FEATURE: Ultra last minute DIY Christmas gifts for guitarists

“Oh crap! It’s Christmas day and I haven’t got anything for XXXX… and we have to leave for their house in 10 minutes!” We’ve all been there, right? You plan and plot but you can’t possibly remember to get gifts for everyone, can you? Well that’s where I Heart Guitar comes to the rescue. Did you know that with a little clever recontextualisation, ordinary items around the house can become the ultimate last-minute gift idea for the guitarist in your life? It’s true! Obsoive:

Personalised picks

Everyone loves personalised guitar picks (I have some killer custom picks from Grover Allman, which you’ll be able to buy in the new year when I set up a merch store). But if it’s Christmas morning you obviously don’t have time to get the fine folks at Grover Allman to whip up a batch of picks and send them off to you, so what do you do? Here’s what: rummage around in the breadbox to look for bread tags (or ‘Toast Tickets’ as they’re called in my house). You’re bound to find at least a couple that had somehow dropped off their associated bread baggie and escaped your view for the last six months or so. Then you just need a magic marker (or a Dymo tape labeller if your guitarist buddy prefers the textured vibe) and a steady hand. Christmas saved! You’re welcome.

Do-it-yourself lap steel kit

Secretly, every guitarist really wants to play lap steel. It goes back to seeing David Gilmour playing a lap steel in the Delicate Sound of Thunder video. Real lap steel guitars can be expensive, but your guitarist buddy can instantly convert their guitar into a third-rate Weissenborn ripoff and themselves into the next Ben Harper when you give them this handy home lap steel kit. Simply wedge an Ikea pencil (they’re free!!!) under the strings down by the nut, and use a C battery as a tone bar. They’ll be screechin’ the blues in no time, especially if the battery leaks.

Tissue box guitar

Cigar box guitars are a very popular DIY project – just look at the hundreds on Etsy – but what if you don’t smoke? Or what if you have your majestic stogies smuggled one at a time by means you’d rather not think about? Well, not everyone smokes but everyone has a nose. Just stretch some rubber bands over an empty tissue box. Don’t even worry about constructing a neck for your tissue box guitar – it’s a lot of effort and the string tension would probably crush it within microseconds anyway. Get creative with your tissue box guitar – cover it with sequins, glitter and stickers for that stage-ready vibe, or leave it unfinished as I’ve done. Tell them it’s your tribute to the Washburn N4.

Designer guitar strap

Quick, go dig around in the closet. You’re bound to find a tie somewhere – maybe even one that you got as a gift last year. Or if you’re like me, about 10 years ago your former next-door neighbour gave you a bunch of his old ties from the 80s, many of them outrageously kitsch. Just gouge a notch in either end and you have an instant guitar strap. It’s so easy I don’t know why I never thought of it before. This eggnog’s good stuff.

Oh by the way, if you actually try any of these and they cost you a friendship, a relationship or an inheritance, you forfeit any right to sue…

Merry Christmas from I Heart Guitar!