To use a strap or not: that is actually one of the most burning questions when it comes to handling a uke. Some folks aren’t big fans of using such accessories since most of them are too small. However, the bigger these instruments get, the trickier they are to hold so you might want to learn how to make a ukulele strap.
This instant solution will let you easily hold and play your instrument without too much fuss or investment. It will let you focus on making music instead of struggling to hold it in place.
So how do you make a DIY ukulele strap? Allow us to break it down for you below.
How to Make a Ukulele Strap
Before we start, we should note that there are quite a few different ways to make a uke strap. In this guide, we’ll be talking about ukulele shoulder straps because they’re way easier to whip up on your own compared to ukulele neck straps.
While you don’t need to drill your instrument with neck straps their construction might need a bit more than just tying knots, so they might still be a bit more complicated for some folks.
So on this quick guide on how to put on a ukulele strap, we’ll stick with the simpler techniques available. We’ll also skip drilled on straps since using DIY straps on them can be quite tricky.
Ukulele Strap: No Drill
There are a lot of ways you can strap up your uke without creating a hole in it. Here are some of the easiest examples:
DIY Ukulele Hug Strap
The first and easiest way to attach a strap to your ukulele is by tying a rope-like material to it. As long as it’s of the durable variety and you can trust it to hold the weight of your ukulele, it’s perfectly possible to use it as a strap. Some of the most popular options are cloth strips, t-shirt yarn, and shoelace.
Here are the steps to create a homemade ukulele strap with this method:
- Cut the length of the fabric or material you’re using for the strap. Make sure that it’s at least twice the length of your ukulele. If you’re quite big in size, however, make the material longer to make sure that you’ll fit.
- Slip one end of the piece of the material under the strings on the headstock just before the nut or in between the tuners. Create a tight and secure knot so the uke won’t slip off the material.
- Slip the other end of the material under the strings just above the soundhole. Wrap it around the body then create another secure knot to hold the instrument in place.
- Try if you can fit inside the strap comfortably. If not, make appropriate adjustments.
If you want something stronger than just a strip of material to safely carry the weight of your instrument, you can take the first method up a notch by creating a braided version of the materials instead. By doing this, you can create a stronger strap so you’ll feel more comfortable carrying your uke without having to actually hold it.
The steps are the same as the ones enumerated above for whipping up a ukulele strap (no button). The only difference is you’ll need to use more materials and braid them together.
Depending on the material, you might be done with this project in a few minutes or longer. If you want to make paracord ukulele straps might need more skills as braiding such materials can be a bit trickier.
Use Stick-on Hooks Instead
Another no-drill method is by using stick-on hooks instead. So as an alternative to drilling on to your instrument, all you need to do is to grab a stick-on hook or two and follow these steps:
Single Hook Technique:
- Measure and mark the center point of the bottom of the body of your ukulele. This will be where you’ll stick the hook on.
- Gather your materials. Grab a pliable plastic hook that isn’t too big and your choice of strap that is measured according to your needs.
- Remove the non-adhesive covering on the adhesive part.
- Stick the plastic hook upside down on the marked area if you strum your uke with your right hand and with the right side up if you strum your uke with your left hand. This way, the hook will hold up the strap nicely.
- Create a loop on one end of your strap and hook it into your uke.
- Tie the other end of the strap on the headstock right before the nut or in between the tuners.
- Check if you can fit inside the strap and adjust accordingly if needed.
Dual Hook Technique
If you don’t want to tie something onto your ukulele strap, this will be another solid option to try:
- Gather the materials you need. Grab two stick-on hooks and your choice of strap.
- Take measurements at the bottom of the body to find the perfect spot for your hook.
- Grab one stick-on hook and place it upside down on the bottom of the ukulele. Press down to make sure that it sticks.
- Grab the other hook and stick it upside down on the other end of the body of the instrument, above the support part of the neck of the ukulele. Press down nicely to ensure that it sticks.
- Create loops on the ends of the strap of your choice.
- Hook them into the stick-on hooks.
- Try carrying your ukulele using the strap attached to the hooks. If you used reliable hooks, it should hold up nicely.
Important Things to Remember
When you plan on using a homemade strap for your uke, it’s crucial that you make sure of the following:
- Ensure strap durability and quality so you won’t drop your instrument while you try to handle it more effectively. You wouldn’t want to damage your Kangaroo ukulele with a flimsy homemade strap, right?
- Be ready for some trial and error. There are no definite measurements involved in this process, so you should be ready to make adjustments. Take into consideration your body size and the kind of uke you have. Ukulele straps on tenor instruments should be longer than the ones for sopranos, so make sure to note such details.
- Aesthetics can also play a huge role in making the perfect strap for ukuleles. If you have a lego ukulele, you might want something more playful.
With the perfect uke strap for your instrument, you can more easily focus on your playing techniques and music instead of bothering about how to keep the thing securely rested against your chest.
And since the techniques on how to make a ukulele strap is so easy, there’s really no excuse not to give it a try. There might just be some trial and error involved in the process but we’re sure that it won’t make things very hard for you.