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
The small strap in front passes around 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 straps are approximately 2 inches wide.
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 waist under
the side of the sound box, and up to the hole in
length of the attachment band on the
American Guitar Strap is the size you measured,
which includes the ring and hook.
So when making your calculations, subtract 1-inch
for the ring, and whatever length your hook
happens to be. The result will be the length
of the knotted portion you will make next.
Cut one cord of each color, 8
x the finished length. Prepare the
tips to prevent unraveling.
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, 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 portions
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
To make the
second half of the Square Knot, move
1 to the left, over
the fillers and under
Move working cord
6 to the right, under
the fillers and over
cord 1 where it bends.
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.
Attach the hook and re-measure to make sure the
entire strap is the finished size you were aiming
5: Place the 2-inch ring on
top of the strap, near the last
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.
Tighten it firmly so it rests against the
of the ring.
7: Move the blue
cords to the outside,
and use them as the new working cords for
the next knot.
Tie a tight
SK with the blue cords 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. Melt the ends if using NYLON cord, to
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
Wide Bands - Serpentine Stitch
Locate the area on your waist 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
each wide band for
the 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 tips to prevent
The wide band
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(white in center).
Repeat this with the remaining 6 cords,
for the second strap.
11: Turn the ring and arrange it
so one group of cords are vertical.
Roll each cord and
secure it with a rubber band to keep them
Mentally number the
cords 1 - 12. The cord holding the knots
is #1. You will tie the Double Half
Hitches (DHH) with cords 2 - 11 (working cords).
On holding cord 1, measure from the ring
to 1/2-inch and secure it to your board at
that point. That portion remains
vertical or diagonal.
Arrange the rest of the cord horizontally.
The American Guitar Strap will be neater
if this portion of the holding cord is
straight and has tension.
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
As you are
tying the Half Hitches with cord 12 in the
next step, pull firmly on the holding
cord. The previous knots tied with cord 12
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 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
When tying more than two Half Hitches, a
ridge will form.
Push it to the
the strap to hide it, rotating the knots
The best time to do this is after tying
the angle of the holding cord so
11 to it with TRIPLE (3) Half
10 and 9 with DOUBLE (2) Half
the angle of the holding cord so
8 - 2 to it with Double Half
Keep the segments between the two rows as
straight as possible, with
steps 12 - 13, beginning at the
corner on the left
side of the American Guitar Strap.
The loops should be tied counter-clockwise,
you are moving left to right.
The first cord you attach is cord
2, and you tie FOUR (4) Half
Hitches. The holding cord should
Repeat steps 14 - 15. Tie a
TRIPLE (3) Half Hitch with cord
3, and then DOUBLE (2) Half
Hitches for the remainder.
The holding cord is diagonal
for cords 3 and 4, and horizontal
for 5 - 12.
steps 12 - 17 as many times as needed, so
the wide band is the length you need.
Put on the first half of the American Guitar Strap
and make sure it reaches the top of the
Tip: Try to finish with the holding
cord on the side with the same colors, so they are
in matched groups of four (see image for step
20). This is optional if the size doesn't
allow you to do this.
Repeat steps 11 - 18 to make the
12 to hold the DHH,
and start at the right
for the first row (cord 11).
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.
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 to get the instructions.
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.
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 rest.
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 to complete the
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