DIY Guitar/ Instrument Cases

Making your own custom Cases for Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele, or other instruments that are hard to find cases for, etc

Things you need:

  • Outer shell fabric, thick nylon with rubberized water-proof undercoating
  • Inner Lining Fabric, a very thin silky nylon
  • White Plastic Foam Padding, double thickness, about 1 cm thick
  • Heavy-Duty Zipper, 10cm longer than your planned opening
  • 4 or 5 cm-wide Nylon bag Strap
  • 2 cm-wide Velcro
  • 2cm-wide Nylon Edging

Cutting & Planning:

  • lay the instrument on the Outer fabric, outline half of the instrument within 1cm with chalk
  • fold the fabric in half and outline the other half in chalk
  • draw another line about 3 cm outside that line
  • cut the outside line
  • lay the fabric on top of the fabric again, and trace around that shape and cut it out
  • use the same cut-out to cut out 2 more shapes from the Lining fabric
  • you should now have 4 of the same shapes
  • trace around the instrument again on the white foam with a marker, as close to the instrument as possible
  • draw another line less than 1cm inside that line
  • cut the inside line out, if you want extra thick, glue two pieces of foam together
  • use it as a template to cut another same shape out of the foam
  • with a soft measuring tape, measure where you want to put the zipper, from the top right to the bottom middle, or whatever, and mark it on all of the pieces of the fabric
  • now measure the entire case except for the zipper section, and mark it as the Side-panel Length
  • measure the height of the instrument and add about 6 cm (3cm on both sides for seam allowance)
  • cut one rectangle out of the Outer fabric, as long as the entire instrument without the zipper area, and as wide as the height + 6cm, for the side panel
  • use it as a template to cut one more outer fabric piece, and two more inner lining fabric pieces
  • measure a rectangle on the white foam as long as the other pieces, but about 6.5 to 7cm thinner
  • use that piece to trace another piece the same size
  • measure the zipper width, except for about 1cm on both sides for the seam, and cut off that amount from one of the outer side panels and one of the inner side panels each, and also one of the foam side panels
  • It may be easier to measure the zipper at the end of all sewing, and then cut
    excess fabric
  • measure the zipper area length and cut one outer side panel, one inner side panel, and one inner foam side panel to be a few cm longer than the zipper area length
  • cut the zipper to be about 10 cm longer than the zipper area length

Pocket & Strap:

  • make a pocket with the outer fabric, 4 cm wider than the front of the case, and make two inward-facing pleats into it so that it is a little narrow than the front of the case top, then pin them into place with pins on all ends
  • cut a pocket flap to be as wide as the pinned pocket you made
  • lay the pocket and flap onto the top panel, and mark where velcro should go
  • sew the Velcro into place, the rough side on the flap, soft side on the pocket
  • Cut the edging to fit the bottom 3 sides of the pocket, and and the flap, and sew the edging on
  • pin the pocket and flap into place on the top panel, and sew the pocket on the bottom 3 sides, and the flap on the back side, so its sewn in the open position
  • mark where you want the strap, hold the instrument in a balanced position, and mark it as the center of the strap position on the top panel fabric, with chalk
  • cut the strap to the right length, then fold it in half, and sew it together except for 4 or 5 cm on each end
  • sew the strap into the longest side panel at the right spot by lining it up with the mark u made on the top panel

Assembly:

  • with a glue stick, glue all the pieces together, one inner fabric, one outer fabric, with the foam glued in the middle of them both, do it with the top panel, bottom panel, and both side panels, so now all you have is 4 separate pieces, plus one zipper
  • Sew the 4 Panels together, as close to the outer edge as possible, to hold them together
  • take it to a shoe-repair place, and have them use the heavy-duty metal armature sewing apparatus, or buy one
  • have one person hold the bag and the fabric behind the needle, the other person lines up the fabric, about 5 stitches at a time.
  • sew the top panel to the longest side panel, from the zipper mark, all the way around the back to the other zipper mark, this is the non-zipper panel
  • be sure to sew them with the outer fabric together, and the stitching less than 1cm from the inner foam
  • then sew the bottom panel onto the other side of the same long side panel
  • then sew the shorter narrow panel onto the bottom panel
  • Cut the excess material from the seams, & turn the bag right-side-out
  • in the remaining zipper opening, fold 1cm of material in half towards the inside of the bag and sew it into place, to get a thin 1/2 cm seam
  • set the slide on the zipper through the front of the slide, and oil the entire length of the zipper, and test it
  • with the zipper closed, lay the zipper in place beneath the seams, and then sew the zipper onto one side, with about 1cm of zipper fabric between panel seam and the zipper teeth
  • unzip the zipper, and sew the other side the same way
  • Close the zipper, then sew both ends of the zipper up across the entire zipper width
  • at the same time, sew the 2 side panels together, on both ends, by folding over the top fabric to make a seam, and lining up the zipper so the seam makes the zipper plush and flat on both sides
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