Introduction: How to Make a Cheap & Eco-friendly Guitar Case.
To those that remember my old instructables: i bid hello. Sorry it's been a while, but i had some personal things (2 moves, a fun but long stay at the hospital, getting into the university of my choice, etc), so i had to take a small hiatus from what i love: making weird things & showing people how i made them. Well, enough about me. Let's get started.
First things first, my goals with this project were to: 1) make a case for my guitar 2) to do it as cheaply as possible (i paid only 100 rubles (about $3) for the zippers) 3) kill lots & lots of time. I succeeded ;) Also, i was going for a "stuff i found in the garbage" look, but i will make recommendations on how to make your case look less "dumpstery" [they will be in these square parentheses].
Step 1: Supplies
I used 1) old t-shirts, 2) cardboard, 3) masking tape, 4) packing material, 5) buttons, 6) string, 7) an old backpack, 8) zippers, 9) scissors, 10) pen or marker, 11) a sewing machine (needle), 12) pins, 13) a guitar, & 14) good music (i listened to Diablo Swing Orchestra, Van Canto, Age of Silence, & Unexpect). Music is the most important part in this instructable & in my life.
[1) thick roll of cloth (i recommend nylon), 2) hardboard or thin plywood, + 3-14]
Step 2: Tracing & Cutting
Now that you have your stuff (be it cheap or expensive) you can begin. since shirts tend to be shorter than guitars (i wear Medium myself), I had to trace & cut the fabric in pieces. i started with deck. I cut up 4 "deck's" (see picture) out of t-shirts. Just trace your guitar's deck onto the cloth (i used soap). Then do the same thing with the neck. i cut out 2 pieces twice as thick as the neck to sew less. I traced the whole guitar onto the packing material & cut up 2 (do the same with the cardboard).
Now you need a piece of cloth twice as thick as your deck that is long enough to go around the perimeter of your whole guitar & a piece of packing material as thick as your deck & as long as the latter piece of cloth.
When you cut the cloth, you should leave a few millimeters around the edges (you need to sew it onto your cardboard later).
Since you have your scissors out anyway, you should carefully cut the straps from your old backpack. Try to cut the strings holding the straps & not the straps themselves.
[instead of t-shirts use decent cloth (nylon). you should be able to trace the whole guitar & instead of cardboard use the hardboard or plywood].
Step 3: Taping & Pinning
Now you have a bunch of weird pieces of cloth & stuff, but what should you do with it? Well, first, you make combine the neck & deck shaped piece to make them look like a guitar. Sewed them together to save myself time later, but at this stage you can use pins.
Now that almost everything looks kind of like a guitar, you have to tape the packing material to the cardboard [hardboard] as seen in the picture.
When thats done, you should take 2 pieces of guitar like cloths and pin it around the cardboard like a pillowcase so that it can't slip out (picture).
Repeat the procedure with the other cloth, cardboard, & packing material.
Step 4: Sewing 1
This part is easy (If you know how to sew. If you don't, this site has some good instructables that can teach you how. Go check them out). You just have to sew the cardboard into it's final resting place. I recommend using a sewing machine, but i don't have one, so i did this all by hand (i said i wanted to kill time didn't I?). Just go around the edge.
[what i should have done was sew the backpack straps & zippers in at this point, but i didn't have them yet, so i did this later. you want to sew in the straps (padded side up) between the 2 pieces of deck shaped pieces of what will later be the back of your case on either side of the neck. Sew the ropey part to the bottom . I don't know how far apart (i did it by eye), you should try out a few different distances & pick one that is good for you. At this point you only want one side of your zipper sewed into the edge of the front side of your case (picture).]
Step 5: Pinning & Sewing 2
Ok, so you have a really long piece of cloth & a piece of packing material (sorry i keep calling it that but i don't know what it's called so i have no synonyms for it) that is just as long. You want to take the cloth & fold it in half. Now take the packing material & slide it into the latter fold (to make a taco). Pin the cloth around the material like you did the cardboard & pin the "taco" to the back of your case [if your smart (unlike myself) you should pin down the side that has the fold. your going to need the opening in the cloth to sew in the second part of your zipper].
Sew the "taco" to the back of your case now.
Nows the time to choose how your case is going to open. If you like the way i did it, then you can sew up the right side of your case like i did. Or you can have it open from the bottom. I can't really hold your hand through this part (though you know i love you), but i marked the picture. Follow the white rabbit (little orange boxes. can you tell i'm a little sleep deprived?).
[Sew in the second half of your zipper where you haven't sewn your "taco" to the front of your case, i did this later, but you know this already]
Step 6: Finishing Touches
If your like me, then you still haven't sewn on your zipper or straps yet. Well now you should pin one side of the zipper to an open part of the case (top or bottom, doesn't matter at the moment). Then sew the other side of the zipper to the adjacent part of the case. Make sure it closes up.
I already wrote this down already so i'm just going to copy/paste (sorry if it's annoying): "you want to sew in the straps (padded side up) to the back of your case on either side of the neck. Sew the ropey part to the bottom . I don't know how far apart (i did it by eye), you should try out a few different distances & pick one that is good for you."
there, that wasn't so bad was it?
I had 4 small zippers but i recommend using 1 long one. it'll be more comfortable.
Step 7: Conclusion!!
Basically your done. Now you can add patches, pockets, lasers, or anything you would like. I would like to eventually add a small battery-powered amp to it, but that will have to wait.
Why is this case eco-friendly? Because it's made from 95% recycled materials.
why is it in the back-to-school contest? Because guitar is often taught in schools (it was in mine, but i missed that chance. long story).
You guys are awesome & i love your comments. if you have anything to add or recommend, please do so, but just as a reminder please keep your criticism constructive. ;)