We have seven simple, enjoyable ways to build a guitar pick, whether you need an emergency pick, want to personalize your collection, or simply want to save money. We have projects for everyone, from those that take no effort to those that are completely free!

Pick Up A Pick Punch

The cost is minimal.

Hole punchers are a ubiquitous equipment in many homes and businesses. If you’ve ever enjoyed doing crafts, you’ll know that many places sell hole punchers, which allow you to cut fun, imaginative designs out of paper, such as a heart, puppy, or star.

Consider the same concept but apply it to cutting out a properly sized guitar pick with a hole puncher. It really can be that simple!

A pick punch is a little tool that slices through thick materials effortlessly, allowing you to make guitar picks out of nearly anything. You may test out some of the thickest cardboard, as well as old library cards and even expired credit cards.

The only monetary commitment you’ll need is a one-time purchase of a pick punch; the components will most likely be found around your house or in an old wallet.

Cut a Few Cards

Work Level: Some effort is required.

There is no charge.

An old credit card is one of the best things to use with the pick punch (or any card that is relatively thick and durable). There is another option to make a pick out of those old gift cards you never used if you are seeking for the cheapest way to make a pick — or if you can’t find a pick punch near you.

Get a pair of scissors, a marker, sandpaper if you have it, masking tape, and the cards, of course.

Get imaginative when choose which cards to transform into a pick! Which ones have the most vibrant hues? Do any of you have a cool image that you think would look well on a pick? Don’t forget to think about the card’s adaptability. Look for a thicker choice, such as a credit card, if you like a harder pick.

Now is the time to gather your cards and get started!

Place one of your previous picks on top of the card where you want your new one to go. Trace an outline around the pick using the marker. After that, just cut along the line.

Because the plastic can be a little harsh when cut, sand the edges of the new pick to smooth out any rough spots. Because you don’t want to damage your guitar strings, this step is extremely important.

If you happen to have some cards with rounded edges, make sure the pick’s point is on one of them so you don’t have to sand it down as much.

The last step is entirely optional. Put a small piece of tape on the top of the guitar pick where you hold it if you need more traction so it doesn’t slip out of your fingers. You can remove the tape if you don’t want to compromise the appearance of your selection.

While this method requires a little more effort than simply using a pick punch, it is straightforward enough that you won’t need to purchase anything.

Repurpose Items Throughout Your Home

Effort Level: Minimal to none

There is no charge.

We’ve already looked at ways to recycle those old credit cards that you no longer use, but that’s not the only way to build a guitar pick. Almost certainly, you have a variety of items around the house that can be used as a pick.

First and foremost, reopen that wallet. We’re going to use coins instead of credit cards this time. Simply choose a quarter or nickel that fits comfortably in your fingers, and that’s all there is to it! You’re all set to go!

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use pennies as guitar picks all of the time because they can be harsh on your strings and necessitate frequent string cleaning. Even yet, if you’re stuck and need a pick, a coin will suffice!

An outdated sim card is another option. Don’t worry about pulling the sim card out of your phone if you don’t have an old one laying about or in the infamous junk drawer. However, if you have one that you aren’t using, it could be a good choice.

Consider making a pick out of some plastic objects if you don’t want to use anything that might be too hard for your strings. You can choose the firmness this way. For those who prefer a softer choice, a Pringles can lid, for example, could be appropriate. Similarly, a stiffer pick can be made from a plastic container or a bottle top.

Follow the same steps as you did with the credit card picks when cutting a pick out of plastic. Smooth off the edges as much as possible, for the sake of your fingers and strings.

If you don’t have any of the items listed above, seek around for something that you can use to make a selection. If you’re in a pinch for a selection, almost anything can suffice — just make sure the firmness is perfect for you!


How To StylizeAnOldCircuitBoard

Work Level: Some effort is required.

There is no charge.

This option is ideal if you want to create a truly one-of-a-kind and stunning guitar pick. Circuit boards can create an appealing – and effective – guitar pick because they are multicolored and have interesting-looking paths running across them.

You’ll need an old circuit board to get started. You could have one lying around if you work with computers. If you don’t have any, you might ask around or hunt for cheap junk parts online. It will be easier to cut a thin piece if you can find one.

Gather a pencil, an old pick, snips or scissors, and a file once you’ve found a circuit board. Place the pick on the circuit board where you want to cut your new one and trace around it with the pencil. Then, using your snips or scissors, cut out the pick.

Because a circuit board is so resilient, your new pick will most likely start off as an odd shape with sharp edges. So, bring your file out of the drawer and start reshaping it. Smooth the edges till they’re the right shape and won’t damage your guitar strings.

After you’ve created a lovely pick, you can finish it off with one more step. Rub some sandpaper over the surface, preferably not too hard, until the copper shines through, adding the perfect finishing touch.

Recycle Those Out-of-Print CDs

Work Level: Some effort is required.

There is no charge.

If you don’t know where to find old circuit boards but think building a guitar pick out of reused electronics is cool, dig through your wardrobe for some old CDs.

The end product, whether they’re blank or covered in an image of your favorite band’s record, may be rather appealing. Plus, CDs are the right compromise between too solid and too flimsy, making them long-lasting choices with a hint of flexibility.

