This DIY Shoebox Guitar Will Take You And Your Kid About 10 Minutes To Build

Rubber bands — way easier on the fingers.

by Fatherly
Originally Published: 

You dream of your kid following in the footsteps of legendary axemen like Jimi Hendrix, Slash, or Janice, but guitars aren’t cheap. Meanwhile, you have a huge stack of recycling just sitting there. What do these 2 things have to do with each other? Everything!

With just a shoebox and a few things you can pick up in that grocery store aisle with all the weird non-food things, you and your kid can build a (sort of) guitar that’s perfect for them to shred on. Will it give you a sense of their innate musical ability? Of course not! But it will give you a sense of whether or not there’s a huge rock star somewhere in that tiny body. That’s valuable information to have before you drop $700 on a new Gibson that spends their adolescence in the back of the closet, gently weeping.


  • Sturdy shoebox with lid
  • 6 colored rubber bands
  • 12 split pins
  • Image of Prince (The more majestic, the better)
  • Extra cardboard


  • Glue gun
  • X-acto knife
  • Ruler


  • Glue your picture of Prince on the inside of the shoebox (this is the most important step).
  • Cut a 3-inch hole in the middle of the shoebox lid using the X-acto knife.
  • Fold extra cardboard into an arrow with small edges on each side. This will serve as a ‘bridge’ for the guitar’s strings, which will help improve the sound quality of your kid’s strumming.
  • Glue the ‘bridge’ below the shoebox’s hole.
  • Press 6 split pins into the side of the shoebox directly below the ‘bridge.’ Attach end of one cut rubber band to each pin.
  • Attach the other end of the rubber bands with 6 remaining split pins on the opposite side of the shoebox above the hole.
  • Make doves cry.

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