Customize Your Guitar! New Style for Crap Guitars.





Introduction: Customize Your Guitar! New Style for Crap Guitars.

About: I am a mixed media artist living in the Ozarks with my family. I have been published in many magazines including the cover of Sew Somerset.

Got a ragged out guitar that still plays but looks awefull? Then this instructable is for you! I will show you how to quickly, easily, and cheaply customize your beat up old guitar. The examples I'm showing are more girly versions but you could easily alter the outcome and personalize yours in any way you want.

Step 1: Supplies Needed...

Here is a list of things you will need for this instructable...

1. Beat up, ragged out, kicked around, scratched, dented, and sorry guitar
2. Krylon outdoor spray paint
3. Sand paper, around 120 grit
4. 1 roll masking tape
5. StaZ-On Stamp pad (found at craft and hobby stores, i.e. Hobby Lobby)
6. Rubber Stamps or cut your own out of fun foam (found at craft stores)
7. Rub-Ons (found in the scrapbooking area of craft stores)
8. Rhinestones (I used Swarovski Crystal rhinestones)

Step 2: To Begin...

Wash the guitar to remove any grit and grime. Loosen the strings and remove them and then remove the hardware by unscrewing the 4 tiny screws under each hardware set. (you will not touch the 3 larger screws as these are for tightening loose and rattling hardware) Be sure to save all the screws and hardware pieces to put them back onto your guitar, although now is a perfect opportunity to replace the hardware. If you find yourself having to tune and retune your guitar it could be because the hardware is worn out. New hardware is relatively inexpensive and can give your guitar a nice new look as well.

Step 3: A Bit of Elbow Grease and Sandpaper...

We will be painting the top of this guitar only, but you can paint the entire thing if you wish. If you have an old scratched up pick plate you can remove this now. Some pick plates like the one on this cheap guitar are stuck on with double stick adhesive and can just be pulled off with little effort, some need a lot of effort, and others will have screws that will remove the pick plate from the guitar. Get a new pick plate now or save this one to reuse later. I chose to leave it off entirely. Now that the pick plate is removed, "hand" sand the top of the guitar making sure to sand along with the grain NOT against it. You do not have to sand it to death, just enough to remove the top shiney coat making a nice dull finish that the spray paint can adhere to.

Step 4: That's a Wrap...Tape & Paint...

Use masking tape to cover all surfaces that you don't want sprayed. Make sure the tape is well adhered to all the edges so that the paint can't spray up under it. Spray several thin coats of spray paint over the parts you want painted making sure each coat is dry before you continue. Remove the masking tape and allow the paint to dry according to paint can instructions.

Step 5: Get Your Stamp On...OR...Customize UR Guitar

Now we will concentrate on decorating the guitar. This one is for my daughter so naturally it's going to be overly girly with swirls and bling. Using StazOn brand permanent ink pad stamp swirls all around the edge of the guitar. Then stamp other designs as well, I used some nice butterfly stamps over the swirls. Next you will add Rub-On transfers in different shapes and words wherever you think they look good. Now replace the hardware and put new strings on your guitar.

Step 6: Keep on Rockin!

So now you need to add the rhinestones cause every rocker needs some bling! And you are done! Totally customized guitar that is all YOU. No one else will have one like it and you can hear all your friends brag about how cool it is. Keep on Rockin!



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    20 Discussions

    people here are just very right-to-facts. Everything they've said has had a good pont. I liked seeing your stamping... I'm revamping a guitar I have at the moment, this is neat for ideas.

    3 replies

    Thanks for the support. I was a little down the other day. Would love to see your guitar when you get it done.

    I'll make sure to put up a picture! Seeing designs like these give me ideas. I've been going back and forth on what pattern I want to do for a while.

    Here is one I did as a birthday present for my godchild
    its an old 2/3rd classical guitar I picked up at a fleamarket

    1 reply

    Oh it will ruin the guitar... I bet everyone says that who makes a Frankenstrat like Eddie who ruined his guitar. Oh that explains why they sell for 25,000 each. I think it's fine it's no different than having a beating up guitar resurfaced which I have had done. Along with neck work, bridge and nut replacement etc. Looks great and i am sure plays no different.

    If you want a nice looking instrument, but don't wanna screw something up that sounds good, I'd reccomend doing this to a Guitar Hero instrument. Just a thought.

    ''you can hear all your friends brag about how cool it is.'' yes, but it will destroy the sound. of course those days, look is more important... please, do that on a cheap guitar.

    1 reply

    I would NEVER do this to a nice guitar. The purple one was done on a cheap "First Act" brand guitar that had seen it's better days, honestly on that cheap a guitar you can't tell the difference in sound quality after this mod, plus it was made for a 12 year old, and sound quality wasn't a top issue, she's just learning fingering. The blue and brown one was done an a guitar bought at a yard sale for $5, had a busted back and all kind of peeling and scratches, we glued the back together and played with paint on the front. It 'works" now, wouldn't play a concert with it, it's just an old beater, but fun to play and that's what this mod is all about. Thanks for commenting, hope you have an awesome day!

    This is nicely doe I made some costume designs on my guitar too but I used permanent marker but I think you can also use oil paint too :D

    I think this is a great instructable. Very well made, with great pictures and details. I have a beater guitar I picked up from a pawn shop for 25 bucks... looks like this might be in its future. I appreciate the effort this took to publish. Even though I have an entry in this contest, you still get my vote! Thanks!

    1 reply

    I had already voted for yours because it's just plain cool and I grew up on Nintendo. I expect you to win grand prize. That is one sweet instructable. I would love to see your guitar when you get it done. I've got to do one for my son next (no swirls allowed, LOL) Still trying to decide what to put on his... My guitar was bought at a yard sale for $5 (it had a little issue on the back that needed wood filler) and my daughters was from so they were perfect for "playing" with once you get past the taboo feeling of painting on it.

    I, personally, don't like it much, but in all consideration it is a well done instructable, the idea is common but the execution is pretty easy and do-able for a nice result. It helps along and gives good details. Good luck.

    also, you might wanna change the 'ur' to 'your', but it doesn't really make a difference i guess.'

    cool but taking all of the strings off a steel string guitar at once can cause necks warping. just a warning. though i wouldnt be too concerned about it

    2 replies

    I've done this to several guitars and never had a problem with it. But I usually get the strings back on pretty quickly. Thanks though for the comment. Have a great day!

    yeah ive done it before and know a bunch of people who have too to change strings and had no problems but i used to have a guitar teacher who did actually ruin his guitar when he took all of the strings off. my guess is he also put the guitar through a crazy humidity change when he had the strings off too and thats probably what killed it

    Wasn't begging for votes, just letting friends know they could vote for it, and wich one it was. Sorry for the misunderstanding.