This Old Guitar

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As I was browsing Pinterest a couple of months ago, I came across several pictures of some very beautiful embellished violins. They had been covered with tiny tiles surrounded by a brightly colored grout. Sparkly jewels and porcelain roses had been glued on to their femininely shaped bodies. The strings had been replaced by strands of creamy pearls, giving them a whole new life.  I was impressed by the creativity of the artists who had thought of doing such a thing to an old and otherwise useless instrument and I decided that I wanted one to hang on my wall. Unfortunately, I didn’t have an old violin laying around and I knew there wasn’t a chance in the world of getting my hands on one around these parts. I don’t even know anyone who plays the violin, much less someone who wants to discard one. I did however, have several guitars in the house as my kids are all pretty good guitar players and I knew there were at least half a dozen of them lurking about so I asked my daughter if she had one that she wouldn’t mind parting with. She told me that there was in fact an old guitar that had a large hole in the bottom which the cats sometimes used as a hiding place.  I was confident that the cats would quickly find another hiding spot so I grabbed the guitar with no guilt pangs and  I immediately got to work.  This is what I started out with:

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I began by gluing on some ceramic shards from a couple of broken cups in a sort of diagonal pattern. I used carpenter’s glue on these.

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Then I bought some tiny glass mini-tiles in assorted colors and began to stick them on as well, but I quickly realized that they were thinner than the ceramic shards and that was going to present a problem when it came time to grout the guitar because the difference in thickness would cause the surface of the guitar to be uneven and irregular. Thankfully I had some left over ceramic tile mortar and I applied a thick layer of it over the guitar’s surface and set the mini tiles on it. That pretty much evened out the difference in thickness. I also loosened the strings so they wouldn’t get in the way.

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I used rhinestones, old buttons, plastic turquoise cabochons,  little mirrors, tiny gold coins and anything else that sparkled. Some of the embellishments like the large pearls and the round beads had to be hot glued on after the grout was in place because round surfaces tend to be difficult to set in mortar and they often come loose when the mortar dries, so it’s best to secure them with hot glue afterwards.

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I decided to go with a pastel aqua shade of grout which I mixed myself by adding a bit of turquoise colored acrylic craft paint to some plain white grout.

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After it was grouted, it looked alot better.

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I hot glued on some ceramic roses that I had salvaged from an old candle holder that my cats had broken a while back.

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I had originally planned to decorate the sides as well, but then decided against it because the guitar became fairly heavy with all the embellishments. I really didn’t want to add more weight to it because I planned to hang it on the wall. Besides, I thought it looked fine with the decorations only on the front. I covered the gaping hole with a thin piece of flexible chipboard that was the same color as the guitar and it camouflaged it quite nicely.

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I also decided to refasten the original strings rather than replacing them with pearl strands because I wasn’t really going for that much of a romantic look.

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It’s now hanging on my bedroom wall.

Joining: Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Joining Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

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