Anyone who knows me knows I ADORE my 3 ukuleles. I taught myself to play by using YouTube and by looking up chords online. It’s so easy to play and tons of fun too.
I’ve wanted a strap for my tenor uke for quite awhile. It has a pickup so I can play it in church when I’m playing in the band, but I always have to sit while I play which drives me nuts.
I tried finding a simple pattern for a ukulele strap online, but it seemed like they all wanted me to drill a hole in the end or just tie a flimsy ribbon around myself. So not what I wanted. It took me a couple tries to get right, but now I have a super cute (sparkly!) strap for my instrument.
I thought I’d share a quick little how-to so you can make one if you want. It’s really simple if you’re already familiar with crocheting! If you’ve never crocheted before, let me know in the comments and I’ll put together a crash course in another post.
Okay, here we go…
First, tie a piece of yarn around your uke and adjust so it’s as long as you want your strap to be. Make sure the yarn won’t be resting on any of the strings or it’ll sound weird when you try to play. Tie the yarn around the neck (under the strings!) and the base of the uke (again, under the strings.. this should sit where the uke is the narrowest). Look at the photo above to see how the strap will be tied on. Stand up and play a few chords to make sure the length is comfortable.
I like to keep my strap in front of my body instead of behind my shoulder the way guitar straps lay. I find my uke feels too off-centred if I put my arm through the loop. You decide what’s best for yourself!
Then cut the yarn off inside the loops around the instrument, so you can see how long your strap needs to be.
Now it’s time to start actually crocheting. Here are a few abbreviations before I start:
- ch = chain
- sc = single crochet
- 2sc x 1 = 2 single crochet in same stitch (x 2 means 2 single crochet in each stitch twice)
- sc2tog = single crochet 2 stitches together
- sl st = slip stitch
I’ll write the rest of the pattern using these abbreviations. At the end of each row, I’ll write the number of single crochet there should be before you turn your work.
You can use any type of yarn you like, but I’d suggest keeping it simple. Try to avoid super thick or frilly yarn. You can also use whatever size hook you want. I used the size that the label on my yarn suggested. Remember: a bigger hook means looser stitches, which means more stretching. Stretching is NOT something you really want in this project so I’d say you should use the smallest hook you comfortably can.
Row 1: Make a slip knot, then ch 2. Turn work so backside faces you.
Row 2: In second ch from hook, 1sc. Ch 1. Turn. (1)
Row 3: 2sc x 1. Ch 1. Turn. (2)
Row 4: 2sc. Ch 1. Turn. (2)
Row 5: 2sc x 2. Ch 1. Turn. (4)
Row 6: 4sc. Ch 1. Turn. (4)
Row 7: 2sc x 1. 2sc. 2sc x 1. Ch 1. Turn. (6)
Row 8: 6sc. Ch 1. Turn. (6)
Repeat row 8 until your strap is the length you need it to be. Keep in mind it will stretch quite a bit with the weight of the ukulele so you should make it a bit shorter than the piece of yarn you used to measure. When it is the desired length, continue with row 9 below.
Row 9: Sc2tog. 2sc. Sc2tog. Ch 1. Turn. (4)
Row 10: 4sc. Ch 1. Turn. (4)
Row 11: Sc2tog x 2. Ch 1. Turn. (2)
Row 12: 2sc. Ch 1. Turn. (2)
Row 13: Sc2tog. Ch 1. Turn. (1)
Row 14: 1sc. Fasten off. (1)
Set this piece aside to make the ties for attaching the strap to the ukulele.
Ch as many stitches as needed to wrap around the bottom of the uke (under the strings at the narrowest point, where the measuring yarn was originally tied), plus some extra so you can easily tie and untie it. Fasten off and then fold the chain in half and tie to one end of the strap.
Repeat the same process for the upper tie (this one will be much shorter, to tie around the neck of the instrument under the strings) and attach to the other end of the strap.
You may have to adjust how loosely or tightly you’ve tied it, depending on where you comfortably hold the ukulele. If the strap is too long (due to stretching), don’t panic! Just sl st along each side of the strap (I used a different colour as an accent) and tie on each end.
Do you play ukulele? Did this pattern work for you? Share your thoughts in the comments! I’d love to hear what colours you decided to use.