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DIY Miniature Acoustic Guitar (made with popsicle sticks!)

November 5, 2019


Hi guys! It’s Cath! Today, I’m going to
show you how to make these super cute and realistic looking miniature acoustic guitars.
They’re made up of mainly popsicle sticks so this is a project anyone can do! I’m
showing how to make them in 1/12 scale standard dollhouse size but you can use the same exact
steps and adjust the size to your liking. Now this is a pretty in depth video so let’s
not waste time and jump right into it. The first thing we need to do is draw the
template. I grab a sheet of graph paper and draw a 1.5 inch by 1.75 inch rectangle. I know I wrote 6 here but I really mean 1.5 inches. Here, I’m showing you the length of guitar
neck which will extend 1.75 inches past the body. Draw 2 lines straight through the middle of
the rectangle as guidelines. I draw the shape of the guitar body starting
from the top of the vertical line and curving it out and down to one side. Curve it back in and out again making sure the bottom half of the guitar body is wider than the top. Make adjustments until you like the shape. You don’t need to draw anything else for
the template (you’re done there) but I’m showing you how the neck will look and where the soundhole will be. As reference, the center of the hole will be half an inch from the top of the body. Cut out the body. We’ll use this template
to cut the front and back pieces for guitar. Grab a jumbo popsicle stick and split it in
half. Then glue them together to create a wide panel. Trace around the template and cut off the excess wood. Make 2 of these. One for the front and one for the back. Sand them to smooth out any rough edges. Then draw that soundhole onto one of the pieces and cut it out. To sand the inside of the hole, I like to roll some sandpaper around a dowel and just use that. For the sides of the body, I’m using some wooden coffee stirrers. I boil a pot of water and soak them in there for a few hours. You just need one stick for a guitar but I made extras just in case. You’ll love what we do with these. While that’s boiling, let’s get started on the neck. Using a regular popsicle stick, I first cut a curve onto one end. Then I mark the width of the widest part of the neck which is a quarter of an inch. Make a mark at 2.25 inch length area. Draw 2 vertical lines that gradually get wider
at the bottom. Guitar necks are always thinner at the top than the bottom. Now draw on the headstock. There are so many headstock shapes so go with whatever you like. This one is pretty simple. Cut that final shape out. Lightly sand it. Position it on the body right above the soundhole. Mark where the body ends. Thin that part of
the neck out just a little bit. It’ll make the finished guitar look that much better when
the 2 pieces fit together perfectly. Now throw that piece into the boiling water and grab out one of those coffee stirrers we put in before. It should bend and curve nicely without snapping. Put the 2 body pieces together. Wrap the coffee stirrer around the body pieces and use rubberbands to secure the coffee stirrer in place. Add as many rubberbands as it takes to really tighten it. Once that’s dry, the coffee stirrer will
keep the curved shape. How cool is that? Glue it to the front body piece. Cut off any excess. Alright, let’s grab that headstock out of
the boiling water. We need to bend the head back a little bit. I place it on the edge of my desk and gently push it back. This is what it looks like when it dries. At this point I decided that I didn’t like
the curved bottom so I cut it into a straight edge instead. Totally optional. Then I draw a bunch of lines down the neck
for the guitar frets. I drew about 20-25 lines gradually spacing them closer as I get to
the bottom. With my X-acto knife, I carve out each of those lines. We’re going to put in real metal frets…bc we’re crazy… But first, let’s stain the fretboard. I
use a mixture of dark brown and black to create a dark gray-ish brown.. Mix in a bit of water
so it becomes a stain. For the frets, I’m using some super thin wire. This is 28 gauge jewelry wire. With some metal shears, I snip off a bunch of little pieces. Then with some superglue, glue each wire piece into the little slots. With a tiny handdrill, I make some shallow
holes into the frets. I do it on frets 3,5,7,9,12, and so on. This is a good time to reference
a picture of real guitar on Google Then I add some white paint into those holes. Trim off the excess wire and add some varnish
for a glossy look. Yup that’s 3 headstocks! We’re making
3 mini guitars. The design on the first one will be very simple. I use a brown micro-tipped pen to draw a circle around the soundhole. The second one
will be a lot more interesting. I’m making a sunburst design on this one so we’ll need
black red and yellow paint. With a makeup sponge, I’m going to dab these colors on. I tear off a piece of the sponge and dab yellow all over the front of the body. Then I mix some that yellow with
some red and add that orange hue everywhere except the center. Gradually use less yellow and more red so the colors get darker as you move outward. Then sponge on some black around the perimeter
and on the sides. Add some varnish to seal in the color. I made the 3rd guitar super
