Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Random Reuse: The Cereal Box Guitar

It's been unseasonably cool and unusually rainy here, which has translated into more time spent inside than both me and my four-year-old son would like. As a result, I've been on the lookout even more than usual for any kind of creative activity for him. Plus, it warms my heart whenever he's working on something at his {messy} art desk.

Not too long ago, I came across the idea for a cereal box guitar on Pinterest. It was pinned from the blog, Made By Joel. I've since fallen in love with that blog and I highly recommend it to anyone who has any influence on children. It's full of awesome, creative ideas. Anyway, being the sucker I am for reusing things, my little guy and I gave the cereal box guitar a go.

To make this simple project, you'll need:
  • an empty cereal box
  • scissors (a craft knife is also useful, but I just used scissors)
  • rubber bands (as many as you like; we used three)
  • tape (we used masking, but you can use any kind you have)
  • paint, glue, and embellishments (optional but encouraged)  

To start, you'll need to trace a circle for the hole.  We used a canning jar, but you could also use any cup/glass.

Cut out the hole with scissors or a craft knife. As you can see, our edges weren't perfectly cut, but I don't think that really matters.

Cut the cut-out circle in half and tape it below the opening. This will keep the rubber bands from resting on the box. To prop it up away from the box, attach it with a thick loop or two of masking tape. You could also do what the tutorial instructed and use the other half of the circle cut-out by folding it and sticking it under the half-circle.

Now this step is optional, but Max had lots of fun painting his "guitar"...

...and gluing a few things to it. I think my favorite additions were the googly eyes and, of course, his name written on it.

Once the paint was dry, we slipped on the rubber band "strings".  To keep the sound from being too buzzy, the tutorial we followed suggested taping the strings down (as you can see above). 

Final step: rock out!  For our pick, we used a bread bag tab. You can also use part of the circle cut-out and fold it into a pick shape. At one point, Max used a colored pencil and dragged it across the "strings" like a violin. Often, the simplest things will get kids to be creative and keep them entertained. In this case, it only took an empty cereal box.

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