How to Make a Paper Guitar

Being involved in music at a young age is thought to have beneficial effects on other aspects of a child's development, particularly in the area of language and literacy [source: Bolduc]. Whatever the perceived benefits, we all know that children like music, so let's go ahead and make our own instrument for and with them. Here we are going to show you how to make a guitar out of cardboard.

Materials needed:


  • Shoe box or other small rectangular box
  • Five rubber bands
  • 10 metal paper fasteners
  • Tape

Here's what to do:

  1. Draw a large circle in the center of the box lid.
  2. Cut out the circle you just drew. Make sure you cut it neatly, as you will be using rest of the lid later.
  3. Take the circle you cut and fold it in two-thirds. This will act as a bridge for the strings of the guitar.
  4. Tape the bridge about 2 inches (5 centimeters) in from the shorter side of the rectangular box.
  5. Make five pencil marks equidistant from each other at the shorter side of the box. Do this on both sides of the box.
  6. Punch holes in the marks you just made, using a pointy utensil, such as a pen.
  7. Put the metal paper fasteners in the holes and close them securely on the inside of the box. The heads of the fasteners should be on the outside of the box.
  8. Stretch the rubber bands lengthwise across the length of top of the box, securing them to the paper fasteners.
  9. Put the lid on the box.
  10. Test the guitar.
  11. You can vary the sounds by using rubber bands of different thicknesses, or by loosening or tightening the rubber bands that you already have [source: Olesik].