TiNY Club: Cardboard Box Guitar

“If I picked up
my honey-colored guitar
and called out my poem
every day
until it turned into a

– Juan Felipe Herrera

Today we’re making a guitar like the one Juan Felipe Herrera played in his autobiographical children’s book, Imagine

What is a guitar? A guitar is a stringed instrument that’s played by plucking the strings. The vibrations from the strings create beautiful music! In our Tiny Club book of the month, we see a picture of the author as a child playing his guitar and turning his poem into a song. 

Here what you’ll need to make your guitar:


A small cardboard box, like the kind that instant oatmeal packs come in
A paper towel tube
Six rubber bands
Four popsicle sticks
Glue (a hot glue gun is preferred)
Optional: A pen and some tape


Step 1. First, use your scissors to cut out a hole in the middle of your box. It may be helpful to use your pen to poke a hole in the cardboard first, then use your scissors to finish cutting the rest of the area. 

Fun Fact: 
Guitars have holes in them because the holes help make the string vibrations louder!

Step 2. Cut a small hole at the very top of your box that is about the same width as your paper towel tube. Stick your paper towel tube inside; you may use tape to help secure it. 

Step 3. Next, we need to add support for our strings so we can lift them away from the cardboard. Use your hot glue to glue two popsicle sticks together, then repeat with your remaining two so that you have two sets of stacked popsicle sticks.

Step 4. Next, hot glue one horizontal stack of popsicle sticks below the large cardboard hole and one horizontal stack above it. The popsicle sticks will make your strings easier to pluck. 

DIY Guitar!

Step 5. String your rubber bands around the box long-ways. The rubber bands will be the strings on your guitar; they should rest over the popsicle sticks. 

Now you have your very own guitar! Try plucking the strings and see if you can make music. Are there any songs you can sing to go along with your guitar music? Can you make up your own song or poem that you can sing along with your music?

We’ll be back next week with another Tiny Club activity. 


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