Jack-o-Lantern Guitar

11 Materials
$15
3 Hours
Medium

A little history behind my latest creation. I went with my friend Susan to a little clothing boutique in my town called The Dirt Road. As soon as I walked through the door, I was inspired at what I saw sitting on the table before me. The first thing that came to my mind was, “Heck, I could make that from one of the old guitars I have upstairs.” Therefore, I did.


The photo below is of the wooden

jack o lantern guitar

My first job was to take off the saddle and the pickguard so that the top would be smooth.

jack o lantern guitar

Next, on a piece of wood that had been cut to the length of the guitar's body, I drew the shape of the "face." I made sure it would be wide enough to cover the soundhole when attached.

jack o lantern guitar

To make it the desired thickness, I sent it through the planer a few times.

jack o lantern guitar

This is what I had so far.

jack o lantern guitar

Now I had to decide how I wanted my jack-o-lantern to look. I opted to sketch it on the wood before I cut it out. I sat it on top of the guitar to make sure I was placing the eyes, nose, and mouth in the appropriate spots.

jack o lantern guitar

To get started with cutting, I had to drill holes in the eyes and nose so that my Dremel tool could fit inside. My hubby told me that I could use the jigsaw to cut them out but I figured my design was too intricate for such a bulky tool.

jack o lantern guitar

It was taking FIVE-EVER (which is even longer than FOREVER) to bore it out with the Dremel. Not to mention, my hand was starting to cramp. Hubs got home and showed me how much easier it is with the jigsaw. He cut away the big pieces and I was able to finish it off with the Dremel. (I know, I know...I should have listened to him in the beginning.)

jack o lantern guitar

So that its eyes, nose and mouth would ALL be illuminated when lit, I'd have to make the soundhole bigger. Much bigger. I placed the cut out "face" on the guitar and traced around it. With the jigsaw, I cut around some of what I'd traced but knew I had to leave enough intact for the face to sit on.

jack o lantern guitar

My next step was to paint it. I chose an acrylic terra cotta color as the base coat then used Krylon Classic White Chalky Finish paint on top of that.

jack o lantern guitar

I finished it off with Valspar Antiquing Glaze and sanded in places with fine grit sandpaper it to expose the orange color.

Here's a close up of the paint job.
Here's a close up of the paint job.

I knew from the git-go that I wanted this to light up. All of it.


I debated on what type of light would work best inside it. Maybe a black light? Maybe a bulb light? I finally decided to go with string lights. Two sets of them, even. (I have another set somewhere but can't seem to find it. Once I find them they will go inside, too.)


Now all that's left was to doll it up a bit. I made a bow and added a few sprigs of berries. What do you think?

jack o lantern guitar

Honestly, that's not all that's left. I need to decide how to afix the "face" to the body since I need to be able to access the lights. I could possibly put a hinge on it at the top and have the bow hide it. Or, I'd thought about velcro. If you have any ideas on how to do this, I'd love to hear them.

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Kellie Collins
    on Oct 12, 2018

    like you said maybe a hinge, or velcro. also, maybe glued-on magnets? looks cute!

  • John Koene
    on Oct 12, 2018

    How do I get bumper rubber off my car from an auto accident? Without ruining the paint thanks

  • Jan
    on Oct 12, 2018

    can you go in from behind cut a little door use little hinges

    • Heather McKinney
      on Oct 15, 2018

      I could go behind it but I really wasn't wanting to make any additional cuts to the guitar. Especially, since I'm already able to gain access through the front. I'd like to "work with what I have."

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