Fact Sheets
Resource Centre
Real Estate
About Our House
Receive the House & Home Newsletter by becoming a ninemsn member.
Already a member?
Sign in to Windows Live ID
Click here to zoom in
Toy Guitar
One of Australia's music sensations shows how.
Print this page  Send this page to a friend More In the Workshop >>
Bruce Mathiske, one of Australia's most respected guitarists, shows how to make a decorative toy guitar. It may also provide some inspiration for the younger members of the family.

Bruce's Background

Bruce began playing the guitar at age six and on his seventh birthday got his first guitar, a $30 second hand nylon-stringed version. He has gone a long way since then and recently released "Nightmare" his second CD on his own label. He tours the world playing his unique style of solo guitar orchestra.

NB: Wear protective goggles for this project.

Mark and cut the ends of the two hat boxes, but not the face of the box, with a Stanley knife or scissors. For both boxes, cut the width 175mm across the circumference. (See diagram 1).

Place the small box inside and on top of the large box, glue together (the smaller one inside the larger box) and allow to dry. Tape sides together from the inside. (See diagram 2).

Once the glue has set, place the joined boxes upside down and trace onto the sheet of ply. Mark a centre line from which to take other measurements so that you can work out the positions of the bridge, sound hole and (pretend) turning pegs. Use a compass or trace around a glass to outline the shape of the hole.

Using the centre line as a guide, draw the sound hole, about 70mm diameter and cut out with the jigsaw. Driil 6 holes at one end and 4 at the other, and cut the ply to the shape shown. (See diagram 3).

For the strings we're using glow in the dark nylon string. Hammer in dowels (to create the bridge) leaving 7mm above the surface and glue into place, after first drilling holes. Mark (score) the ends of the dowels with a hacksaw about 4mm down from the ends. This is so your strings will hold in place. Paint the body of the guitar, after a quick sand. (See diagram 3).

Draw a line, 90mm from the bottom, around the outside circumference of the boxes. Then make cuts approximately 25mm apart down to the 90mm line. Cut out the corners and fold tabs down to make a flat surface. The box assembly can now be glued to the ply base (apply glue to the tabs). (See diagram 4).

Tie the strings around the end dowel and then loop through the holes at the neck of the guitar. Continue looping the strings, tie the end to the last dowel peg and cut off the excess. (See diagram 5).

Apply a final paint finish to the guitar body. We finished ours in acrylic paint, glitter and then lacquer. Great fun and it won't make too much noise!

6mm ply, 720 x 250mm
4 x 6mm diameter dowel, 20mm long
1 round hat box, 250mm diameter
1 round hat box, 210mm diameter
300mm of strong cloth tape
4 m of nylon string
Wood glue


Stanley knife or scissors
Compass or glass
Paint / lacquer

Nylon string, $1.00 Two hat boxes, $10.30 Ply, $4.00 Dowel, $0.50 Total: $15.80.

More Info
The Bruce Mathiske albums "Nightmare" and "I Wish" contain fiery Spanish / Rock, Latin and swing rhythms and ballads such as "What a Wonderful World". The albums are available through ABC and most good record shops and directly at the web site:


For enquires about concert dates, phone Mathiske music on 1800 043 249.

Glow in the dark string is available from most supermarkets. Round boxes (or hat boxes) available from Spotlight stores.

All Fact Sheets and other material on the Our House website are provided as a general information service only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for the advice of a properly qualified tradesman. Neither ninemsn nor its licensors (including the Nine Network) assume or accept any responsibility for, and will not be liable for the accuracy or appropriate application of any information whatsoever in any Fact Sheet or other material on the Our House web site. Your use of the Our House web site is governed by this disclaimer and the ninemsn's Terms of Use.
Bathrooms_&_Laundries | Bedrooms | Cleaning_&_organising | Furnishings | Furniture | Gardens | Gifts_&_special_occasions | Houses | Kids | Kitchens | Living | Make_It | Money_Savers | Outdoors | Painting_&_decorating | People | Pets | Places | Recycling | Renovations | Repairs | Technology | Tools_&_hardware | Warehouses_&_apartments |
   Recipe Finder
   Our House
Other ninemsn businesses: iSelect Mathletics RateCity
© 1997-2008 ninemsn Pty Ltd - All rights reserved