the tie strip in half, and thread the looped end through the circular hole at the end of the connector strap. Thread the loose ends through the loop of the tie strip. To fasten the connector strap, wind each of the loose ends around the connector strap and tie securely behind the strap. Trim off any excess.

Place the opposite connector strap's circular buttonhole over the strap button at the base of the guitar. Slip the strap over your shoulder and behind your back, and you are ready to rock and roll.

Things You'll Need

  • Leather Piece (24 by 7 by 1/8 inches)
  • Shears or Heavy-duty Scissors
  • Exacto Utility Knife
  • Optional: 1/4-inch circular leather punch
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About the Author

Artist, author, musician and researcher—the contemporary equivalent of the Renaissance Man—David A. Claerr is a professional graphic designer and a certified Adobe expert. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and Bachelor of Art Education from Eastern Michigan University.