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Green Crafts: How to Make a Guitar Toy Out of Recycled Things, A Fun Craft Activity for Kids


Looking for a fun, simple and cheap activity to do with you kid today? Well here's one that fits the bill. Plus it has lasting appeal that will have your kid playing with it for days. Chances are you have everything you need already! Gather up a few of these recyclables and lets get started!


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You Will Need...

  • 1 empty tissue box
  • Scissors
  • 1 empty paper towel roll
  • 3 or more rubber bands
  • Tape
  • various decorating supplies, optional. Examples: paint, scrap paper, glue, glitter, stickers, yarn...

Don't have a tissue box? There are many other containers that will work as well! Have fun experimenting with various containers and their different sounds.


Step # 1

Take your empty tissue box and remove the plastic. Use the scissors to slightly widen the opening. Widening the opening isn't necessary so if you child is too young you can cut it for them or skip it.

Tip: Get you child's critical thinking skills going. Lay all the supplies out and guide them into figuring out how we're going to turn all this "trash" in to a guitar!

Step #2

Stretch the rubber bands around the long end of the tissue box. Using different size rubber bands will create different sounds when plucked. This is a great way to introduce basic music to kids.

Tip: If you're using different sizes have your child figure out how to arrange them from thinnest to thickest. If they're wrong still put them on and pluck them in order and try to get your child to figure out for themselves it the pitches continually go up or down.


Step #3

Cut 1/2-1 inch into the paper towel roll about eight times around. It should look like the picture above.

Fun Facts!

Both creativity and music are controlled by the right side of the brain.

Guitars were traditionally made out of a combination of woods and the stings were made out of animal gut. (bet you're glad were using rubber bands!)

Tissues were originally made and used by women to remove cold cream from their face (a make-up remover) When the Kleenex company surveyed and discovered most people were using them to blow their nose, they switched their focus to hygiene.


Step #4

Fold out the cuts you made on the paper towel roll and lay them flat against one of the small sides of the tissue box. Use tape to secure it in place.

All Done... or Time to Decorate!


There are many benefits to doing this project with your child.

  1. Spending time with your child is important to their self-esteem
  2. Showing them that they don't need batteries to have fun
  3. Introduces some musical concepts
  4. Explores creativity
  5. Promotes problem solving "where does the paper towel roll go?" "how do we make it stay on?"


Sasha Kim (author) on January 17, 2013:

Thank you Celeste! I appreciate your lovely comment ^_^

Celeste Wilson on January 17, 2013:

I love this craft. I am a huge recycle fan so this is right up my alley. Thank you for sharing.

Sasha Kim (author) on January 06, 2013:

Thank you Vellur ^_^

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on December 08, 2012:

Very useful and creative, thanks for sharing.

Sasha Kim (author) on November 10, 2012:

Aykianink, Thank you for your nice comment ^_^

Sasha Kim (author) on November 10, 2012:

Kidscrafts, Thank you so much for both your comments! Your support is greatly appreciated ^_^ I can't wait to check out what great crafty hubs you have and thank you for complementing my son ^_^

Sasha Kim (author) on November 10, 2012:

Chen, Thank you for your lovely comment ^_^ I too love the technique of cutting the tube that way. Thank you also for complementing my son ^_^

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on October 28, 2012:

I do all kind of crafts, some with recycled materials some not. Yesterday, I was giving an Halloween workshop and the kids created among other things little spiders with egg cartons.

I see that you have a lot of recipes on Hupages; I must say that I love to cook too. I will for sure continue to come and visit you!

aykianink on October 27, 2012:

Oh wow! You're the maker of the guitar thing, too? Niiiice. (Was digging through your other hubs when I saw your hub on scary food for Halloween.)

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on October 21, 2012:

It's a really nice project and I love the idea of recycling! You can create so many things by recycling and the kids learn so much on top of it! Good for you! I like to create a lot myself so I can appreciate this! And by the way....your little boy is just adorable!

