DIY Guitar // Part 1: Supplies + Testing

I am thrilled that Jake and I have finally started our big project of designing a guitar body and then getting it all set up and wired to play! I previewed the project in this photo at the beginning of the summer, and it has taken us this long to do all of our research and gather the supplies. This project is a bit of an undertaking, so we will be sharing it as a series of posts over the next few weeks. Stay tuned! Today we will be sharing all of the supplies we will use throughout the process, how we chose the guitar, and some experimentation we did to prep.

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After doing our research, we gathered everything we thought we would need to design, stain, and finish the body of the guitar. Here are some of the supplies we are using:

-Miquelrius sketchbook & ink pen, for design ideas -pencil, for testing the art on the guitar body -woodburner, for the art -pliers, useful to change out tips of the wood burner -rubber gloves, for staining -staining pads, for applying the stain -Minwax Emerald Express Wiping Stain, we chose a green stain for the body! -220 grit sandpaper, a very fine grit to help us smooth out the body gently -steel wool, to sand off the oil coatings after staining -Tru-Oil and cheesecloth (not pictured), which is what we will be using to make the guitar shiny after the staining process is complete.

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The body we chose is a Warmoth Musiclander. Jake was awesome and let me help choose the shape from the Warmoth Custom Body Builder. I preferred all of the "Modern Styles" but decided on the Musiclander because it wasn't too crazy, and still had a traditional feel to it. Jake liked this choice as well, and that was that!

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The guitar is made of Alder wood. So far it has proved easy to work with, which is great. It is also a beautiful color. We considered going with a brown-toned stain and even had it in our cart at Home Depot, but at the last minute spotted the Emerald version and thought, why not? We did however have to track the color down on Amazon, because it isn't stocked through Home Depot.

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We were then ready to prep the guitar for sanding. The body is high quality, so it was already pretty smooth, but we went over it with a very gentle 220 grit to get it perfect.

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Testing beforehand is always a good idea. We wore rubber gloves and then squirted some stain out onto a paper plate. Then dip a staining pad into the stain. A little goes a long way when it comes to this product, so work with it in very small amounts. We then rubbed it along the direction of the woodgrain, on a test piece of wood from the craft store. You can test different methods and how many coats you would like at this point.

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Since we decided to wood burn our design into the guitar, I practiced that on the scrap wood as well. This was useful to test out the new tips I had purchased, to see what each one can do. In the third part of this series, I will elaborate on each tip and what kind of results they will create!

That's all for now! Thanks so much for reading and check back soon for the next part of our series, the Design + Sketching process!

DIY_Portable Pedalboard Case

IMG_0285 Jake and I have been discussing how to make a portable case for his guitar pedals for a while now. His original plan was to use a vintage suitcase, but we scored this old cassette case at Goodwill instead for 7 bucks. While the dimensions of your case may vary, these general tips will be enough to help you make your own!

UPDATE: This case is now sold, but we'd love to build a custom one just for you! Email me</strong> if you're interested.

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Supplies needed: a portable case, a wood plaque (9"x12"), hot glue, matching felt, industrial strength velcro, scissors, and pedals. All of our materials (except for the case) we picked up at Michael's.

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First we removed the cassette tray from the case by simply pulling it out.

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We then cut felt to fit inside the bottom, and hot glued it on to give it a cleaner look. We also repaired the original felt on the seam that was detached, with hot glue.

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Next we cut three equal strips of the fuzzy side of the industrial strength velcro, and attached it to the wood board.

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We then added the loop side of the velcro to the pedals.

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Jake then arranged his pedals in the order that worked for him. The velcro is great because it allows you to try multiple configurations. Remember to leave a little breathing room in between pedals and inside the case for the cords to plug in. (By the way, Jake also made these orange cables himself!)

At this point, just set the board into the case and you are done! It is removable so that you can take it out for playing gigs. If your pedals aren't snug inside, you could also attach some soft foam to the inside of the lid of the case to secure the pedals while you carry the case.

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And here is the finished product! If you plan and measure, this project can turn out really well! We got lucky that the pedals fit so well inside, but if you're struggling, I suggest testing different thicknesses of wood to get you the perfect fit.

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Thanks so much for reading! Check out our other DIY projects here and don't forget to follow on Bloglovin'!

ART_Tropical Pomeranian Skateboard Deck

DSC_1235jpg I have yet another skateboard for you today! This was commissioned board that I did for a friend to give to her boyfriend. It was a pretty unique request, blue tropical flowers with a running pomeranian and their anniversary in "thug" font.

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I wanted to include this photo when just the background was finished, because I really liked how it turned out.

I also made another process video because I think it's a cool addition to the photos, so check it out or see more photos below!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wQYKM9Kv1c&w=420&h=315]

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If you are interested in a custom skate deck or purchasing any of my art, you can check out my Etsy shop or see any of my past work here. Thanks for checking out my work!

ART_"My Morning Jacket" Skate Deck

My Morning Jacket I am back with another skateboard deck! Suprisingly, this is the first band tribute deck I have ever done. Gladly though, it won't be the last. I am looking forward to working with this customer again for a board of another of her favorite artists. I hadn't heard of My Morning Jacket and their logos before, but as I worked on this a lot of my friends told me that they liked the music--so that was cool!

I incorporated some of the band's art, the owl and bear, to create this vertically oriented board. The leaves were part of the bear art, but I decided to tie them in with the owl to give it a nice flow. The banner and freehand lettering was my favorite part to do, and has got me inspired to get better at lettering from memory. I think I'll work on that over spring break. By the way, I was working with this and this as reference images.

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If you are interested in a custom skate deck or purchasing any of my art, you can check out my Etsy shop or see any of my past work here. Thanks for checking out my work!

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