Whether you’re after a classic three-string cigar box guitar, a wooden snare drum or a Blue Man Group-inspired PVC pipe organ, Cigar Box Nation has a massive repository of kits, plans and free DIY instrument instructions to help you make whatever you’d like to play from whatever you can scrounge up.
Photo by John Callas.
The folks at Make Magazine tipped us off to the whole affair, complete with dozens of plans inspired by at-home folk musicians from the late 1800s all the way through to the end of the 20th century. There are plenty of plans for homemade string instruments, folksy washboards and drum sets, along with a store where you can pick up some of the more niche parts, amps and other tools you might need if you’re starting completely from scratch. Plus, it helps that there’s a thriving community over there too, willing to take in more of their own if more people are interested in DIY instrument-making.
Best of all, the plans are really well put together and documented, and easy to follow. Some of them are even a joy to read even if you’re not making a cigar box guitar or a gourd banjo or, my personal favourite, the styrofoam cooler ukulele. Hit the link below to peruse all the plans, and to read more.