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Guitar String Jewelry

I have a challange for all of you creative folks out there. A
friend of mine would like a piece of jewelry made from a set of
guitar strings (they belonged to someone famous). The strings are
steel and very springy. Each of the 6 strings is a different
thickness with the two thickest being wrapped. My first thought was
of some sort of neck piece perhaps with 6 strands at graduated
lengths with beads or metal ornaments of some type spaced at
intervals on each strand. I don’t know how this would work with the
springy wire. The beads would hopefully weight it down, but I would
want the piece to be comfortable to wear. I thought a bracelet would
also be a possibility.

Any suggestions out there would be so very much appreciated.

Vicki Embrey
In the Baltimore area where spring has finally sprung!

Hey Vicki,

What an interesting challenge!

Just my $0.02, but what first sprang into my mind as I was reading
your post was something more fiber-techniques related - you could
weave or braid the strings into a piece to be worn on its own, or
set the braid into something like a silver bracelet cuff. It would
also be interesting to set smaller woven pieces into resin or under
crystal or glass, like Victorian hair jewelry. The different weights
and textures of the strings would really lend interest to such a

I’d be worried about the long-term durability of the strings if they
formed a functional, weight-bearing component of the final piece.
They tend to be stiff and can kink easily - oh, and they can also
corrode under frequent exposure to sweat, salt, and skin oils :stuck_out_tongue:
However, I’m sure the rate of corrosion depends on the kind of
strings - I tended to buy the cheapies!

Happy brainstorming,
Jessee Smith
near Lecanto, FL for now


you can make a ring, necklace, bracelets or earrings. I would take
the thickest string the low e string anneal it this will take out
some of the springy-ness. Wrap it around a steel rod the diameter of
the links you want to make as if you were making jump rings. Cut the
circles you have created into links solder or laser weld them into
shapes. You can shape the links into ovals or twist them. Now you
can solder these together into a bracelet or necklace. You can put a
nice patina on brass and seal it with acrylic spray. You can also use
the ends of the string with the little grommet for jewelry. If you
have full set of strings you have six beads cut the grommets of the
end of the guitar string voila a bead now you can use the beads in
earrings or a necklace strung on the old string. I would cut lengths
of the string say 2 inches and make a simple loop on one end so you
could suspend the 2 inch length from an ear hook. You could glue or
silicon the beads from the string on the string itself. You could
inset the six beads into the channel of a ring. You could cut the
string in small lengths say one inch. Lay the cut lengths out next to
each other on some sort of backing like stiff cardboard the way
crayons sit in a box. Now glue or silicon the strings onto the
backing. You now have a square “guitar stone” that can be bezel set
in any type of jewelry. You could make it any shape, glue it to a
domed or curved backing to make it more interesting. Patina them.

Regards J Morley/Goldsmith/laserwelding

My thoughts:

Use tuning peg heads for beads. Incorporate mother-of-pearl (and
maybe pearls) inlay material and/or Tor-Tis (faux tortoise shell)
pickguard material. Use bone saddle that is drilled to hold the
strings like spacers.

A necklace of free-floating “frets” - that would keep the strings
off the shirt/blouse. They tend to leave marks. A central pendant
shaped like the guitar head in question.

My favorite luthier suppliers online are: Allparts Luthiers Merchantile International

Nifty project, good luck!

Epaul Fischer
Glyptic Artist

Hi Vicki,

Many years ago, I did a line of found object jewelry and had a whole
collection of guitar string jewelry. A few suggestions from what I
learned about the material.

You can wrap the strings into little ‘wreaths’ around a mandrel 50%
smaller than you want the finished circumference to be as the core
of the string is very very springy. Use these little bundles for
earring parts, necklace links or parts or pins. I did not have much
luck with bracelets because the coiled strings really tweak arm hair
and are not very comfortable.

I secured the ends of the ‘wreaths’ by doing a noose-type knot with
22ga fine silver wire. The coiled material of the string can also be
unwound to expose the core and then a bead can be threaded on. Secure
the end by bending it into a tight jump or laser weld a beaded end to

After the piece is finished, ultra sonic and magnetic tumble for a
beautiful soft finish.

We tried sourcing the old strings of a few high profile rockers with
not much luck…what an awesome appeal a line like this would have!

T Lee
T Lee Fine Designer Jewelry
18 University Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
(612) 789-2656
(612) 677-3700 fax

Continue from:

 Use tuning peg heads for beads. Incorporate mother-of-pearl (and
maybe pearls) inlay material and/or  Tor-Tis (faux tortoise shell)
pickguard material. Use bone saddle that is drilled to hold the
strings like spacers. 

Great suggestions, Epaul. Don’t forget Stewart-MacDonald for luthier
tools and parts.

James in SoFl