Posted by Katie Gambone
Matteo loves music. He also really, really loves guitars. Carlo has been playing his guitar for Matteo ever since he was an infant. When Matteo became mobile, he would crawl over to Carlo’s guitar (which sits on a stand next to a desk in our living room) and strum the strings on his own. Over time he’s started to make some lovely noises with it. It’s been so interesting to watch him figure this out.
Because of his love of music, Matteo received this really cool ukulele as a gift for his first birthday from his Aunt Abby, Uncle Drew and cousins Meika and Harper.
It took him a little while to realize it made the same noises as Carlo’s guitar, but now it is one of the first toys he reaches for every morning. Here he is strumming the strings and another shot of him “singing.”
Sometimes he uses the ukulele as a golf club as seen below. Or maybe he is pretending he is a rock star and slamming it on the ground? I can’t tell for sure, but whatever floats his boat!
We’ve started to decorate his ukulele with his (read Carlo and my) favorite band stickers. So far we have the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine album represented.
The ukulele is about as big as Matteo is right now but he can carry it around the house. However, it clunks off the floor and any objects near Matteo when he is walking. So, to make this a little easier for Matteo (and to prolong the life of the ukulele and my furniture) I got the idea in my head that I could make it a little easier for him to carry his ukulele wherever by making a guitar strap. So I did. It was so easy! And it works! Here is Matteo walking through a neighbor’s side yard with the ukulele on his back. The strap attaches to it at the top and bottom with Velcro so he can remove it easily and so it doesn’t become a choking hazard.
If you would like to make a guitar strap yourself, here is how I did it. You can use any kind of ribbon you like, but the combination of Gross Grain Ribbon and Jute Ribbon made the strap very sturdy (and also really cute).
Elmer’s Glue Adhesive Spray
Gross Grain Ribbon (I picked it up at JoAnne Fabrics)
Jute Ribbon (I picked it up at JoAnne Fabrics)
Sticky Back Velcro
Lay the Gross Grain Ribbon and Jute Ribbon on a flat surface outside or in a well ventilated area. Take the Elmer’s Glue Adhesive Spray and, holding it about 6 to 8 inches from the Gross Grain Ribbon, spray a generous and even coat along the entire strip. Immediately take your Jute Ribbon and lay it on top of the ribbon you just sprayed, pressing firmly. Let the ribbon dry for several hours or overnight. You may want to place a book on top of the ribbon to weigh it down.
Once the adhered ribbons are dry, measure how long you need it to be by measuring it around the person who will be wearing the guitar (or, in this case, ukulele). This was tough to do with a 14 month old who is sooooo busy! Here I am trying to wrangle him. Apologies for the blurry pictures!
Cut the ribbon to the appropriate length.
Flip the ukulele over. Apply the sticky back Velcro to the top and bottom of the ribbon and the top and bottom of your guitar.
Stick them together and voila! You have a guitar strap.
Now excuse me while Matteo and I have a jam session. The wheels on the bus go round and round…(strum, strum, strum).
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