How to Make Jewelry From Old Guitar or Bass Strings

Written by ryan voss
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How to Make Jewelry From Old Guitar or Bass Strings
Old guitar strings can still be put to a wide variety of uses (guitar image by Bosko Martinovic from Fotolia.com)

Though a variety of jewellery designs are made from reused or "upcycled" parts, creating jewellery from leftover musical instrument accessories brings with it an extra layer of meaning for a musician. In addition to this, creating jewellery from old steel guitar strings or electric bass strings is a great way to do something useful with all those discarded, used-up strings. Steel string makes an excellent jewellery chain, especially when combined in a design with other dicarded musicians' paraphanelia.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Steel guitar or bass strings
  • Wire snips
  • Mirror
  • Guitar pick
  • Electric drill
  • Jump rings
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Glass or stone bead
  • Jewellery wire
  • Solder
  • Soldering iron
  • Jewellery clasps

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut the steel string with wire snips to make it a length long enough for the size of necklace you want. Test the length by wrapping it around your neck in front of a mirror to see how low it hangs on your neckline.

  2. 2

    Drill two stringing holes in the guitar pick, one near the point and one at the opposite end, in the middle of the flat side. Leave about an eighth of an inch between the hole and the edge of the plastic on each side to prevent the hole from ripping out later.

  3. 3

    Thread the two holes in the guitar pick with jump rings using the needle-nosed pliers.

  4. 4

    Thread a short length of wire through the glass or stone bead. Make a large loop on one side of the protruding wire and a small loop or bend on the other (just to keep the bead from falling off). Attach the loop to the ring on the point of the guitar pick, making a dangling pendant.

  5. 5

    String the guitar pick pendant onto the steel string necklace length.

  6. 6

    Wrap each end of the steel string in a tight coil of jewellery wire. Make a loop at the end of the wire using the round-nose pliers, placed just beyond the end of the steel string.

  7. 7

    Coat the wire-wrapped ends of the jewellery in solder. Apply the solder by pressing the hot tip of the iron to the end of the solder wire, then dripping the solder from the iron to the end of the string. Let cool for at least five minutes before handling.

  8. 8

    Attach jewellery clasps to either end of the string, threading them onto the loops you made at the end of the wire wrap coils.

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