Follow the same techniques as for the other materials to cut out your pick. Make the CD’s edge one of the pick’s edges to make it smooth and rounded.

Also, be extremely cautious when cutting the CD because the jagged edges might easily snap and injure you.

After you’ve cut out your pick and sanded down the edges, use a marker to add a personal touch. If the CD is blank, draw a cool design on it, or decorate the back if one side already has a design.

Have Some Fun With Wood

Work Level: A significant amount of effort is required.

Low cost if you have the necessary tools.

While this project isn’t easy, the end effect is breathtaking, so we had to include it. Furthermore, if you enjoy working with wood and have a few tools in your garage, this project could be a lot of fun for you.

The general procedure is the same as before, but you’ll need a few additional tools. Make sure you have a saw, chisels, sanding blocks, and a wood finish before you begin.

Because of their resilience, little pieces from a fruit tree would be the finest choice for the wood. Before going to the hardware store to buy wood, ask your friends or a local tree trimmer if they have any scraps.

The first step is to slice the wood into thin slices that are 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. The thickness should be determined by the wood’s flexibility and your selected pick flexibility. Reduce the thickness of your wood if you cut it to an 18-inch slab and find it too thick or solid.

After that, draw a rough sketch of the pick on a piece of wood. If there are any grain patterns in the part, decide where to draw the outline based on what looks best.

Slowly remove the superfluous wood with your chisel. Work slowly and carefully so you don’t splinter the wood while following the outline. In an ideal world, you’d use a variety of chisels, the largest for the initial cuts and the smallest for the bends.

Because you won’t be able to completely smooth the sides with chisels, the next step is to use sanding blocks or sandpaper. Begin with a coarse grit then go to a softer sandpaper.

Soak your pick in water once it’s nice and smooth to bring out the grain patterns even more. Allow it to dry before applying your preferred finish. Allow enough time for the oil to fully sink into the wood before wiping the pick clean.


Customize Your Selections

Work Level: A significant amount of effort is required.

Cost: There are some inexpensive expenses.

Even if a credit card, circuit board, or CD can be used to create some creative pick designs, they may not be precisely what you’re looking for. As a result, here are a few options to customize and personalize your choice.


Make Use Of Photographs

Placing a photograph on a pick is one way to make it more personal. In just a few simple steps, you can build one with an image of your family, your dog, or even your favorite musician.

To begin, cut a pick out using one of the ways listed above. It makes little difference whether you use a pick punch or cut one out of your credit card by hand; the important thing is that it be the proper size and form.

After that, select and print your photo. Because predicting what size of photo will fit properly on the pick can be tricky, print out a few possibilities. If at all feasible, have your photographs printed at a local photo facility to ensure that they are of great quality and on long-lasting paper.

To test how they fit on your pick, cut out a few and try them on. Once you’ve decided on the proper size, trace the image and cut off the portion you’ll be using. Apply mod podge to the pick, then place the image in the proper location and apply more mod podge on top. After that, apply a diamond finish over the image to give it a professional appearance.


Incorporate some color

You can also customise your pick by decorating the surface if you want to express yourself creatively. You may make the selection 100 percent your own whether you cut it from a CD or a library card.

Start by painting or applying nail polish to the desired color and design on the surface. Consider using a single solid color, a swirl, or a checkered design. After all, it’s your choice, so make it a design that reflects your personality!


Use One-of-a-Kind Papers

Another alternative is to re-apply the mod podge and cover the pick entirely with paper. Apply newspaper scraps, sheet music, or even pages from your favorite book to the pick. Apply the finish to prevent the paper from chipping or peeling as you play the guitar.


Make It Your Own With Writing

Add phrases to your choosing for a final touch of individuality. A pick is, indeed, incredibly small. You can add a name, initials, or an encouraging statement if you have a steady hand. Make sure the pick is totally smooth before doing so. If you used a credit card or plastic, you may want to paint over it for a more professional effect. Then, using a non-bleeding marker, add the words (do a test beforehand).

You can find a term in the newspaper or a book if you don’t have the best writing skills. Cut out the portion you want to utilize and adhere it to the pick with mod podge.

Things To Think About When Making A Decision

When learning how to create a guitar pick, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The material’s feel and flexibility are maybe the most important considerations. Because these options don’t have a firmness rating, you’ll have to test them out to discover how they feel. Before cutting into a credit card, for example, bend it or play a few chords with it to observe how it feels.

You might not want to use these DIY picks on a regular basis. While some options may appear to be very identical to the genuine thing, they may alter your playing or even cause injury to the strings. If you want a long-lasting option, choose a robust material and sand the sides down sufficiently.

Make numerous selections! Instead than cutting one out of a credit card, use the entire thing. That way, if one of your picks is lost, you’ll have a backup.

Experiment with different techniques to determine what works best for you and your guitar playing style. While some people enjoy playing with coins, others may find it too rigid. Experiment with different materials to see which ones will help you improve your game.

If all else fails, your fingers can make an excellent pick! This is referred to as fingerpicking on the guitar. You don’t always need to scramble to find an emergency option.

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September 2022