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Guitar Straps - Making Leather Crafts

     This page describes the steps that are used for crafting our leather guitar straps.  After understanding the process for making our leather crafts, check out our finished custom leather guitar straps that we can personally make for you.

Pages (Guitar Straps)

Classic Series
Guitar Straps

custom leather guitar straps

Jewel Studded
Guitar Strap Series

studded guitar straps

Etched Series
Guitar Straps

custom guitar strap etched

Script Series
Guitar Straps

personalized guitar straps script

Inlay Series
Guitar Straps
leather guitar straps

Leather
Guitar Strapleather guitar strap

Electric Acoustic
 Guitar Strap

acoustic electric guitar strap

See our leather guitar straps pages shown above for the custom guitar straps we make to sell.


guitar strap rolled leather
All our guitar straps are cut from quality premium tooling cowhide.


Choose Leather Hide

     First a premium piece of tooling cowhide must be chosen.  5 - 6 oz leather thickness works well for guitar straps to give it the strength but also enough suppleness.  We choose leather that has been properly prepared on the underneath side from the tannery so there will be no fuzzy pieces of leather coming off on your clothes when you are wearing the guitar strap.  Leather  hides are supplied in various thickness for different leather craft projects.
guitar strap stamping far
The designs and lettering are imprinted into the leather by hand.


Stamp Design

     After the leather guitar strap has been cut, we dampen it with water on the top surface only.  A  firm solid flat surface to work on such as a piece of marble or granite is used.  When stamping the guitar straps, we need a firm and solid surface so the stamp tool will not bounce when we hit it with the rawhide mallet.  As we stamp the design down the guitar strap, the water will start to dry out so we will have to dampen it again with a wet sponge.  If we want to stamp in a name, now is the time to do that as well.  This is a labor intensive process since not only each stamp has to be lined up neatly but each stamp has to be hit with the same hardness so the design will all be the same depth.  There are lots of leather craft stamps available to decorate your special leather project.
guitar strap dyeing
The custom leather guitar strap is dyed by hand being careful not to go into the imprint.


Dye Leather

     After the water has dried from the leather, we are ready to dye the top surface of the leather.  Professional oil dye by the Fiebing Company is used for coloring our guitar straps.  It penetrates deeply into the leather while allowing the natural grains of the leather to be seen.  Although it is more expensive, we choose to use it so we will not have to worry about rub off like some poorer quality leather dyes. 
     We have a folded piece of flannel cloth nailed to a wooden block.  The cloth makes a nice applicator to rub the dye into the leather.  The wooden block allows us to hold the applicator easily.  Protective gloves are worn so we won't have to have our hands dyed for weeks.  The dye is rubbed on the guitar strap being very careful not to get it into the stamped design.  This is a
tedious time consuming process.  Many applications are applied to get an even coverage and the desired darkness we want.  Keep in mind that this leather dye is meant for natural undyed vegetable tanned leather and not meant for redying leather that has already been colored.
guitar strap line
A boarder line adds a nice touch to our imprinted guitar straps.


Border Design

     Once the dye has dried, we can make a boarder design along the guitar strap with this groove tool.  This tool is also used for making stitch grooves for doing sewing for other leather craft projects.  There is a small set screw which allows us to adjust how far from the edge we want the groove to be.  This groove tool is also a great leather craft tool to make channels for sewing other leather projects.
guitar strap bevelling
The edges of the custom guitar straps are rounded with a hand beveller.


Round Edges

     Rather than have a square edge, we round the edge of the guitar strap with this beveller for a more finished look.  There are different size bevellers for taking off a little from the edge to a lot.  We even bevel the underneath side for a more comfortable feel on the shoulder.  Although we bevel both the top and bottom side of our guitar straps, the bottom is a lot harder to do.  Using proper leather craft tools makes the job a lot easier.
      Now that all the design work is in the leather, we dip the guitar strap into a vat of neatsfoot oil compound to keep the leather from drying out and to give it some more suppleness.  After the neatsfoot oil is absorbed over a few hours, we touch it up a bit more with some neatsfoot oil on a brush to even out the color since the neatsfoot oil darkens the leather.
guitar strap edge dyeing
The guitar strap edges are dyed and then burnished with beeswax.


Dye Edges

     The edges of the guitar straps are dyed with a different dye than the surface.  We use Fiebing's acrylic dye because it holds down all the edge fibers of the leather.  Since it is a hard finish, we burnish the edges when dry with beeswax using a denim applicator.  Now the surface is ready to have a couple coats of polish, letting each coat thoroughly dry before the next is applied.  There are many polishes for leather that will work well.  However, we choose Fiebing's Resolene since it helps seal the dye as well as giving a brilliant quality finish to the leather.  There is also other types of leather polish that give a nice finish on the leather.  The leather polishes we supply are made for vegetable tanned leather.
guitar strap holes
An old tree stump makes an excellent work bench for punching holes in the leather guitar strap.


Punch Slots

     We punch the slots for adjustment and the round holes for the guitar knobs using a heavy rawhide mallet and an Osborne punch.  So we will not get bounce when we punch the holes, we use a solid wooden tree stump as a work bench.  These oblong leather hole punch tools are also used for the slot when using a buckle in a leather craft project.
guitar strap leather
The finished personalized guitar strap lays on the leather that it was started from.


Guitar Strap Finished

     Now the guitar strap is finished and ready to be worn by a musician.  This quality personalized leather guitar strap will last for many years and will become more supple with wear.  You can see what has been involved from the unfinished piece of leather shown in the picture to the finalized crafted product.  See more of our finished guitar straps on our web page custom leather guitar straps.   If you do leather craft work, check out our leather craft supplies pages for leather hides, snaps, rivets, leather lace and belt buckles.
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