Although we do not have the four seasons in Singapore, I have always liked our naturally tropical climate. It tends to be hotter during the months May through July, and the weather gives off a summer feel. And I associate summer with icons of the sun, sand, sea, ice cream, lemonade and…. zesty pineapples!
Chelsea from Lovely Indeed made a very pretty painted pineapple ukulele. She started from scratch with a DIY ukulele kit (available here), but I decided to DIY my existing ukulele instead. Scroll down to see how I did it:
Use a screwdriver, and carefully dismantle your ukulele’s tuning pegs. Be wary of loose screws and parts, and store them in a bag to avoid losing them. Make a note of the position of the strings. Then carefully remove them.
Sand down the main face of the ukulele. Then wipe it with a tack cloth to remove the dust. * Sanding is necessary, not only for unfinished wood pieces, but for wood that had been previously painted or varnished; sanding prepares the surface, making it more receptive to paint. *
Prime the main surface of the ukulele with white acrylic paint. Doing this helps create an evenness the wood will not have without it, and makes the paint stand out more. Mine took several layers, as I wanted it to be opaque. Let the paint dry between layers.
Before painting, you may want to put painter’s tape around the edges. I, have that much confidence in my own painting skills. (>.<)
* Acrylic paint, a water-based paint, does not take long to dry, has little odour, and is widely available in stationery stores, making it a good choice for wood. Acrylics can be mixed together to create your own unique paint shades and effects. *
Choose your favourite shade of yellow and start painting! Let the paint dry between layers. Read this while waiting for the paint to dry: How to avoid brush marks/strokes. I prefer to have the brush strokes, to remind myself of the effort I took to paint my ukulele!
Once you are satisfied with the shade of yellow, paint a lighter shade of yellow at one side of the main face, following the curve to give some dimension.
While the body dried, I started painting the headstock. Choose your favourite shade of green (I chose a more turquoise shade). Let dry. Then using a thin paintbrush, paint a leaf pattern using a darker shade of green.
Paint the neck your favourite shade of brown. I chose a reddish brown.
To create the pineapple criss-cross pattern, I used gold glitter glue and drew lines an inch apart, freehand. Add a dot to the middle of each diamond.
Leave your ukulele aside to dry completely, and then coat it with a varnish or paint sealer. Set it aside again to dry completely.
Screw back the tuning pegs on the headstock and follow this guide to restring your ukulele. Remember to use the correct strings, and put them back in the correct places!
Tune your ukulele with a tuner, or you can tune by ear with a piano. Use the image above for a guide.
And there you have it! Your fun and cute musical companion for the summer!
I hope you have enjoyed designing your own painted pineapple ukulele. If you have made your own musical instruments, and would like to share it, tag us on Instagram #BloomSchoolDIY.
If you already know how to play the ukulele, head on to Peter Hudson’s website for some beginner-level classic tunes in ukulele lead sheet format. Complete lyrics, chord diagrams and ukulele tab are provided in all!