I found this gem at an antique store in Ponchatoula! It was too cute to pass up and was only $7 so I decided to give it a second life with a bit of paint and new strings to gift to my cousin's baby girl for her first birthday. First thing I did was remove the broken strings and give it a good clean. I used a magic eraser everywhere except around the little logo at the top because I was afraid it would remove the whole design. Then I gave it a quick wash with some mild dish soap and warm water.
Then I started painting! Each step came about naturally. I didn't want it to be overly girly so I decided to paint it this pretty robins egg blue. I brightened up the logo colors using a really small paintbrush and also sharpie for some of the black spots. After the blue I realized it needed a little more interest and I thought the cow print would be fun and go along with the cowboy logo! Then started adding the red accents on the side and in the center circle to bring in the red from the logo. After painting it I added 2 coats of clear coat. I removed the pegs at the top because the gold elastic I wanted to use as strings wouldn't fit through the hole. I used a couple of wooden beads as stoppers for the elastic on the back of the guitar.
At a certain point in the painting process I was like wait...am I making a super toxic toy for a 1 year old? Do they still put anything and everything in their mouth at this age? Clearly I don't have children and have no idea what's appropriate. So to rectify the situation I decided to make a fabric case for the toy so that she can still play with it now without worrying about eating paint. Bonus because it's fabric it can be washed easily.
Step 1. Make the pattern: trace out shape on paper, draw a line down center of shape, add 1/2 seam allowance to one side, fold paper in half and cut so pattern is symmetrical.
Step 2. Cut out fabric pieces: x2 in fabric and x2 in lining fabric if using. Optional: cut fabric for a pocket (I had a small strip of Velcro and a scrap of cow print fabric which will match the little guitar so I decided to add this for fun)
Step 3. Install zipper: If you're not familiar with sewing zippers I always recommend watching a couple of video tutorials so you can better visualize the steps. Measurements for zipper will vary based on size and shape of your pattern. For mine, I want the zipper to measure 8" with 1" fabric tabs on either side. I cut 1 1/4" x 10" strips for the sides of my zipper plus a few scraps to use as zipper tabs. Since this is for a small child and I don't want her to be able to unzip this on her own just yet I'm going to add a fabric flap to cover the zipper which measures 4" x 10.5"
To get started sew the tabs on either end of the zipper and cut excess zipper tape away if necessary. Trim the tabs to be the same width as zipper tape. Then sew 1 1/4" by 10" piece of fabric to either side of the zipper, iron flat, and top stitch. Cut down to final width (including seam allowance to attach this to top and bottom layer). for me that is 2"
Optional if you're adding zipper cover: Fold 4"x10.5" piece in half long wise and stitch both of the short sides shut, flip right side out and iron. Place over zipper and sew in place (I used a basting stitch). My piece ended up being about 1/2" too wide so I trimmed it down, I wanted it to just cover the zipper by about 1/8" but that is all up to your preference.
Step 4. Finish up the siding: Measure perimeter of pattern, mine was 32. then I subtracted the width of the zipper which was 10" and added seam allowance to cut my next strip. So for me I cut a strip 2"x22.5". Sew that strip to the zipper section to form a loop. I ironed and top stitched both seams so they were flat.
Optional, I had a small amount of webbing in a really cute lavender color that I decided to add as a shoulder strap. I used what I had and I'm not really positive if it will be too long or short but it's cute! I stitched it in place in a square with x in the center pattern.
Step 5. Prep the lining: There are several ways to install a liner like using fusable fleece, sew and turn inside out, sew an entire interior shell. What I did was quilt my pieces together. I used a short faux fur because I had scraps the perfect size and this project felt like it was all about using those random bits of material. I also really liked this option because my exterior fabric is a dot pattern, I just stitched dot to dot to make a really cute grid.
Step 6. Optional if you want to add a pocket: Sew your pocket and lining fabric good sides together along the top edge, turn right sides out, iron, and then top stitch along edge. There's really not a huge need for a closure but I happened to have a scrap of Velcro that I've been hoarding forever and is the perfect size for a teeny project like this. Stitch the Velcro in place on both the pocket and on one of the larger fabric pieces. The velcro will hold the pocket in place for the next step but just to be safe I stay stitched the entire perimeter of both pieces before moving forward.
Step 7. Assembly: Pin the long strip to one of the flat pattern pieces. I wanted my zipper to be at the bottom so I matched the center zipper to center bottom and pinned. Then I marked the center of the opposite ends together and pinned so that I had equal spacing on either side. I'm normally not a big fan of using pins but I use a ton for this process because the shape can so easily be warped. And even though I measured the perimeter carefully there's still a chance that the pieces will not line up so I want to evenly distribute any pleats I need to make so that they fit together. I sewed everything in place with my regular machine and then I went back with my serger and cleaned up all the edges.
Repeat the same process for the other side. Don't forget to open up the zipper at least an inch so that you can flip everything right sides out after. And make sure you're not stitching the zipper cover in your seam ( I pinned mine out of the way) or the strap if you have one.
Now turn that sucker inside out and enjoy!
This project is kind of the cutest thing in the world if I do say so myself! Let me know what you think of this project and if you've ever come across a little guitar like this in a thrift store! It felt like such a unique find but I'd love to make more of these if I ever get the opportunity!