Recycle Plastic To Make Own Custom Guitar Picks

14 Sep


How to Make Plastic Guitar Picks

If you play the guitar, now you’ve got a nifty way to recycle all of those old ID cards and fake credit cards you get in the mail.

[edit] Steps

  1. Find a source of plastic that you desire to recycle into a useful object.
  2. Using a permanent marker, trace the outline of an existing guitar pick onto the plastic.
  3. Using quality scissors or a sharp craft knife. Cut out the shape of the guitar pick.
  4. Using an emery board or a small scrap of fine sandpaper, smooth the edges of the pick.

[edit] Tips

  • Some good sources of plastic:
    • Old membership card
    • Old discount card
    • Used gift card
    • “Fake” credit card from junk mail
  • Guitar Picks come in so many shapes, sizes, materials, and thickness (gauge) that sometimes it’s difficult to know which ones to choose. There are four main attributes of a guitar pick.
    • The shape of the tip
    • The thickness
    • The overall size
    • The material
  • In general, rounded tips are best suited for strumming chords and playing rhythm guitar.
  • Sharp picks are better for playing lead guitar. Lead guitar is primarily focused on playing one note at a time, as opposed to rhythm guitar which primarily plays more than one note at a time.
  • The thickness of picks is generally measured in millimeters (mm) and normally ranges from 0.38mm (thin) to 1.5mm (thick). However, guitar picks can range up to 3.0mm thick. In general, thin picks are good for rhythm guitar but not great for lead guitar.
  • Thick picks are good for some rhythm guitar and great for lead guitar. Thick picks give a guitar player more control of volume and attack on the strings. There is not much give, so thick picks don’t bend very easily.
  • Thin picks allow a guitar player to firmly strike the strings without much chance of breaking them or playing too loud. Thin picks bend easily and are designed to make strummed chords sound smooth.
  • If you cut the pick out so that you can have some of the embossed printing of your name or account number near the top, the pick will be easier to grip when playing.

[edit] Things You’ll Need

  • Guitar pick, to trace pattern.
  • Permanent Marker
  • Scissors or knife
  • An emery board (or) a small scrap of fine sandpaper
  • Source of plastic: discarded discount card


Posted by on September 14, 2007 in DIY, Recreation, Recylcing


6 responses to “Recycle Plastic To Make Own Custom Guitar Picks

  1. George Ray

    October 5, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    As a beginning guitar student, I was constantly showing up to lessons, only to have forgotten or lost my guitar pick. One night in my apartment I had the brainstorm to create my own guitar picks out of an expired credit card. I’ve never had to buy another pick since.

    I wasn’t aware at the time that your site existed (if it did then), but am impressed to see that someone has put so much time and effort into creating this link. Nice job!

  2. Henry Chow

    March 4, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    I’ve also found it very effective to use electronic packaging plastics to make guitar picks!

    Cheers, Henry

  3. tv brackets

    March 31, 2008 at 1:12 am

    Talk about making your own unique guitar pick.. Here you sure have an exclusively inspiring article.. Now I know what to do with my expired credit cards.

  4. Alex

    April 27, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    Strange… I actually did this yesterday before reading this. I made two custom plecs, all purpose ones with a thin bit for strumming (grind the plec face down on sandpaper) and a narrow outy-bit for lead. Has to be said it works a treat.

  5. alittleguitar

    July 28, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    excellent! i’ve been looking for a way to bring the scurrilous guitarpick industry to its knees!


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