Leslie’s family is one full of musicians. Her grandmother has been teaching piano for decades, and taught her when she was young. Leslie plays the piano, french horn (and most other brass instruments to some degree), and even has a degree in music education. Her mom and all of her aunts and uncles play piano and other instruments. Her sister is currently the drum major for the local high school marching band and excels at the euphonium. Her brother is a pretty great guitar player, and now her stepfather is picking it up, too.
Needless to say, music runs pretty hard in our blood. We just recently celebrated her stepdad’s birthday and I put together this guitar hook for him. It makes a great Christmas gift for any musician and it’s especially awesome because it’s so customizable – not to mention stupid easy and inexpensive to make!
So here’s what you’ll need:
3/4″ plywood (enough to make your base and the shape on top of it – this specific project used two 16″x12″ pieces)
1″ wood screws
Large screw-in garden tool hook (get one that has been dipped in rubber; they’re available at Wal-Mart)
Paint or stain
Finish (polyurethane, etc)
Jigsaw or scroll saw
Cut your base however you’d like out of the plywood. Have a good idea first of how you want to make it – in this case, we wanted to do a medieval-style cross, so a rectangular base was good. I cut two pieces at 12″ width by 16″ length.
As you can see above, I already started drawing the cross. Since I’m not an artist, I did it geometrically, measuring out my endpoints and then connecting them with a ruler.
Once it was drawn, I cut it out with a jigsaw and sanded both pieces until smooth.
Make sure you round off those hard edges a little. If I had more time I might have come in and done some nice edging work with a plunge router, but I was running up against a deadline.
Now your first instinct might be to assemble this and then paint or stain it, and you can do that if you’re going to make it all the same color. I wanted some contrast, though, so I went ahead and started the finish process before assembly:
For the cross, I wanted to keep it the color it was, so I just gave it a good coat or two of spray polyurethane to give it a nice sheen.
Putting it together is fairly easy – get some glue in between them, put them together, and screw through the back. Make sure your screws are long enough to go through both boards but not so long that they come though the front – 1″ works great for these.
Once the glue dries, it needs a pilot hole for the hook.
With that, it’s time to finish. I gave it 3 or 4 coats of polyurethane. Be wary, though – pine is finicky with stain and will absorb it unevenly, especially plywood. If you want to make it perfect, use a wood conditioner first to get all the wood fibers at the same consistency before staining. This will also help greatly with the polyurethane – the plywood will just eat it up in places and not in others, leaving an uneven sheen. I have had to shellac plywood before finishing in the past to keep it from soaking in the poly.
Once that’s done and dry, then you can add your hook:
These things have pretty hefty threads, so you’ll probably need to apply a good amount of elbow grease. The pilot hole will help immensely. And with that it’s done!
You can hang this a number of ways – with wire and screws on the back, or you could rout hanging holes into the back, or you could put a screw straight through it into a wall stud. I don’t recommend picture hangers, though – guitars have some weight and you don’t want it accidentally falling off of the wall.
The total cost of this project is about $10, and this specific one only took me a few hours to make! It’s a handsome, fast, and easy gift for the musician in your life.