Cardboard guitar cases can be easily constructed if you are determined to save money. It's a way to avoid the expense of cases that are professionally made for the instrument. You may also simply want to ship the instrument and only require a temporary case. Chances are that it will not be as durable and will be unsuitable for constant use; however, it is great for storage and for protection during transport. If you can make a paper airplane, then you probably have the skills to make a cardboard guitar case.
Items you will need
- Cardboard (two 5-by-4 foot sheets, 1/4-inch thick)
- Carpet knife
- Kitchen knife
- Measuring tape
- Duct tape
- Bubble wrap
Prepare space for a working area, and assemble the tools you will need to construct the case. Place one sheet on the floor to mark the outline. Measure the lines that will indicate the folds you will have to make to create the sides of the case. If the guitar is 15 inches wide and 47 inches long, measure and mark an odd-sided rectangle that is 2 feet wide on the bottom, 48 inches long, and 1 foot wide at the top.
Measure and mark another rectangle outside the first one that is 4 inches larger on all sides. Cut the cardboard along the outer edge with the carpet knife. Cut the sections between the inner and outer lines at the corners going lengthwise. These flaps will act as re-enforced corners. Score the inner folding line with the blunt edge of a kitchen knife and a ruler to ease the folding process.
Fold in the edges on both ends first and then the sides. Fold the flaps around each corner and use duct-tape to hold them in place. Make sure the walls are at a 90 degree angle. Staple the corners and cover with another strip of duct tape to add strength. Cut out a layer of bubble-wrap and staple it to the inside. Do not staple bubble-wrap on the inside edges as this is the lid of the case.
Measure the other half by drawing out the same two odd-shaped rectangles on another sheet of cardboard. Draw these 1/4 inch smaller so that the lid will fit over it. The width of the sides should also be 1/4 smaller so that you will get a flush fit with the lid. Use the same method to create the inside of the case and secure all four corners with enough staples.
Line the inside of this section with bubble-wrap on all sides to protect the guitar. Use white glue in sections that you cannot reach with the stapler. Make some modifications inside the case as desired to provide extra padding by adding more bubble-wrap.
Punch small holes along the case where you want to secure handles or straps. Use three or four holes about 1 or 2 inches apart for each side of the case. Use two 6-foot nylon straps. Weave a strap through these holes in the lid, around the back and through the holes in the bottom.
Tie the loose ends at the front of the case to create the handles. Tie one for the lid and one for the bottom. The straps at the back will connect the two sides of the case like loose hinges and provide support when carrying the case.
Tips & Warnings
- Repack the guitar and case in a bigger box when shipping.
- Keep the case out of the rain to prevent disintegration.
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