Homemade Stringed Instruments for Children

Updated July 20, 2017

One of the most popular stringed instruments --- the guitar --- can be an easy and fun project for children to make using recycled items from around the house. Variations on these materials can create different types of guitars, which kids can use to start their very own garage band.


A simple cardboard box serves as the main part of the guitar. The box can be nearly any size or shape. Using a large box can create a bass guitar, while a smaller, leaner box can make a ukulele. Use a circular hat box for a banjo. A tissue box or shoebox works well for a normal guitar. Cut a hole in the box to create the opening of the guitar. This allows the sound to vibrate in the chamber.


Make the bridge of the guitar by using a block of wood, a pencil, or any other long, thin object. Glue the object on one side of the hole in the box. This will prevent the "strings" from touching the guitar and allow a sound to be produced. If desired, an adult may assist by carving grooves in the bridge for the strings to rest.


Use different-sized rubber bands to make the strings. If the box is small enough, stretch the rubber bands over the hole in the box and the bridge. If the box is too large, cut the rubber bands and glue the ends on either side of the hole, over the bridge. They can also be fastened with brads. Larger rubber bands can be used for the bass guitar, with smaller, tighter rubber bands for a ukulele. Colourful rubber bands are best for the fun factor.


Use the cardboard tube from a roll of toilet paper or paper towels for the neck of the guitar. Cut a hole in the end of the box opposite the bridge, and insert the cardboard tube. Attach it with tape or glue if necessary. A stick can be used for the neck if a cardboard tube is unavailable. If desired, a smaller box can be attached onto the end of the neck to create the headstock.


Let kids decorate their guitar using colouring tools, paint, string or recyclable materials. They may also want to "sign" their guitar, as they ascend to stardom with their new instrument.

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About the Author

Pauline Lovingood began writing professionally in 2011. She writes about health, fitness, medicine and travel for various websites. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts in health and human Sciences.