Build a Cigar Box Guitar

You can build a Cigar Box Guitar.

Yes, you!

Here's what it sounds like:


Above:  Shane Speal rips the blues through a simple 3-string cigar box guitar.  

Step back in time and make the coolest old time instrument ever!  

Cigar box guitars date back to the mid 1800's when folks had plenty of creativity, but not a lot of money.  

Blues and country legends started on them and now a modern resurgence has turned the cigar box guitar into one of the biggest things in music today.


 Bet you can't build just one! 


You can make your own cigar box guitar!

The instrument follows the Depression Era "stick through box" design and uses a simple 1x2x34" piece of poplar (found at Lowes, Home Depot and other big box hardware stores - or your scrap wood bin). Real guitar tuners and strings deliver the great sounds heard above.



Once you get the plans, you'll need parts. Check out the Cigar Box Guitar Parts Kit (below). It contains all the hardware, strings and even the cigar box. Simply add your own 1 x 2 x 34” hardwood plank for the neck.


Contents of the basic kit include:

  • One cigar box (styles vary)
  • One set of strings (3-string cigar box guitar pack, acoustic medium)
  • Three tuners with bushings and screws
  • Eight brass box corners with screws
  • Four 1-inch screened brass sound hole covers
  • Two threaded rods which serve as the bridge and nut
  • One brass tailpiece hinge
  • Our 26-page assembly instructions book (which is also linked above as a free download!)

BUY NOW: 3-String Cigar Box Guitar Kit with How-To Guide - Great for Woodworkers!


What tools do I need for the basic kit? 

You need only a saw, screwdriver, and a drill.

You don't need a workshop or expensive tools.

Each kit includes a 26-page, easy-to-follow guide, chock full of detailed photos and instructions.


See whole build process in these step-by-step videos from Chris McDowell!

We designed this kit for the beginning woodworker. 

If you’re looking for an even simpler kit, check out our Pure & Simple Cigar Box Guitar that you can assemble with only a screwdriver! 

Are there lessons to play this once I’m done building it?  

Yes... and they’re totally free! C. B. Gitty is dedicated to the education and preservation of the cigar box guitar. For free, easy-to-understand lessons, go to, our knowledgebase of how-to-build and how-to-play resources.