Introduction: Popsicle Stick Guitar

Picture of Popsicle Stick Guitar

I decided it was time for someone to build a guitar completely from popsicle sticks........Ordered 4,000 on ebay and used about 2,000.........I used my Gremlin parlor size guitar as a pattern and started gluing..........took about 2 months working on it everyday.......I retired in Costa Rica and I don't have a lot of tools so kind of made do with what I had......Turned out very nice and very playable.......Not a Martin but hey, what the heck

Step 1: Guitar Form and Making Sides

Picture of Guitar Form and Making Sides

I made a form using heavy art board and hot glue with spacers........I then glued the sides up using the form............

Step 2: Kerfing

Picture of Kerfing

Soaked sticks in water to form for kerfing and clamped and glued to edges......

Step 3: Making Top and Back

Picture of Making Top and Back

Glued sticks on a flat surface covered with foil to make top.......the back I glued directly on the Gremlin guitar so it would be arched.........

Step 4: Bracing

Picture of Bracing

Glued sticks together for bracing and glued to top........glued top to sides......used rubber bands and stapled the edges......removed staples after dry..........

Step 5: Blocks

Picture of Blocks

Formed neck and tail blocks by gluing sticks vertically then horizontally........cut to size........glued to sides of guitar.......(actually I did this before gluing on top)

Step 6: Neck

Picture of Neck

I made the neck by making a square form and gluing about 900 sticks together to form a giant block.....I then cut, sanded, filed, and formed the neck....I routed out the channel for the truss rod.......I used T-nuts inserted threw a hole I drilled and squared up at the base of the neck.......

Step 7: Glue on Back

Picture of Glue on Back

Glued on back and routed edges flush.....I did add normal back bracing with sticks....Starting to look like a guitar

Step 8: Fret Board

Picture of Fret Board

Glued up three layers of sticks.........cut fret slots with coping saw.......inlayed popsicle stick diamond markers.....glued to neck

Step 9: Misc. Parts

Picture of Misc. Parts

Made the tail piece from part of a cheese grater.....added popsicle sticks......glued up sticks for bridge.......made new buttons from popsicle sticks.......made a nut from my dogs chewing bone......made truss rod cover

Step 10: Finish

Picture of Finish

I used spray cans of clear plasti-coat.......wet sanded to 2000.......rubbed it out with black Color-Back car polish.......Works excellent..........

Step 11: Finished Guitar

Picture of Finished Guitar


charlesian2000 (author)2015-05-03

This instructible makes me hungry for icecream... Good job

Thats Weird.

jdmatherlee made it! (author)2016-10-15

I decided to build one during Christmas last year, but when I started it, I had to look it up to see if was even possible to build - that's when I found this one on instructables. It inspired and motivated me to build it and see it through to the end! Took me 400 hours of work and 2300 Popsicle sticks, but I made it! It's a full size 12 fret and playable!

Wow......Excellent job........Looks like when a person Google's "Popsicle stick guitar", there'll be two coming up now instead of just mine.....Your's looks great.....

flemwriter (author)2016-01-26

Great work on this! What would you price it for to sell?

RachelK27 (author)2015-11-07

That is fantastic!

DenGlo2015 (author)2015-11-05

I have a good start on collecting popsicle sticks and have been looking for projects. Like the pictures, would love to have detailed instructions. How can I get them? I probably have around 500 now (or more)

DenGlo2015 (author)2015-11-05

I have a good start on collecting popsicle sticks and have been looking for projects. Like the pictures, would love to have detailed instructions. How can I get them? I probably have around 500 now (or more)

dreamer10 (author)2015-09-27

really love this it took some time to get a chance but I'm finally getting around to it and started one any tips would be appreciated

math193a (author)2015-06-25

Nicely done ;)
I am thinking of making an archtop guitar like this ;)

McTapeNinja (author)2015-05-01

I'm thinking of adapting this for ukulele

gunnyboy (author)2015-03-24

That's incredibly impressive! Well done sir. Well done.

char6708 (author)2015-02-25

Omg that is so cool! How long did it take you to make it

dvitale3 (author)2015-01-08

That is amazing!!!

jmacfarlane (author)2014-12-23

This is super cool and impressive. Great work!

elliot5445 (author)2014-05-04

I will re-ask the question that everyone is asking... HOW DOES IT SOUND!!!

gn0stik (author)elliot54452014-08-04

He's answered this multiple times.

