How to make a cardboard guitar

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How to make a tissue-box guitar

What you will need

  • 1 empty tissue box (this wood-effect box is from Sainsbury's but you can use any tissue box you like)
  • Coloured elastic OR 6 long elastic bands (we used pink and yellow elastic)
  • 6 split pins
  • 1 dolly peg OR an old pencil
  • Sellotape
  • 1 Biro pen OR a sewing awl for punching holes
  • Small piece of scrap paper

When you've run out of tissues, there's no need to cry. Grab the empty box and turn it into a cardboard guitar.

An old tissue box already has a hole like a real guitar, so it's perfect for this musical craft. Now all it needs are a few colourful elastic bands and you have a lovely, plucky-sounding instrument that the kids will love playing with. If your little stars are desperate to be in a band, they could also try making a set of tissue-box drums or turn paper plates into booming tambourines.

Age group: Kids as young as five can get involved in making this cardboard box guitar - they will just need help punching holes. Scroll down for our brilliant step-by-step guide on how to make a cardboard guitar.


Step 1

Cardboard guitar equipment...
Find a flat surface to work on and gather together all the craft materials you need to make a cardboard guitar.

Step 2

Take a tissue box and tie six elastic guitar strings around it, tying them on as tightly as you can and making the knots at the back of the tissue box.
If you're using elastic bands, just slip them on instead.
Arrange the guitar strings of equal-distance apart over the sound hole, then Sellotape them to the back of the tissue box so they won't slide off.

Step 3

Using a Biro or a sewing awl, punch six holes about 2cm from the bottom of the sound hole, just underneath each guitar string, then stick in the split pins to hold the strings in place, just like real guitar string pegs.

Step 4

Slide a dolly peg underneath the guitar strings, at the top of the cardboard guitar.

Step 5

Roll up a small piece of scrap paper and place it underneath the guitar strings, just above the split pins. This makes the guitar sound better when you play it.

Step 6

And that's it! Your cardboard guitar is ready to play with.

Design created by Jennifer Shepherd for

For crafts materials such as coloured elastic, split pins and dolly pegs etc. visit Baker Ross, a family run craft business who are the leading suppliers of arts and crafts to schools and other organisations across the UK and abroad, based in Walthamstow, London.

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