Cleveland, OH

Western Reserve Historical Society Cleveland shares ways you can create guitars with reused equipment

Terrence Jacobs

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CLEVELAND, OH – Are you looking to amuse your children, nieces, or nephews, or are you simply bored at home with nothing to do? Here is an action that you can take. Check out these instructions from The Western Reserve Historical Society on how to make guitars out of reused appliances.

Yes, you heard it right! It is possible to make a DIY guitar out of a shoe box, tissue paper, cardboard, or a wooden box. For instance, watch the video below to see an Indonesian woman perform a song on her homemade bass guitar. Indeed, some street performers in Indonesia make use of this type of homemade instrument.

So, without further ado, let us begin by creating some musical instruments.

The following materials are required:

  • Empty Tissue box (or any other box available at the moment, cut a hole in the middle)
  • 4-5 rubber bands (different widths and colors would be nice)
  • 2 wooden popsicle sticks (alternatives include paint stirrers and nail files)
  • Long cardboard tube or roll, scissors & tape (IE a paper towel, foil, or parchment paper roll) (optional)
  • Markers, glitter & glue, colored paper or tapes to decorate your box and roll. (optional)

Here's how to do it:

To begin, take away the plastic from the tissue opening and then build your box however you choose. To make it more resembling a guitar, you can attach the cardboard tube to one end and use it as the neck.

To do so, center the tube in one of the shorter square ends of the box and sketch around it. Cut out the circular shape and secure the roll to the box using tape. If you're doing it with a child, you can let them have their way with the decoration.

Once your instrument is finished and all paints and glues are dry, stretch the rubber bands around the box, ensuring they are equally spaced across the opening.

To finish, slide the popsicle sticks beneath the rubber bands on either side of the hole. To increase or decrease the strain on the bands, experiment with band placement and size, as well as stacking more or fewer popsicle sticks. Discover how the sound can change!

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