Quote: "It does sound reasonably good considering it's popsicle sticks.."

Quote: "It sounds OK considering."

Capoeirista (author)2014-06-09

This is wonderful! It's really gorgeous! Thank you so much for posting this Instructable!

onepower (author)2014-04-04

Do you think you may be able to make a more detailed instructable on how to build your own? Please.

johnny_irish (author)2014-02-09

Quite impressive if I do say so

Benjaay999 (author)2014-02-02


hbohlius (author)2014-01-28

how does it sound, if I may ask? Can you show a demonstration?

Cmrntroutt (author)2012-06-13

I am interested in trying this but i am confused as to how you were able to do a truss rod, could you maybe give more detail please?

Kaffe (author)2011-06-04

Thanks for this idea. I bet you can fill those holes where the popsicle sticks meet with wood epoxy or something similar. chawlk, etc. if you didn't want the pattern.

I may just have to try this some day.

pfred2 (author)Kaffe2011-11-14

If you trimmed off the rounded ends you'd have nothing to fill. You'd need to use a few more Popsicle sticks though.

awesaomeness5 (author)2011-11-05

You are in costa rica? I moved here from the states to playa del coco. Where do you live?

zstuchbery (author)2011-06-21

How did you make the buttons nice nice?

zstuchbery (author)zstuchbery2011-06-21

so nice*

metaknight2550 (author)2011-04-25

whenever i make the front/back side and when it's dry, i get loads of dried glue on the back side. how do you fix that?

metaknight2550 (author)2011-04-22

Hi, I've got some problems right now.
1. I can't make the sides, they lost form as soon as I peel the tinfoil off. How do I fix this?
2. How did you make the front and back sides stay together so good?

Are you using a cardboard form?.........Are you using titebond wood glue?........I'm not sure what your asking in question 2..........ask in more detail and I will be glad to help..........

I'm using some wood glue, I live in switzerland, you know...
i forgot to make a cardboard form, i just realized it, haha :P
question 2 is: how did you make the popsicle sticks stick together so well on the front side? all i get is masses of glue on the back side, sticks coming loose, and loads of dried glue on the back. :S

metaknight2550 (author)2011-03-15

This is amazing!! I might try this on my own soon :)
Why are the pictures so small though? It would be helpful if they were bigger :/
Also, how does it sound?

monster321 (author)2011-02-16

doe it kick but

monster321 (author)2011-02-16

deos it play tones

Compking2009 (author)2011-02-12

I..... Love.... YOU!!!!!!! :D :D :D

guitarfan (author)2011-02-01

ja i left a comen on your youtube video too and i have a question (another) you think its posible to make a solid body or a semi-hollow guitar or maybe a mandolin ive alwais wanted 1

redorchestra (author)2010-06-04

This would make an excellent ukulele. I might try it. Maybe only 1000 popsicle sticks!!!!

I was thinking the EXACT same thing!

Same here!

ebubbula (author)TheBlackSharpie2011-01-24

me too

i was just about to do this tooo!!!!! omg im on my way to do this!! so excited :D

CapnTac (author)redorchestra2010-09-12

It's been done:

rianocerous (author)2010-12-17

This is seriously so impressive.

I hope someday I can embark on a project like this, and come out with something half as good.

I view this instructable every few weeks, just for

5STARGBLOOD (author)2010-11-23

you must have a lot of time on ur hands

agis68 (author)2010-11-05

beautiful result nice job well presented just one question: how many years you collected all these sticks??? You must ate thousand of ice creams!!!

beehard44 (author)agis682010-11-07

he bought it

sstenbec (author)2010-09-16

Hey, did anybody figure out who that was playing in the background?
Busupholstery, maybe you can help us with that.
Awesome looking guitar! Great craftsmanship!

busupholstery (author)sstenbec2010-09-17

The sound track is Garrick Davis......"GD Blues....." I got it on youtube standard tracks when installing my upload......I think it's great......Thanks for all the complements on the guitar

sstenbec (author)busupholstery2010-10-12

Thanks man!

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