How to Weave a Rainbow Guitar Strap

Use an inkle loom and pearl cotton to make a rainbow guitar strap.


Materials and Tools:

inkle loom
inkle shuttle
5/2 mercerized pearl cotton for the warp in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple-40 yards each
80 yards of black 5/2 mercerized pearl cotton for both the warp and weft
50 string heddles made of strong fiber such as linen
3 yards of 2-inch black nylon webbing
¼-yard flannel-backed black vinyl
sewing machine
black sewing thread
2 black plastic buckles, each 2 inches wide
template for end pieces
graph paper
colored pencils
hole punch


1. Sketch and color the design for the strap with graph paper and colored pencils.

2. Pull cones of needed colors.

3. Count out 50 string heddles.

4. Clamp the inkle loom to a counter or sturdy table.

5. Starting with black cotton, anchor the end to the thumbtack at the front of the loom.

6. Loosen the movable peg on the loom and move it out to one inch from the end of the loom.

7. Warp the first black thread up and over the first peg after placing one string heddle over the thread, and attach the heddle to the heddle peg. Continue winding around all the pegs in numerical order.

8. Wind the next thread (still black), skipping the first peg but continuing on in numerical order. This warp thread will not have a heddle.

9. Thread the next black thread. This third thread will go over the first peg and will need a heddle anchored on the heddle peg.

10. Continue threading in the threading order, remembering that every other thread (the odd threads) will need a heddle. The pattern is as follows:

  • 4 black, 12 red
  • 4 black, 12 orange
  • 4 black, 12 yellow
  • 4 black, 12 green
  • 4 black, 12 blue
  • 4 black, 12 purple
  • 4 black

11. Wind the shuttle with black thread. As you wrap, count to 100, one for each full rotation. This will ensure that you have enough black thread on your shuttle for the weft.

12. With the shuttle in your right hand, place your left hand behind the row of heddles. Push down, bringing the shuttle through the opening you've made in front of the heddles, going from right to left, beating with the shuttle as you go through this opening, which is called the shed.

13. Push up on the threads behind the heddles with your right hand; pass the shuttle through the shed with your left hand, beating as you go.

14. Continue weaving back and forth, advancing the warp as needed until the entire warp is woven.

15. Remove the guitar strap from the loom by sliding it off the ends of the pegs.

16. Remove the string heddles and save for future warps. Trim both ends.

17. Finish both ends of the band to prevent fraying with a zigzag stitch.

18. Stitch the band to a piece of black nylon webbing.

19. Thread one of the 2-inch plastic black buckles onto the band.

20. For the top end of the strap, trace around the template with the arch-shaped top and the straight bottom on black flannel-backed vinyl, and cut out the two pieces. Punch one hole at the arched end of each of the two pieces with a hole punch. Cut a ½-inch slit from the hold toward the straight end.

21. Sandwich one end of the band between the two pieces of vinyl with wrong sides together, and stitch the band to the vinyl pieces. Top-stitch around the end of the vinyl pieces. String several strands of pearl cotton through the hole and tie in a lark's-head knot.

22. Thread the other end of the band through the buckle and stitch it to the band. Loop the vinyl end of the band through the second buckle, and then thread the vinyl end through the buckle that's stitched to the band to make the strap adjustable.

23. Trace the template onto the black flannel-backed vinyl, with one end arched but more pointed and the other end straight, and cut out the two pieces. Punch holes in the arched end with a hole punch. Top-stitch the two pieces together with the flannel sides together. Loop the piece through the second buckle and stitch across, catching the buckle in between. Attach this end to the metal knob on the bottom of the guitar through the punched holes.

24. Attach the other end of the woven rainbow strap to the top of the guitar.

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