How to Make a Guitar Out of a Shoebox


For those who love music and crafting, creating your own musical instrument can be a challenging and fulfilling project. You might think that making a guitar would be beyond the skill of a novice, but almost anyone can craft her own guitar out of a few basic items.
A shoebox guitar is made of exactly what it's named after: a shoebox. All you need is a shoebox, rubber bands and kabob skewers, and you'll be making your very own music on your very own guitar.

Things You'll Need

  • Shoebox
  • Five wooden kabob skewers
  • Four rubber bands
  • Utility knife
  • Cardboard wrapping paper tube
  • Packing tape
  • Cut a large hole in a shoebox. This will be the sound hole. Make sure to use a shoebox with an attached lid. One with a detachable lid will not be as sturdy.

  • Poke four 6-inch wooden kabob spears through the lid of the box, right near the soundhole. The pointed ends should just touch the bottom of the shoebox while the blunt ends protrude from the top of the lid.

  • Cut open four rubber bands. Tie one end of each rubber band to the kabob skewers protruding from the shoe box lid. Double knotting the rubber bands works best.

  • Poke four small holes on the other end of the sound hole to line up directly across from the holes with the skewers in them. The first hole should be closer to the sound hole than the second, just as the second hole should be closer to the sound hole than the third and fourth holes. Each hole should be further away from the sound hole previous.

  • Pull the other, untied ends of the rubber bands through the holes you just punched into the shoebox. The rubber bands should be pulled taut. Underneath the lid, tape the ends of the rubber bands down with packing tape

  • Close the lid and press the skewers into the bottom of the shoebox. This will secure the skewers and keep the rubber bands taut.

  • Slide a wooden kabob skewer underneath the rubber bands at the end of the sound hole where you taped the rubber bands. This will lift the rubber bands and function as the bridge.

  • Cut a hole at the end of the shoebox. This should be the end near the protruding kabob skewers. Fit a cardboard wrapping paper tube into this hole and secure it with packing tape. This will function as the neck of the guitar. Make sure to secure it well, as you will be holding onto the guitar with it.

    Now, with the rubber bands pulled taut and the neck attached, you're ready to make music.

Tips & Warnings

  • To create different notes and sounds, adjust how tight the rubber bands are. You can do this by pulling the rubber bands tighter or letting them hang looser and securing them with tape. If the guitar is adjusted to your liking, you can tape the lid shut. If you plan on adjusting the strings or changing where the skewers are located, do not tape the lid shut.
  • Be careful when working with utility knives and rubber bands. Children should be supervised when undertaking this project.

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  • Photo Credit Arianne Nellessen
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