Tune up your craft: make a walnut shell mandolin

This week’s DIY craft with walnut shells is a walnut shell mandolin! What is a mandolin? A mandolin is a stringed musical instrument used by some of the greatest musicians. It is somewhat like a guitar, but it is not a guitar! Here is a picture for your reference (MandolinImage by ilbelpaese from Pixabay)

One look at this, and you can tell that a walnut shell mandolin is very easy to make.

So, what materials would you use?

A walnut shell, of course; rather half of it. Other materials would be cardboard, glue, string, beads, paint (optional), a needle (optional) and Styrofoam (optional).

Step 1: Making a walnut shell mandolin

Place the walnut shell-half on the cardboard and draw the outline of the shell. You can also draw the stem or attach it later. Now cut out this shape. Also cut a small hole in this cardboard shape at about 2/3rd of it vertical length.

Cutting up cardboard for the face of the mandolin

Cutting a hole

Step 2: Glue up the pieces of the mandolin

Now paste this piece of cardboard onto the walnut shell to make the base of the mandolin. Then, stick the stem to the base.  (Not required if you cut out the stem and the base at the same time.)

Cut out little pieces of the styrofoam and stick along the length of the walnut shell mandolin, in parallel positions. These are intended to hold the strings taut. Here’s a picture for reference.

Watch the video:

styrofoam pieces stuck along the length of the walnut shell mandolin

Step 3: String up the walnut shell mandolin

Now you can easily string this mandolin, using a needle and thread. (I found cotton thread is the best for tautness.) Add beads at the center and sides, as required. 

Here are my finished pieces. How do they match up with the referenced picture above?

Walnut shell mandolin Walnut shell mandolin 2

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