Cool DIY Guitar Shelf: Jazzy 7-Step Furniture Project

Got an old acoustic guitar that's no longer being used? Turn it into a guitar shelf!
Got an old acoustic guitar that’s no longer being used? Turn it into a guitar shelf!

A lot of people appreciate decorative furniture pieces. Functional house décor is the trend nowadays. They’re multi-functional and visually pleasing, it’s no wonder they’re such a hit. If you’re good with your hands and you’re an avid DIY-er, we have something special for you.

If you have an old acoustic guitar that’s no longer used, breathe new life into it by turning it into a shelf. This absolutely adorable guitar shelf will surely be the subject of many interesting conversations. And it’s a simple project, too. You just have to remove the face and insert shelves inside. For added effect, you can put in lighting.

This is a functional and decorative piece rolled into one.
This is a functional and decorative piece rolled into one.

It’s important to be very careful when removing the strings. As always, exercise caution – it’s better safe than sorry. So gather up your tools and materials and get started on this project today!

Building a Guitar Shelf


  • An acoustic guitar
  • Wood (quarter to a half inch thick)
  • Screws
  • Wood glue


  • Electric drill with drill bits
  • Chisel/screw driver
  • Clamps
  • Hand saw


Step 1: Prepare the Guitar

  • Remove the Strings: Carefully remove the strings from the guitar to prevent any accidents or damage.
  • Clean the Guitar: Wipe down the guitar to remove any dust or debris that might interfere with your work.

Step 2: Cut the Wood for Shelves

  • Measure the Inside: Measure the interior of the guitar where you will place the shelves. Decide how many shelves you want and divide the interior space accordingly.
  • Cut the Wood: Using the hand saw, cut the wood to the measurements you have taken. Ensure each piece fits snugly inside the guitar.

Step 3: Remove the Face of the Guitar

  • Outline the Cut: Use a pencil to mark a line around the guitar’s face where you will cut. Leave a border around the edge to maintain the structural integrity of the guitar.
  • Cut the Face Off: Carefully use the hand saw to follow your outline and remove the face of the guitar. This step requires precision, so take your time.

Step 4: Install the Shelves

  • Dry Fit the Shelves: Insert the wooden shelves into the guitar to make sure they fit properly.
  • Glue the Shelves: Apply wood glue on the edges of the shelves that will touch the guitar’s interior walls.
  • Secure with Clamps: Clamp the shelves in place while the glue dries. Ensure the shelves are level and adjust as necessary before the glue sets.

Step 5: Secure the Shelves

  • Pre-drill Holes: Once the glue has dried, remove the clamps and pre-drill small holes through the guitar’s side into the edge of each shelf to avoid splitting the wood.
  • Screw the Shelves in Place: Fasten the shelves by screwing them into the sides of the guitar. This will ensure they are secure and can bear weight.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

  • Sand Any Rough Edges: If there are any rough edges on the wood or around the cuts you made in the guitar, gently sand them down.
  • Paint or Stain (Optional): If you want to customize your guitar shelf, you can paint or stain the wood shelves or even the exterior of the guitar.
  • Add Decorative Elements: Consider adding hooks to the lower part of the guitar for hanging items or installing LED lights inside for a warm glow.

Step 7: Mount the Guitar Shelf

  • Choose the Location: Decide where you want to display your guitar shelf. It could be a focal point in a room or a functional piece in a small space.
  • Mount on the Wall: Use appropriate wall anchors and screws to mount the guitar securely. Ensure it is well-supported and level.

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Watch the video below for a visual guide

Customization Techniques for Guitar Shelves

Creating a DIY guitar shelf offers not only a functional piece of furniture but also an opportunity for artistic expression. Customizing your shelf allows you to integrate it seamlessly into your home decor or make it a standout piece in any room. 

Here are several techniques you can use to personalize your shelf.

Choose Your Finish

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to customize your guitar shelf is by choosing a finish that complements your decor. Whether you opt for a natural wood stain to preserve some of the guitar’s original charm or select a bold paint color to make it pop, the finish you choose can dramatically alter the appearance of your shelf. Consider using techniques like distressing or a weathered look for a vintage vibe, or go sleek and modern with a glossy finish.

Decorative Add-Ons

Adding decorative elements can enhance the uniqueness of your guitar shelf. Consider attaching small vintage knobs or hooks along the neck or sides of the guitar for hanging keys, jewelry, or lightweight accessories. You can also adhere decorative patterns or decals to the guitar body, or use techniques like decoupage to add a personal touch with paper prints or fabric.

Lighting Enhancements

Installing lighting inside your guitar shelf can turn it into an eye-catching display case. LED strip lights or small, battery-operated puck lights can be affixed inside the guitar to highlight the items on the shelves. This not only adds functionality by illuminating the contents but also creates a warm, inviting glow that enhances the ambient atmosphere of the room.

