How to Modify the Liner on a Hardshell Case for a Guitar

Written by kathy adams
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How to Modify the Liner on a Hardshell Case for a Guitar
Hardshell guitar case liners can be modified for a better fit. (guitar image by Earl Robbins from

A hardshell guitar case is an excellent way to protect your guitar, but often the fit isn't quite right. The lining may have come undone and there may be too much foam, making it difficult to close the case without putting too much pressure on the guitar. If the case isn't designed to hold the guitar that's inside, chances are it will be either too loose or too tight. It's not very hard to modify the liner to meet your guitar's needs, but it will take a little planning to get it just right.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Upholstery foam/other firm foam
  • Measuring tape
  • Spray adhesive designed for fabric/foam
  • Several clamps, large bulldog clips or painter's tape
  • Chalk or pencil
  • Band saw or coping saw
  • Small craft knife

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  1. 1

    Set up your workspace in a clean, well-ventilated area.

  2. 2

    Place the guitar in the case to determine the areas of the liner that need adjustment.

    How to Modify the Liner on a Hardshell Case for a Guitar
    Testing the fit of a guitar case. (guitar image by Hubert from
  3. 3

    Mark the liner with chalk or pencil in the areas needing cuts, if the guitar seems too large for the liner. Draw the lines so the opening will be large enough to remove the guitar easily without catching on the material.

    Mark any areas where more foam is needed. Measure the distance between the guitar and the existing foam to determine how much more foam is necessary.

  4. 4

    Remove the guitar and place it aside, well out of the way.

  5. 5

    Measure the general thickness and height of the existing foam beneath the liner.

  1. 1

    Score the edges of any foam you are removing from the case with a craft knife. Peel back the lining material from the actual foam and cut just the foam, if possible. Slice the liner in such a way that it can be easily patched back into place.

  2. 2

    Cut or pull out the chunk of foam that needs alteration. Carve the foam with your craft knife, getting the curves to match the guitar body.

  3. 3

    Cut any new pieces of foam with your saw to match the measurements made earlier.

  4. 4

    Hold the newly-adjusted foam in place with tape. Place the guitar in the case, making sure everything fits as desired. Close the lid completely to make sure the clasps work. Cut and readjust the foam if necessary. Remove the guitar from the case and place it somewhere safe.

  5. 5

    Follow instructions on the spray adhesive and use where needed. Adhere the foam to the liner and/or case, smoothing out any bumps in the decorative liner. Hold the new foam in place with tape, clamps or bulldog clips. Re-glue any other areas of the liner that appear loose, smoothing out any ripples. Allow ample drying time before placing the guitar in the case.

Tips and warnings

  • A tarp or dust sheet on the floor of the work area will allow for easier cleanup.
  • Be sure to wear gloves and eye protection, and not to touch the guitar or anything valuable during the spray phase. Spray adhesive is extremely sticky.

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