Guest post by Rachel Jones of Pthalo Azul
Today's craft is a quick and simple way to customize your Ukulele. Most customized Ukulele's are really expensive, but this will run you only about a few dollars.
Ukulele's are everywhere--they're a cute, cheap instrument that finds it's way into almost every house and apartment I have ever been in (usually hiding underneath some pillow you want to sit on). Another reason for their popularity is that many American school-kids have switched from learning the nasally recorder to the much trendier and more exciting Uke. The only problem is that most Ukulele's are mass produced cheaply--and, depending on the brand, can get a lot of wear and tear that gets a little bit embarrassing.
Uke Enthusiasts would probably be distraught about covering up most of the sound hole, but it doesn't make much of a difference. Most of the sound comes from the box itself. For your living room decor as a little temptation for passing visitors to play, it's just right.
1. I used Fun foam since it holds it's rigid shape and it's thin, soft, bright, and clean. But you can use other things as well like felt or thick fabric (we're going to use string or ribbon to hold the piece down to the body) Fun Foam isn't much of a sound insulator, so it's perfect for this project.
I used brown for the background and white for accents, but you can use red, orange, or purple glow in the dark glitter foam depending on the type of fox you want.
2. To start, I have made a pattern to make this little fox. I used a Standard Soprano Makala Ukulele as my base. Unfortunately not all Soprano Ukes are the same size. But, if you have the Standard Soprano Makala then you can use my base in your pattern. (The hourglass shape is known as a "Concert" shape. You might have a tomato shaped Ukulele known as a "pineapple" shape, but it can still work with this fox pattern, but you'll need to make your own base.)
here's a link to my flickr account with the patterns, which should be able to print to scale.
the bottom base:
the top foxy accents:
3. If you don't have the same instrument, you want to trace out the bottom of your Ukulele and that square which holds the strings (known as the bridge) and the end of the neck that crosses the body. I decided to trace out the hole and it was a huge mistake. You may notice in my pattern that I took it out altogether--All you need is some holes around that area for plenty of sound to come out, trying to get the circle perfect is a pain.
I've added a slice next to the fret board to get your cover on and off. Test it out on the body. It doesn't need to be perfect.
5. Now cut out your pieces--the tail, two feet, the head, and two ears. (I had to cut out something to go behind my hole since it was in the wrong place, but you guys aren't going to make that mistake ((unless you like the look of it)) )
6. Glue them on like so--
--but be careful not to glue the tail over your slit.
We're going to cover the slit with the un-glued portion of the tail so no one will know but you and I how we got that on. Take care the nose is glued well, so it doesn't pop up and mute the strings.
7. Now attach a ribbon behind the feet and another ribbon behind the head so that you can tie it behind the body and make sure that it doesn't fall forward and mute the strings. You may feel like attaching ribbons behind the tail and the back so it doesn't fall there, too. It's up to how much your going to be playing this Ukulele.
And Fin! You are done and free to go make some indie-islander music.