If you’re into guitars, you know that you’ll need to change your strings eventually. This is because your strings affect the sound your instrument makes.
Some people love the sound of new strings, while others like strings that are more broken in. At some point, however, you will need to change your strings.
Fortunately, you can do many things with your old guitar strings besides throwing them in the trash.
From keeping them in your case as an emergency back-up to using them for crafts, there are many uses for old strings that will save you money and get more life out of them.
Guitar strings are incredibly durable, and if you can find other ways to use old strings, you’ll be amazed at how well they work at various things.
Here are seven things to do with old guitar strings besides tossing them in the trash.
1. Arts and Crafts
If you love playing the guitar, you may also enjoy other forms of art, like beaded necklaces or bracelets.
Guitar strings deliver a lot of strength and durability but are also flexible and lightweight. In addition, they’re thin, so you can thread them through small spaces to give you more crafting options.
If you look online, you’ll find you can use guitar strings to make bracelets, artwork, atrificial plants, decorations, and much more.
Spend some time thinking about what you’d like to make and how you can use old guitar strings to create something unique.
You can use old guitar strings to make jewelry. Some people have given their musical partner a ring made of old guitar strings or have used strings to make matching bracelets. The possibilities are endless.
Based on your budget, you may need to use old strings as a back-up in case there are problems with your guitar. Many artists have been preparing to go on stage, only to discover a string is broken. Without a back-up, things can get stressful.
One good recommendation is to boil your old guitar strings. Doing this removes all the dirt and grime from your fingers touching the strings while playing.
Of course, they won’t be in brand new condition, but you should get a decent sound out of them if you need to use them in a pinch.
Having back-up strings is also great if you spend time with other guitar players.
There’s a good chance that someone’s strings will eventually break, and they may not have extras on hand. You can come to the rescue with your boiled guitar strings.
3. Donate Them
If you’re going through a lot of guitar strings, you can always find a place to donate them to people who may need them.
For people keen to give to a good cause, you can reach out to local music schools or guitar teachers in your area and ask them whether they need used strings.
Your local public schools may also need more guitar strings for students who can’t afford new strings, or just to have them in class in case someone’s strings break.
A teacher might use old strings to demonstrate the differences in sound between new and used strings. Give your schools a call and ask them if they can use your worn-out strings.
If you’re really willing to go out of your way, you can find online charities that ship old guitar strings overseas to people in need.
Many organizations use musical programs to help local populations develop talents and enrich children’s lives. They may need your strings more than you know.
4. Cutting Tools
The strength of guitar strings comes in handy when you need to cut something in a straight line. For example, people use wires to cut molding clay, cheeses, and other similar items.
You can keep a guitar string and fashion it into a homemade cheese cutter using a section of string and a couple of wooden handles.
If you know a friend or a local shop making ceramics, you can also offer up your old strings when they need to cut large sections of clay. In addition, your local school’s art program may want old guitar strings for ceramics class or to cut other art supplies in class.
5. Hang Pictures
Do you have a heavy painting, picture, or mirror you need to hang? Using old guitar strings could be the perfect solution for hanging items on your wall, especially if they’re on the heavy side.
Instead of the stock wire that comes with frames, use a guitar string for added strength. It also works great as a replacement if you buy an old frame without a wire or your wire breaks.
Be careful, though, when using guitar strings to hang pictures. Make sure they are secured tightly to the frame to avoid anything falling. Also, check to make sure the strings aren’t scratching the paint on your wall once the item is hung.
If you’re worried about the strength of a stock frame, you can always add an old guitar string for added strength.
6. Make Memories With Them
Did your strings get you through a fantastic performance or some other life experience? Were you playing your guitar when you proposed to your significant other?
Music accompanies many essential moments for many guitar players, and using strings is a beautiful way to memorialize things in our lives.
Instead of throwing them away, you can keep your guitar strings as a memento. You can frame them or make some other type of artwork that keeps them in view and reminds you of a special memory.
7. Make a Pet Toy
Guitar strings attached to a stuffed animal make fantastic cat toys.
You can save money by making your own pet toys at home with old strings. All it takes is some ingenuity and you will find ways to keep your pets busy for hours.
Cats are most likely to be entertained by something like this. Simply tie something fluffy to the end of the string.
Then, hold the other end and move it around while your cat tries to catch the soft object. If you have an indoor cat, it’s a terrific way to get them some exercise.
If you’re going through guitar strings every few months, it pays to find other uses for them. You can keep them out of the trash by recycling them into other valuable objects.
When you run out of things to do with old strings, you should keep them out of general waste and recycle them whenever possible.
Hopefully, you can find people who need or want them before throwing them away.