How to Make a Guitar

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Turn a shoebox into a homemade guitar.
Turn a shoebox into a homemade guitar. (Image: Images Courtesy of Fotosearch)

Making a homemade guitar is a hands-on way to teach children about making music, the production of sound, and the history of instrument making. The ancients made simple guitars from basic materials, such as wood and sinew. Children can re-create these simple guitars using materials that can be found around the house. If your house does not have some of these materials, they can be purchased at any craft or arts supply store.

Things You'll Need

  • Empty shoebox
  • 6 sturdy rubber bands
  • 12 brass fasteners
  • Empty toilet paper roll
  • Scissors
  • Craft paint
  • Paintbrushes

Paint shapes and designs on the outside of an empty shoebox, using a paintbrush and bright colors of acrylic or tempera paint. The inside does not need to be painted because it will not be seen. Let the paint dry completely before going to Step 2.

Use acrylic or tempera paint to decorate your guitar.
Use acrylic or tempera paint to decorate your guitar.

Cut a hole about 4 inches in diameter into the top of the empty shoe box. Cut the rubber bands open, making one long rubber band strip out of each. Poke the brass fasteners into the ends of the box, six per side. Tie the end of a rubber band to a fastener, and stretch it out, tying it to a fastener on the opposite end. Repeat this process for each rubber band.

Cut open an empty toilet paper roll and collapse the roll upon itself. Carefully slip the collapsed roll into the end of the homemade guitar, sliding it underneath the rubber bands. This will lift the rubber bands and allow the vibrations of the strings, when struck, to reverberate into the hole of the empty shoebox.

Tips & Warnings

  • Put a small hole in the upper end of the shoebox and insert a paper towel roll to give the guitar a neck.
  • Try boxes of different sizes and materials to compare their different soundst.
  • Snapped rubber bands can smart. Help your child stretch the bands around the shoebox.

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