The American Guitar Strap is similar to
the strap Willie Nelson uses when he performs
music. It features a serpentine stitch made
with Half Hitches.
For those who live outside the USA, you can switch
to your own country's colors to make this unique
strap design. In the example shown, Amy
Braid nylon cord was used, which is available in
the store (Acajou Crafts).
The small strap in front passes across the sound
box of the guitar, and up to the hole. A
hook is attached to the small ring on the end in
order to secure it in this position.
The clasp at the neck is a simple clip, but that
can be changed to a sliding clasp if you want it
to be adjustable.
The width of the main area is approximately 2
This Macrame pattern is rated Easy, but is very
2mm size material in red/white/blue colors
(25 yards of each)
1: Hold the guitar in your lap at the
position you ordinarily prefer it to rest.
Measure from your chest/abdomen under the side of
the sound box, and up to the hole in the
length of the attachment band on the
American Guitar Strap is the size you measured,
plus the ring and hook.
So when making your calculations, subtract 1-inch
for the ring, and whatever length your hook
happens to be. This will be the length of
the strap you will create.
Cut one cord of each color, 8
times the finished length of the
band. Prepare the ends to prevent
2: Fold the blue
cord in half and attach it to the 1-inch
ring with a Larks Head knot.
The red and white cords should be placed
on either side of the blue one. Make
one half of these cords longer by folding
the cord off
center. The longest portion
needs to be on the outside
(see information below).
The off-center mounting for the American Guitar
Strap is easier if you actually measure
12 inches to the finished length of the band
(step 1). Measure that distance from one end
of the cord, and then fold it at that
Mount it to the ring loosely. Gradually
tighten the knot, holding both ends together so
you don't pull one more than the other.
3: Mentally number the
cords 1 - 6. The long cords should
be in positions 1 and 6, since they are
used to tie the Square Knots (working
To begin the Square Knot, move working cord 1
to the right, over
the fillers (cords 2 - 5) and under
Move working cord 6
to the left, under
the fillers, and over
cord 1 where it bends (left).
Tighten the knot firmly, so it rests close
to the Larks Head knots.
The working cords have now switched
the same steps, but change the
direction, to make the second half of the
Cord 1 moves right
Cord 6 moves left
step 3 several times to create the
attachment band for the American Guitar
The knots do not need to be pushed close to one
another, since you want a little of the blue to
show through. You can see this in the next
Stop when the band is the finished length you need
Make sure the total length you measure includes
the ring and hook.
5: Place the 2-inch ring on
top of the strap, near the last SK tied.
Pass the working cords (1 and 6) over the
ring, and the rest under it as shown.
6: Tie the first half of a
Square Knot with the working cords, around
all 4 fillers.
It should rest below the ring.
Tighten it firmly.
Move the blue
cords to the outside, to be the new
working cords for the next knot.
Tie a tight SK with them around the
other 4, adding glue while tightening. >>>
There are two finishing options for the attachment
band of the American Guitar Strap:
You can trim the cords to 2 inches and leave them
as a fringe. Make sure you heat the ends if
using nylon cord, to prevent unraveling.
Work the ends under one of the knots in the back
of the strap. This will anchor them in
place. Apply glue under them and use a clip
to help adhere them to the back.
When the glue is dry, trim off the excess
material. Melt the tips with a flame if using
Serpentine Stitch -- First Strap
Locate the area on your chest/abdomen where you
measured for the attachment band. That's
where the 2-inch ring will rest.
Measure from that spot up to the back of your
neck. That is the finished length of the entire
American Guitar Strap, which includes the SK
Sennits and clasp (see next image below).
that length by 9, and cut four
cords of each color (total of 6 for each
strap). Prepare the ends to prevent
The main area
with the serpentine design will stop at
the top of your shoulder. It's
best to try it on as you progress, and
stop when you like the fit.
You will then be tying short sennits of
Square knots, which will run to the back
of your neck. At your spine will be
10: Mount two cords of each
color to the ring with Larks Head
knots. The colors can be arranged
any way you wish, but the best arrangement
is shown in this image.
Repeat this with the remaining 6 cords,
for the second strap.
11: Arrange one group of cords so
they are in front of you and vertical.
You can roll each
cord and secure it with a rubber band to keep
Mentally number the
cords 1 - 12. The cord holding the knots
is cord 1. You will tie the Double Half
Hitches (DHH) with cords 2 - 11 (working cords).
