Your gig bag is as essential to your music as the instrument itself. It holds the essentials and a ton of memories. A proper bag withstands the scuffing and cramming into the crowded back seat of a car bound for the next gig. The thing is, many gig bags look alike and if you’re travelling thousands of miles away from home, you know how important it is that you know where your instrument is at all times. Consider taking all of your creativity and channeling it towards customizing your bag so that the next time you’re on tour, you can get to it without having to frantically search the darkness of backstage at the venue.
Decorating With Pins and Patches
There are a ton of things you can do to set your bag apart from the rest, while keeping all of its road weary memories intact. Remember all of those button pins your younger self hung onto over the years? They are probably collecting dust in a jar somewhere, so go grab ‘em and start sticking on the ones that speak out to you the most. The more obscure, the better. These can be a real conversation starter!
Another option is to head to your local mall and seek out a Hot Topic. They are known for all things music-related so grab a hundred pins and rotate them as you please. Another sweet way to upgrade your gig bag is to immortalize that old guitar pick into a button. For this simple DIY all you need is a couple of guitar picks that are past their prime, but still have meaning to you. Then grab a hot glue gun and small lapel pins, like these. With the hot glue, carefully apply the back of the lapel pin to your guitar pick and allow to dry. In about an hour, you’ll have your very own pin.
Add Pizzaz With Iron On Patches
The patch fad is finally back and they aren’t just for your jacket anymore! Iron on patches are a great way add oomph to your bag and they will literally last forever. Bonus points if your patches are from your own band! As we all know, extra advertising is never a bad thing.
You go to any craft store and explore their selections of patches. The Army Surplus store offers a wide range of military patches from all over the world. An environmentally-friendly option is to upcycle old patches from an old uniform or thrift store find. All you’ll need is a seam ripper to detach them and of course, some hot glue or safety pins. If you are feeling fancy, you can even make your own patches or appliques with printable iron on transfer paper. Design them with your initials, band’s name or your first guitar’s name ( yeah, we named ours too!) The possibilities to create can go on forever!
You can even customize your own iron on embroidered patches at The Studio. If you have a hard case, stay away from that iron! You definitely don’t want to melt it. Unless you do, of course, then that’s up to you. To save your bag from melting, get a bunch of safety pins to fasten your patches on for some punk rock vibes. You can switch it up even more just by using multi-colored safety pins like these instead. If your case is one of those hard shell cases, try using hot glue in place of poking a bunch of holes in it with pins.
Ladies, It’s Time to Give Your Gig Bag a Makeover
Hey girl, if your gig bag lacking a special touch all you need is a hot glue gun and your imagination. Cover your gig bag with Bohemian chic fabric or add a ladylike touch with delicate gold foil lace trim. For a retro vibe, try using materials repurposed from old clothes. If you aren’t quite ready to commit to a full upgrade, why not try lining the edges of your gig bag straps with different types of trim? We are a fan of velvet mixed with chain for just the right punch of girl power.
Try your hand at turning your unused nail gems into some bling for your bag. This next idea is inspired from our school days. Remember stencils? Well now they make stencils for fabric. Stock up on a set here or visit any craft store. Be sure to grab some fabric spray paint or glitter spray to add some glam to your gig bag. Tip: Make sure you use all glues and sprays in a well-ventilated area, like your garage or back yard. Don’t forget there is more to your bag then the actual, um, bag. That strap stuck to it has pulled its weight over the years. Makeover your old strap with gold sequined fabric. To do this, follow this useful guide we found via Studio Kat. Still not inspired? Head over to Pinterest for a ton of more ideas!
Guys, You Can Give Your Gig Bag a Boost Too!
As a guy, when the subject of crafting comes up you may feel like you face limited options. This is hardly the case! Anyone can get creative with just a few helpful tips. So, if glitter and rhinestones aren’t really your thing, read on! Our first idea: stock up on a ton of glow in the dark fabric paint and make a cool graffiti style design all over your bag. Bonus: you’ll never ever lose your bag backstage again! Let your imagination take you up a level by sewing on glow in the dark trim along your straps ala the movie, Tron .
Do you have a particular song that got your started on your journey into music? Take the sheet music or lyrics into stencils and spray paint them on with white fabric paint. Just follow this DIY for a simple how to, to make your own homemade stencils. You can find the paint online or at your local hobby shop.
Or you can set your bag apart from all the others with an engraved metal plate. You have the option of having them made for you or investing in some new tools. If you don’t already have one lying about, we suggest buying a Dremel kit. You will want to practice with different types of engraving with practice plates. You can go classic or elaborate with this project. This How To from Dremel will get you started. Engraved plates can also help to ID your bag in the unfortunate event it gets lost.
Say It All With Stickers
This idea works especially well for hard case gig bags. Simply slap on some stickers to give a new spin on that plain old black. You probably have quite a few saved up from concerts you went to. What better way to get the most use out of them than sticking them to your bag. Not quite ready to part with the sticker forever? Or maybe you don’t want to leave residue behind. No problem! Just stick some glue dots to the back of the sticker, to spare you from using up the original adhesive. If you are feeling extra creative, go online and visit PSPrint to create your own stickers.
No matter what you choose to do to decorate your gig bag, you can’t lose. Personalizing this important fixture of your life just might inspire you in more ways than you can imagine. Proudly haul your ‘new’ bag to practice, and let the music flow! Of course, you’ll need a gig bag first!