How to cut guitar pickguard

Buying a custom pickguard for your guitar is usually the way to go. This is because it will be fitted specifically for your guitar and therefore will be tailored to all of its dimensions perfectly. Of course, there are some downsides to this as well. This article explains how to cut guitar pickguard. For starters, you need to make sure that you have enough money to buy such a thing due to the fact that it can be expensive. And secondly, you need enough patience and time on your hands to wait for it.

Luckily, if you don’t want to purchase a custom one, you can always cut your own! Wanting to learn how? All you need is a pencil and ruler and follow these instructions.

Related Article: How to remove a pickguard from an acoustic guitar

What is a pickguard?

Pickguards are usually needed to protect the guitar’s body and electronics from damage due to the player’s movements. A pickguard can also be used for aesthetic purposes, like adding color and character to the guitar.

How to prepare the material for cutting

First, use the pencil to sketch out your desired shape for your pickguard. It’s important that you draw this on the paper side of the material instead of the other side. This will give you a cleaner line while drawing.

Next, use the ruler to extend it all the way down to where you want your pickguard to end. Once you have done this, make sure that there is about an inch or two worth of extra material left at the bottom so that you can fold it over onto itself.

Finally, cut out your desired shape for your pickguard using your ruler and cutting material.

1. First, cut your material to the desired length. You can use either a sheet of paper or thin metal to make the guard.

2. Mark two parallel lines with an edge of the pencil along the length of your material, one line about 1/4 inch from the top and the other about 1/4 inch from the bottom.

3. Cut out these four sections between the two lines using a metal ruler and utility knife or similar sharp edged tool for cutting.

4. Fold down one end of your material (the end that you didn’t cut) by following the line that was marked at 1/4 inch from the top so that it overlaps with itself, then glue it together.

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Cutting the pickguard shapes

There are two pickguard shapes that you can cut – square and rectangle. In order to create a square, all you have to do is draw a square on the front of the pickguard with a sharpie or pencil. You then need to measure from one corner of the square and cut along that line. To create a rectangle, just draw a straight line on the front of your pickguard. Then, measure from one end of this line and make a mark at an appropriate length before cutting along that line.

Cutting the pickguard holes

Start by measuring the height and length of each string.

Measure the height of the strings with the pencil and use this measurement to draw a line on the pickguard. This line should start at the top left corner, cross over to the top right, then go down to the bottom left, and finally down to the bottom right. This will create four holes for your strings.

Draw two more lines that are parallel to one another — one on either side of your first set of lines. These should be about 1/8″ apart from one another so that they don’t overlap. These will create your space for where your pickguard screws will be screwed in.

You should now have 8 equal lines drawn across your pickguard for where you’ll need to cut out holes for your guitar string frets. It should look like this:

After you’ve drawn all eight lines, it’s time to use an x-acto knife or other sharp cutting object to cut out those spaces for where you’ll need to put your guitar strings through. Be careful not to lose any fingers!

With those spaces cut out, it’s time to screw in all four of your guitar saddles (two on either side). Once they’re screwed in tightly, make sure there’s enough room between them so that when you put on a string, it won’t get stuck between them!

Next up is cutting out the area for where you’ll place tuners on your guitar’s headstock.

-Measure the hole that will be in the center of the pickguard, then mark that spot with your pencil.

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-Measure and mark four additional spots around it to create a triangle shape.

-Use your ruler to draw a line connecting all five marks.

-Place your guitar on top of this paper template, lining up the holes in its body to correspond with the ones you just measured and marked on the paper. Trace the outline of the guitar onto the paper template. This is where you will cut out your pickguards from.

How to mount the pickguard on your guitar

After you cut the pickguard to size, it needs to be mounted onto the guitar. There are multiple ways to do this. You can either use a rubber cement, an adhesive spray, or even just some low-tack masking tape. The mounting process is pretty simple and all you need for it is a couple of pieces of wide masking tape.

To start off, it is best if the pickguard is laid out on your work surface so that it is facing down with its protective film still on. This will prevent any scratches from happening before they’re put in place. From there, all you need to do is take one piece of masking tape and lay it across the face of the guard where you want it placed. Make sure that there’s at least 2 inches on either side of the pickguard for tucking the other half of the tape underneath!

Now what you want to do is carefully pull both ends of the piece of tape back until they are taut but not stretched out. After which, take one end and tuck it underneath where you first applied the tape before taking up the other end and doing the same thing with that half as well! Now after securing both ends under their respective tapes, carefully pull them until they are taut again! And voila! Your pickguard should now be adhered securely onto your guitar.

-First of all, mount the pickguard on your guitar by attaching it with its four mounting screws.

-Next, attach the grounding wire to the metal grounding strip and insert it thru the hole in the pickguard.

-Then, use a pencil or any other sharp object to poke a hole in the pickguard for the grounding wire to pass through.

-Finally, turn your grounding wire back around and insert it into its original hole from before. When this is done, your pickguard should be mounted successfully.

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How to cut guitar pickguard FAQS

How do I know what size pickguard to cut?

The best way to determine this is by measuring your guitar’s top. In order to find the exact width, take a ruler and measure from the inside of one end of your guitar’s body to the other. To find the length, measure from the neck to the point where you want your pickguard to end. Once you have these measurements, you can draw out a square in a different color on a piece of paper and then use a pencil to sketch in a square that matches yours in size.

Where should I place my pickguard?

It all depends on what type of player you are. If you love playing with your pick hand, go for an upper-left position or vice versa if you play with your left hand.

What type of material should I use for my pickguard?

The material you choose is up to you, but PCV is a popular option. 

What tools do I need?

All you need is a pencil and a ruler.


A pickguard is one of the most important elements in the construction of a guitar. It protects the guitar from the player’s hands while also providing a look tailored to your unique style. You can create your own pickguard in a few simple steps. Once you see how easy it is, you’ll be itching to make one for your favorite guitar.

Now that you have your pickguard cut, you will need to mount it. The best way to do this is to first place the pickguard on top of the guitar. Then you will need to use a sharp X-acto knife to poke holes in the pickguard so that you can use some nylon strings to tie the holes together. Once the holes are all lined up you will need to insert the nylon strings through the holes so that they are taut on both sides of the pickguard. Next, tie a knot on one side of the holes to secure it. Finally, tie another knot on the other side of the holes to ensure that it doesn’t come undone. You can then cut off any excess nylon string.