Pick Punch: Make your own guitar picks with pics!

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Before I upload another batch of fonts, here’s a new tutorial. Last month I bought a Pick Punch which is basically a large punch for guitar picks. It can punch old credit cards, placemats and other materials, and you can create picks with your own pictures, too! And here’s how it works:

<- A small selection of my picks. You need:

  • Pick Punch
  • Super Glue
  • Polycarbonate sheet
  • Laser printer & Transparencies
  • Laminating pouch & Laminator
  • Scissors
  • Sanding block or sand paper

First decide which image you want to have in (yes, in) your pick. Print it on a transparency.
To save your material, print many pictures at once onto one transparency. (Here you can download a pdf with images and the right pick size.)

To keep your image from blurring, place the printed side of the transparency facing the inside of a laminating pouch. Place a simple sheet of paper on top and let it glide through your laminator. This way, your printed image is safely laminated one only one side, and you can peel off the paper.

This is what happens if you don’t laminate the transparency. The super glue is a little too strong for the printer’s toner… yuck!

With the Pick Punch, punch out a pick from a polycarbonate sheet and peel off the protective foil.
Take your super glue and apply a thin coat of glue to your pick. Be careful not to glue your fingers to the pick :)
Alternatively, you can spread some glue on your image.

Now carefully place the pick with the glue-covered side on your laminated transparency. Don’t move it too much, the glue sets quickly. When the image is centered correctly, press hard on the pick. The excess glue will squeeze out at the sides, so take care and wipe it off with a kleenex (moving from the pick’s center outwards). Yes, it’s messy.

When the glue has dried, trim the transparency around the pick’s edges. Now you can sand the edges with a file or sanding block. Use a medium grit first and proceed with a fine grit. Rinse off any sanding dust (your pick is totally waterproof!) and enjoy your original pick!
The edges should be evenly curved.
If you like, sand the backside of your pick a little to give it a matte finish.
Be proud of your work!

If you decide to use paper images (comics work great, for example – thin paper is better than thick paper), be aware that the super glue will make the paper transparent, and images or text on both sides of the image will become visible. Printed napkins work great, just separate the printed layer.

Glue your pick onto the image. Let it dry and trim around the edges.
Now glue a second pick to the image’s backside so it’s sandwiched between the picks.
Sand the edges, and enjoy your pick!

Another great effect can be achieved by using one layer of an old DVD which has been crackled in the microwave oven. It sparkles much more than you can see in this photo.
The possibilities are endless – have fun!

Questions, suggestions? Leave a comment!

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