Voted useful and awesome :-)

Chen on October 19, 2012:

How cute is that... never thought about cutting the end of the toilet tube to spread it out like that to make it lay flat, that little tip is going to come in handy with a lot of crafts. Ingenious! Great hub (such a cute little boy!)

Sasha Kim (author) on October 09, 2012:

Thank you so much Happyboomernurse ^_^ Your comment is so nice and really made my day! Thank you for all the support as well.

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on October 08, 2012:

It's easy to see why this hub won the coveted HOTD accolade. I love the way you created an entire learning lesson out of this craft idea. It's also great that the craft is made out of recycled materials.

Voted up across the board except for funny. Also shared and pinned.

Sasha Kim (author) on October 07, 2012:

Thank you Green Art, my new hub-friend ^_^

Laura Ross on October 06, 2012:

Yes it's true!! I'll be watching for more of your great ideas:):)

Sasha Kim (author) on October 06, 2012:

Green Art, Really? After seeing it here? You have no idea how happy that makes me ^_^ Thank you so much for telling me and for the votes.

Sasha Kim (author) on October 06, 2012:

Dreamjar, Thank you so much for your lovely comment ^_^ Since your a homeschooling mom of 4 I bet you could make great use of this!

Laura Ross on October 05, 2012:

I made this with my four year old grandson this morning and he LOVED IT!! Voted Up and Useful!:)

Dreamjar from Florida on October 05, 2012:

This is great on so many levels. It is easy on the budget and encourages the imagination not to mention an interest in music.

Sasha Kim (author) on October 05, 2012:

Ann, Thank you! This is fantastic for classes ^_^ I hope your friend likes it as well.

Ann1Az2 from Orange, Texas on October 04, 2012:

What a great idea! Looks like a great classroom project, too. I'll suggest it to a teacher friend of mine.

Voted up.

Sasha Kim (author) on October 02, 2012:

Thank you Swayam for visiting ^_^

swayam on October 02, 2012:

Guitar activity r nice

Sasha Kim (author) on September 30, 2012:

Jackie, Thank you so much for your comment, vote and share! You are absolutely right. ^_^ Kids and parents are much better off with activities like these.

Sasha Kim (author) on September 30, 2012:

Hui, Thank you for your wonderful comment! I agree, something like this is much better for a child's development then something that's already been created for them. I hope you find many enjoyable re-uses for things around you.

jpcmc, lol love your strait to the point comment ^_^ Thank you!

Jenbeach, Thank you for your nice comment pin and votes! ^_^ I hope you and your kids enjoy!!

Sasha Kim (author) on September 30, 2012:

PurvisBobbi, Thank you so much ^_^ Yes I was and am very happy ^_^ I greatly appreciate you and all my hub friend for making hubpages such a warm welcoming and enjoyable place to be.

Tammy, Thank you!! That is especially meaningful coming for such a crafty person like yourself ^_^

Crystaleyes, You are absolutely right! When these break they're an easy fix or you make a new one... and your not out $20+ Thanks for your wonderful comment!

Sasha Kim (author) on September 30, 2012:

SkySlave, Thank you! I'm happy you like my craft and I hope you and your nephew enjoy!

daisyjae, I'm so happy you think so! Thanks for your lovely comment and I wish you and your kids hours of crafty musical fun!

bluebird, Well... it does make sound and if you use different sized rubber bands they make different "notes" It can't make chords but I think many would be able to play twinkle twinkle little star if you put 6 different sized bands on it. ^_^

Sasha Kim (author) on September 30, 2012:

Mike Robbers, Thank you!! You are one cool Uncle, I hope you two enjoy ^_^

Heather, Thank you so much for your lovely comment!! ^_^

Ruchira, Thank you!! Oh yes... rubber bands make much nicer noise than lets say a... violin (yuk) ^_^

Sasha Kim (author) on September 30, 2012:

moonlake, Thank your for your nice comment and vote. Yes it seems paper things are so fun for kids and I love how they allow creativity. ^_^

Lupita, Thank you so much ^_^ Saving crafts for him already? You are one awesome mom!