On holding cord 1, measure down from the
ring to 1/2-inch and secure it to your
board. That portion remains
Arrange the rest of the cord horizontally.
The American Guitar Strap will be neater
if the holding cord is straight and has
cord 2, tie Double Half Hitches with each
working cord, onto holding cord 1.
The first one should rest next to the pin
used to secure the holding cord.
Since you are moving left to right, the
loops are tied counter-clockwise.
Tighten them firmly, so they are neat.
12: Secure the last knot
tied (cord 12). Move the holding
cord to a vertical
Move cord 12 under it, heading
right. It will be used to tie the
Half Hitches at the corner.
doing so, read the information below:
As you are tying the Half Hitches with
cord 12 in the next step, pull down firmly
on the holding cord. The previous knots
tied with cord 12 should curve
When you tie the new knots, they should
rest as close to the others as
possible. This will make the corner
more rounded, and hide the holding cord.
13: Tie FOUR (4) clockwise
Half Hitches with cord 12, onto the
holding cord. These need to be tightened
as much as possible to form the corner.
The American Guitar Strap features ROUNDED
corners, so pull and manipulate the cords
important tips below:
When tying more than two Half Hitches, a
ridge will form.
You need to push it to the back of the
strap in order to hide it, rotating the
Do this after tying knot 4. >
14: Change the angle of the
holding cord so it's diagonal.
Attach cord 11 to it with TRIPLE (3) Half
Attach cords 10 and 9 with DOUBLE (2) Half
15: Change the angle of the
holding cord so it's horizontal.
Attach cords 8 - 2 to it with Double Half
Hitches. Keep the portion of the cords
between the two rows as straight as
steps 12 - 13, beginning at the
corner on the left
side of the American Guitar Strap.
The only change is that the loops are tied
you are moving left to right.
The first cord you work with is cord
2, and you tie FOUR (4) Half Hitches.
Repeat steps 14 - 15. Tie a
TRIPLE (3) Half Hitch with cord 3, and
then DOUBLE (2) Half Hitches for the
The holding cord is diagonal for cords 3
and 4, and horizontal for 5 - 12.
steps 12 - 17 as many times as needed to
get the strap length you want.
Try on the American Guitar Strap while you
progress, and stop when it reaches the top of the
Make sure you finish with the holding cord on the
side with the same colors, in this case red.
Repeat steps 11 - 18 to make the
The holding cord is 12, and you start at
for the first row.
So the direction you progress is the
opposite of the first strap.
Neck Design, Finishing, and Clasp
20: At the end of one strap tie
at least 5 Square Knots (as in step 3),
with each set of four cords.
You can measure from your shoulder to your
spine, or just try the strap on to get the
right length for this area. Take
into account the size of the clasp.
21: Turn over the American
Guitar Strap so you are working in the back.
Use the two working
cords from the previous step to
tie a tight Overhand knot. Do this
with each sennit.
Apply glue, and use a clip to hold the
knot on the glue while it dries.
continued: When the glue is dry,
cut off the extra material from the two
working cords only. You need the
fillers for the next step.
You can melt the tips of the cords with a flame if
using nylon, to discourage the knot from
22: Mentally number the
remaining 6 cords, after you turn over the
American Guitar Strap to the front.
Use cords 1 and 6 to tie a tight SK around
the other four cords.
You can tie more than one SK if necessary
to reach the back of the neck where the
clasp will rest.
23: Turn over the strap to
the back, and tie off the two working
cords with a Barrel Knot. Apply glue
under it and use a clip to hold the knot
on the glue while it dries.
Cut off the two working cords only,
leaving the four fillers for the clasp.
24 and 25 to use a 2-part clip style
clasp for your American Guitar Strap.
Another option is to make a Sliding Clasp.
Click on the link or the images below to get the
A third option is to pass the ends through a bead
in opposite directions, to make a simple bead
clasp. Try to use a small barrel or oval
shaped bead rather than a round one.
a Sliding Clasp, I recommend you use the:
Wrapped Knot Clasp
Square Knot Clasp
24: Slide the four cords through
the opening in one part of the clasp from
Arrange them neatly side-by-side.
25: Turn the strap over so
you are working in the back.
Use fine tip pliers or tweezers to pass
each end through the back of one of the
Square Knots. Add glue under the
area where the cords will lie.
Use clips to hold them against the glue to
adhere them to the back of the
strap. Cut off the excess when it's
Repeat steps 20 - 25 at the end of the
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