Theme Integration

For those looking to make their guitar shelf a true reflection of personal interests or hobbies, consider tailoring it to a specific theme. For a music lover, lining the interior with sheet music or concert tickets can add a personal touch. If the shelf is destined for a child’s room, decorating it with a playful theme or using bright, primary colors can integrate it perfectly into youthful decor.

Incorporate Mixed Media

Mixing different materials can add texture and visual interest to your guitar shelf. Consider using elements like metal for a rustic or industrial look, or incorporating glass to create a more refined and elegant appearance. You could attach a small mirror inside the body of the guitar or use metal mesh as backing for the shelves, adding both functionality and style.

Use Functional Accents

Functional accents can transform your guitar shelf into a more practical unit. Adding a small chalkboard or corkboard to the body of the guitar allows for notes, shopping lists, or photos to be displayed. For a more interactive approach, you might include a magnetic surface for sticking notes, magnets, or other metallic objects.

Artistic Painting Techniques

Beyond standard painting, artistic techniques can bring a dramatic flair to your shelf. Techniques such as sponge painting, stenciling, or even hand-painting intricate designs or motifs can give your shelf a custom, handcrafted look. Consider thematic patterns like floral designs, abstract shapes, or geometric patterns to align with your personal taste or room decor.

Vintage and Antique Effects

If you enjoy a vintage or antique look, techniques like crackle paint applications or using antiquing glazes can give your guitar shelf an aged appearance that feels both classic and timeless. These methods can add depth and character, making the piece look as though it has a rich history.

Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Materials

For those who are environmentally conscious, using eco-friendly and sustainable materials can be a great way to customize your guitar shelf. Recycled papers, reclaimed wood, or biodegradable elements for decorative purposes not only add aesthetic value but also ensure that your project aligns with sustainable practices.

Personal Memorabilia

Embedding personal memorabilia into the guitar shelf design can make it deeply personal and sentimental. Whether it’s concert tickets, picks, autographs, or small photographs, these items can be encased or mounted on the shelf, turning your shelf into a personalized memory box.

Your guitar shelf may become a distinctive and useful work of art in your house by using any of these personalization methods. Using one or a combination of many, these techniques guarantee that your shelf will tell a narrative in addition to holding things.

Ideas for Using the Guitar Shelf in Home Decor

Integrating a DIY guitar shelf into your home decor not only adds a functional piece but also serves as a striking visual element that reflects your creative flair. This unique shelving unit can be styled in various ways to enhance different areas of your home. 

Here are some ideas on how you can use the shelf in your home decor.

Focal Art Piece

Position your guitar shelf in a prominent area of the living room, such as above a sofa or in a main gathering area. Use it to display interesting collectibles, small plants, or photo frames. This not only makes the shelf a conversation starter but also elevates the aesthetic appeal of the space.

Music Corner Enhancer

If you have a music corner or a dedicated space for musical instruments, adding your shelf can enhance this theme. It can hold music-related items such as sheet music, CDs, or even small instruments, creating a thematic continuity in your decor.

Personal Memorabilia Display

Use the shelf in your bedroom to hold personal items that mean a lot to you, like favorite books, awards, or travel souvenirs. It’s a great way to keep these items close in a personal space, adding a touch of individuality to your bedroom decor.

Creative Nightstand

Mount the shelf next to your bed to serve as a creative nightstand. It can house your bedtime books, a small lamp, and even a place to charge your phone, combining utility with creativity.

Inspirational Display

In a home office setting, the shelf can be used to display inspirational items that boost your creativity and productivity. Consider using it to showcase awards, certificates, motivational quotes, or even small artworks that inspire you during your work.

Organizational Tool

Utilize the shelf for practical organization in your home office. It can hold stationery, important notes, and other small office supplies, keeping them within easy reach and neatly organized.

Key and Mail Organizer

Place the shelf in your entryway or hallway to create a drop-zone for keys, mail, and other small items. This is particularly effective if you add hooks to the lower part of the guitar, making it a multifunctional piece that helps keep your entryway tidy.

Decorative Welcome Piece

Use the shelf as a decorative piece in your entryway to welcome guests. Decorate it with a small welcome sign, a vase of flowers, or seasonal decor items that greet anyone entering your home.

Integrating a guitar shelf into your home decor not only utilizes space creatively but also adds a unique, personalized touch to your living environment. With these ideas, your shelf can become a versatile and stylish feature in any room.


A fun and creative project, building a guitar shelf turns an old musical instrument into a useful item of home décor. It enables you to personalize your area with a distinctive, striking display while showcasing your do-it-yourself abilities. This hack keeps your favorite things arranged and easily accessible while also recycling an old guitar.

We have more creative shelf ideas. Check out our floating shelf project!



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