Denisemai, Thank you, your too kind ^_^ You and your kids must have had wonderful days together! I'm sure your instruments were awesome!

Sasha Kim (author) on September 30, 2012:

Thelma, Thank you so much! I hope you and your nieces enjoy! ^_^

Simplysmartmom, Thank you for your wonderful comment ^_^ Sounds like this craft is perfect for your little girl! Hopefully she'll also enjoy decorating it as well.

Lipnancy, Thank you! Yes he Loved his new guitar!

Sasha Kim (author) on September 28, 2012:

CZCZCZ, Thanks for the great comment and vote ^_^ Glad you liked the craft.

Alissa, Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I hope you and your boys enjoy making these!

Coffeegginmyrice, These really do make a nice sound don't they ^_^ I wanted my son to decorate his, but he just wasn't interested... maybe next time. I did mention in the hub that it should be decorated ^_^ To me that's the best part! You father sounds like a wonderful man... and to surprise you with real ukuleles... Fantastic! Thank you so much for your wonderful comment!

Sasha Kim (author) on September 27, 2012:

Bill, Thank you so much Bill!! I really have no idea why you haven't won one yet... your hubs are fantastic!

Crystal, You are absolutely right! My son had more fun helping organize the pantry today then he did any of his fancy toys! Thanks for the lovely comment ^_^

Rema, Thank you for the wonderful support my friend! I greatly appreciate your kind works ^_^

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on September 27, 2012:

What a great idea, parents could save a fortune doing these things and I think it is good for the child's imagination! If you can do this until they get with kids that change their perspective you will be doing so well. Great ideas. ^ and sharing.

Sasha Kim (author) on September 26, 2012:

Just Ask Susan, You're a super cool Aunt I'm sure! Thank you so much for you nice comments ^_^

RTalloni, Thank you!! I completely agree with you!!

Mary615, Thank you for your Fantastic support!! It's amazing how much something simple will keep a kids attention over the fancy electronics of today. But kids are creative at heart and will certainly take to anything that lets them express it.

Sasha Kim (author) on September 26, 2012:

vespawoolf, Thank you so much ^_^ you are too kind my friend.

Sunshine, Thank you ^_^ I would love to see you rocking out on this Linda!

tobint44, Thank you for your kind words and votes! From reading your hubs I could definitely see you doing this with your kids!!

Sasha Kim (author) on September 26, 2012:

Keith, Thank you for your kind words ^_^

Terrye, lol thank you! ^_^ Quite the shock.

Ishwaryaa, Thank you for your fantastic support! Your comment, votes and share are all greatly appreciated. lol my son thinks he's a rockstar too ^_^

Sasha Kim (author) on September 26, 2012:

HouseBuyersUS, I'm so glad you like the idea! I hope you enjoy this fun kids craft!

Ronpas, Thank you for your fantastic comment ^_^ This is great for those demanding 2 year olds! Good luck ^_^

Rajan, Thank you so much for your wonderful support!! This is certainly a huge hit with kids and they do really love to help out... especially with the decorating part. Thank you again for your comment, votes and share ^_^

jenbeach21 from Orlando, FL on September 26, 2012:

I really enjoyed this hub. Very easy to follow directions and looks like fun. I can't wait to do it with my kids. Pinned and voted up!

JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on September 25, 2012:

easy, inexpensive, eco friendly and FUN. voted up!

Hui (蕙) on September 25, 2012:

Creative and really fun! More importantly, help to develop children's intelligence in a relax and green way. This reminds me that a lot things can be re-used to make ordinary life more interesting.

crystaleyes from Earth on September 25, 2012:

Better than the expensive ready made plastic guitar toys available at toy shops which break when brought home.... great idea.. recycling to make toys!