simple again with just the circle around the soundhole. Next, let’s make the bridge of the guitar
where the strings will come out of the body. I just take a coffee stirrer and draw a line at the half inch mark. Then cut off 2 of the corners. Stain it the same color as the guitar neck. Look, I also made a wooden ring out of the coffee stirrers. These things are so versatile. Okay, back to our project. Glue on the bridge about half an inch under the soundhole with some woodglue. While that is drying, let’s
glue on the necks as well. Also just using some woodglue here. Next, I use that mini hand drill again to
drill 6 holes on the bridge. It’s just a simple row of 6 holes that go through the
wood. We’ll be threading our string through these holes. I cut out a super thin piece from a coffee
stirrer to add to the bridge. It will lift the strings up higher and it will also help
guide the strings into their proper positions. I do the same for the top of the gutar neck. Cut some grooves into these pieces so the strings can slip into them perfectly. These cuts are a bit hard to see, but believe me…they’re there. Okay, time for the strings. I just use some
regular white sewing thread but you could also use wire, fishing line…really anything.
Cut out 6 lengths of thread. These are about 5-6 inches in length but it doesn’t matter
too much. Make them longer than you think you need. You can always trim off the excess. Using a tweezer, I slip each thread into a
hole. Once all 6 are in, I turn the guitar over and tie a knot to secure all 6 strings together. This will keep them all in place. See? Tugging on them won’t pull them out.
Now you can glue the back piece of the body on. I like how the white thread really stands
out against the dark neck but you can also paint the thread metallic silver for a more
realistic look. Here’s how the silver strings would look. For some extra support on the guitar neck,
I get a quarter inch dowel and line it up against the back of the neck. Mark the length
of the body and cut that piece out with a miter saw. Once you have that little piece,
slice off one side. This flat side is where we will glue it to the body. Just use wood glue for this. Draw a small downward curve on the top of
this piece to create a gradual downward slope. Then carefully cut that piece out. Looks pretty good to me. Alright let’s add some interesting color
to these boring bare wood guitars. I’m going to create a cherry stain by mixing some dark
brown with red. Paint it onto the sides and back of the guitar. Add layers until you achieve
your desired color. While that dries, let’s make the tuners
and pegs for the head. Mark 6 holes in 2 columns of 3 Drill those out with the tiny handrill. You can see I added the cherry stain to the head here too. Then I get some 20 gauge wire and cut out 6 half inch pieces. Stick them right into the holes. To secure them in place, I add some superglue to the back. Let’s string this baby up. For symmetry,
I first pull the 2 middle strings up to the neck Wrap them around each of the top pegs. Add some superglue so the strings don’t unravel. Trim off any excess string. Then grab the next closest
string and wrap them on the lower pegs. Make sure all the strings come out from the center and outward towards the pegs. Do this until all 6 strings are done. For a finishing touch to the pegs, I add a drop
of silver paint to the top of each peg. You can do this at the end but I decided to
varnish the rest of the body since the cherry paint was dry. Alright, back to the headstock. To make the
tuners, I’m going to use some toothpicks. These have a small carved design on one end.
I’ll be using 3 toothpicks per guitar. Cut off a 1/8 inch piece from the end of with
the design. Split that little piece in half to create 2 tuners. Use superglue to attach them to the sides
of the headstock. Line them up against the pegs Here, I’m adding some extra superglue
just for strength. Then I paint them silver with some metallic silver acrylic paint. Looking great so far. Let’s finish this
up. For the pickguard, Draw a half inch by ¾ inch rectangle. Then draw a teardrop shape inside that rectangle.
Add a curve on the top left part of the teardrop. This yellow section will be the pickguard. With some clear plastic packaging, I trace
the shape of the pickguard. Cut that out. To keep this in place while I’m painting it, I stick it on the sticky side of masking tape I’m going to paint this with nail polish, but you can also use acrylic paint. You can use any color you like
but I’m going to mix some black with burgundy. I first lay down a layer of black nail polish,
then add on dots of black and red. Then swirl them together with a dotting tool. You can also add some clear top coat to seal it all in. Once that’s dry, attach it to the body of the guitar with
some superglue. Okay last detail- I just add a line of white paint
across the top of the head. Not necessary but I really like that extra detail. That’s it guys! The guitars are all finished.
They’re so tiny and adorable! I hope you guys like this video! Give it a thumbs up
if you did and make sure to subscribe for more. I have 2 new videos every week. I’ll
see you next time. Bye!

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