Tutorial + How-to

Published on August 1st, 2013 | by Bonnie Getchell


How To: Upcycle a Guitar into Art

How To: Upcycle a Guitar into Art

Looking for some unique musical decor? Give an old guitar a makeover and turn it into a piece of art!

My roommate bought a broken guitar at a garage sale for $1 with the hopes that I could upcycle it into something awesome. I use the term “guitar” lightly because it’s a mini guitar that isn’t even made of real wood. Nevertheless, we’re musicians and are always looking for musical decor. Here’s how we transformed a broken guitar into art:

What You Will Need:

1. An old guitar

How To: Upcycle a Guitar into Art

2. Sheet music

3. Glue. If you can, use eco glue

4. Low VOC spray paint

5. Sand paper

6. Painter’s tape

7. Scissors

8. A screwdriver

How to Do It:

1. Remove the strings of the guitar.

How To: Upcycle a Guitar into Art

2. Remove any hardware that you don’t want to paint. I removed the pegs from the head of the guitar because they had a lot of detail.

How To: Upcycle a Guitar into Art

3. Tape off any other areas of the guitar that you don’t want to paint. I taped off the front of the neck (or fretboard) of the guitar.

How To: Upcycle a Guitar into Art

4. Give the body of the guitar a quick sand. It doesn’t have to be too elaborate– just a little bit to rough up the surface.

5. Spray paint it! Remember, you don’t have to paint the top of the guitar if you plan on covering it with sheet music.

6. Mix glue and a little bit of water in a bowl. You will want the mixture to have the consistency of soup. Then, glue the sheet music to the guitar. I always use a little paint brush to spread the glue, but you could use your hands as well. You will want to do a few layers of sheet music to give the guitar full coverage.

How To: Upcycle a Guitar into Art

7. Once the sheet music has dried, cut off any excess paper. I used a combination of scissors and sand paper to create a clean edge. I cut as close to the guitar as I could and then used the sandpaper to blend the edges together.

Optional: Give the entire guitar a clear coat of polyurethane to protect the sheet music and the paint. You can find a spray version at your local hardware store, even though it’s not the greenest craft supply.

You can hang your guitar art on the wall or simply lay it on a flat surface. This would be fun for a music-themed eco-friendly party, too! What would you do with it? Leave your ideas in the comment section below!

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About the Author

Hello! I'm Bonnie -- a craft nerd, musician, writer, furniture and vintage lover, crafter, and diyer! If you would like to learn more about me, I also have my own blog, Revolutionaries, where I write about more craft projects, furniture redos, and my faith! You can also find me on , Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

3 Responses to How To: Upcycle a Guitar into Art

  1. Paul Major says:

    Hi Bonnie. Love it, definitely going to have a go at this one! Paul.

  2. Joyce says:

    i was wondering, if i were to do this on a guitar that I wanted to play, would sanding it and painting it cause a change of sound?


    • Julie Finn says:

      All the YES!!! I suggest finding a cheap second-hand guitar to practice on first. Perhaps the tone change won’t be extreme enough for a casual audience to notice. Perhaps you’ll even find a way to improve the tone!

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