Tammy from North Carolina on September 25, 2012:

This is such a unique idea! Congratulations on being awarded the Hub of the Day!!!

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on September 25, 2012:

Congrats on the Hub for Today---Your little boy is darling. I hope this makes you happy. Keep up the great writing.

Your Hub Friend,

Bobbi Purvis

bluebird on September 25, 2012:

All I wanna know is...does it make music? If not, it's no fun.

daisyjae from Canada on September 25, 2012:

What a perfect craft for kids, they love making things and they love music. I will definitely be doing this with my kids.

Skyler DeCristoforo from Olympia, WA on September 25, 2012:

What a creative idea to entertain the youngsters! I'm going to have to try this one out the next time i have my little nephew over. Thanks for sharing this.

Ruchira from United States on September 25, 2012:

Congrats Mama Kim for the HOTD :) This is a creative idea and best part is that there is no noise pollution :)

Heather from Arizona on September 25, 2012:

Very cute idea and what a cute little rockstar. Congratulations on HOTD.

Mike Robbers from London on September 25, 2012:

This is fantastic,, I will definitely create it with/for my nephew!

Congratulations for the Hub of the Day, totally deserved it!

Denise Mai from Idaho on September 25, 2012:

Huge congratulations to you, Mama Kim! This is fantastic! I love this article. It reminds me of when my kids were younger. We would make homemade instruments and it was not only fun but cheap. Of course, I don't think any of ours ever turned out as nice as yours. Great article and, once again, congrats.

LupitaRonquillo on September 25, 2012:

Creative is an understatement! I am saving this for my baby boy to try when he's of age :D Very well deserved hub of the day!

moonlake from America on September 25, 2012:

Congratulations on Hub of the Day. So cute your little boy and the guitar. Kids love things made from paper or boxes don't they? Voted uP!

Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on September 25, 2012:

He looks so happy in the picture. Very creative way to spend the afternoon.

simplysmartmom from North Carolina on September 25, 2012:

Congratulations for the Hub of the Day! I will have to do this with my little girl - she always wants to touch her big brother's real guitar. Now she'll have her own! Great hub!!

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on September 25, 2012:

Congratulations on the hub of the day! You definitely deserved this win. It would be a great fun making this guitar toy with my small nieces. Voted up and useful.

Marites Mabugat-Simbajon from Toronto, Ontario on September 25, 2012:

My pa made us this guitar tissue box when we were little kids too. Then, we also had the painted-tissue box version which was really more attractive because we designed it ourselves. I liked the rhythmic sound the rubber bands gave, until my pa surprised us one day with our very own 'real' ukuleles!! :) Great hub for those especially who have not seen this simple but enjoyable craft!

Alissa Roberts from Normandy, TN on September 25, 2012:

Super cute idea! I love making different crafts using everyday household items with my boys so I will have to add this fun project to our list. Congrats on your hub of the day!

CZCZCZ from Oregon on September 25, 2012:

Awesome, rock on little dude! This is a great idea and was fun to read thanks for writing it and sharing it. Voting up for being awesome.

Rema T V from Chennai, India on September 25, 2012:

Hearty congratulations on winning the HOTD. Very well-deserved Sasha. Great idea, so creative and simple that even I can make it. Sharing it everywhere possible. C heers, Rema.

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on September 25, 2012:

What a great idea! Super creative and fun. Kids always like playing with the boxes and containers more than new stuff anyway, right?

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 25, 2012:

Congratulations on being awarded the Hub of the Day....nice accomplishment, one I've never won. Way to go Sasha!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on September 25, 2012:

Congrats on HOTD. This is a great Hub. I used to make my kids these guitars using a cereal box. Kids just love anything that makes a little noise, don't they?

I voted this Hub UP, etc. will share, Pin and Tweet.

