2017 Halloween Build-Off!

Contest is closed and we have now chosen three winners from all the entries!!!

FIRST PLACE and a $100 gift certificate to www.CBGitty.com goes to Heatmiser George and his skeletal-carved "Johnny Coffinwood" guitar:

SECOND PLACE and a $50 gift certificate to www.CBGitty.com is D S Phillips with his gory "Ed Gein" guitar:

THIRD PLACE & a $25 C. B. Gitty gift certificate goes to JD Swann with "Voodoo"


These contests are almost impossible to judge, especially with so many noteworthy entries.  Congratulations to all the winners and a huge shout out to all the entries!

CONTEST IS CLOSED.  THANKS FOR ENTERING!  Original contest information below along with all entries:

It's that time of year!  We're looking for the wildest Halloween-inspired homemade instruments.  Coffin basses, creepy guitars, musical chainsaws, axe guitars, grave digger shovel guitars... get weird or go home!

The rules:

  1. Post your entries below. NO MORE THAN THREE PHOTOS AND ONE VIDEO PER ENTRY.  Include a one paragraph description with your entry.
  2. Entries must be submitted between September 25 and October 22, 2017.
  3. Entries must not have been submitted to any other Cigar Box Nation contest in the past.
  4. Instruments must be built by the submitter.


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    My brother in dental school gave me a plastic skull that he got from a classmate.  Of course I had to make a ukulele with it.  The body and neck are poplar and the fretboard is walnut.  It has skull tuners and a skull volume knob for the piezo pickup. It's the spookiest uke I've ever made.





  • My one string stand-up bass. Crude, ugly, but playable.306651620?profile=RESIZE_1024x1024

  • My entry for the 2017 Halloween build off is my 4 string Ed Gein  Dead Skin Mask Banjo. 

    The pot is made from a native american hoop drum I got from a trading post.  The head is goat skin also purchased there.  The neck is maple (scarf Joint-my first) with a red oak fret board.  The dead skin mask was an add on in a mache style application.  The tuners are leftovers in my build stuff.  The strings are nylon and the marking on fretboard were burned in. The banjo is open back and skin was soaked and tacked on. This was alot of fun!!!







  • This is my 2nd semi serious attempt to make a cigar box guitar. I'm still just beginning to get into this exciting hobby and there's many things I would have done differently. I actually started this build about 3 months ago, if this disqualifies me thats cool. I mainly wanted to show it off. Initially I wasn't planning on it having a Halloween or spooky theme, till a friend commented that the shape reminded her of a coffin. Anyway here's my entry the Coffin Box Guitar.




  • Skeleton Key Guitars 3 string slider"Johnny Coffinwood".Hand carved poplar neck and hands,handmade spruce coffin sound box with hand cut celtic cross sound holes,bone nut,handmade mahogany bridge,brass/copper tailpiece,banjo tuners,Electric Delta 3 pole pickup,skull volume knob.If you want hear how she sounds go to the video section here on Cigar Box Nation and look up "Burn The Flames".She's a screamer !!!!!







  • 306648484?profile=RESIZE_1024x1024306650175?profile=RESIZE_1024x1024306651232?profile=RESIZE_1024x1024This is my entry in the contest 6 1/2 foot tall but very playable the head piece is carved from a warped 2x6, the neck is laminated 2x6 , fretboard is oak hand radius-ed (that was fun), the bridge is plywood, the gargoyles were cut on a scroll saw, the the skeleton hand was carved from laminated poplar, the body is hardwood underlayment  and is full braced, and has a sound post as well, the strings are trimmer strings, i used the guts of a sharpie to blacken them (sharpies contain solvents so when dry it doesn't come off), the stand was a tabletop and what was left of the 2x6 i used for the neck, tuners are just bass tuners from an old electric, and to hold that weight at the head stock i welded a brace from some nails, cotter keys, and washers to look like a spiderweb.  thanks for these contests they cause me to use my imagination and then challenge myself to make it a reality i had a blast building this!

    • and again...WOW, glad I didn't try and enter

  • “Bat Out Of Hell”

    This build was inspired by James Ryman’s deviant art painting and sculpture “Play Dead”.  It is an electric 25” scale 4 string tenor hollow body flying V cut-away with a bat-wing scalloped bottom and top and bat shaped headstock.  It is constructed of solid maple with a through body neck and book matched/sequence matched flame maple veneer on the front, back and headstock.  I made the box corners using sheet copper, a Veritas metal bender and a soldering iron.  The finish is hand-rubbed artist oil paints and 14 coats of high gloss wiping varnish.

    I purchased the majority of hardware from CB Gitty Crafter Supply as follows:

    Skull tuners

    Bone nut

    Peruvian walnut fretboard

    Skull shaped sound hole covers

    Four pole rod piezo (routed into a bone bridge)

    Skull volume knob (on a Cherub G6 G-Tone preamp)

    The tailpiece is a cast iron hinge from Lee Valley.

    Given the pre-amp, this monster is a real player capable of breaking glass!






  • For inspiration purposes  only .


    now go create  ;-)

  • "Ed Gein" CBG poplar neck, marble pupil carved eye head stock, toothpick frets, magazine eye markers, chicken bone bridge, human skin box.






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