When the Music Stops, Crafting Can Begin
January 9, 2019 2:39 PM   Subscribe

If you’ve got a beloved musical instrument that can no longer accurately be described as musical, it may be time to upcycle that instrument. Got an old, jangly piano? It can become a wall unit, a bookshelf, a shelf, a piano bar, a chandelier, a computer desk, a writing desk, a kitchen island, a kitchen pantry, a coffee table, a workbench, a candle holder, an aquarium, a side table, a mantelpiece, a bench, or a headboard.

Piano keys can become bookmarks or pendant necklaces; piano wire can be turned into rings or earrings; piano hammers and sheet music can become a clock, and the piano harp can become a coffee table.

If your life has become more about home renovations and family potlucks than rock n' roll, your guitar can become a dollhouse, a shelving unit, a cabinet, a stained glass lamp, a chair, a beer tap handle, a hook rail, a doorbell, or a clock, while your old guitar case can become a wall-mounted jewelry box, or a coffee table.

If all your strenuous efforts to become the next John Bonham have done nothing but inspire an infuriated mob of torch-wielding neigbours to encircle your house, you can perhaps pacify them by turning your drum kit into pendant lights, a floor lamp, a wine rack, a clock, a stand for your records and record player, a Christmas tree, a console for your AV equipment, a chair, a side table, bathroom fittings, or an entire furniture set.

A trombone can become an iPhone amplifier, and a flute key can become a tie clip. Nearly any instrument can become a lamp, and if you want to go the extra mile, you can also make a lampshade out of sheet music. And if your French horn practice is driving your roommates so crazy that they're retaliating by refusing to shower and/or finding a way to make more noise than you, perhaps it's best to bite the bullet and turn the horn into a lamp before someone runs it over with a jeep.
posted by orange swan (11 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
Yay, an orange swan crafting post!!
posted by Liesl at 3:03 PM on January 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

Especially appreciate the MASH references....
posted by annieb at 3:13 PM on January 9, 2019

omg yay crafting post from orange swan thanks!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:37 PM on January 9, 2019

A friend of mine made an incredible hanging lamp from an old tuba. Wish I had a pic to share.
posted by bz at 5:31 PM on January 9, 2019

I made a speaker for my computer out of a spent acoustic guitar. Wish I had taken some pics, somebody stole it when we had a party.
posted by Marky at 9:56 PM on January 9, 2019

A friend of mine is a scrimshandress. If you've got a busted antique piano, she wants the keys.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:09 AM on January 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

damn, this post looks like a lot of work. Thanks!
posted by es_de_bah at 7:15 AM on January 10, 2019

I converted my mom's old electric organ into a planting bench for her garage. (I sold the keyboards, pedalboard, and speakers on eBay).
posted by zakur at 7:46 AM on January 10, 2019

I assume your guitar speaker looked something like this, Marky? I came across that idea too in my research and meant to include it but then before I was quite done, I hit post when I meant to hit preview and sighed and thought screw it, I'd been working on the post for hours as it was.

During my research, I came across a number of ideas for using pianos as water fountains and drums and guitars as planters, but they made me wince because they seemed likely to become a rotting/rusted mess in short order, so I didn't use the ideas in the post.
posted by orange swan at 8:17 AM on January 10, 2019

My grandma organ, although still functional, serves as a sideboard/mantle-type thing.

I do also have a piece of somewhat dubious wall art I made from the cross-braces of a broken acoustic guitar I found on Vermont st. in SF about 15 years ago.

I believe that is the extent of it.
posted by aspersioncast at 12:42 PM on January 10, 2019

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