RTalloni on September 25, 2012:

Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for a cute kid's project. Any project that shows children how to think outside the box :) to create something is a winner!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on September 25, 2012:

This is a great idea and what a fun project to do. I'll have to remember this one as I'm sure my nieces would love it.

Congrats on HOTD!

Tyler Tobin from North Carolina on September 25, 2012:

Awesome project and excellent looking hub! Voted up and Awesome!


Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on September 25, 2012:

Now that's one cool guitar! I could even make one. Well done Sasha! :)

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on September 25, 2012:

Mama Kim, Congratulations on Hub of the Day! I loved this hub when I first read it...so clever...I'm so proud of you! : )

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on September 25, 2012:

Congrats on winning the HOTD! This is a neat and economical idea as well a fun project for kids! Your little son looks like a rockstar! The instructions and photos are helpful! Way to go! Cheers!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Awesome. Voted up & Shared on Facebook

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on September 25, 2012:

Yay, Mama Kim! Way to rock the HOTD! :)

KDuBarry03 on September 25, 2012:

Congrats on getting HOTD! Definitely a fun hub and well deserved :)

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 25, 2012:

Awesome and creative hub, Sasha. This is such a useful and creative activity that kids will be more than happy to help out with.

Voting up, useful and awesome and shared.

Congrats on getting the HOTD.

ronpas on September 25, 2012:

Hi Mama,

Fantastic,excellent these are the words that come into my mind when i had read your article.My big brother too had a two year old son and as an uncle of him he used to demand so many things from me(as normally kids do). I am going to make a guitar for him and I am dying to see his response.Thanks (Voted UP)!!

HouseBuyersUS from Centreville, Virginia, USA on September 25, 2012:

Wow! Interesting idea to make a home made guitar for kids. Will try this for sure...thanks !

Sasha Kim (author) on September 21, 2012:

Debby, Thanks ^_^ Your art teacher background must have really come in handy! I was an art and crafts instructor at a boys and girls club and I've used a lot of what I learned with my kids. I can't wait until they get a little older and the really fun artsy stuff starts! Thank you for your comments ^_^

Debby Bruck on September 20, 2012:

Hello Mama ~ As a art teacher and masters in graphic design, I did many craft projects with my children as they were growing up. I believe we can stimulate their minds and creative abilities using cast away recyclable household articles. I'm sure you've seen them pick up whatever is around to hit like a drum. Have fun with the kiddies! Hugs, Debby

Sasha Kim (author) on September 20, 2012:

Thank you Debby, You are absolutely right! I really should write that in the hub! We have made one before using a tupperware container... plus it lasted longer ^_^ Thank you for your comment and reminder.

Debby Bruck on September 20, 2012:

Hello Mama ~ A fun rainy day project, and I'm sure people can find plenty of other containers to substitute for the tissue box that would also work to create guitar or mandolin type instruments. Blessings, Debby

Sasha Kim (author) on September 18, 2012:

Meldz, Thank you for your lovely comment and votes ^_^ I hope your nieces have a blast making this. I bet they'll decorate them beautifully as well.

ignugent17 on September 18, 2012:

This is great. It will really help develop the creativity of the kids. I will tell my sister about this hub. My nieces would enjoy making this toy.

Thanks. Voted up and more! :-)

Sasha Kim (author) on September 15, 2012:

Thank you very much Agusfanani ^_^

agusfanani from Indonesia on September 15, 2012:

Wow, this is another creative way to make good use of recyclable things. Thank you for sharing.

Sasha Kim (author) on September 15, 2012:

Thank you so much Vespa ^_^ He loves his guitar! Oh and my husband and I did enjoy playing with it also, lol. Maybe your husband would to ^_^ Thank you so much for the comment, vote and share! You're such a wonderful friend ^_^

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on September 15, 2012:

Oh my goodness, that is the most adorable photo of your little boy!! He looks like a guitar playing star in the making! This looks like a fun project and I think my husband might even enjoy having his own toy guitar. : ) Voted up and shared!

