Guitar Pedal Projects. Top 5 in DIY With Forum Support!


Post Reply
Forum Home > Tips, Tricks and Tutorials! - Builder's Guides for GuitarPCB Boards! > Sticky: GuitarPCB Pedal Art

Site Owner
Posts: 8793


An alternative to making beautiful enclosures without the needed skills, cost, mess or smell of using lacquers and waterslide decals. Produces a durable finish to last years. Tried and tested.

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

Now everyone can show off their pedals with pride and ease. No smelly fumes or costly mistakes. Using just high quality photo paper and ink along with several light layers of Armor All to protect against moisture and scuffing over the high-gloss design preserves your Pedal Art for years to come.

* Simply use Quality Photo Paper, allow time to dry (48 hours), clip corners with Kadomaru Pro corner clipper, use permanent stick glue and add protective layer of Armor All for a long lasting beer proof shield. Kadomaru Pro perfectly cuts 125B corners with M (medium) and 1590B corners with S (small).

Much easier than smelly coats of lacquer. I have spill tested many of these and they are strong!

* Be sure to watch the YouTube Video above: In regards to Armor All I got the idea from a drummer friend who is an Auto Body guy and said one day how much he hates "Armor All" and I said "Why?" He explained that when people spray it in their car they do it with the windows down and the over-spray gets on the outside of the car and it is miserable for him to get the paint off the car. That got me thinking of a streamlined pedal process!

* When applying the "Armor All" it is important to do it in several light coats after the INK has dried or cured for 48 hours. I apply it to the whole sheet before cutting out my designs. Even take a hair dryer to it for a bit. Then spray some on a Soft Fiber Cloth and wipe it on. That's it! Then wait a day and do it again if you want. The more coats the more protection but this stuff is TOUGH and better it is shiny making the Artwork Pop!

Just like pedals sometimes you have to experiment to get it to work with your setup.

Make sure to air cure for 24-48 hours and then a hair dryer an hour before first coating.

* I like "Armor All" for my Canon printer ink but there are lots of printers so try the "STP". Only use a single light spray on a micro fiber cloth for the first application and let cure completely. Then repeat as many times as you want afterwards. Follow up applications are easily applied.

* As the end result you have a very nice looking and readable enclosure that is extremely easy to make and apply with no fumes

* As a final tip I use colored Sharpies to touch up the corner cuts "side edge of your photo" so it does not show. Do this before permanently gluing it to the enclosure. Black for Black enclosures, Red for Red etc. Obviously a white enclosure needs no touch up. I use Microsoft Publisher to make make and save my basic pattern designs, for each style enclosure as well as drill templates.

Here are some samples you may use for free courtesy of GuitarPCB.

Feel Free to add your own Pedal Art below for others to use!

Some British Invasion Style Pedal Art  ;)

ICY Winter

Rainy Day

Some more plain style art to edit:

That's it for now.

I hope to see others contribute their own pictures below for others to use by adding a direct link to your Photo using the Photo Icon just to the left of the Smiley Icon when writing a new post. If you need help just check out our Adding Photos Guide also found on the Home Page.


March 22, 2017 at 10:21 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Brian S
Posts: 124

Hey Barry,

Im going to give this a shot. One question.  Is there a timelimit in between putting on the Armour All coats? I know it says to wait 24 hrs before putting in on the box.  And if it's a dry before the next one how long does that normally take?  I'm fairly fed up with waterslides also especially after this last pedal which I'm still trying to finish.  Thanks, Brian

April 4, 2017 at 10:13 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 8793

Use a light spray on a soft fiber cloth, do not over treat it. Do it in multiple light layers.

Cure your ink further with a hair dryer if necessary. I have actually used armor all in less than 24 hours with success so I was being extra cautious in my video. I have used decal sealant successfully as well after proper curing.

Ink type, your photo paper type, wiping too hard may all yield different results. I have no problem with a Canon MX922 with Canon Ink using Canon HQ High Gloss Photo Paper whatsoever.

Hope that helps.

April 4, 2017 at 9:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 8793

Try this Microsoft Publisher PUB file and see how this works out for you.

I cannot promise anything since there are huge differences between publisher versions etc..

If this works it could be fun. Let me know.

June 9, 2017 at 10:00 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 343

Hey for what its worth, I got into Inkscape and its great. I downloaded it ages ago but couldn't for the life of me figure it out in the five to ten minutes a night I have free. Finally this week it dawned on me to go look for a tutorial on youtube. Duh. So I found a three part series from a canadian dude who runs through making a pedal decal from start to finish. Its crude, the audio is terrible, but it flipped a light on in my head. 

I have a special project I'm working on and I really want to make it look nice. I rarely use drilling templates but I found a work around: my printer is also a scanner. So after I've drilled out my enclosure, I scan the front of the box, scale it into Inkscape and I can design my layout right on my actual box. Its pretty slick.

All set to run off my first test tonight, just on regular paper, not even thefancy decal paper I've been hoarding for months. As usual its just around midnight aaaannnnddd: my printer is out of ink. Ugh.

Anyhow, if you're interested the first of this dude's vids is here. Just getting STARTED with how to get formatted and moving was super helpful

June 20, 2017 at 11:39 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 8793

Art files disapeared? Well they are now back up (see top of topic).

Don't forget to watch the video  ;)

This is a very simple way to add art using photo paper (allowing curing time) and applying an Armor All type product for a protective (beer proof) coating. I added a few additional photos.

Additional tip: Use a colored sharpie that matches the enclosure color and color the sides of the photo that you "cut out" for a perfect blend into the pedal that will be very hard to see.

I saw a box of 24 assorted color sharpies at Staples (thats a lot of colors) for under $20.

Do not forget the "best" corner cutter that perfectly cuts both 125A and 1590B etc..

The Sunstar Kadomaru Pro

Have some cool art?

I hope to see others contribute their own pictures below for others to use by adding a direct link (of royalty free) art from your GuitarPCB Photo Gallery page using the Photo Icon just to the left of the Smiley Icon when writing a new post. If you need help just check out our Adding Photos Guide also found on the Home Page.


August 22, 2017 at 12:09 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 8793

Thread updated with more precise tips

January 24, 2018 at 1:22 AM Flag Quote & Reply

This topic is closed, no additional posts are allowed.