The Guitar Pick-a-Palooza comes with four colorful plastic strips, printed with fun designs which will get you started on your guitar pick making journey, and there’s cool colored strips you can buy, but for a cost effective approach, you can make picks out of trash!
In the UK we called picks plectrums, but I guess pick is the standard American word.
You can make guitar picks with used credit cards, which make a great talking point. We’ve used auto-club cards and store loyalty cards to make guitar picks at home, and we’ve given guitar picks as as small gifts to other guitar players that have cost nothing, but have been received with great delight. Used hotel key cards can be made into guitar pick mementoes of vacations enjoyed. They’re a little thicker than the recommended material, but they work.
My guitar-playing, non-crafty man received this plectrum maker for Christmas, and after wondering for some time why his brother had bought him a stapler, he was hooked. I had to hide away current credit and bank cards to keep them safe from pick-ification.
The kids loved it too. It’s just so easy and foolproof to use and the supplies are free if you use cards you already have..
For a really funky range of plectrum colors, invest in a sheet of pearloid plastic, giving your guitar picks a professional look. Rock on.
These do tend to give a more professional pick because the material thickness and density is ideal, and the finish is smooth, so these get used for performances in front of people, but the picks made from plastic that would otherwise be garbage are loved around the house.
The thing to get right for each person is the plastic choice, credit cards are quite thick, but if you cut them just right the lettering acts as a grip, which is either perfect or horrid, it’s completely a personal preference thing. Loyalty cards from coffee shops and sandwich places work well, and cheap hotel key cards are thinner with more “give”. The plastic boxes that business cards come in have been declared the excellent balance between hardness and flexibility, but I’m reluctant to order business cards just to get the boxes they’re packed in.
Me, I play the shaky egg.
Teens love making guitar plectrum jewellery with the Pick-a-Paloozer. It’s so easy to make a plectrum from last year’s plastic school security or library card, and then you can simply stamp or drill a hole to turn your new plectrum into a one-of-a-kind necklace.
When using credit cards steer clear of the raised numbers, and clip your picks from around the edge, unless you like the extra grip it gives you. If you have a chip and pin card, avoid the chip for actual guitar playing, as it creates a weird surface.
Our Pick-a-Palooza has seen plenty of action, now we just need to find more guitar playing friends to give them some of our plectrum stock.