Sasha Kim (author) on September 15, 2012:

Suzie, Thank you so much for your wonderful comment, vote and share!!

Yes ^_^ that's my son, thank you so much for the compliments!

This is a perfect craft for a two year old!! I just know he'll love it and you must be the favorite aunty!

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on September 15, 2012:

Hi Mama Kim,

This is great! How cool it looks! Is that your son, he is gorgeous! A real cutie! I am going to make this for my nephew who is 2yrs old! Voted up +++++ and shared!:-)

Sasha Kim (author) on September 15, 2012:

Thank you MJ! Your comment is generous and I love it ^_^

I'm sure you're the favorite Uncle and your nieces and nephews will love this!

mjkearn on September 15, 2012:

Hi Mama Kim

I don't have kids but am told I am very good with them. But I think that's easy as it's not 24/7.

I thoroughly enjoyed this hub, absolutely adore your creativity and must have a go at this for the nephews and nieces.

Voted up, all ticks and shared,


Sasha Kim (author) on September 14, 2012:

Thank you so much Michelle ^_^ Makes me happy to know it's music teacher approved!! At least for the little ones... I can't imagine band practice with paper guitars and trumpets, lol.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on September 14, 2012:

the music teacher in me says this is awesome! I am sharing this! it keeps the hands and minds occupied too! Thanks for sharing!

Sasha Kim (author) on September 14, 2012:

Kristy, Start saving up your tissue boxes and paper towel rolls... Thanksgiving is coming up. You could be the cool relative that helps all the kids make and decorate their own guitars and then everyone can "jam" together ^_^ Thank you for your comment!!

Sasha Kim (author) on September 14, 2012:

PurvisBobbi, Thank you so much, your comment and votes are greatly appreciated. I love your idea for calling it a green craft.... and I have added it to the title! ^_^ Thank you for that too!

Sasha Kim (author) on September 14, 2012:

Janine, Wow, thank you! You're always so nice ^_^ I'm so happy you like the idea and I hope you and your adorable little ones enjoy!

Sasha Kim (author) on September 14, 2012:

Bill, Thank you for stopping in ^_^ Yup, that would be my little boy, just turned 3. My husband is full Korean and we always joke how the only thing he got from his daddy is his eyeballs... not eyes.. just eyeballs, lol. He's a little boy copy of me... even his personality. ^_^

Glad you liked the links ^_^

Sasha Kim (author) on September 14, 2012:

Thank you Nell ^_^ love your comments and votes! I just love to imagine what could be made out of all the bits and ends.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on September 14, 2012:

Thank you for this. Though I have a piano and real guitars, my kids had more fun with instruments like this.

Kristy LeAnn from Princeton, WV on September 14, 2012:

That is super cute. I don't have any kids but I might make some of those for my best friend's little boys or maybe for some of the kids in my family. I would have never occurred to me to make something like that in a million years lol :)

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on September 14, 2012:


You are such a clever Mom, my sisters would love this hub.

I have six nephews, and I needed your clever advice a long time ago.

I voted awesome and useful. If you have anymore ideas I would call them "Green Crafts" because you are using something already made to make something useful out of it.

Your Hub Friend,

Bobbi Purvis

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on September 14, 2012:

I am definitely trying this one with my little ones and love this idea. Thanks Sasha for sharing this. Seriously great idea. Have pinned, shared, voted and tweeted too :)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 14, 2012:

What a very clever idea; so simple and yet so fun for the kids. Is that your son? If so, he's adorable....well, he's adorable anyway, but he's got your eyes or so it seems to me.

And thank you young lady for linking me and mentioning me; that was very kind of you!

Nell Rose from England on September 14, 2012:

Hi, this is great! It brought back so many good memories of when my son was little, we used to make all sorts of things out of boxes and bits of string, I love this! voted up! cheers nell