How To Make Guitar Inlay Stickers

Guitar inlays are available in so many alternative kinds these days! Now not are we compelled to dwell with the plain previous dots that so many guitarists grew up with.

Trendy manufacturing methods have allowed all types of loopy designs for use on fretboards. Nevertheless, do you know that you would be able to design and create your individual customized fretboard inlays?

Now not do it’s important to be constrained by the inlays your guitar got here with – in case you can design it, or discover a adequate picture on-line, you may have it in your guitar!

It is a nice and inexpensive option to customise a guitar that you just’re a bit of tired of. And the most effective half? It’s fully reversible – you’re not carving any wooden in any respect, so you may change the inlays at will!

Gear You’ll Want

To get began on this mission is fairly easy, however there are a couple of instruments that you just’ll want. Don’t fear – most of them are both quite common family instruments.

To begin with, you’ll want a pc, a coloration printer, and a few vinyl decal paper. It doesn’t should be a really highly effective laptop in any respect – simply so long as it will probably edit photos and ship information to a printer!

In case you don’t have your individual printer or laptop, possibly attempt a neighborhood web cafe, or a library – and a print store may give you the option that will help you with printing the photographs!

For making use of the inlays to your fretboard, you’ll want some fretboard cleaner, or some naphtha. You’ll additionally want a pointy knife or razor blade, and a tender fabric.

You’ll want a pc program to edit the photographs you’re utilizing too, however don’t fear, there are a couple of free choices out there! Home windows PCs include Paint put in, however Paint.web and GIMP are each wonderful free picture editors, for these on the lookout for one thing a bit extra highly effective.

Selecting The Proper Picture

If that is your first time making a guitar inlay, it’s finest to start out off with one thing comparatively easy. Making an attempt to print and precisely minimize out one thing like Schecter’s well-known “vine of life” design goes to lead to quite a lot of sweat and complications – it’s simply not a practical proposition!

Fortunately, most guitar inlays aren’t that complicated anyway – in any case, how many people have owned a guitar that simply makes use of easy dots? Which means you shouldn’t have an excessive amount of of a tough time choosing a design that you just love!

Simply keep in mind – much less is extra. A easy design is the easiest way to go right here – there’s not very a lot room between the frets of a guitar, particularly as you go larger up the neck.

Photographs with plenty of fantastic element simply received’t have that element seen – not solely is it a waste, however the strategy of shrinking an in depth picture down may nicely find yourself with it wanting messy, and that’s not one thing we would like on our beloved guitar!

Take into account colours too. Having an in depth inlay with plenty of coloration work may sound like an incredible concept in idea – however in apply, it’s going to be exhausting to make out all of that color.

At something various ft away, element can be misplaced – so easy, iconic designs are finest! Due to this fact, think about using your picture manipulation software program to transform a picture to at least one with fewer colours – and even to monochrome!


When you’ve bought the picture you need on your inlay, it’s time to print it off!

Do not forget that the picture must be shrunk to suit proper on the upper frets – this may take a bit of little bit of trial and error, however shrinking them by round 5% every time you go up the fretboard. is an efficient place to start out. That is another excuse why a less complicated picture can typically be a greater concept!

You’ll be making use of the inlay to the twelfth fret at a minimal – it’s often the most typical place, and even guitars with out different fret markers will typically embody one on the twelfth fret. It’s a standard reference level for guitarists, as you understand you’re midway (or thereabouts) up the neck at that time!

Different frets can have inlays too, although – usually, you’ll discover them on frets 3,5,7,9,12,15,17,19 and 24 – however these larger up the neck may be troublesome to print, minimize, and apply cleanly.

Fortunately, there’s nothing fallacious with a little bit of trial and error right here – the worst that may occur is you’ll have to take away them and clear the sticky stuff off your fretboard!

Making use of The Picture

Now that you just’ve bought your picture printed off, it’s time to use it to your guitar!

You’ll want to start out off by ensuring your fretboard is good and clear. You’re going to be placing a sticker on it – so in case your fretboard is roofed in mud, all that it’s going to follow is mud! Any mud, filth, or grime has to return off earlier than you may stick an inlay down.

Get the tender fabric and the naphtha and provides your fretboard a great cleansing. Guitarists don’t do that sufficient, so it is a adequate excuse!

Be aware – keep away from getting the naphtha wherever close to your guitar’s end. Some finishes actually hate having sure chemical compounds wherever close to them. Fretboard cleaner is a safer concept, however used properly, naphtha will work simply as nicely – and, handily, flashes off rapidly, so that you don’t have to fret about swimming pools of it build up in your fretboard.

Now, very fastidiously minimize the picture out – you’ll need the sharpest knife or razor blade that you would be able to pay money for. Be very cautious! Sharp instruments are safer than blunt, as you want to use much less drive to chop – however good instruments alone received’t cease you from making errors, so be careful!

When you’ve minimize the inlays out, it’s only a case of laying them out on the fretboard within the right place! Keep in mind to think about orientation too – it’s as much as you which of them method is “up” in your guitar, however keep in mind to be constant in making use of the inlays the identical method!


Customized inlays are a cool option to customise your guitar – why not give them a attempt?

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