How to Make Homemade Guitar Picks


Even if you've recently bought guitar picks, they somehow manage to disappear exactly when you need them. Instead of treating every purchased pick like it's a sacred treasure so you don't lose it, make your own picks by upcycling items you have around the house, such as plastic jugs and old gift cards and credit cards.

Things You'll Need

  • Guitar pick punch
  • Expired credit cards, gift cards or plastic sheets
  • Fine-grit sanding block
  • Soft cloth
  • Rubber stamps
  • Ink designed for plastic

Simple, Durable Guitar Picks

  • Place an expired credit card, gift card or plastic sheet between the jaws of a guitar pick punch; the punch works much like a hole punch.

  • Press firmly down on the top of the guitar pick punch to punch a hole through the pick material. If it is difficult to punch through the plastic, rest both hands on the top of the punch and use your body weight to help punch out the pick shape.

  • Remove the plastic pick shape from the jaws of the pick punch. Feel the edges of the pick; if they feel rough or jagged, run the edges over a sanding block, holding the pick at a 45-degree angle to the block. If you're using a piece of completely smooth plastic as the pick, rub each side of the plastic over the sanding block in a circular motion. Wipe the dusty residue off the pick with a soft cloth.

Stamped Image Guitar Picks

  • Punch out one -- or several -- guitar picks on a clear or solid-colored plastic sheet using the pick punch.

  • Sand the edges of each pick smooth on a fine-grit sanding block, rounding them as you like. Sand the front and back of each pick by rubbing it in a circular motion over the sanding block. Wipe the dust away with a soft cloth.

  • Place a sheet of newspaper on the work surface; then place your picks on the paper.

  • Dip a rubber stamp onto an ink pad containing craft ink designed for plastic. Stamp the picks; then allow the ink to dry completely before handling.

Tips & Warnings

  • To punch a hole through thin plastic such as a transparency sheet, place the thin plastic atop a thicker plastic material such as a gift card; then punch through both materials at once. Thin plastic may snag or not cut properly if you attempt to punch through it on its own.
  • Permanent markers may also be use to decorate your homemade picks. Sand the pick surface for an inked designed that stays put; failing to sand may make the ink rub away when you use the pick, plus the pick will be slippery between your finger and thumb.
  • Thin plastic such as plastic cut from a water or milk jug may be used to make picks, but the picks will be very flexible and thin compared to the average thickness of a store-bought pick.
  • If using credit cards for your pick material, don't include vital information from the card on any one pick, such as the last four digits of the card number.

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  • Photo Credit shutswis/iStock/Getty Images
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