Film Can Strummer

Difficulty: Intermediate

Cost: $

Strummers (Strumsticks, stick dulcimers)  are very easy to play and super fun to build.  This is a smaller strummer with a 17 inch scale length.  I tune it Low G, D, G.  I used an old film can, but any type of wooden, plastic, metal, or even sturdy paper would work for the body.  By printing out the fret guide and watching video a few times, you should be able to make a cool instrument.  Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment.


Parts needed:

  • .75 by 1.5 by 25.5 inch wood (for neck)
  • .25 by 1.5 by 10 inch wood (for fretboard)
  • Wooden or metal box
  • 3-on-a-plate tuners
  • Assorted small screw.
  • 1.5 inches angled aluminum or steel (for tailpiece)
  • Small piece of wood for bridge
  • 20 inches of fretwire
  • 3 thin, metal guitar strings

Printable fret guides:

(Make sure that you print these at 100% size)

8.5 by 11 paper

A4 paper


Don’t use the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 8th, or 13th frets.



Learn how to build this!



7 thoughts on “Film Can Strummer

      1. Jeff Fryett

        Thanks. Just finished mine the other day. Used an chocolate tin for the body. Looks cool but a bit rattly.
        Thanks for the inspiration.

  1. Oscar Stern

    Interestingly a 6 string version would have to be tuned to a baritone tuning. Would e standard tuning on a 6 string version crack the top?


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